Health

This topic focuses on the ways women negotiate their physical and emotional well-being both in their personal and family lives and in relation to the public institutions that make up our health care system. It seeks to learn about how women view, care for, and project their bodies and minds introspectively and in relation to the outside world.

Suzanne Lewandowski

Eating Disorders Advocate; Massachusetts Unsung Heroine Award 2009
The word bulimia hadn’t even, well I’m sure it existed, but it had never been in the public eye. My eating disorder started in January of 1974, at least the bulimia did. It was in the 80’s when I first heard the word -- when I realized that I was not the only one in the world that had this horrible problem. But by then it was so enmeshed in my everyday living, that I couldn’t stop and I stopped trying to stop.
Suzanne Lewandowski was born in Patterson, New Jersey and moved to Massachusetts in 1979 when she was about 25. Lewandowski attended Butler University and received her BA in interior design. She started working towards her Master’s in Education at Assumption College in 2004, and will complete her education in the next few years.  Lewandowski is also taking courses at Plymouth State University through a certified program at the Eating Disorders Institute of Plymouth State University.
Interview Date: 
Tue, 11/10/2009
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Lewandowski

Amy Szarkowski

Psychologist working with deaf children

I’m not yet an expert at sign language, I hope to be, but not yet.  I want to continue learning and improve my signing skills. But compared to most psychologists in the Massachusetts area, other places as well, I know a lot about the deaf community, and when other psychologists are dealing with deaf children it can be dangerous not to know anything about the community.  Because it’s possible that they could refer them to the wrong person, or give them the wrong recommendation, they may blame the deafness for their problems when really it’s a totally separate issue.

Amy Szarkowski was born in South Dakota and moved to Oregon when she was ten. She majored in psychology at Southern Oregon State University, earned her master’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University, and attended Gallaudet University as a hearing minority. Currently she is a psychology fellow working in a deaf and hard of hearing program at a children’s hospital. In this interview, Amy describes her passion for teaching and helping deaf children as a psychologist and a teacher.

Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Tue, 04/08/2008
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Szarkowski

Lori Connolly

Occupational Therapist, Member of Central Mass Families Organizing for Change

I have a lot of responsibilities. My daughter, one of my daughters has cerebral palsy. And, so, she requires a lot of attention and time because she can’t do things herself, that at four and half, almost five years old, she should be able to do. She’s come a long way, from where she was, but she still needs help, you know, most of the time. She can get herself dressed but she still needs help sometimes, not so much with feeding but getting on the toilet, getting off the toilet. Brushing her teeth, putting on her shoes, putting on her socks and walking. I may come home and work with her for a couple hours, spend a little time with Emily, her sister. Or have Emily do the exercises with us. Most of my time is either working, doing Meghan’s therapy, taking care of the kids, cleaning the house -- which is low on the priority list, to be honest with you -- and researching online, all the time, to see what’s out there. You know, like going into a chat room. I belong to a chat room for people who have CP (cerebral palsy). Could be adults, kids, parents. I spend a lot of time on there just kinda figuring out what is out there for people.

Lori Connolly was born in 1975 and is married with two daughters. She earned her degree from Worcester State with a major in Occupational Therapy and a certificate in Gerontology. In this interview, she talks about the differences between her growing up years in Worcester and her children’s as far as freedom to play outside or walk in the neighborhood; caring for her two daughters, one of whom has cerebral palsy; and her work as an OT. She also shares memories of what was fashionable during her teenage years and of Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger tragedy.

Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Sat, 02/28/2009
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Connolly

Kate Saba

Fitness Trainer, Nursing Student
I just remember crying in the middle of the parking lot telling my mom I was going to get on the plane and come home. And she was like, 'Well you gotta figure yourself out.' And I mean I really thought it was the end of the world. And it’s not. Nothing is as bad as it seems, and everything gets better. So if I hadn’t had a mom to push me and say you are not coming home right away, I wouldn’t have done anything in my life.
Katherine Mary Saba was born in Shrewsbury, MA, in 1984. She is one of three girls in her family, falling at the end of the birth order spectrum. In this interview she discusses the personal devastating impact of an eating disorder and depression. She shares her thoughts about moving to Los Angeles following her graduation from Worcester State College. She describes her fears about living alone in a large, fast-paced city and credits her mother with support and encouragement.   Kate's goal is to combine her love for physical fitness with a degree in nursing.
Interview Date: 
Mon, 03/30/2009
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Saba

Samantha Vayo

Student, Model, Special Olympics Athlete

I was born with CP [cerebral palsy]. I went to the doctors and physical therapy and they told me that I would probably never walk. So, I proved them all wrong because I can walk. I like to play [sports]. I can do everything.

Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Wed, 04/09/2008
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Vayo

Judy Freedman Fask

College Professor of Deaf Studies, College of the Holy Cross; Sign Language Interpreter, Mother of Five

Go for it. Just absolutely, whatever your dream is or what you think your dream is, go for it, give it a try. And look at life as opportunities, meet people, make connections. I think that's the other thing, making connections with people and really appreciating who they are and looking for the gifts in people, which I love doing. I love doing that here at Holy Cross, because when I meet a student, if they have a talent they don't necessarily like to share it – because they definitely know I'll use it in some other program. People have so much to offer and I think that sometimes you have to look a little bit for it and other times you don't have to look so hard. But there's so much good in people, and everyone has some gift to offer and tapping into that is always really exciting.

Professor Judy Freedman Fask was born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1958, but she always lived in Worcester, Massachusetts. She attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for her undergraduate degree and went to graduate school at Smith College and to Springfield College for a second master’s degree. She currently works as the director of Deaf Studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, but she has also worked as an interpreter. Professor Fask is married with five children, several of whom have health complications.

Interview Date: 
Thu, 12/04/2008
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Fask

Ona Stewart

Craft Store Worker
I work at Gateway Crafts I do a lot of different activities there, pottery being one of them. They taught me through an interpreter how to do it and now I’m able to teach other people how to mold the clay up into beautiful pots, it’s so much fun. I also do some weaving of looms, fabric design, and just different things working in the craft store and I’ve worked there for a long time; almost 13 years, I just love it there.
Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Tue, 02/19/2008
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Stewart

Kristen Pagliuca

Bank Manager

"You get to a point were if you are an implant candidate, you really just don’t have any hearing. They are really concerned when they decide to use an implant candidate. Because any residual hearing, they wipe it out. I knew I would do pretty well, just because I knew I was going to work hard and make sure I would do well. I was a little bit excited. I knew I would have better [hearing] than what I had."

Kristen Pagliuca was born May 27, 1975, in Massachusetts. She attended Emerson College and Suffolk University where she earned a master’s degree in Health Administration. Currently she is employed as a bank manager. In this interview she discusses growing with loss of hearing in a hearing family, going to school in mainstream classrooms, and the process of cochlear implants.

Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Thu, 03/15/2007
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Pagliuca

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Health