2017 Gathering – Grandmas: A Key to Family Health
Question: What is the secret ingredient to a healthy, happy family?
Answer: Grandparents who are engaged, informed, and passionate about safety and wellness for the whole family!
“Grandparents: A Key to Family Health” was the theme for this year’s Annual Gathering on Thursday, September 21st, an event which helps women access the information and resources they need to keep themselves and their families healthy. Hosted by Marshfield Clinic, our 100+ attendees enjoyed breakfast, exhibits, speakers, and of course, socializing. Most importantly, they walked away understanding the latest maternal & child health information and how to positively impact the health of all family members as grandparents.
Notesong Srisopark Thompson, who among many other roles is the daughter-in-law of our Founder and President, Sue Ann Thompson, kicked off the day in a way only she could pull off – with song and dance! She set the tone for the day, introducing the theme of “Grandparents: A Key to Family Health” with enthusiasm, honesty, and solid research.
Our keynote speaker, Heather Ryan, followed with a fascinating presentation on “Grandparenting in the Digital Age.” Using her experience as an NCIS agent, she shared “bad guy secrets” and helped our attendees feel empowered and ready to keep their families safe online. We were so honored to have her join us!
Attendees really enjoyed the following panel, which was comprised of maternal and child health professionals to explain the changes in health information over the past 30 years. Moderated by Katie Gillespie with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, panelists discussed breastfeeding (Amber France, Wood County Health Department), safe sleep (Mary Volm, Portage County Health and Human Services), tobacco (Amanda Brenden, Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation), and adolescent mental health (Myra West, Marshfield Clinic). It was great to have many of our attendee questions answered, like “Why IS my daughter so worried about breastfeeding vs. formula?”
After comments by Melissa Breen, Chief of Staff at Marshfield Clinic, and Sue Ann Thompson, WWHF Founder and President, Gathering attendees had time for lunch, exhibits, and a short walk before closing the day with a WWHF GrapeVine presentation about self-care. Their reminder before heading home was an appropriate one: the best way to care for others is to take care of yourself first.
We want to thank our speakers, sponsors, and everyone who attended the Gathering. This group in particular is one that keeps coming back year after year, and we are so appreciative of their dedication. We are already looking forward to next year’s event!