As part of the Mayor’s Health and Wellness Campaign this spring – and in recognition of Women’s History Month – Haddonfield will host its first Women’s Health Symposium on Thursday, March 9 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the borough hall auditorium. It is free and open to anyone.
The event will feature a panel of local women: Dr. Tracy Persili, DO at Jefferson Health, Cherry Hill; Jennifer Bidey, an APN, DNP, medical director at Jefferson Health’s LGBTQIA+ Primary Care Practice; Dr. Monica Boyle, a board-certified dermatologist with Dermatology Associates South Jersey; and Dr. Kay Yoon-Flannery, a surgical oncologist and co-director of the Janet Knowles Breast Cancer Center at MD Anderson, Cooper Hospital.
The panel will be moderated by Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich, who will ask questions in a round-robin format that will include important issues like the struggles women can face when they seek health care. But there will also be lighter conversations.
“I think this is also an opportunity for us to be open,” the mayor said, “to show some vulnerability, but also to enjoy the conversation with our neighbors and not be afraid to ask the questions or discuss things like sexual health, or menopause or childbirth and nursing, or honestly, even hormones and endocrinology.”
Bezich noted that the tone of the conversations will likely depend on the makeup of the audience. If there are a number of students or children, the questions may be adjusted to allow for age-appropriate conversations on women’s health.
“I know as a woman myself, I’ve had doctors over the course of my life who were dismissive of me, and that dates back to when I was a teenage girl and was experiencing issues with what ended up being endometriosis,” Bezich says. “My much older physician was very dismissive of the intense feelings and the discomfort that was with me every day, and I went into my late 20s not having a diagnosis.
“So it’s really frustrating to be in that position,” she added, “because if you’re in physical pain all the time, it affects your mental health, your relationships, it affects your ability to work and maintain a normal life.”
More information can be found in the event section of the Haddonfield Facebook page.