When we started planning Women's Health Conference 2017, we imagined doing something new. Something so big that it would draw together women from across the state of North Dakota and beyond.
Our conference yesterday didn't disappoint. From Angela Gaffney's encouragement to take care of our Number #1 Fan (our bodies) to Glennon Doyle's message that we need more fierce-minded, tender-hearted folks in the world -- we walked away buzzing with ideas and inspiration.
If you attended yesterday's event, you devoted a day to your spiritual, mental, and physical health. Congratulations. That is so important. Thank you.
And, thanks again to all of our presenters, sponsors, and volunteers. You made this day happen.
Whether you missed the conference or want to relive some of the day's wonderful moments, check out some of these highlights.
The Women’s Health Conference is so close we can barely contain our excitement.
A full day devoted to our well-being? Check.
A day filled with great speakers like Glennon Doyle and Angela Gaffney? Check.
We hope you, too, are counting down the days.
For those of you turning the one-day event into an overnight (or longer) stay, we encourage you to explore the Bismarck region. Whether you’re looking for an interesting eating establishment or a place to stretch your legs, here are a few places you may want to check out.
Bismarck has many well-known national chains. But if you’re looking for more regional or local fare, stop by one of these establishments:
Lucky’s 13 Pub More of a regional chain, this pub serves up sandwiches, burgers and favorites like walleye egg rolls and spiced-up mac and cheese. Gluten-free bread is available. Daily specials.
Blarney Stone Pub An Irish pup atmosphere with more than 35 draft beers available. If you’re craving corned beef and creamed cabbage, shepherd's pie or bangers and mash, this is the place for you.
The Starving Rooster Try their pizza or pasta made in a brick oven.
The Walrus A bustling neighborhood eatery that features creative salads, sandwiches and pastas. It also boasts an extensive wine and beer list.
Looking for something else? Here’s a list of suggestions from Trip Advisor
Whether you’re interested in enjoying the outdoors or delving into some regional culture, there are numerous ways for you to find a mini adventure.
Lewis and Clark Riverboat Cruise Explore the Missouri River through a one-hour cruise (starts at 3 p.m.) or a pizza dinner cruise (at 6 p.m.). Reservations can be made ahead of time.
North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum Meet Dakota, a rare mummified duck-billed dinosaur Edmontosaurus. Learn about the state’s earliest people and modern visionaries. Located on the North Dakota Capitol grounds. Admission is free.
Papa’s Pumpkin Patch The Travel Channel named this super popular local attraction one of the top 10 pumpkin patches in the country, and it happens to open on September 10!
Trail Systems If geocaching, walking, disc golf, classic golf or parks are more your thing, enjoy the recreational opportunities in Bismarck and next door Mandan.
Kayak Rentals Take a short – or day-long – trip on the Missouri River by kayak. No experience necessary … just a sense of curiosity and adventure.
Looking for additional activities? Here are some suggestions from the Bismarck-Mandan Visitors’ Bureau.
If you haven't registered yet, click the link below. We look forward to seeing you soon!
It’s likely that someone you know will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Learn the signs and symptoms to watch for and what you can do to reduce your risk.
This year there will be an estimated 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed among U.S. women. Chances are you or someone you know will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
Dr. Jill Klemin, a family physician at Sanford Health in Bismarck, will help you understand the different types of breast cancer, risk factors, and ways to prevent and screen for it.
Jill runs Sanford’s high-risk breast clinic at Sanford. She completed her family medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, and earned her medical degree from the University North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks. She has completed additional training in breast health while employed at Sanford Health.
Dr. Jill Klemin's presentation will include statistics on breast cancer and recommendations for reducing risk. She will provide the latest information on breast imaging, such as mammogram, 3D mammogram, MRI, and ultrasound, and the best way to perform a self-breast exam. She will also share information on the signs and symptoms that may signal breast cancer.
She will empower women to be proactive about their breast health.
When women are given the right information about menstrual issues, menopause, pain, incontinence and sex, Dr. Bradley finds women can significantly improve their quality of life and become their best selves.
Dr. Shannon Bradley has spent 20 years practicing general OB-GYN, including office examinations, surgery, and delivering babies. Recently, she has focused her practice on providing women alternatives for treating various women’s health concerns. When women are given the right information in a comfortable environment, Dr. Bradley finds that women can significantly improve their quality of life.
Sometimes education is the best medicine. It may seem daunting, but taking the time to understand what medical options are available to you in the healthcare setting can be life-altering: It could mean the difference between an existence of wellness and joy, or one of discomfort and disorder. Realizing for yourself which medical symptoms are manageable and which are not is a key step in the journey toward becoming your healthier, better self.
Do you occasionally leak urine when you jump, run or sneeze? Ok, maybe more than occasionally? If you leak once or twice a year … no biggie. It’s annoying – but tolerable – and not something you need to spend a lot of energy to fix. But. If you leak to the point where you wear a pad, avoid activities and feel generally anxious about wetness … do something about it! Pelvic health specialists are available to evaluate you and provide options like physical therapy, pelvic floor rehabilitation or minor surgery. Knowing what your alternatives are empowers you to make your own choices. And, naturally, you can’t know what your preferences are until you learn your options.
