Deborah E. Powell

Center for Women's Health

A National Center of Excellence

Lecture Series

Interdisciplinary Women's Health Lecture Series

The Interdisciplinary Women's Health Lectures are free monthly lectures that provides local researchers a platform to disseminate their innovative and cutting-edge research in women's health and/or sex/gender differences. The lectures are sponsored by the Powell Center for Women’s Health, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, and the School of Public Health Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health.

All lectures are free and open to the public. Light lunch is provided for the first 50 attendees.

Questions can be directed the Powell Center at 612-626-1125 or

  • 10/17/2012 - "What Does the Affordable Care Act Mean for Women's Health"

    Lynn Blewett, PhD
    Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, UMN

    Katy Backes Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA
    Assistant Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, UMN

    The lecture will address the following:

    • Women’s perspective on health reform
    • Impact of the Affordable Care Act on access and affordability of care for women
    • Specific provisions in the law related to preventive screening, reproductive health, maternity care and mature women’s health
  • 11/14/2012 - "An Innovative Clinical Model: Women's Integrative Health"

    Diana Drake, MSN, WHNP
    Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Program Director Women’s Integrative Health, Women’s Health Specialists Clinic UMMC Fairview

    The lecture will address the following:

    • What do women want from health care and what can we give them?
    • Translating  ‘integrative/ interdisciplinary/ interprofessional‘ into a clinical practice reality
    • New perspectives and the new tool box:  creating sustainability
  • 2/13/2013 - "A Resilience Model: Integrative Mental Health"

    Henry Emmons, MD
    Holistic Psychiatrist, Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Minneapolis, MN

    The lecture will address the following:

    • Describe the most common “enemies of joy” and how they cause brain imbalance
    • Understand non-medicinal alternatives that can support healthy brain chemistry for depression
    • Discuss the principles of “the psychology of mindfulness”
    • Understand the research linking unhappy or joyful mental states to brain function, and describe how mindfulness practice may improve those mental states

    Listen to the lecture.

  • 3/27/2013 - "25-Year Trends in Lipid Levels Among Health Women: The Roles of Aging, Secular Trends and Modifiable Risk Factors"

    Pamela Schreiner, PhD, MS
    Professor, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota

    Dyslipidemia is a common disorder, and individuals with highly elevated levels can be successfully treated with medication. However, the vast majority of those with elevated lipids have mildly abnormal levels that can be managed by lifestyle changes — these individuals have low relative risk of heart disease but contribute to substantial absolute risk due to the large number affected. This talk will cover secular trends in lipids among women participating in the CARDIA Study over 25 years, and how these trends would differ if modifiable lifestyle factors were considered. The impact of race will also be discussed.

  • 4/10/2013 - "Animal Studies of Sex Differences and Hormonal Influences in Drug Abuse and Its Treatment: Translational Impact"

    Marilyn Carroll, PhD
    Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School, University of Minnesota

    The lecture will address the following:


    1. In rat and monkey studies of drug abuse females (vs. males) show higher initiation, escalation, and propensity for relapse.
    2. The ovarian steroid hormone, estrogen, is responsible for increasing the positive reinforcing effects of drugs, and, progesterone is responsible for reducing drug-seeking in females to the level of males.
    3. Females have greater treatment success than males with medications and behavioral treatments.
    4. In contrast, males are more sensitive than females to the aversive effects of drugs such as withdrawal and punished responding.


    1. In human laboratory studies of subjective effects of drugs of abuse similar hormonal determinants exist when studied under controlled laboratory conditions: females > males, estrogen increases, and progesterone decreases positive drug effects.
    2. However, under natural conditions in humans these hormonal factors are overridden by socio-cultural factors. Over the centuries males have generally exceeded females in drug use; however, there have been examples of females exceeding males. Recently, for most of the 1900s males exceeded females in drug abuse, but currently the sex differences in drug abuse are minimal in teens and young adults, but larger differences exist in older adults (males > females).

    Listen to the lecture. 

    This lecture was co-sponsored by the UMN Specialized Centers of Research (SCOR).

  • 4/24/2013 - "Women's Health Research Through a Health Services Lens"

    Beth Collins Sharp, PhD, RN
    Senior Advisor, Women’s Health & Gender Research
    Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality

    The lecture will address the following:
    A contemporary paradigm of women’s health research recognizes health conditions beyond traditional gynecologic and obstetric care, that women are often the decision-makers for family health care and the unique patterns of women’s health care experiences and gender issues impact health care services. Patient-centered healthcare homes, multidisciplinary teams and engaging women as stakeholders are a few examples of concepts employed in women’s health care. This presentation will discuss current issues and future considerations for research and practice, through the lens of a health services approach.

    Listen to the lecture.

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  • Last modified on June 11, 2014