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Joyce Brothers adds wisdom to women's health seminar
By Renu Sehgal
April 25, 1997
Happiness is not a goal, but a byproduct of doing what's best for you, Joyce Brothers, the psychologist, columnist, author and business consultant, said at the sixth annual Women's Health Update.
"We all have to define for ourselves what happiness is," Brothers told the crowd of 700 mostly female health professionals during her keynote address at the conference on "Emotional and Physical Health."
The day-long conference, held April 16 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, was sponsored by the School of Allied Health and the UConn Health Center.
Brothers engaged the crowd with a wide-ranging speech interlaced with jokes and pop quizzes on life, love and self-esteem.
"I'm the only woman to do 'Baywatch' without a push-up bra," she said.
Brothers spoke of the need to touch babies. "The need for community, the need for contact, is inborn," she said.
On personalities, Brothers said both men and women marry their mothers' personality because "mom is our love map, so we look for others who have her characteristics." A daughter's relationship with her father, meanwhile, will tell you volumes about her and her relationships with other men.
The conference also featured a panel discussion with Dr. Lila E. Nachtigall, a reproductive endocrinologist from New York University's School of Medicine, and Jan Kerstetter, an associate professor of allied health and nutritional sciences.
Nachtigall, an expert on estrogen and women's health, explained how estrogen deficiency can sometimes cause health problems such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Taking estrogen supplements can reverse the effects of the deficiency, usually caused by the onset of menopause, but some women refuse to consider the option because they think it could cause cancer, she said. Estrogen supplements also can increase bone density, reversing the propensity toward osteoporosis.
During the conference, the University honored Jeanine Upson for her years of working to promote the accomplishments of women. She recently retired after serving in many capacities at the University. In recognition, she received a pair of pearl and gemstone earrings.
"I believe in each of you, your talents and abilities," Upson said. "You just need to believe in yourself and each other - it's the key to success."
The conference ended with Regina Barreca, an associate professor of English literature who specializes in feminist theory and humor. She entertained participants with her presentation, "Humor: It's Good for What Ails Ya."