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Women's health conference
planned for October 15
September 14, 1998

A breast cancer survivor who has organized support groups for other cancer victims will speak at a women's health conference on breast health, alternative medicine, and health after 40.

The Ninth Women's Health Update, "From Breasts to Zinc," will take place at La Renaissance in East Windsor on Thursday, October 15, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. It is sponsored by the School of Allied Health and CIGNA HealthCare of Connecticut.

Zora Kramer Brown, founder and chair of the advocacy groups Cancer Awareness Program Services and Rise Sister Rise, is an education advocate and a strong spokesperson for breast cancer issues, especially for African-American women. Her grandmother, mother and sisters all have had breast cancer, and Brown was diagnosed in 1981 after finding a lump during a routine breast self-examination.

The Breast Cancer Resource Committee, which Brown also founded, has a goal of effecting a 50 percent reduction in breast cancer among African-American women by the year 2000.

Brown is a public relations consultant to Broadcast Capital Fund Inc., a leading small business investment company. She has served as assistant director of public affairs for the Federal Communications Commission, and is the first and only African-American woman named by the President of the United States to the National Cancer Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute.

The conference also includes a panel discussion on health after 40, featuring RuthAnn Lobo, a guidance counselor at Granby Memorial Middle School and a survivor of breast cancer. The mother of Rebecca Lobo, the legendary UConn basketball player, Lobo is the author of The Home Team, written with her daughter, who also will participate in the panel.

Other panelists are Mary Jane Minkin, author of What Every Woman Needs to Know About Menopause, and an obstetrician and gynecologist in New Haven. She is on the staff of Yale University School of Medicine; and James Watson, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Mansfield. His special areas of interest are female athletes and adolescent gynecology, as well as laser and laparoscopic surgery.

Another panel will focus on "Cultural Considerations and Alternative Medicine" and will feature Deborah Metzger, director of the Reproductive Medicine Institute of Connecticut at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale; Usha Palaniswamy, who holds a Ph.D. in medicinal plants from UConn, and studies plants of Asian origin and culture and their role in health promotion and disease prevention; Chuie Yuen, chief medical officer of CIGNA HealthCare of California in Los Angeles, and a board-certified family practitioner ; and Joanne Steffen, president and general manager at CIGNA HealthCare of Connecticut.

Regina Barreca, professor of English, known for her humorous perspective on women's issues and her column in Northeast magazine, also will speak at the conference.

For more information about the conference, call (860) 486-4905. To register, please send $45 (and indicate your choice of panel and meal - chicken marsala or vegetable pasta primavera) to Extended and Continuing Education, Box U-56R. The registration deadline is October 2.