Scores of medical students from throughout Southern California flocked to the 2nd Annual Women’s Health Symposium, held at Mayer Auditorium on Jan. 26. The daylong event focused on multidisciplinary approaches to women’s health. Workshops and panel discussions covered topics including health disparities and contraception, maternal and fetal medicine, heart disease, pediatric and adolescent surgery.
Keck School of Medicine Dean Carmen A. Puliafito (above) kicked off the event, saying that prenatal health and pediatric health are deeply tied to women’s health. He added that given the position of women at the center of families and, frequently, families’ health care decision-making, devoting a symposium to the issues associated with women’s health is crucially important.
Keynote speaker Cathy Shin (right), assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the Keck School, presented “Haiti: Then and Now,” a slideshow and discussion describing the difficulty the impoverished Caribbean nation has had recovering from the 2010 earthquake that wrecked catastrophic damage nationwide. She also described the dire consequences for women’s health there, citing widespread maternal fatalities during childbirth, HIV infection and cholera outbreaks.
She noted, “It’s hard to live in a tent with three children when you don’t have a husband. ... How do you take care of those children? How do you take care of yourself? The dire conditions are horrific.” Shin said she plans another trip to Haiti in July and hopes to make the trip to provide care there an annual event.