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HAWC Hosts Annual Conference on Maintaining a Healthy Brain

hawcThe Hellenic American Women’s Council (HAWC) hosted it’s 22nd Annual Conference: “Mind Your Brain: Maintain Memory, Clarity and Creativity” at Chicago’s Union League Club on November 6-7, 2015. Distinguished medical doctors and scientists discussed brain health and techniques to maintain memory, clarity and creativity.

HAWC honored accomplished Chicago-based architect Roula Alakiotou, FAIA, with the “Aristeon Award.” which was presented by two prior recipients of this award, Dr. Dame Evangeline Gouletas, Chairman and CEO, Skyline Equities and HAWC Southeast Regional Director, and Dr. Joan Vernikos, former Life Sciences Director, NASA. The Aristeon Award is presented annually at the conference by HAWC to an “Aristi” woman who has made an extraordinary contribution to the ideals of Hellenism in her professional and personal life, and has made a significant contribution to society.

Conference activities began Friday evening, November 6, with an elegant reception at the scenic Cité at the top of Lake Point Towers in Chicago. On Saturday, November 7, conference moderator Stella Kalfas introduced the topic and the panelists. The presentations and discussion highlighted the importance of the brain, “It is there to protect and help us, knowing every second what each cell is doing.”

Dr. Vernikos began her presentation with a warning regarding the impacts of modern-day conveniences: “While we live longer we are not healthier. We accumulate damage, and results are seen in inflammation. This inflammation eventually consumes our bodies and brain. Modern life not only unloads the body, but also overloads the brain.” She shared tips for countering these effects, including physical activity, proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep to heal and remove toxins from this critical organ.

Dr. Heather Schneider, Director of Medical and Scientific Operations at the National Alzheimer’s Association, provided an update on Alzheimer’s research, and highlighted the important role of her organization, which seeks a cure for this global epidemic. The next presenter, Dr. Teresa J. Poprawski, board certified adolescent and adult psychiatrist and board certified neuropsychiatrist, discussed mental health. She focused on the importance of examining the source of the mental ailment patterns in the brain, and then determining an effective and long-term solution. Poprawski pointed out, “Research shows that by looking at the brain first then selecting medication, we improve the results of treatment. This approach also helps to find a solution more quickly than trial and error.”

The presentations concluded with Margaret Nopoulos-Glatfelter, Professor of Yoga, with an overview of the benefits of yoga or union with higher consciousness. She explained how yoga reduces stress and opens a continuous flow of energy. She concluded her presentation by leading the conferees in a relaxing meditation.

The Hellenic American Women’s Council (HAWC) is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nationwide network whose mission is to identify and harness the tremendous talents of Hellenic American Women. HAWC encourages awareness of public policy issues and promotes women who wish to play leadership roles in their communities, the nation and their professional fields of endeavor.

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