NFWL Newsletter – May 2015

Friday, May 1st, 2015





NFWL 2015 Annual Conference
September 11-15
Oklahoma City, OK!

Join over 150 elected women from across the United States for:

  • A program designed to encourage networking and building of alliances among elected women and issue experts
  • A safe environment for sharing ideas, discussing current events, and learning about new initiatives and programs
  • Presentations on new perspectives and innovative ideas that may inevitably lead to policy resolutions and legislation

NFWL is offering a limited number of Travel & Lodging Scholarships for currently elected women to attend the conference. Complete your conference registration HERE to apply for a scholarship today!

Women in the News
Smile for the Camera, “Woman of the Year”!

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Congratulations to NFWL Board Member Monmouth County Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, who was named the “2015 Woman of the Year” by the New Jersey Federation of Republican Women! Here she is with NJFRW President Vanessa LaFranco and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno at the award ceremony on April 25.

Click Here to read more about Freeholder Serena DiMaso

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Ending the “Dubious Distinction”

kimberly dudikNFWL Montana State Director Representative Kimberly Dudik sponsored the “Bully Free Montana Act,” which was just signed into law by Governor Bullock. Now, all 50 states have passed legislation to address bullying in schools.

“Montana ends its dubious distinction as being the only state without an anti-bullying law on the books,” said Dudik.

Click Here to read more

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Councilwoman: Police Can Get a Fair Trial in Baltimore

helen holtonNFWL Board Member and Baltimore City Councilwoman Helen Holton was interviewed by Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday on National Public Radio about the indictment of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.

“Our top priority should be to help maintain peace and transparency with the citizens of Baltimore,” says the Councilwoman.

“And I’m going to say, the media being on our doorstep has opened up the mouths of young people and the young at heart to speak out on an injustice that we live with daily.”

Click Here to listen to or read the full interview

Have you made headlines recently? Each month, we want to dedicate our “Women in the News” section to recognizing the accomplishments of our members. Send any and all relevant articles to so that we can feature you in our next newsletter.

2015 Conference: What’s New?
Conference Co-Chairs: Sound Off!

NFWL is excited to add three additional Oklahoma elected women to the line up of 2015 Conference Co-Chairs. They will be joining State Director Representative Pam Peterson, NFWL Board Member Tribal Legislator Dean McManus, Representative Leslie Osborn, Senator Kay Floyd and Senator Anastasia Pittman.

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Commissioner Dana Murphy

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Senator AJ Griffin


Speaker Pro-Tempore Lee Denney

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NFWL-NRA Essay Contest Student Scholarship

ben franklinThe National Foundation for Women Legislators is proud to once again partner with the National Rifle Association for the 18th Annual NFWL/NRA Bill of Rights Essay Scholarship Contest.

Every year, our two organizations join forces to provide six female high school juniors or seniors a $3,000 college scholarship, an all-expense-paid trip to NFWL’s 2015 Annual Conference, and an award that will be presented at the event. This year, our Conference will be held in Oklahoma City from September 11-15.

“I absolutely loved meeting all of the other winners and the legislators. I feel it really has boosted my confidence and has definitely helped me mature in ways that I had never expected.” –Kaitlin Carlson, 2014 Scholarship Winner

Help us share this opportunity on Facebook and Twitter!

The application can be found HERE.

Submissions are due Friday, June 12th by 5pm EST

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Nominate an Elected Woman of Excellence

The Elected Women of Excellence Award was created in 2013 to identify and honor the accomplishments of women who have worked tirelessly, often breaking down barriers and overcoming obstacles that once seemed insurmountable, to serve their communities.

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2014 Women of Excellence Awardees

We need your help in nominating and sponsoring potential honorees.

Simply Click Here to nominate one Democrat and/or one Republican woman leader who is currently serving or previously served in office. Honorees will be chosen by a distinguished panel of NFWL members and will receive formal recognition at our 2015 Conference in Oklahoma.

Please share the nominating form with your party officials.

Got Political Savvy?

