Recap: Women Lead – Hustle for Your Health

In celebration of International Women’s Day, AIGA Portland put on Women Lead: Hustle For Your Health. Marisa Green, AIGA Portland President, kicked things off by explaining the topic choice and its relevance to this day.

Designers are know for hustling—for working hard and playing hard. Creative agencies embrace this ethos by emblazoning the word “hustle” on their walls, and some designers even have it tattooed as a point of pride. And yet, many designers either don’t have health insurance or allow their healthcare to take a back seat to their work. We need energy and fortitude to keep up a “hustle” pace and that means staying healthy.

Tonight is about taking care of ourselves so we can maintain
our hustle!

The format of Women Lead: Hustle for Your Health was 12 women who spoke for 5 minutes each on topics that inspired and educated the audience on how to better care for themselves, take preventative measures, as well as stay abreast of government bills affecting women’s health care.

Speaker Recap & Highlights

A Healthy Pelvic Floor

We heard from Jessica Dorrington of Bethany Physical Therapy who helps women who struggle with pelvic pain have pain-free sex with their partners. She helped us understand that both kegels and core strength are necessary for a healthy pelvic floor, and she reminded us how important this muscle group is for our sexual well being. Attendees were even invited to get an ultrasound evaluation of their pelvic floor strength and health after the talks.

The Upper & Lower Heart

Susan Cushman of Claybia shared her personal journey as she uncovered her love of and innate talent for sculpting clay pieces that depict labia. She explained that each woman has two hearts – her upper hear (pulmonary) and lower heart (vagina). The valentine’s day heart shape is inspired by the lower heart. She asserts that happy labias equal world peace.

History of Contraception Research

Dr. Alison Edelman, OHSU Professor in the OB/GYN department, reminded us about the important story of of Katharine McCormick, the woman responsible for funding the research that led to the birth control pill.

Train Your Body to Move

Jennifer Oeschner of Warrior Flow reminded us, “If you don’t move, you’ll train your body it can’t move. You’re not getting old, you just don’t move so your body so doesn’t want to move anymore.”

She Bop’s Education Events

Amory Jane, the sex ed director of She Bop told us about their “very bright, clean, friendly place” to buy body-safe and nontoxic sex toys and lube. The boutiques also function as educational resources offering an in-store library, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and education events.

Planned Parenthood Outreach

Mary Nolan, the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, proudly informed us that our state was the only one in the nation with no state restrictions on access to abortions. She encouraged attendees to reach out to local representatives to ask them to support the reproductive health equity act.

Be Honest

Kathryn Peck who is responsible for handling social media for OHSU told us of her personal struggles with health and reminded us that, “everyone is dealing with something. We’re all dealing and it’s totally OK to be honest about it.” She also encouraged us to face our own health issues head on: “What you’re dealing with will not change unless you deal with it.”

ACA & Women’s Health

Elizabeth Hayes, staff supporter on health care at the Portland Business Journal, talked about the Affordable Care Act and how it impacts women’s health issues.

Bend & Be Forgiving

Lee Hullender Rubin of Portland Acupuncture Studio (specializing in acupuncture for fertility) encouraged us to be strong like bamboo instead of strong like trees. Bamboo bends with the wind. In order to weather stress, we need to bend more to it, and be more forgiving with ourselves. Stress causes not only mental unhappiness, but has very real physical manifestations and is often at the root of many physical ailments. She encouraged us to take actions to reduce our own stress levels.

Other Speakers

  • Dawn Emerick, Director of Public Health for Clackamas County
  • Andrea J. Wright Johnson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist/Sex Therapy at Portland Family Therapy
  • Mindy Nettifee, performance artist of The Cult of Mindy

Photos of AIGA Portland’s Women Lead Event

To see all photos from AIGA Portland’s Women Lead: Hustle for Your Health, click here to visit our Flickr page.
Photos by: Darius Kuzmickas.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

By Alicia Nagel
Published April 16, 2017