Inflammation & Women’s Health

Inflammation drives many disease processes and greatly affects women’s health. In fact, 80% of patients with autoimmune disorders are women. An underlying factor in many diseases, inflammation plays a role in the development and progression of many diseases and ailments including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and allergies. Inflammation & Women’s Health, a Connector Series Event, will feature dynamic and multi-faceted presentations on inflammation and how to treat it on Saturday, May 16 from 8:30 am-12:15 pm in downtown New Bedford.

Hosted by the Biological Medicine Network and Connecting for Change Conference, this event is part of the new “Connector Series” initiative to connect Marion Institute programs, conference topics, and local interest and ideas into a workshop and lecture series throughout the year.

Keynote speaker John McGonigle, M.D., will explore the genetic, environmental, hormonal and psychoneuroimmunological reasons for chronic inflammation and auto-immune diseases, a silent epidemic in the United States. Dr. McGonigle is a board-certified Family Doctor who practices and teaches Family and Integrative Medicine at Brown Medical School in Providence, RI.

Breakout workshop sessions will dive deeper into this topic with solution-based conversation about the dietary, musculoskeletal and herbal techniques of reducing inflammation and supporting the body’s natural healing abilities.

Mary G. Brackett, Nutrition Consultant and author of The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet will lead a small workshop in understanding the role of nutrition in quelling inflammation. Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) refers to disorders, including ADD/ADHD, autism, addictions, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, stemming from or exacerbated by leaky gut and dysbiosis. GAPS also refers to chronic gut-related physical conditions, including celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes type one, and Crohn’s disease, as well as asthma, eczema, allergies, thyroid disorders, and more.

Dr. Athina Giovanis owner of Ocean State Osteopathic Medicine in Providence will guide workshop attendees through the philosophy and science of osteopathy and explore how understanding the body’s neuromusculoskeletal system, drainage and exercise influence inflammation.

Herbalist and Ethnobotonist Kerry Hughes will present on the use of herbs for inflammation. She will include clinical substantiation of the use of herbs in her presentation and also guiding theories in which herbs are used ultimately to address the same issue; i.e., constitutional theory supporting organ systems which also addresses inflammation. Hughes, a teacher at the Herbal Academy of New England, has authored several books including The Incense Bible, The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements, and Botanical Medicines: The Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements.

Inflammation & Women’s Health is open to practitioners, patients and interested individuals. The event will be held at the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center at 874 Purchase St., New Bedford, MA 02740 from 8:30 am – 12:15 pm and light refreshments will be served. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at or via phone at 508-748-0816. Seating is very limited and the event is expected to sell out. Please contact Brooke Baptiste, Connecting for Change Conference Manager, at or Abby Smith, Biological Medicine Network Manager, at or call 508-748-0816 with any questions.

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