AT Women’s Wellness Summit will be held on Thursday, May 19, at the Hotel Paso del Norte hosted by the Junior League of El Paso (JLEP), a women’s organization committed to volunteering and promoting women’s potential to provide change and improvement within the community. The JLEP is part of a larger organization, the Association of Junior Leagues International.
“The Junior Leagues Worldwide do different things for different communities, and they really tailor their volunteer efforts to what their communities need,” said Wendy Lanski, President of the JLEP. She went on to explain that in 2016, the JLEP found in their research a need for physical and mental health resources for El Paso.
JLEP is using this summit as a training event, not only for their members, but for the community to bring focus back to physical and mental health, explained Training Education and Development Committee Chair to the JLEP Rebecca Serros. The one-day event will host a series of speakers to share their stories and encourage wellbeing of El Pasoans.
Lanski and Serros provided the Itinerary and Speakers for the summit below:
Gerina Mendoza: American professional golfer, currently in the LPGA Tour, once collegiate golfer for UTEP and reality star from the “Tea Big Break.”
Breakout Session A: “3 Generations of Female Boxers”
Native El Pasoan, Kayla Gomez, teen boxing athlete who competes with Team USA. Gomez will be joined by Cindy Aceves, grandmother, and Crystal Aceves, mother, who also worked as coaches and inspiration to Gomez. Under her belt, Gomez is the first ever Youth Pan American Gold Medalist, Thirteen-time National Champion, and a Four-time International Gold Medalist. She was recently named Under Armor Youth Female of the Year and USA Boxing Youth Female Boxer of the Year for 2021. Gomez is currently looking to compete in the 2024 Olympics in Paris with Team USA.
Breakout Session B “Women Invested in Wellness”
Michelle Blumenfeld: professional certified coach with the International Coach Federation, and with eclectic experience in leadership development methods and coaching strategies.
Emma Schwartz: President for the Medical Center of the Americas (MCA) Foundation, a non-profit organization that drives the vision for positioning the Paso del Norte region as the center of health delivery, medical education and biomedical research for military, border and Hispanic populations.
Lorraine Higgins: franchise owner of Orange Theory for El Paso
Alexandra Raisman: two-time gold medalist gymnast and advocate.
Panel of Physicians
“Women’s Wellness in the Borderland in a time of Covid”
Melanie Olivas Longhurst: Ph.D., M.Ed., Assistant Professor, licensed clinical psychologist, and Psychology Training Director in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Department of Psychiatry and training director for the El Paso Psychology Internship Consortium (EPPIC).
Bridget Swinney: MS, RD, Nutrition Expert specialization in prenatal nutrition, child nutrition, and family eating matters. Nearly 20 years of experience with nutrition counselling,
clinical dietitian, public health nutritionist, diabetes educator, and weight loss group facilitator.
There are two pending additional physicians for the panel.
There will also be various vendors attending the summit for women to learn more about.
“We are trying to make this more of an intimate event for our first one,” said Lanski, when describing their vision for the summit. “So, we will sell out at 500 tickets which I think will be a nice-sized group, but it will be allowed for people to interact with one another, meet each other, commune with each other, and network with physicians, people in the business, people just wanting to know more what the resources are in El Paso.”
Women looking for more resources can find information at jlep.org on the Women’s Wellness Summit page.
The JLEP still has sponsor opportunities for the summit available for anyone interested, contact information can be found on their Women’s Wellness Summit page as well. For anyone interested in becoming a Junior League member, Lanski states all that is required is the minimum age of 22, and women can sign up, and be willing to work and help the community.
Kristen Scheaffer is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected]