White Paper – Women & Aging: The Impact of Dementia

On October 10th & 11th, 2013, WWHF held our 7th Annual Dialogue, Women & Aging: The Impact of Dementia. The Annual Dialogue is a moderated panel discussion of state and national leaders in prevention and treatment. Attendees learn about innovative solutions and strategies that can improve healthcare outcomes for Wisconsin communities.

As a follow up to the Annual Dialogue, WWHF produced a White Paper that provides an in-depth look at the issue of dementia and the discussion from the Dialogue. The White Paper is now available and can be accessed by clicking here or visiting WWHF’s website under publications.


Last Chance – Nominate an Everyday Health Hero Today!

Nominations for Everyday Health Heroes will close tomorrow. Hurry and nominate your Everyday Health Hero today – it’s so easy!

Portrait of mature woman sitting in countryside

Everyday Health Heroes are individuals who have impacted the health and welfare of their families or communities. Nominees may include teachers, coaches, parents, neighbors, your family and friends.

Everyday Health Heroes are men and women who lead by example and make health a priority. Everyday Health Heroes:

  • Make courageous choices;
  • Are creative in how they live a healthy lifestyle;
  • Help others make changes to improve their health; and
  • Are generous with their time, talents and energy.

The Everyday Health Heroes Awards will be presented at WWHF’s Pre-Gala VIP Event on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Winners will receive complimentary tickets to WWHF’s Annual Spring Gala Event on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

Click here to nominate now!

The call for 2014 Everyday Health Heroes is now open!


Everyday Health Heroes Awards honor individuals who have impacted the health and welfare of their families or communities. Nominees may include teachers, coaches, parents, neighbors, your family and friends.

Everyday Health Heroes are men and women who lead by example and make health a priority. Everyday Health Heroes:

Make courageous choices;

  • Are creative in how they live a healthy lifestyle;
  • Help others make changes to improve their health; and
  • Are generous with their time, talents and energy.


The Everyday Health Heroes Awards will be presented at WWHF’s Pre-Gala VIP Event on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Winners will recieve complimentary tickets to WWHF’s Annual Spring Gala Event on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

Online nominations for the 2014 Everyday Health Heroes will be open until March 14, 2014.  Nominate someone today!

Save The Date!

Save the DAte

Cervical Health Awareness

january is

The Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation wants you to know that there’s a lot you can do to prevent cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV (human papillomavirus), the most common sexually transmitted disease. HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer.

The good news?

  • HPV can be prevented by the HPV vaccine.
  • Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care.

In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, The Foundation encourages:

  • Women to start getting regular Pap tests at age 21
  • Women to get the HPV vaccine before age 27
  • Parents to make sure their pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12
  • Men to get the HPV vaccine if you are under age 22

Thanks to the health care reform law, you and your family members may be able to get these services at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company.

Taking small steps can help keep you safe and healthy.

Healthy Weight Week

healthy weight weekThe Annual Healthy Weight Week is a week-long observance to recognize healthy diet-free living habits that result in the prevention of eating and weight issues.

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to healthy living, but people are often sucked into fraudulent diets and weight-loss “miracles.” Tuesday, January 21 is devoted to ridding the world of fad diets and gimmicks. Here are some tips on how to identify weight loss fraud and quackery:

  • claims a large, fast, easy weight loss
  • uses terms like “miraculous, breakthrough, secret, unique”
  • misuse of medical or technical terms
  • requires special foods purchased from the company
  • fails to state risks or recommend a medical exam
  • grants mystical properties to certain food or ingredients
  • demands large advance payments or long-term contracts
  • distributed through hard-sell mail order ads or television infomercials

Instead, we encourage you to improve your health habits in lasting, diet-free ways. Try this:

  • live actively
  • eat well (in normal ways and fully nourished)
  • accept and respect yourself and others – all women and bodies are different!

Click here for more reasons not to diet…

The 2014 Call for Champions in Women’s Health Nominations is open!


2013 Champions in Women’s Health

The Champions in Women’s Health Awards honor individuals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and devoted themselves to improving the quality of life for women and families in their professional career. Past champions have been instrumental in raising the level of awareness about women’s health issues, and have impacted the quality of care that women in this state receive. You can view a list of past Champions here.