Forbes contributor, Bonnie Marcus, talks about the obstacles women in leadership positions face, and how political savvy can help women overcome some of those obstacles in “How Political Savvy Helps Women Leaders Stay on Top”.

According to Marcus, “Successful leaders know how to line up support for their initiatives and create the right environment for change and innovation,” she says.”It takes political skill to accomplish this.”

Click Here to read more.

Take a “Healthy Selfie” for National Women’s Health Week

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is Celebrating National Women’s Health Week, May 10-16!

More than 75% of women ages 40-60 have at least one risk factor heart disease. One in three women are diagnosed with cancer. Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD. is celebrating Women’s Health Week to help spread awareness about different health risks and ways to address them.

How can you help spread awareness about different health risks and ways to address them?

Click on the icons below!

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Click Here to discover more ways to participate!

Women’s Health Tips from NFWL Partners
Cancer Treatment Centers of America: Take Charge of Your Health

A cancer diagnosis is something no one wants to hear, yet in reality one out of three women in the U.S. is likely to get cancer in her lifetime. The good news is that women can take preventative steps, and, in the unfortunate situation when cancer does occur, more new and innovative treatment options are now available.

As part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Women’s Health Week, May 10-16, Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), in partnership with NFWL, is proud to share via link below “Cancer Chronicles,” a national CTCA-sponsored television program focused on women’s health. The national campaign also provides the opportunity to remind women about simple preventative steps, as well as the importance of regular screening and early diagnosis. Please remember the following:

  • Make healthy choices. Enjoy a well-balanced diet, practice an active lifestyle, maintain a healthy weight, quit or avoid smoking and practice safe sex.
  • Make time for an annual physical. In addition to critical monthly self-breast exams, a Pap test is an important check for abnormal cells in the cervix. In most cases of cervical cancer there are no noticeable symptoms. Routine pelvic exams may also improve the likelihood of early detection for endometrial cancer. For women over 30, the HPV test screens for high-risk HPV strains that may lead to cervical cancer.
  • Educate yourself on your health history and your family’s health history. Having close relatives on either side of the family who have had ovarian cancer increases a woman’s chance of getting ovarian cancer herself.

For women who face a cancer diagnosis, many treatment options are often tailored to an individual’s unique situation.

According to Bruce Gershenhorn, DO, a medical oncologist with CTCA Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, IL, a greater understanding of a patient’s particular cancer at the molecular level may allow physicians to recommend more precise and targeted therapies in the future.

“Once you learn more details about what makes the cancer grow, you may be able to develop more targeted, less toxic, treatments,” he said.

One cancer patient, Ursala Hall, received multiple chemotherapy treatments at her first place of care for her stage four lung cancer, yet her cancer continued to progress. Then she discovered CTCA. Her physician, Dr. Daniel Nader, who leads the interventional pulmonology program (Lung Center) at CTCA Southwestern Regional Medical Center in Tulsa, described Ursala’s condition as serious.

“Her cancer was progressing rapidly,” he said. “She couldn’t even walk more than a few steps.”

Genomic testing was undertaken and identified a specific mutation in Ursala that allowed for a targeted treatment. Within a few months, she showed major improvement.

“When Dr. Nader and I saw the CAT scan, we were amazed,” said Ursala. “I didn’t think I would get to see my grandbaby, but now she’s almost a year old.”

Maurie Markman, M.D., President of Medicine and Science at CTCA, reinforces the importance of precision medicine in the treatment of cancer. “The future of cancer care is precision cancer medicine,” he said. “Our mission is to attempt to get the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.”

“The goal of genomic testing is to discover a target in a cancer cell that drives it to grow; it hopefully helps us identify a more specific medication,” added Shayma Kazmi, MD, RPh, a medical oncologist and hematologist at CTCA Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia. “It’s more of a missile than a big bomb.”

Today’s cancer diagnostic and treatment options, including genomic testing, as well as other therapies such as intraoperative radiation, are providing cancer patients with more targeted options that may reduce side effects and treatment times. Prevention, however, remains one of the strong weapons women have in their arsenals to stave off cancer. Take the time to make healthy choices and take preventative measures that could save your life.