Heavy, painful and unpredictable periods? Many women let their monthly period dictate their lives. If you are planning your day – or vacation, outings, overall schedule – around your period, you are one of them. Know that you don’t have to do this. There are multiple, conservative surgical options available to you. Take the initiative to visit your women’s healthcare provider and learn more. You may not find a choice that motivates you to make a change, but you won’t know until you have this discussion.
Not satisfied with the look or function of your nether regions? Gynecologic aesthetics is an emerging field of cosmetic surgery that can change the look of the labia, or function of the vagina, with in-office procedures that don’t require general anesthesia or an operating room. Don’t be shy about exploring options for labial reduction or vaginal tightening. It’s a common curiosity, believe it or not. And remember this: There is no “normal” size or shape of the vulva or vagina. It’s not about achieving some sort of ideal, but rather about building an informed decision to make – or not make – a change.
Unhappy with your sex life? Unfortunately, this is a common problem. On the bright side, there are solutions. There is a plethora of options to improve the female sex drive, enhance sexual pleasure and treat vaginal dryness and pain. Women’s health providers are open and eager to hear about your concerns and provide you solutions for improving sexual function. So find them. Ask them. And then decide for yourself what is right for you.
You have a very personal, internal measure of what affects your quality of life in a positive or negative way. Only you can decide what matters enough to seek options for change. The first step is simply educating yourself. Cast aside your fears and reticence and have those discussions with your women’s health provider to educate and empower yourself. Only then will you be equipped with the right information to make healthy decisions and to take the steps to become your best self.
Dr. Bradley's presentation on September 11 will provide information about the therapies that can improve a woman’s quality of life to treat menopause, sexual dysfunction, menstrual pain, and incontinence.
First, your shoulders start to tighten. Then, your back gets a bit stiff.
You shift your weight from left side to right side and lean back in your chair to stretch.
But there’s a deadline to be met, a meme to be read, an email to be sent. Back to the computer screen you go. After all, you’re busy. You’re tired.
And you haven’t taken a step.
The human body has approximately 640 muscles and 206 bones. Thanks to these body parts, we can wiggle, lift, turn, dance, walk, swim, swing, run, reach, and more. In short, our bodies are made to move!
We know enough to fill guilty about sitting in front of a TV for hours on end. Yet, the everyday conveniences of our modern lifestyle make it too easy to sit for longer periods than we think. Need groceries? Order them online. Need a new pair of shoes? Zappos(.com) to the rescue. Need to vacuum? Use a Roomba. Hungry? Take-out and delivery, please.
Before we know it, a day is gone and our fingers are the only parts of our body that have done the walking.
Unfortunately, prolonged sitting has been linked to high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and obesity. People with the most sedentary time are more than twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease than those with the least. Studies have linked sitting to a greater risk for colon, breast and endometrial cancers. Slumping in a chair can lead to mushy abs, tight back muscles, and decreased hip mobility.
Even brain function and moods can be negatively affected by sitting.
So, that’s the bad news.
The good news is we can choose to move. At the Women’s Health Conference, we have a tradition of inspiring our attendees to improve the quality of their lives. For many, that means finding more ways to move.
It might seem counter-intuitive to talk about movement at a day-long conference – with chairs. But if you’re coming, don’t expect to be stuck to your table. In the past, fitness leaders have had attendees doing squats, improving balance, and stretching – all without leaving the conference floor.
This year we’re excited to welcome Emily Vasey, a personal trainer who will teach us all how to incorporate simple, but effective exercise between the deadlines, the online shopping and the take-out. She is passionate about showing people that it is possible (and easy) to fit more activity into a daily routine.
Let’s get moving together!
LIMITED tickets are available for women to meet Glennon Doyle during the Women's Health Conference!
Everyone registered for the Women's Health Conference by Midnight Aug. 21 will receive a special email and the link to register for a FREE meet-and-greet ticket.
Those registered should check their email on Friday, August 25 to be the first in line. Tickets open at 9:00 AM, Aug 25, on a first-come-first-served basis, and are limited to one-per person until they are gone!
Women’s Health Conference educates, inspires, and empowers women to live healthy lives in mind, body, and spirit. Glennon will address why it’s important for women to accept and love themselves first. Through her experiences she shares how vulnerability and honesty are key qualities to living our lives more fully, more authentically.
If you’ve felt lonely, angry, resentment, unbearable grief, broken, scared, ashamed and hidden these feelings from yourself and others with an escape, an addiction, or have ever lied and said, “I’m fine,” when it clearly isn’t, you are not alone.
Ruth Knutson asks, "Do you fully understand how to love authentically and move on from difficult situations?"
