I hope everyone is enjoying summer and finding time for relaxation. Looking forward, the 25th NPWH Annual Women’s Healthcare Conference is just around the corner September 29–October 2 in Houston, Texas.
I am ready for an in-person meeting after two years of virtual conferences. Not that the 2020 and 2021 conferences weren’t great, we were able to save on travel costs, and had the convenience of being at home to view presentations. But virtually is just not the same as everyone getting together in one place. The energy created is palpable, as I know from my experience of attending all but three of the conferences over the past 25 years. I attended the very first NPWH annual conference in 1998. I don’t remember the exact presentation topics, of course. What were we saying about contraception, sexually transmitted infections, adolescent health, maternal health, menopause, and gynecologic and breast cancers? It would be interesting if we could go back in time and hear some of the presentations at that first conference. I am sure it was cutting edge then. The 25th conference will cover some of the same broad topics likely discussed in 1998 but with the knowledge we have today. Attendees at this year’s conference will have the opportunity to hear the latest information during presentations ranging from infertility care to Covid-19 in pregnancy, to management of early pregnancy loss, to fertility preservation for survivors of cancer, to postpartum reimagined. Presentations will address healthcare across the lifespan from adolescent gynecologic care to maternal mental health, to perimenopausal contraception, to managing menopause. There are presentations on topics that have come to the forefront in society recently, including the impact of environmental exposures on women’s health, evidence-based skills for effective conversations about abortion, counseling patients in the age of the internet and social media, trauma-informed care, and disparities in gynecologic cancers.
I wear several hats at the conference as editor in chief of our NPWH journal, writing workshop presenter, presentation attendee, and colleague of all the attendees, catching up with old friends and making new ones. I love working the crowd regarding the journal and finding potential authors when I can introduce myself and have a face-to-face conversation. I visit posters and talk to poster presenters about their projects and the possibility of developing them into manuscripts. I attend as many presentations as possible but also ask attendees who went to other presentations what they thought and if they would like to read an article on the topic by the presenter. Of course, I approach presenters myself. I love it when an attendee approaches me with a topic and interest in writing. These are always great conversations that can be followed up on later.
If you have not yet registered for the conference, there is still time. Go to the NPWH website for information on all sessions and events. This provides a convenient way to earn up to 23.25 continuing education (CE) contact hours with CE offerings in all the National Certification Corporation content areas to meet your certification maintenance if you are a women’s health nurse practitioner.
Whether this is your first NPWH conference or your 5th, 10th, or 20th, you will find opportunities to learn and network with those who share your passion for women’s healthcare. The theme for this year’s conference is so appropriate: reunite, persevere, renew. It is time for us to reunite and renew after persevering through the incredibly challenging era of providing healthcare during a pandemic.
While you are at the conference, I highly recommend taking advantage of all the activities beyond attending presentations. Engage with presenters in the poster area. Visit the exhibit booths, and don’t miss including a stop at the HealthCom Media booth to meet and chat with our journal publisher and staff. I will stop by there several times as I cruise around the exhibit area to learn what you want from the journal. Look for our journal editorial advisory board members who are at the conference: Casey Hopkins, Sue Kendig, Randee Masciola, Jamille Nagtalon-Ramos, Laurie Ray, and Ludrena Rodriguez. Share your topic ideas with them. Attend the business meeting and share in congratulating recipients of the NPWH Inspiration Awards and Fran Way Award. Have some fun! I hope to see you there..
Beth Kelsey, EdD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP