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EmpowHERment to have second Valley event for physicians

POLAND — EmpowHERment, a community for women in medicine designed to offer support and ways to enrich each other while navigating through personal journeys, will have an event Wednesday at The Lake Club.

The even, at 1140 Paulin Road, will feature Brea Schmidt, founder of the nationally-acclaimed blog, “The Thinking Branch.” Schmidt will also deliver a speech titled, “Branching out in 2020: Building the Best Version of You.”

At its inaugural event last September, more than 90 female physicians in the Mahoning Valley gathered to discuss topics many of these women experience in their professional and personal lives.

Dr. Meredythe McNally-Ryznar, co-founder of the event, said those involved hoped to have some sort of impact on the women in the community who shared similar challenges. She said they had no idea there would be such a positive response.

“The feedback from over 90 surveys submitted by our attendees at the first event helped us develop an approach to 2020 that will provide insight and inspiration to some of the most pressing issues women in medicine, and in general, face today,” McNally-Ryznar said.

A 2017 Harvard study highlighted many issues and inequalities women physicians face in the workplace. Using this information, the group intends to help connect female physicians who may be experiencing similar challenges.

Dr. Shannon McNally-Velasquez, an internist with Community Medical Partners, said that while they have focused on female physicians, the group has expanded to assisting women in all professions.

“In medicine, collaboration is key to providing the best quality of care for patients and their families. With that understanding, we will apply the same principle to our events this year and are excited about branching out EmpowHERment to include women of all professions in 2020,” McNally-Velasquez said.

Following the speech given by Schmidt, many other professionals will have a chance to address the attendees in a panel discussion. The panel will consist of: Erin Sardich, market director / executive director with JPMorgan Chase Bank; Gina Richardson, owner of Gina Richardson Law LLC; and Erica Fleming and Laura Zavadil, co-owners of Mega Barre Youngstown.

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