The Maurer Foundation’s Seventh Annual Breast Health Conference: A Macarena to Remember!

The Maurer Foundation for Breast Health Education (TMF) hosted its seventh annual breast health conference, Breast Health Connections 2005, on Thursday, March 24, 2005 at the Huntington Hilton in Melville, New York. Over 200 attendees enjoyed seventeen workshops, an exhibition hall, a general session and a high-energy keynote presentation. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, The Maurer Foundation was able to award numerous scholarships to conference participants.

Dr. Marlena Vega, ACSW, PhD, CEO of Sobrevivir/A Will to Live, presented an inspiring keynote address entitled Making Life Work for You—Healing Salsa Style. Focusing on thirteen tenets of survivorship, Dr. Vega’s presentation highlighted the importance of self-esteem and self-advocacy and included an unforgettable “Macarena” dance-style breast self-exam.

“Dr. Vega’s lively presentation was the highlight of the conference for many attendees,” noted Kim Rozzi, Executive Director of The Maurer Foundation. “She provided participants with powerful tools to overcome challenges and obstacles in a very entertaining fashion.”
One of the nation’s foremost experts on survivorship, Dr. Vega is a third generation breast and skin cancer survivor. By drawing on her own life history, Dr. Vega was able to connect to the conference’s large and diverse audience, overcoming ethnic, social, and language barriers.
In her other workshop, Survivorship and Healing, Dr. Vega focused on her mantra of “making life work for you,” encouraging participants to maximize their own inner strengths to reach their goals and overcome the challenges that they faced in their lives.

Other workshop topics included a wide range of subjects, from genetic risk factors in breast cancer development to the importance of physical fitness and mental health in breast cancer prevention. Of particular interest to many was a presentation by Dr. Jose Russo, MD, FACP on the impact of environmental factors in breast development and its relation to cancer.

“We had a record number of workshops, and many renowned health experts spoke at this year’s event. Breast Health Connections 2005 has undoubtedly been TMF’s most successful conference yet,” said Kim Rozzi, Executive Director of The Maurer Foundation.