Women In Distress

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Women In Distress Raises More Then $100,000 at its’ 5th Annual Women’s Empowerment Forum, “The Role of Healthcare in Empowering Women”

Women In Distress of Broward County, Inc. held its 5th Annual Women’s Empowerment Forum on Wednesday, January 25th at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s forum focused on the role of healthcare in empowering women, with a special focus on the intersection of healthcare and domestic violence.  Martica Lopez, one of South Florida’s brightest radio personalities and a champion for victims of domestic violence, moderated the dynamic panel of local healthcare providers and community leaders moving the needle on empowering women through healthcare. The evening was powerful, moving, and informative, and the audience was empowered to ask the tough questions and get the information they need to help victims of domestic violence. The event ended with the audience standing and cheering on a former WID domestic violence survivor, and now author of a beautiful book, Life After Brokenness, Cher Gordon, who after years of abuse and anguish, left her abuser. She not only had the courage to leave and then tell her story, but for the first time in years, she empowered herself to buy and wear a skirt, a choice that was previously taken away from her by her abuser, and a choice she took back!

In addition to providing thought provoking discussion on healthcare’s role in identifying and treating domestic violence, the Women’s Empowerment Forum also raises awareness for Women In Distress’ capability to provide and empower domestic violence survivors to seek the healthcare they need. The event raised more than $100,00, which will help provide free safe shelter and critical services including healthcare visits to women, children, and men who are fleeing abusive homes.

The healthcare panel featured clinicians who have deep professional experience related to the healthcare needs of victims of domestic violence.

  • Melida Akiti, Vice President, Ambulatory Program and Community Services & Health Equity Diversity and Inclusion Leader. Melida is an outcome driven healthcare executive with outstanding leadership, operations, organizational and financial acumen. She specializes in extensive ambulatory, primary care, specialty and sub-specialty leadership.
  • Maxwell Couture, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Qualified Supervisor in the State of Florida and the Director of Outreach Services at Women In Distress of Broward County. Maxwell oversees the operation of advocacy, specialty advocacy, housing, vocational, economic, child enrichment and therapeutic programs for domestic violence survivors.
  •  Dr. Kimberlee Coleman-Henderson, Board-Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist with over 20 years of experience. Dr. Coleman-Henderson has spent many years as an advocate for Domestic Violence Victims.  This work began when she was a medical student volunteering to be on call to respond to DV victims who presented to the ER to provide counseling, resources, shelter placement and temporary restraining orders.

Major event sponsors included: JM Family Enterprises, UKG, The Thomas Family Foundation and Lisa Faina Allstate. Other sponsors included: Memorial Healthcare System, NSU, Power Avionics and Accessories, Spirit Charitable Foundation, Linda Garrett, The Kelsey Group, and Transcarent.

We want to thank our emcee, our panelists, our survivor, and all the amazing supporters!

To view our event’s photo gallery, please click here.

If you would like to support our survivor and speaker, Cher Gordon, you can purchase her book, “Life After Brokenness” on Amazon. Click here.

Thank you to all of our Partners, donors, and attendees for attending our 5th Annual Women In Distress Women’s Empowerment Forum and joining our mission to end domestic violence for everyone.

To learn more about upcoming events and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Maddison Clyne, Associate Director of Development, Events & Annual Fund.

954-760-9800 x1436 /






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