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Women’s Health Symposium
February 16, 2024 in Naples, Florida

Join us for the 2024 Women’s Health Symposium

The Women’s Heath Symposium is a unique opportunity to interact with world-class scientists as they discuss the latest breakthroughs in women’s health research.



For sponsorship opportunities or event questions, please contact Gina Litterini at​ or 412-641-8950.

Event Details

Welcome | 10:00 - 10:30 AM
Michael Annichine
CEO, Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation
PRESENTER 1 | 10:30 - 11:00 AM
3 Facts You Should Know About Cognitive Decline After Surgery

Mary F. Ackenbom, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor, Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery
Associate Program Director, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship
Director, Career Education and Enhancement for Healthcare Research Diversity for Medical Students (CEED II) Program
Magee-Womens Research Institute
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Institute for Clinical Research Education
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

PRESENTER 2 | 11:00 - 11:45 PM
Alzheimer’s Disease: State-of-the-Art in Research and Where We Must Go From Here

Arthur S. Levine, MD
Distinguished University Professor
Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics, and Neurobiology
Director, Assault on Alzheimer’s Research Program
Senior Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Health Sciences
John and Gertrude Petersen Dean Emeritus, School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh

FINAL PRESENTER | 12:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Let’s Talk About Sex… After Sixty

Carla Picardo, MD, MPH, NCMP
Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Magee-Womens Midlife Health Center at UPMC Hamot

Q&A | 12:30 - 1:00 PM
Michael Annichine
Robert Edwards, MD
Yoel Sadovsky, MD
Carla Picardo, MD, MPH, NCMP
Arthur Levine, MD
Mary Ackenbom, MD, MSc
NETWORKING | 1:00 - 1:30 PM

2024 Women's Health Symposium Speakers

About the Speakers

Mary F. Ackenbom, MD, MSc
Dr. Ackenbom received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Finance and her Doctor of Medicine degrees from The Ohio State University. She completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and attained her subspecialty fellowship training in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She also received a Master of Science in Clinical Research degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

She is an Assistant Professor with the Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. She is research faculty at the Magee-Womens Research Institute, and she is the Associate Program Director of the Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Ackenbom is also the Director of the Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Research Diversity Program for Medical Students at the Institute for Clinical Research Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

She’s the recipient of numerous grants and awards which highlight her abilities as a researcher, educator and clinician. In addition to clinical work, her research foci are centered on perioperative neurocognitive disorders, surgical outcomes for older adults, and health equity for those with pelvic floor disorders
Arthur S. Levine, M.D.
Dr. Levine brought 22 years of academic leadership and many years of molecular biology-based research to neuroscience after stepping down in 2020 from his role at the University of Pittsburgh as the dean of medicine and senior vice chancellor for the health sciences. Since 2020, as the executive director of the Brain Institute, he has used his extensive knowledge and experience to help grow this new Institute, as well as to lead the Assault on Alzheimer's program, which he established to tackle one of the greatest biomedical and socioeconomic challenges we face today.

Prior to his leadership appointment in Pittsburgh, Levine served at the NIH for more than three decades. From 1982 to 1998, he was the scientific director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, widely recognized as one of the world’s leading centers in research on human growth and development.

In the laboratory, Levine and his colleagues carried out the first physical and genetic mapping of SV40, a mammalian tumor virus. These investigators were also the first to work on naturally occurring viral recombinant DNAs, and the results provided an important source of information in the beginning of the biotechnology era. Levine continues to direct his own laboratory, which is focused on the molecular mechanisms that maintain the fidelity of the genome. Recently the lab has begun to explore this same theme in the brain.

Levine, who has authored or co-authored 300 scientific and clinical publications, was editor-in-chief of The New Biologist, a journal of cellular and molecular biology. He has received many honors and awards for his research and leadership achievements
Carla Picardo, MD, MPH, NCMP
Born in Erie, PA, Dr. Carla Picardo earned her Bachelor, Medical, and Master of Public Health degrees at Harvard, Wake Forest University, and UNC-Chapel Hill, respectively. She trained clinically in Oregon and North Carolina and is double board-certified in Obstetrics-Gynecology and General Preventive Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Picardo has engaged in research within areas of women’s reproductive health with the Navajo and Lumbee Native American tribes and populations in Nepal, Cambodia, Oregon, North Carolina, and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Areas of research included contraception access, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, gestational diabetes, and intimate partner violence.

Dr. Picardo has worked in various clinical settings in Erie. However, in 2015, she started Women’s Wellness & Gynecology, a small private practice. Over the subsequent seven years, Dr. Picardo realized a need for better education about and management of perimenopausal, menopausal, and sexual concerns among women in the Erie area. This prompted her to join Magee to expand the Magee-Womens Midlife Health Center to Erie in 2022. She is now a North American Menopause Society Certified Menopause Specialist and provides clinical care to patients in person and virtually.

Dr. Picardo is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of the Erie County Department of Health. She also works with the national Women’s Preventive Services Initiative. This group reviews scientific evidence and drafts recommendations for women’s preventive care which, if approved, is covered under the Affordable Healthcare Act to eligible women.

Dr. Picardo enjoys life with her husband Scott and 15-year-old son Gridley. They enjoy time together traveling, hiking, and attending sporting events

Catch the recap of our last event

2022 Women's Health Symposium Highlight Reel


With Support From

This yearly event would not be possible without the ongoing support from attendees, partners, and the Gulf Shore community.

John R. Wood Properties
Mary F. Clements
Dr. Arthur S. Levine & Ms. Linda Melada
Bill and Sandy Stout

“The scientists are so down-to-earth. They’re really friendly” - Jennifer Bingham, Women’s Health Symposium attendee, Magee-Womens supporter

Learn more about Magee-Womens Research Institute