Champions will be honored for their work during a private dinner reception on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Madison Concourse Hotel, and also during our Spring Gala at the beautiful State Capitol Rotunda later that evening.

Please consider nominating individuals for this prestigious award. Click here for a 2014 Champions Nomination Application, nomination guidelines and nomination submission instructions. Applications should be sent to WWHF by January 31st. Contact Julie Whitehorse by phone at 608-251-1675 ext. 106 or by email with any questions.

Join Us!



We want YOU to come visit us at the well EXPO in Madison, WI on February 7th and 8th.

What is the well EXPO?

Well EXPO is the only event in the Madison area devoted to showcasing local resources for weight loss, medical care, wellness programs, healthy foods, green living, exercise, beauty and more!

When & where?

Monona Terrace (1 John Nolen Drive, Madison WI 53703)

February 7th (1-7pm) & 8th (10am-4pm), 2014


Tickets are $5 at the door. Paid Friday attendees can return Saturday for free!

Free admission on Saturday with 2 non-perishable food items or a cash donation to The River Food Pantry.

Logo - No WordsWhy visit the WWHF booth?

WWHF will be offering free health screenings at the well EXPO at varying times throughout the day. We will have free education and prevention materials on crucial areas of women’s health. Come learn more about our biggest fundraiser of the year, our 15th Annual Spring Gala, and other upcoming events!

Work with us at this event!

Want to volunteer to work with WWHF at this event? Click here to sign up to staff a two-hour shift at the WWHF booth. Volunteers will assist guests participating in free health screenings and distributing information about upcoming events!

We will see you there!



What Can YOU Do to Keep a Healthy Mouth?

Your teeth and your gums.


These things might be more important than you previously thought. Here at the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation, we are committed to providing education and prevention information to women like you – and an important area of women’s health is oral health!

What do we know already?

  • education and prevention are key in reducing untreated dental disease
  • oral health impacts overall health
  • nutrition and home care are key to maintaining oral health
  • women are complicated :)

WisconsinOral health and our home state, Wisconsin

Access to complete dental care is difficult for poor and un/underinsured adults. Only about 30% of all eligible Medicaid enrollees received any dental services and there are even further issues for those with special needs. These are all issues that need to be addressed and corrections need to be facilitated.

Oral health and young adulthood

Risk factors influencing oral health begin very early. Some of these young adult risk factors include:

  • smoking
  • poor nutritional habits
  • eating disorders

Women-specific oral health

  • female hormones act directly on oral tissues and other body systems that can produce effects in the oral cavity
  • some women experience swollen and bleeding gums a week prior to menstruation – a sign of poor oral health – even without noticeable plaque
  • high amounts of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can affect oral tissues and swelling and bleeding during this time is very common
  • excessive vomiting due to morning sickness during pregnancy can lead to decay and tooth loss

So, what’s a girl to do?!

  • optimal home care (flossing and brushing) are a must!
  • dental treatment is recommended during pregnancy
  • optimal plaque control, additional fluoride and proper nutrition
  • drink lots of fluoridated water
  • use proper brushing technique (toothbrush 45 degree angle to gum tissue, slow gentle circular motion, 2-3 minutes)
  • use proper flossing technique (hold floss tightly against tooth surface, work up and down – don’t saw!)

Sue Ann Says: Pursue Healthy Habits in the New Year

SAT HeadshotBy the time you read this article, you may have already broken your New Year’s Resolutions.  Did you plan to lose 10 pounds?  Or plan to exercise every weekday?  After consuming 14 holiday cookies at once, did you add fruit to your snack list?  You mean well, but somehow the resolutions aren’t sticking.  Don’t be discouraged.  I have learned that if I purposely set out to be healthy all year, I don’t have to set resolutions.  This month I have some creative ideas and expert advice to help you attain a positive mind and healthy body in 2014.  My guidelines include exercising, eating healthy, scheduling your doctor appointments and managing your stress.

Winter Weather Exercise
If cold weather makes you pack on the pounds, try these easy steps to stay fit.

