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Speaking of women's health

Here’s the perfect gift for women of all ages: a ticket to “Speaking of Women’s Health” a daylong event of pampering combined with life-saving information offered by the Manatee Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Mark your calendars for 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. this Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day, at the Manatee Convention Center. Tickets are $40 and must be purchased in advance. Call (941) 745-7219.

So what does your loved one get?

Let’s start with the pampering — a formal luncheon, a gift bag, a silent auction of one-of-a-kind hand bag and door prizes.

Now to the serious stuff — a chance to hear from a team of national and local health and wellness experts, plus a variety of health screenings that can help moms, sisters, daughters, aunts and friends gauge their health condition.

Vernon DeSear, the foundation’s executive director, says the forum is all about empowering women.

Keynote speaker Linda Larsen’s presentation is entitled “Staying Rightside Up When Everything’s Upside Down.” Given the present state of the world that’s advice all of us could use.

A resident of Sarasota, Larsen is married is weatherman John Scalzi on ABC 7 News.

I checked out Larsen’s Web site and was amazed to learn that as a young woman, Larsen was kidnapped and held hostage by an escaped convict armed with a gun. In her presentations, Larsen shares how she made her escape to show how people can overcome obstacles in their lives if they remain calm and centered.

But Larsen is one of many powerful speakers on the agenda. Dr. Christopher R. Sforzo will speak on joint pain. Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Callahan will speak on skin care. Dr. Niranjan Seshadri, an interventional cardiologist, will talk about heart disease in women. Robyn Spirtas, a licensed mental marriage and family therapist, will cover stress.

Dr. Gerald E. Grubbs covers new minimally invasive treatments for uterine fibroid tumors. Susan Schussler, a diabetes educator, will talk about risk factors for the disease. Dr. G. Bino Rucker will address urinary incontinence.

Dr. Stacey South will speak on robotic assisted surgery. Dr. Timothy Blend will cover hormones and women, and Deputy Dawn Straub of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office will teach women how to stay safe.

That’s one huge gift for Mother’s Day!

Donna Wright, health and social services reporter, can be reached at 745-7049,