Penn Forum to Examine How Women’s Health Is Impacted by Urban Environment

facebook twitter google print email
Media Contact:Julie McWilliams | | 215-898-1422April 26, 2011

 PHILADELPHIA –- Leaders in health care, urban planning and public health will meet for the first time May 5 in New York to discuss ways to improve practice and policy to address unique health challenges of women in cities.

“Healthy Cities: Healthy Women” will be a forum on the health of women, the health impact of living in an urban environment and the practice of public health.  It is a project of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, the Penn Alumni Relations office and the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women.

The half-day event will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 109 E, 42nd St., beginning at 8:30 a.m.  BlackRock Women’s Initiative Network is the conference sponsor.

Speakers include Amy Gutmann, Penn president; Afaf Meleis, dean of Penn Nursing; Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author; and Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent, host of "Andrea Mitchell Reports" and Penn alumna.

The conference will explore effective policymaking and advocacy for urban women and girls, the impact of urban violence on the health of women, improving urban communities through empowering women and designing cities with a gender perspective to make them universally safer.

Gutmann will offer a summary of the proceedings of the 5th Global Colloquium of University Presidents held at Penn and featuring Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, speaking on the need for and challenges to empowering women across the globe.

“Women in urban areas are uniquely challenged by the impact of the environment on their health,” Meleis said.  “They are also uniquely influential in promoting health within their families and their communities.  In the face of expanding urbanization across the globe, we have an important opportunity to better understand how to improve the health and lives of women in major population centers. 

“‘Healthy Cities: Healthy Women’ is part of our effort to generate greater awareness of the issues that impact urban women and to develop practical and innovative solutions.  Making cities safer and healthier for women will transform whole communities.”

Registration starts at $90 per person and bus transportation from the Penn campus is available at an additional cost.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Urban Women’s Health Initiative at Penn. Additional information is available at