  • Turn up the music and dance while you clean.
  • Find an exercise DVD that you enjoy and exercise to it in the morning.
  • Check your newspaper for local hospitals, churches or schools that offer inexpensive exercise classes. Join with a friend.
  • Climb the stairwell at work with a co-worker.
  • Turn off the computer and TV to find those spare minutes you need to exercise.

Don’t mind the cold Wisconsin weather?  Slip outside for some fresh air and joy!

  • Walk with a friend or your spouse/partner, but choose a new route each week.
  • Ask if you can walk the neighbor’s dog. Great exercise for you and a friendly neighbor gesture.
  • Try cross country skiing, snowshoeing or ice skating. Some towns have rental equipment available, or buy used equipment.
  • Play with your children or grandchildren in the snow. Walking up and down the hills while sledding will burn off cookie calories.

Eat Healthy to Stay Fit All Year
Registered Nurse Dawn Garcia from Eau Claire conveyed her best healthy eating suggestions to me. “Diet health is based upon a low fat diet, with a balance of lean meats/seafood, with lots of vegetables, fruits, and water.  The average diet has too many simple carbohydrates, sugars and salt, which are important areas to change.  Especially for women over 40, the diet should have servings of fish/seafood at least 2 times a week, choosing foods like salmon with high levels of Omega 3, to reduce heart health risks.  Five servings of vegetables are recommended per day, including leafy green vegetables, cabbage varieties, and tomatoes.”

“One other area specifically needed in women’s diets is calcium.  This can be found in low-fat milk, cheeses and yogurts.  Most women do not have dietary calcium sufficient to meet the recommended daily requirements, and should increase their dietary intake, or consider taking a supplement to preserve bone mass, and reduce the risk of fractures,” said Dawn.

Dr. Yasmine Subhi Ali, a cardiologist from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, shared her healthy eating advice.  “My advice to women to stay heart healthy in 2014 is to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  If you are overweight, aim to lose at least 5-10% of your current weight. Eating more veggies helps with this!”

Trudy Scott, a Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist from California works with women and their families about real whole foods.  Trudy said “Quality is the key when it comes to all the foods we consume and this includes animal protein such as red meat.  Opt for choices that are grass-fed and free of hormones and antibiotics, and humanely treated.  Grass-fed red meat contains amino acids, zinc, iron and good levels of omega-3s – all of which are so crucial for balancing brain chemicals – improving both anxiety and depression and reducing cravings.”

Plan Your Annual Physical Exams and Dental Appointments
RN Dawn Garcia recommends annual exams.  “The most important reason to see your doctor annually is to ensure that you’re participating in preventative health screening procedures that can identify a serious health problem early, before there is a serious health consequence or procedure needed.”
Appointments should include:

  • Annual health history
  • Physical exam
  • Recommended breast exams and mammography
  • Pelvic exams
  • Cancer screenings for women over 50 (colonoscopy)
  • Dental cleaning/exam every 6 months.

Lower Stress to Stay Healthy
“Stress ages our cells and causes immune system disorders,” explained Robert Lawrence Friedman, psychotherapist and author of the book How to Relax in 60 Seconds or Less (2010).  “Women who are nurturing need to learn to nurture themselves better.  You need to say, ‘I deserve joy.  I deserve to relax.’ Use the ‘Power of Slow’ to make a conscious effort to slow down.  Relaxation is about slowing down.  Slow down your breathing, walking or talking.”  Robert’s advice includes:

  • Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Create a series of relaxing images you can focus on with your mind.
  • Find someone to share with who supports you. Don’t emotionally isolate yourself.
  • Find gratitude in your life. Keep a journal full of positive thoughts and pictures.
  • Pick up a drum to get rid of internal stress and anger and build empowerment. Drumming together builds community. Besides it’s fun! (Healing Power of The Drum, 2000)

This New Year begin a fresh start by taking small steps every day to make yourself healthy.

Because it all begins with a healthy woman…

Sue Ann Thompson is founder and president of the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation (WWHF), a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to help Wisconsin women and their families reach their healthiest potential.  WWHF provides programs and conducts forums that focus on education, prevention, and early detection; connects individuals to health resources; produces and distributes the most up-to-date health education and resource materials; and, awards grants and scholarships to women health researchers and related community non-profits. To learn more, visit www.wwhf.org or call 800-448-5148.