To learn more details about treatment options and specific patient stories, watch the CTCA Cancer Chronicles Here

Learn more about Cancer Treatment Centers for America Here

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American Dental Association: Good Oral Health Vital During Pregnancy and Across a Lifetime

Many people understand the importance of good oral health to your overall wellbeing. While others still need to learn more about the significance of caring for the teeth and gums of their family, one of the most important times for a woman to make sure her mouth, the gateway to the body, is in optimal health and well cared for is during pregnancy. As policymakers consider decisions affecting access to health care, it is essential to be mindful of this information.

The American Dental Association in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other partners, sponsored by the US Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau has developed an important consensus paper on how to practice good oral hygiene, eating healthy and practicing other healthy behaviors during pregnancy to protect the good health of both mother and baby. It is vital to know that delaying necessary treatment for dental problems during pregnancy could result in significant risk to both mother and baby (for example, a bad tooth infection could spread through the body). These tips include:

Get Good Oral Care

  • Get oral health treatment, as recommended by an oral health professional, before delivery;
  • If your last dental visit took place more than 6 months ago or if you have any oral health problems or concerns, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible;
  • Taking care of your mouth while you are pregnant is important for both mother and baby. Changes to the body when pregnant can make gums sore or puffy and can make them bleed. This problem, called gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), if not treated may lead to more serious periodontal (gum) disease that may lead to tooth loss.
  • Oral health care, including the use of X-rays, pain medication and local anesthesia, is safe during pregnancy
  • Tell the dental office of the pregnancy and the due date. This information helps the dental team provide the best care.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

  • Brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day. Replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or more often if the bristles are frayed. Do not share your toothbrush. Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
  • If you vomit, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water to stop acid from attacking your teeth.

Eat Healthy Foods

  • Eat fewer food high in sugar like candy, cookies, cake and dried fruit and drink fewer beverages high in sugar like juice, fruit-flavored drinks, or pop (soda)
  • If you have problems with nausea, try eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day.

Click Here to read the full report or Click Here to find out more about being “mouth healthy”!

Dome Tours: Kansas and Oklahoma

“Dome Tours” are a great way to reach out to the elected women in your state to tell them about NFWL. State legislators organize a breakfast, lunch or evening reception in or near the state capital. NFWL Chair Senator Diane Allen attends to talk about the foundation and the benefits of participating in events and programs. It’s informal and fun!

Senator Allen was recently featured in the Burlington County Times about the experiences she’s had traveling to Dome Tour events this year.

“Women make great legislators, I think, because they’re always ready to reach across the aisle to find solutions. For women, it’s not the political outcome that’s so important but actually solving the issue,” said Allen. Click Here to read the full article.

In the last few weeks, Senator Allen visited Topeka, Kansas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was introduced on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and received a standing ovation! Check out a few pictures from these events below.

Ladies Power Lunching: Oklahoma Dome Tour

OK State Director Representative Pam Peterson and Governor Mary Fallin co-host NFWL Chair NJ Senator Diane for a luncheon on April 29th

Elected women of Oklahoma at the NFWL Dome Tour Luncheon with NFWL Chair NJ Senator Diane Allen

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Coffee & Doughnuts: Kansas Dome Tour

KS State Director Representative Ponka-We Victors, Senate President Wagle, and NFWL Board Member Senator Elaine Bowers with NFWL Chair NJ Senator Diane Allen at breakfast in Topeka on April 30th

Elected women on the state and local level enjoy coffee and doughnuts with NFWL Chair Senator Diane Allen in Topeka, Kansas April 30th

Contact Allison Jensen at if you’re interested in hosting a Dome Tour in your state.

Upcoming Events

Wisconsin Women Policy Makers
Spring Symposium

Friday & Saturday, June 5th-6th, 2015

Clarion Hotel and Convention Center
2703 Craig Road
Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54701

Hosted by: WI State Director Representative Kathy Bernier

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Special Guests: WI Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and NFWL Board Member MN Senator Carrie Ruud

Click Here to Register for the Wisconsin Spring Symposium

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