All posts by: Elizabeth Heubeck

Treating Women “Down There”

Originally published in the September 2018 issue of Her Mind magazine. After being widowed suddenly at the age of 35, Ellicott City resident Janet Weise approached each day in survival mode. Balancing the equally demanding jobs of a single mother to her son with her career as a college administrator, the former Division 1 college athlete admits that her personal health needs came last. “You can say I was a hot mess,” jokes Weise, who over the years had become inactive and, by her own admission, “pretty severely obese.” Then came the wakeup call. At the time they met, Janet Weise, left, promised Dr. Amanda Fader, right, that she would lose 90 pounds. The two have since become friends and walking partners.  Two years ago, at the age of 53 and post-menopause, Weise noticed bleeding. She mentioned it to her gynecologist who performed an internal ultrasound as well as an endometrial biopsy, by removing a piece of tissue from her uterus. Weise was diagnosed with

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Two-Sport Wonder

Originally published in the Towson Times on September 5, 2018. Of the nearly 8 million high school athletes in the United States, only a small fraction — about 2 percent — will earn a college athletic scholarship, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Then, there’s Towson native Julia Dorsey, a rising 12th-twelfth grader at McDonogh School. She falls into a category of high school athletes so unique that statistics reflecting her circumstances don’t even exist. Dorsey has been recruited to play both lacrosse and soccer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Division I athletic powerhouse. Extraordinary talent and commitment on two different playing fields have earned her this rare place in the world of collegiate athletics. That she’s managed to navigate the youth sports culture on her terms, not succumbing to the push so many young athletes feel to “specialize” in a single sport, makes Dorsey’s feat even more remarkable. Her parents,

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The Kavanaugh allegations dredged up bad memories. But it’s my teen daughter I worry about.

Originally published on September 27, 2018 on Washingtonpost.com It has been 30 years. I thought I had moved on from the painful memories of what I endured in the late ’80s as a student at a small, private college. But my own experiences with sexual harassment and attempted sexual assault — both hazy and razor sharp — have been dredged up along with accusations about Supreme Court justice nominee

Brett M. Kavanaugh. I am okay now. It is my 17-year-old daughter I worry about. As she embarks on the college search process, I wonder how closely the

environment and the male attitudes at elite universities where she is looking resemble

those of the 1980s. I certainly was not prepared for them. Before enrolling in a college whose setting could be described as overtly insular and attracting predominantly children of extreme privilege, I hadn’t been exposed to the smug and elitist attitude that festered there among many of its male students. I attended an

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Bridging Racial Gaps In Pregnancy-Related Health Outcomes

This article was originally published in the Hartford Courant on August 8, 2018. Kimberly Streater was pregnant with her third of six children when she called her friend for a ride to the hospital after sustaining a hit to her stomach by her then-husband. When she reached the hospital, Streater, not yet 28 weeks pregnant, alerted personnel that her baby was coming — now. “They said, ‘No, no, he’s not coming,’ after I told them he was,” she recalled. Minutes later, Howie was born at 3 pounds and 1.5 ounces in the admitting area of the hospital, just as Streater had predicted. Statistically, the preterm birth of Streater’s baby does not come as a surprise. In Connecticut and nationwide, black women and their infants suffer disproportionately worse pregnancy-related health outcomes than white women. The March of Dimes’ 2017 Premature Birth Report Card for Connecticut revealed that between 2013 and 2015, 8.4 percent of all infants born to white women were premature,

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Fall Arts Guide 2018

Originally published in Jmoreliving.com on September 1, 2018. There’s a lot to love about the fall. The oppressive heat and the you-can-cut-it-with-a-knife humidity ease up; summer getaways have left folks feeling recharged and ready to socialize again; and the city’s arts and culture scene responds with an abundant calendar of intriguing events and cool places to explore and rediscover. The challenge now becomes not what to do, but how to fit it all in. It’s impossible to get to everything, of course. But for those willing to try, we’ve provided a full listing of local cultural events that span the fall season. We’ve also picked out a few cultural gems around town that we deemed worthy of special spotlighting. Whether you’ll be checking out these local landmarks for the first time or making a return trip, they’re sure to leave a lasting impression. Enjoy! Baltimore Book Festival 2017, Inner Harbor Read On! More than three decades ago, then-Mayor

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The voyeur vacation: How much of your friends’ fabulous trips do you really want to see?

