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Institute for Women's Health and Leadership Conversations About Women's Health

CONVERSATIONS ... Innovative ... Informative ... Exciting ...

Conversations About Women's Health™ is a program developed by the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership of Drexel University College of Medicine to help women make better decisions about their health.

Conversations are informal and audience-friendly, with practical health questions and prompt responses by medical professionals. Unlike other health panels, there are no speeches or lectures. Events feature 75 minutes of open dialogue, with no PowerPoints and no lectures.

Past Conversations

May 30, 2018
Metropolitan Baptist Church, 3500 Baring Street

Love Your Heart! A FREE Community Heart-Health Event

Organizers and panelists from the 2018 Conversation About Heart Health

The Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership, in partnership with Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions and the Community Wellness HUB at the Dornsife Center, presented an interactive health event for women in the Powelton Village/Mantua neighborhoods in West Philadelphia. The program provided information about reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke and included free blood pressure and stroke risk screenings.


Panelists and moderator from the 2018 Conversation About Heart Health
  • John Fontaine, MD, MBA, FACC – Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
  • Annette Gadegbeku, MD – Assistant Professor, Department of Family, Community and Preventive Medicine; Associate Director, Family Medicine Residency Program
  • Barbara Schindler, MD – Medical Director, Caring Together Program; Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Vice Dean, Emerita, Educational and Academic Affairs


  • Lynn Yeakel – Director, Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership

The event was sponsored by Lauren Cahill in memory of her mother, Diane Cahill.

October 9, 2017
Loews Hotel

The First Line of Defense – A Conversation About Breast Cancer

The Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership, in partnership with Susan G. Komen Philadelphia, presented a program for primary care practitioners that focused on their important role as the first line of defense in the fight against breast cancer.

Download the flyer to learn more about the speakers and the event [PDF]


  • Lydia Komarnicky, MD – Professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology, Drexel University College of Medicine; Co-Director, Hahnemann University Hospital Cancer Center
  • Shailaja Nair, MD, FACP – Chief and Clinical Director of the Drexel Center for Women’s Health and Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Rene Rothstein-Rubin, MD, FACP – Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine; Co-Director, Hahnemann University Hospital Cancer Center
  • Amanda M. Woodworth, MD – Director, Breast Health and Wellness Center; Assistant Professor of Surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine


  • Lynn Yeakel – Director, Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership Drexel University College of Medicine

Event included remarks by Elaine Grobman, CEO of Susan G. Komen Philadelphia

Amanda Woodworth, Shailaja Nair, Lydia Komarnicky, Elaine Grobman, Rene Rothstein-Rubin, and Lynn Yeakel at the 2017 Conversation About Breast Cancer

March 18, 2015
William Penn Charter School
The Institute for Women's Health and Leadership hosted two Conversations About Women's Health and Leadership for students in grades 9 through 12.

Female students participated in a Conversation moderated by Lynn Yeakel, with panelists including:

  • Rachel Millner, PsyD
  • Shailaja Nair, MD, director of Drexel's Center for Women's Health
  • Amber Peterson, Woman One Scholar

Issues of interest to young women, including obesity, body image and mental health, were discussed.

At the same time, male students attended a presentation by Eric Zillmer, PsyD, Drexel director of athletics; and Rachel Guerrera, academic advisor at the Drexel ACHIEVE Center, discussing shared leadership and gender equality.

March 27, 2015
1 – 3:45 p.m.
Queen Lane Campus
The Institute for Women's Health and Leadership, in collaboration with the Caring Together Program and Working Together for Women, presented a Conversation About Women's Health: Women, Addiction and the Criminal Justice System. Download the event flyer to learn more [PDF].

Highlights of Past Conversation Topics

  • Conversations about women's heart health
  • Conversations about sleep and stress
  • Conversations about healthy relationships
  • Conversations about pain
  • ... and many more

Conversations have taken place at the Philadelphia Senior Center, Moore College of the Arts, the Union League, Project HOME and many other venues. Audiences have ranged in size from 85 to 220, with a variety of ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Conversations about Women's Health

Previous Conversations Panelists

The following people represent a sample of the variety of professional participants in Conversations About Women's Health.

Nora Dowd Eisenhower, JD, is a former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. Ms. Eisenhower is currently senior vice president at the National Council on Aging, as well as the economic security director for the National Center for Benefits Outreach & Enrollment.

Cynthia Figueroa is executive director of Women Against Abuse, the largest domestic violence agency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Katherine M. Keefe is a partner at Dilworth Paxson LLP and chair of the firm's health care practice. A health law practitioner for over 25 years, Ms. Keefe provides regulatory and transactional guidance to a variety of health care organizations including proprietary and not-for-profit health systems, academic medical centers, health insurance, managed care organizations and vendors to the health care industry. Ms Keefe began her career in the legal department of Hahnemann University Hospital.

Jacqueline D. Kloss, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at Drexel University and a clinical psychologist and behavioral director of the insomnia program at Drexel University College of Medicine. She specializes in behavioral sleep medicine, with specialty focus on insomnia. She has published in numerous health psychology areas, such as sleep quality and perimenopause, motivational strategies for health behaviors, and applications of written emotional expression.

Owen Montgomery, MD, is chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Drexel University College of Medicine. His areas of research and special interests include office based surgery, electronic medical records, obstetrics and gynecology, sexual assault prevention, simulation based medical education, and surgical care of menopausal women. Dr. Montgomery serves on local, regional, and national maternal mortality committees, and has served as a reviewer for the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Journal of Adolescent Gynecology.

Anne Morrissey is the former president and chief operating officer for AmeriHealth Caritas, and was responsible for managing the company's growth, with corporate oversight of all aspects of health plan operations in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, South Carolina, Indiana, and the Corporate Chief Medical Office. Ms. Morrissey is a registered nurse by training.

Barbara Schindler, MD, is a psychiatrist and the vice dean emerita of educational and academic affairs at Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Schindler established the Caring Together Program, dedicated to providing a new life without substance abuse for women and their children. She has a national reputation in psychiatry/psychosomatic medicine.

Julie Yeh, MD, MPH, was a family physician and assistant professor at Drexel University College of Medicine. She cared for patients of all ages, from babies to seniors. Her interests included maternity care, health care improvement, and smoking cessation. Dr. Yeh was the coordinator of the Institute's GEM (Gender & Ethnic Medicine) Project.

Conversations Founder

Lynn H. Yeakel, MSM, created Conversations About Women's Health. She was director of the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine, where she held the Betty A. Cohen Chair in Women's Health. Formerly regional director of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, she was a founder and chief executive of Women's Way until she resigned in 1992 to run for the U.S. Senate. Lynn passed away on January 13, 2022.


For more information, please contact:
Janine Barber at

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