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March 2023 Volume 10


Mitzi's Message

As we celebrate International Women's Day, it's important to reflect on the progress that has been made toward gender equality and the work that still needs to be done. Women continue to face significant challenges in the realm of health care, particularly as it relates to women's sexual and cardiovascular health.

Sexual and cardiovascular health play a crucial role in women's overall well-being. However, research shows that women's sexual health is often overlooked, leading to disparities in care and treatment. The good news is that there are companies focusing on improving women’s sex lives and I spoke with Tracy McNeal, CEO of Materna Medical, about new technology focused on treating a cause of painful sex.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women worldwide. WomenHeart, led by Celine Gorre, is an organization made up of women who have experienced heart disease and now spend their time educating others and advocating for women's heart health. Their inspiring work is improving heart health for all of us. 

One way to support your heart health is to spend time in nature. Studies have shown that spending time in natural environments can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. In addition, a healthy diet is also vital to supporting hearts and overall health. My interview with Dr. John La Puma, an internist, chef, and farmer, provides excellent insights on creatively incorporating these healthy habits into our lives. 

Unfortunately, when women do have heart disease, they do not fare as well as their male counterparts. Women are often underrepresented in clinical trials, leading to disparities in care and treatment. In fact, women are often diagnosed at a later stage and not adequately treated when they present with symptoms of a heart attack, leading to poorer outcomes. Carolee Lee founded Women’s Health Access Matters (WHAM),  an organization that helped prove that funding women's health research is an important investment in our health, as well as a smart investment in our economy. 

With spring in the air, now is the perfect time to take a walk in the park, go for a hike, or spend some time gardening. In fact, let's all make a plan to take steps to prioritize our heart health, connect with nature, and support research efforts that focus on women's health. Together, we can create a healthier, more equitable future for all women.

Wishing you the best of health,

Mitzi Krockover, MD

Featured Podcast: John La Puma

If your doctor writes a prescription for a medication, you'd get it filled and take it, right? But what if the doctor gave you a prescription for food? Would you be surprised? Our guest today, John La Puma, MD, Founder, Chef Clinic and Co-Founder,, does just that. He writes prescriptions for recipes that he feels are just as medically healing as some of the drugs he prescribes. He also recommends forest bathing and regenerative farming, and he has the evidence to prove that they can also benefit our health. Don't worry if you don't know what those things are; we've got you covered in the second part of this two-episode interview.

So, grab a cup of tea and a healthy snack, and sit outside if the weather's good while we talk to a pioneer in the field of culinary medicine and more.

Featured Podcast: How Women’s Health Research Affects the Bottom Line: WHAM

If you've gone to the doctor and been frustrated by a lack of options, then you've probably experienced the effects of a lack of research on women's health and the impact of certain diseases on women. Unfortunately, it wasn't until 1993 that a law was passed to ensure the inclusion of women and other underrepresented groups in health research. Many of us see this as an essential health equity issue. But you may be surprised to learn that it also affects our country's economy, impacting all of us, regardless of biological sex or gender. Our guest today, Carolee Lee, Founder, Women's Health Access Matters (WHAM), created this organization dedicated to understanding the financial impact of a lack of funding for women's health research and developing solutions to address this critical issue. Don't miss this inspiring conversation on the importance of women's health research and the economic impact of closing the gender health gap.

Featured Podcast: Women’s Hearts Matter: Fighting for Equity in Heart Health

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, yet many women are unaware of their risk or may be dismissed by health care providers when they complain about their symptoms. Perhaps, not surprisingly, outcomes for women are worse than those for men. Celina Gorre is CEO of WomenHeart, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of women with or at risk for heart disease while fighting for equity in heart health. In this podcast episode, we talk about the many ways WomenHeart brings awareness of this critical issue to women, lawmakers and the public, by women who have experienced their own heart health challenges. Tune in to learn what we all can do to help women everywhere get the care they deserve.

Featured Podcast: A New Solution for Painful Sex: The Milli Vaginal Dilator

If you're one of the many women who avoids sex because of pain, can't put in a tampon because it hurts too much, or avoids going to the OBGYN because the idea of an internal exam is overwhelming, you may be experiencing vaginismus. Vaginismus  is a condition where the vaginal muscles involuntarily spasm or tighten, making any kind of penetration extremely painful. We don't know exactly how many women suffer from this condition, because understandably, it can be a difficult subject to bring up to the doctor. But if you ask an OBGYN, he or she will tell you it's more common than you think. Join us to hear from Tracy MacNeal, President and CEO, Maternal Medical, a company which created a device to address this problem.

Featured Article: Surviving Winter: Practical Ways to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder affecting many people during fall and winter when days are shorter and with scarce sunlight. An estimated 5% of the population in the United States experience SAD, with women being more likely to be affected than men. Although it is more common in areas with less sunlight, it can affect people in any region.


Global Study on Menopause Impact On the Workplace

SRI International and Lisa Health are conducting a global study to characterize the experience of menopause at work. The study team includes noted menopause researchers Dr. Fiona Baker and Dr. Massimiliano de Zambotti.

Your participation will help to make this study the most extensive global study of the impacts menopause has on working women and employers.

Click below to take the survey.

March 15, 2023 WOW FemTech Expo: Menstrual Health, Fertility and Gynecology

The Women of Wearables (WOW) innovation showcase and pitching program brings together the brightest minds from around the world to solve some of the most pressing challenges in women's health. From cutting-edge technology to groundbreaking research, FemTech Expo is the ultimate destination for anyone interested in driving innovation and bringing solutions to unmet needs in healthcare and, in particular, women’s health space.

Register for this series of dynamic and informative experiences that will inspire and educate.

Every month, WOW will invite the 10 most innovative companies to present their work and showcase their innovations.

Portuguese Bean Soup - by Dr. John La Puma

Old Portugal meets new in this updated classic Portuguese Bean Soup recipe. Caldo Verde is a staple, transforming ordinary sweet potato, tomatoes and beans into a deeply flavored meal. Add the balsamic vinegar for an extra sweet/sour note.

Preparation Time:  12 minutes
Cooking Time:  12 minutes
Servings  4


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped white onion
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup diced (1/2-inch pieces) unpeeled sweet potato
3 to 4 teaspoons chili garlic paste or chili puree with garlic, such as China Bowl brand
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 or 16 ounces) great northern or cannellini beans, undrained
4 cups packed sliced Swiss chard or collard greens
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (optional)


Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil, then and onion; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, sweet potato, and chili garlic paste; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and beans; return to a simmer. Stir in Swiss chard. Simmer 5 minutes or until sweet potatoes and chard are tender. Stir in vinegar, if desired and ladle into four serving bowls.


Leftover soup may be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months. The soup may be pureed, simmered until thickened and served as a sauce for cooked whole-wheat pasta or underneath a wild rice pilaf, or on top of a baked potato. Chili garlic paste is an Asian condiment found in the ethnic section of your supermarket. It gives a dynamic flavor to this quick cooking soup.


Diced, peeled butternut or delicata squash may be substituted for the sweet potato. Kale, turnip or beet greens may replace the Swiss chard or collard greens.

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Quotable Women

"Nurturing yourself is not selfish – it's essential to your well-being."

- Renee Peterson Tredeau

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