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Noteworthy 20th Annual Women’s Health Day Focuses on Life Changes

BANDON – The Southern Coos Health Foundation’s 20th Annual Women’s Health Day event on Feb. 25 drew more than 100 attendees to discuss and celebrate issues of importance to women.

The event, held at both the Sprague Theater and Bandon Community Center, was the first one held in-person since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The topic this year was “Mindfully Navigating Life Changes.” The keynote speaker was Gillian Ehrlich, ARNP, DNP, who practices conventional, functional and ayurvedic medicine at NeuroVeda Health in Seattle, Washington.

Other speakers included Dr. Ann Kellogg, DO, MSW, Chief Medical Officer of Coast Community Health Center, who spoke about “Mastering Menopause’; Morning Star Holmes, a Transitional Life Coach and Family Consultant and founder of Transitional Wisdom Inc., whose talk was focused on the stories of our lives and included sharing among participants; and Sandra Woodside, a retired Community College sociology teacher whose talk focused on “Managing Change Through Mindfulness.”

The healthcare panel was composed of Dr. Paul Preslar, DO, from Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center; Dr. John Cotrufo, retired psychiatrist; Johanna Shindler, Certified Health Coach from Coast Community Health Center; and Heather MacLean, FNP, CNM, from North Bend Medical Center. Questions from the audience were posed to the panel, who each had a turn at answering.

In addition to the speakers, attendees were treated to a delicious grab-and-go breakfast and boxed lunch, as well as special swag specific to the 20th anniversary of Women’s Health Day. Several vendors were set up in the lobby of the Community Center and gift baskets were also offered in a raffle.

The inclement weather, including ice and snow in some areas, did prevent some from attending, but those who braved the elements were glad they did.

One of those was Kristin Hoefer Kazaar, co-owner of Black Market Gourmet of Coos Bay.

“Just wanted to reach out and let you know how much we enjoyed the Women’s Health Day,” Kazaar wrote in an email following the event. “I have wanted to attend in the past and typically have had a conflict. The topics were relevant to what is happening in my life. Lunch was great and appreciate the attention to dietary proclivities. I look forward to the 21st Women’s Health Day! Thank you to you and all those involved in the production and success of this event.”

Many others complimented organizers during the event, saying they were pleased to be a part of it and that they gained valuable information.

Women’s Health Day presenters also were excited to be a part of the event.

“I had a marvelous time at the very valuable health day presentation,” said panelist Dr. Cotrufo.

“Even on the panel I was happy to meet the other panelists and to hear their answers and comments. I gladly attended and participated with a full sense of the value of what I learned and the rich connections that I enjoyed with many others in attendance,” Cotrufo added.

Women’s Health Day could not have been possible without its generous sponsors, including main event sponsor 100 Strong Bandon, a woman’s giving group that supports nonprofit organizations by choosing and gifting to a local charity four times a year. To learn more about 100 Strong Bandon, visit

Other sponsors included Roger Straus, in memory of Anita Straus; Bain Insurance Agency; Coast Community Health Center; Scott McEachern; AirMedCare; Advanced Health; and Sharen Strong, DMD.

“We planned a special day for our 20th anniversary of Women’s Health Day and are pleased with how the event turned out,” said Scott McEachern, CIO of Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center and Executive Director of the Southern Coos Health Foundation. “We’ll be back again in February 2024 with another great event to enrich the lives of women in the community.”

To watch videos of this year’s speakers, visit the Southern Coos Hospital Facebook page. Videos of the event will also be coming soon to the hospital’s YouTube channel.

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