Originally published in the Baltimore Sun on August 23, 2018. It’s the middle of August and, so far this summer, I’ve seen the Dead Sea, the Tuscan countryside, a quaint village in England and some ancient-looking towns in Italy. But the most exotic place I’ve actually visited is my backyard which, I will say, is rather lush and lovely after all the rain we’ve had this season, especially when looking up at it from a prone position in my swinging hammock. As for all these fantastic aforementioned places, culled from vacation photos posted on Facebook by my social media “friends,” I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I grasp that a stunning sunset is worth sharing, as is the view from a high mountaintop resort. And when I glimpse photos on Facebook of picturesque European villages dating back thousands of years, I can almost see myself strolling through them. Similarly, I practically taste the authentic Italian cuisine pictured on the plates in these pictures, even as I wonder:

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How We Get ADHD Wrong

Originally published in Education Week on February 13, 2018 Today, more than 10 percent of all children ages 5-17 in the United States receive a diagnosis of ADHD, despite the American Psychiatric Association’s estimation that only 5 percent actually have the disorder. The disparity is even starker for boys, 14 percent of whom end up diagnosed with ADHD. My son is one of those millions of boys who have been diagnosed with this greatly overused label. My 15-year-old son has been dubbed a “slow processer”—the kind of kid who tends to stare out the window during class as he gathers his thoughts or daydreams. His reading has hovered slightly below grade level since teachers began assessing it. His organizational habits are less than stellar: Homework assignments, school clothes, sports equipment tend to land where they fall. So, a few years ago, when my husband and I took our son to an educational psychologist (at the suggestion of his middle school’s learning specialist) for

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Senior Softball Players Still Have Game

Originally published on Baltimoresun.com on May 1, 2018. It’s 9:50 a.m. on a picture-perfect Monday in April. Softball practice starts in 10 minutes. But already, the players have gathered on the field. One runs a few laps up and down the left field line. Others do a few stretches in place. The defensive players take their spots in the field, and the first batter steps up to the plate. Batting practice begins, and soon the satisfying “ping” of ball against metal bat can be heard ringing through the air. On one particularly hard-hit ball, the third baseman deftly makes a one-handed catch, throwing it easily over to first base. The Charlestown Sluggers, resident softball team of Catonsville’s Charlestown Retirement Community, practice twice a week during the spring to prepare for the annual Erickson Living Softball Tournament, which pits teams from four area retirement communities against one another: Parkville’s Oak Crest, Silver Spring’s Riderwood, Northern Virginia’s

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Intimate Partner Violence Remains Pervasive; Efforts Seek To Break The Cycle

Originally published on WNPR.org on March 14, 2018 West Hartford resident Adrienne Doughty recalls the summer night in the family camper when her then-husband hurled an object at her that whipped past her head before shattering a window. The sound of broken glass brought a neighbor running. That started the 62-year-old on a long path of healing from what she describes as primarily emotional abuse from her former husband whom, ironically, Doughty thought would protect her after she’d been the victim of date rape and sexual assault by a supervisor. “In those days, you couldn’t say anything,” she said. Doughty found her voice at a workshop on intimate partner violence (IPV) offered by Susan Omilian, an attorney-turned-advocate of IPV victims after her 19-year-old niece was killed by her boyfriend. “Susan’s workshop was pivotal. I wish I had found it a lot earlier,” Doughty said. “You cannot recover alone.” Perhaps that message is catching on. In the last fiscal year,

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Heavy Drinking Among Women At All-Time High, Despite Health Consequences



Originally published in November 2017 on hartfordcourant.com. An ever-increasing number of women in the state are drinking to excess, state and federal data show. Statewide, female admissions to acute hospital emergency departments for alcohol-related reasons rose by 4.8 percent between fiscal years 2012 and 2016, according to the Connecticut Hospital Association. The female-only Eden Hill Recovery Retreat in Canaan fills an average of 10 to 12 beds per month; earlier in the center’s eight-year history, rarely were there more than eight beds occupied at a time. Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine note an increase in the number of women enrolling in studies that examine the effectiveness of a medication to curb one’s desire to drink alcohol. The uptick in problem drinking among women in Connecticut mirrors a national trend. In a September 2017 study reported in JAMA Psychiatry, two national epidemiologic surveys compared drinking patterns of U.S.

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