Galveston Celebrates National Women’s Health Week With A Conference

It's a day of personal nourishment and empowerment. More than a thousand women will flock to Moody Gardens later this week for an annual conference. What began as a function to highlight advances in women's health issues is now one of the most important events on the island.

All over the country there will be observances to mark National Women’s Health Week.

Officials in Galveston decided to take that observance a step further. Christie Benson is vice president of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce. She talks about how the event on Thursday, called “Celebrating Women: Mind, Body and Spirit,” began five years ago.

“Our president Gina Spagnola and at the time, our chairman of the board was Dr Ben Raimer from UTMB, and she took to him the idea of a woman’s conference, teaming up with UTMB, to bring in their expertise in health matters, and created a whole day conference.”

When it comes to women’s issues, Benson says the sky’s the limit on discussion, where attendees could experience an “aha” moment.

“We’ve had a few incidents in the past, where one person would say ‘that was meant for me today,’ and even some serious, serious matters, depression, or whatever the person was going through, and they felt better after.”

UTMB health physicians like Dr. Catherine Hanson will discuss sexual health and anxiety. She says a woman’s contribution to a household can easily get bogged down with daily issues of raising a family, that simple intimacy must never be overlooked.

“And over time we find that relationships fail, and they get bogged down with stressful work, and stressful raising of children and financial burdens, and when things get bogged down, often that relationship becomes the lowest on the priority list, and it’s important for us to realize how important it is to maintain those relationships, and keep them going, keep them happy.”

Keynote speaker is Leigh Anne Touhy. She’s the maven in the book and movie “The Blind Side” that starred Sandra Bullock.

“I hope that all the participants in the conference will just be inspired to walk out the door, and to look at people differently and go ‘there is something that I can do.’ It might not be to go out and adopt a 6-6, 350 lb African American young man, but there is something that I can do, and to make a difference and plug themselves in. That’s what I hope that people will take away, when I’m finished speaking in Galveston.”

You can find more information on “Celebrating Women: Body, Mind and Spirit” Thursday at Moody Gardens, at or by calling 409 763-5326.

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