Ruth Knutson is a devoted mother of five and grandmother of four who has been married to her husband Ron for 37 years. After her children were well on their way in school, Ruth courageously started college, earning her degrees in addiction counseling and social work. Ruth’s professional experience includes working with families and individuals who are dealing with the disease of addiction.
Ruth says, "Forgiveness is not easy, but holding onto anger and resentment prevents us from the personal growth that truly gives us peace and joy."
Her fearless and forgiving spirit has inspired many to live their lives with more grace, humility, and kindness. Drawing courage from her faith, she shares her message of forgiveness and hope for us all.
Ruth's presentation will equip you with tools to open your heart and mind, leading to deeper and more meaningful relationships. Join Ruth to learn how to move forward, ready to share the gifts of forgiveness, kindness, and compassion.
Emily Vasey teaches women how to use their bodies as a tool for health. Learn how to integrate more activity into your day with simple, but effective exercises that you can do on your own with minimal equipment.
Daily exercise is one of the best ways to impact the quality of our lives. Get inspired to fit more activity into your daily routine. Start to see setbacks and challenges as stepping stones to becoming stronger and more courageous.
Emily Vasey is the owner of EMPower Wellness Training, a fitness studio in Bismarck. Emily’s love of fitness started at a young age. She grew up doing cartwheels, flipflops, and climbing up anything that was high enough for her to flip off.
Because of a back injury suffered in gymnastics, she spent many high school and college years trying different types of treatment to alleviate pain. Massage therapy helped the most. Since then, she has become a licensed massage therapist, an ACE certified personal trainer, health coach, and sports conditioning specialist.
Whether it’s leading a fitness class, holding an individual personal training session or offering massage therapy services; her mission is to empower you to make a change in your life towards better health. For Emily, feeling empowered means being classy, sassy, and a little bit bad-assy.
Sandy Thompson helps family members identify five key steps to find relief from the impact of a loved one’s substance abuse on their lives.
According to the Substance Use in North Dakota Data Book 2017, 62.1% of our high school students reported using alcohol in their short lifetimes, 30% of adults report binge alcohol use in the last 30 days (national average is 24.7%) and 88% of North Dakota (ND) adults believe that adult alcohol use is a problem in their community.
While alcohol remains the most misused substance in our state we are also experiencing a large increase in the misuse of pain medications (opiates) and illegal drugs such as heroin.
Addiction is a family disease that puts stress on relationships in the family, impacts the stability of the home, diminishes family unity and negatively affects overall family dynamics. Substance use negatively impacts children, spouses/partners, parents, friends and co-workers/employers.
Family members whose lives have been impacted by substance use many times have endured similar interruptions in their lifestyle just as the person who uses substances. Unfortunately, they tend to be forgotten when it comes to services to help them cope and recover.
The most common services available to assist those who have been impacted by another’s substance use have been individual counseling, family counseling, 12 step community support groups like Al-Anon and if you have been lucky enough to have your loved one in a treatment program you have most likely been offered education and support by the staff at that treatment facility. A new and exciting approach designed specifically to help those impacted by substance use is Family Recovery Coaching.
Sandy Thompson is no stranger to addiction having several family members who are or have struggled with their use of substances. This led her to earn a bachelor’s in addiction studies from Minot State University. She became a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) and has worked in that field since 1991.
In 2017 she started Path to Pono, where she specializes in family recovery coaching and leadership, and workforce development. Her personal and professional experience provide a valuable background as she assists families who seek their own recovery from addiction in their family.
At the Women's Health Conference, Sandy will help family members learn how to recognize the signs of addiction, how they are often impacted by substance abuse, and the many pathways to recovery.
If you’ve felt lonely, angry, resentment, unbearable grief, broken, scared, ashamed and hidden these feelings from yourself and others with an escape, an addiction, or have ever lied and said, “I’m fine,” when it isn’t, you are not alone.
It’s a simple, but powerful gift to realize you are not alone in your feelings. That another human has faced similar horrible emotions, has spun stories of unworthiness, and felt unbearably judged.
The Women’s Health Conference invites you to add Gennon Doyle’sLove Warrior to your summer reading list. We love Glennon for her audacity to face and share her brokenness and write about her long journey to be and feel real. Her experiences, while may not exactly mirror our own, inspires us to feel. Her writing is a gift and invitation to touch our pain, lean into and learn from it.
Read Love Warrior. Think about it. Cringe through her stories. Savor her language. Rejoice in her self-discovery. Then bring Love Warrior to your book club, prayer group, sisterhood, running group and talk.
Discuss what the book brings up for you, how you relate to the experiences Glennon shares. Think about when you’ve sent a “representative” to show up for you. How the roles described mirror the roles you’ve accepted or rejected? How does pain mask and un-mask the self? Where does Glennon find healing?
To help you unpack her story (and maybe yours too) find a few reading guides here:
Glennon Doyle is the author of Love Warrior, a 2016 Oprah's Book Club Pick; the founder of the online community Momastery; and the creator of the nonprofit Together Rising. Glennon is speaking at the Women’s Health Conference September 11, 2017.