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Dr. Jennifer Ashton calls for women's health care, health literacy advocates


More than 500 women gathered at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale earlier this month to hear keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Ashton call for a revolution in health care by improving health literacy among women and bursting the myths that have spread through folklore with little medical or scientific basis. The event, organized by Northwell Health's Katz Institute for Women's Health, was entitled "Celebrating Women's Health: 2018."

Dr. Ashton, who is board certified in OB/GYN and obesity medicine, and with a Master's Degree in Nutrition, is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She is the chief medical correspondent for ABC News. In addition, she has authored three books: "Eat This Not That When Expecting, The Body Scoop for Girls" and "Your Body Beautiful."

Her mission, as she expressed it during her keynote address, is to "give women the tools to become better advocates for their own health by improving women's health literacy."

"Any time you can get hundreds of people in a room to discuss women's health, there will be a domino effect that will have powerful repercussions," said Dr. Ashton, who called the Women's Conference and similar events aimed at empowerment "very impactful."

The day-long conference featured a variety of interactive workshops, with topics ranging from women's heart disease to weight management to plastic surgery. It was no surprise to Dr. Ashton's audience that these important issues continue to dominate the news in women's health stories, and that men are paying attention with greater frequency, too.

A highlight of the conference was the presentation of five awards to employees who have consistently demonstrated their dedication and passion in the area of health care delivery. Each award is named after a woman who has also demonstrated a life-long commitment to women's health.

This year's awards and winners are:

• Sandra Atlas Bass Award for Clinical Excellence given to Dr. Karen Black, chief of Neuroradiology at the Donald and Barbara School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

• Ann Gottlieb Award for Excellence in Teaching given to Dr. Mangala Narasimhan, regional director of medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine.

• Lorinda de Roulet Award for Excellence in Research given to Dr. Adrianna Vlachos, head of the Bone Marrow Failure Program within the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at Cohen Children's Medical Center.

• Tita Monti Award for Outstanding Community Education given to Dr. Diana Martins-Welch, attending physician in Northwell's Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine.

• Sharon Joyce Schlanger Award for Outstanding Community Service given to Dr. Zenobia Brown, medical director of Northwell Health Solutions, the health system's care management team, and vice president of Population Health Management.

The theme of the day was best expressed by Stacey Rosen, MD, vice president of women's health at the Katz Institute.

"Good health doesn't happen by accident," said Dr. Rosen. "We women are always on the move – juggling work, family, and home responsibilities. By understanding how our bodies work, we can all learn to maintain healthy habits that will serve us well in the years to come."

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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 650 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 15,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

Michelle Pinto
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