Media, Message, Medicine: UCSF Women's Health 2020 conference

By Eve Harris

The role of the media in communicating news about women’s health will be a featured topic at the 11th annual UCSF Women’s Health 2020 Conference on Saturday, March 20.

The conference is a daylong event offering 24 workshops for women of every age.  Participants will have the opportunity to hear about developments in medicine direct from UCSF’s leading doctors.

The event will be held from 8 am - 4:15 pm on the UCSF main campus at 513 Parnassus Avenue.  Registration is $65, with special fees of $55 for early birds and seniors and $25 for students.  Advance registration is advised and available by phone at 510-843-8048.  Information also is available online at

“Television, newspapers, the Internet—the media plays a powerful role in disseminating health information to women of all ages.  For their own health and as the primary health care decision-makers for their families, women must be critical thinkers and discerning consumers of media,” said Deborah Kamali, MD, director of this year’s conference. Kamali is an assistant clinical professor in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.

In 2000, a Pew Center poll found that 35 percent of women named health as one of their top five news subjects of interest.

The conference program includes a keynote panel of local journalists who will examine the health information provided by news media and explore the role the media play in the public’s understanding of women’s health issues.

Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, will give a special talk titled “Breast Cancer and the Media.” Esserman is director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center. Other workshops include “Yoga for Weight Loss” and “What the Upcoming Elections Mean to Women’s Health.” Throughout the day, UCSF faculty members will present cutting-edge information on a range of health subjects including hormone therapy, heart disease, and skin care.

At the end of the conference, participants may attend a performance by the San Francisco Girls Chorus. More than 300 singers from 160 schools in 48 Bay Area cities participate in this internationally known program. The singers, ages 16-18, will present selections from their repertoire of classical and contemporary music.

UCSF Women’s Health 2020 is sponsored by the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and the Obstetrics and Gynecology Foundation.