Cancer Control Research5R13MH066413-05
Davis, Lisa M.
BIENNIAL NATIONAL RURAL WOMEN'S HEALTH CONFERENCE
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The purpose of the proposed conference,"2002 National Rural Women's Health Conference: Quality of Life Issues, Outcomes, and Strategies for Health Promotion," and those planned for 2004 and 2006, is to improve the quality of life for women of all ages living in rural communities through better health. The conference will be produced by the Penn State Rural Women's Health Initiative, an interdisciplinary team of researchers, clinicians, and outreach staff from The Pennsylvania State University, who, since 1997, have developed and implemented outreach and educational programs addressing rural women's health both within Pennsylvania and nationally. The conference builds on the experience from the Initiative's 2000 national rural women's health conference, "Bridging Rural Women's Health into the New Millennium," and addresses areas of interest identified by participants. These national conferences targeting researchers, clinicians, consumer educators, and policy experts in the field of women's health will provide a forum for these professionals to learn new techniques, share best practices, and build collaborative, sustainable professional relationships. A review of recent national conferences has revealed that there is a paucity of conferences that focus on rural women's health. Some national conferences, such as annual events sponsored by the National Rural Health Association, include sessions that may address rural women's health issues, but, to our knowledge, a conference focused exclusively on rural women's health issues has not been held within the last five years, except for a national rural women's health conference sponsored by the Penn State Rural Women's Health Initiative in August 2000. Promoting good mental health is essential to securing a better quality of life for America's rural women. This perspective will enable the conference, through a combination of research dissemination, "best practices" presentations, and policy discussions, to examine the links between mental well-being and physical health, social structures, age, poverty, ethnicity, culture, and other factors impacting quality of life for women living in America's rural communities and regions. The conference will focus on four themes: Behavioral Health Needs; Barriers to Care and Treatment; Special Populations, and Prevention/Intervention and will offer plenary sessions with nationally recognized keynote speakers and concurrent sessions solicited through a call for abstracts. Strategies are identified for information dissemination through the publication of proceedings and program continuation through the development of an interactive website and future conferences.