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About A Woman's Journey

Mission & Vision

Through dynamic education provided exclusively by Johns Hopkins faculty physicians, A Woman’s Journey seeks to impart up-to-the-minute information about salient health issues for women and empower women to make effective health care decisions for themselves and those they love.

A Woman’s Journey will enhance the health of women and those they love through increased awareness and knowledge of disease prevention, early diagnosis and innovative treatments.

History

play video Mollye Block and Harriet Legum

More than 20 years ago two remarkable Baltimoreans approached Johns Hopkins Medicine with an idea that would impact the lives of thousands of women. Both survivors of cancers Mollye Block and Harriet Legum, wanted to empower women to make effective health care decisions for themselves and those they love. Johns Hopkins Medicine accepted their challenge.

The results has been a powerful women’s health conference, A Woman’s Journey.  Since 1995, this Johns Hopkins annual women’s health conference has offered 32 seminars—all taught by Johns Hopkins faculty physicians and scientists.  Women hear first-hand about advances in medicine from the individuals performing research in these medical specialties. From preserving your memory to surviving cancer, this one of a kind program attracts nearly 1,000 registrants. Mothers, daughters, sisters and friends come to learn from Hopkins scientists and from each other.

  • A Woman's Journey was introduced in West Palm Beach with the guidance of the program's founding co-chairs: Lee Callahan, Susan G. Keenan, Betsy Meany, Susan Telesco and Norma Kline Tiefel.

    • This program stands out from other Palm Beach events.  In one day, Johns Hopkins faculty members will share their knowledge and expertise in 10 seminars. Conference participants attend a plenary session, luncheon and two seminars and, as in Baltimore, hear first-hand about advances in medicine from the individuals performing research in these medical specialties.   
  • A Woman's Journey held its first women's health briefing in Naples, Florida, where it has continued to offer area residents a two-hour briefing on women's health by three Johns Hopkins Medicine physicians.
  • A Woman's Journey and Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, brought programs to Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tampa.
  • A Woman's Journey programs started in the Greater Washington Area as well as in Bermuda.
  • Kelly Geer Ripken joined Harriet Legum as national chairs of A Woman's Journey.

After 25 as co-chair of A Woman’s Journey Harriet Legum stepped down from her role. Kelly Geer Ripken is the national chair of A Woman’s Journey.

We hope you will join us at one of our various events.

A Woman’s Journey is sponsored by our media partners and corporate supporters.

Founders

  • Harriet Legum

    Harriet Legum's personal crusade began more than twenty years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  After successful treatment at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, her illness became a catalyst that would affect her life and change lives in the community.  Using her newfound voice, she became a powerful advocate for breast cancer research and education.  As the chair of the Johns Hopkins Oncology Breast Cancer Research Chair and Fellowship Campaign she raised 2.1 million, endowing the first chair and fellowship of its type in the country.   Later Harriet chaired a fund raising event for the Johns Hopkins Avon Breast Center.

    Harriet’s developing interest in women’s health issues helped spur the creation of "A Woman’s Journey".  The annual multidisciplinary educational program features Johns Hopkins professors who address a variety of current women’s health topics.  The program which began in 1995 is open to the public and attracts nearly 1,000 women each year.

    Since 2004, Harriet served as a member of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Advisors and on Kennedy Krieger Institute's Board of Trustees.  She assisted in the creation of a revolutionary music therapy program for children at the Kennedy Krieger School.  In 2000, Harriet chaired the Festival of Trees for Kennedy Krieger.

    Harriet has served as a board member of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and was a founding member of the "Race for the Cure" in Baltimore.

    Utilizing her childhood education degree, Harriet also worked to educate youth and spread awareness about breast cancer as a volunteer speaker for Hadassah’s "Check It Out" high school program for young women.  She also has touched the lives of children at Sinai Hospital where she ran an educational program for the city and county first grade students to familiarize them with hospitals.  Harriet also served as a chair of the Baltimore Crabtown Auction to benefit Baltimore City Schools.

    Harriet has been honored in “Portraits of Hope,” a photographic exhibition sponsored by the American Cancer Society.  The American Cancer Society also honored her during the award ceremony "With One Voice" which recognized her commitment to the fight against breast cancer.  Baltimore Magazine has honored her for her strength, character, and commitment to helping others.  The magazine named Harriet as one of "Baltimore’s Most Powerful Women" in 1997.  The Rotary Club of Woodlawn-Westview honored her with the “Community Volunteer of the Year Award” in recognition of exceptional dedication and commitment to the community.

    Harriet continues to serve as a resource for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, offering support and personal insight into treating and surviving the disease. QVC honored Harriet in a video for FFANY’s (Fashion Footwear Association New York) event that raises funds for breast cancer research. In 2009, Harriet was named to the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.

  • Mollye Block
    1948-2020
     
    Mollye Block survived cancer as a young woman—an ordeal that showed her the need for women to better understand the health issues they face. This prompted her in 1995 to co-develop A Woman’s Journey, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s annual women’s health conference. Along with fellow cancer survivor and Hopkins colleague, Harriet Legum,  Mollye helped create this event that today features more than 30 Hopkins faculty members and draws 1000 participants.

    An expert on women’s health issues, Mollye has served as the director of the state of Maryland’s Women’s Health Program for the Department of Health and MentalHygiene, between 1997 and 2006, where she was selected by the secretary of health to establish a program to help keep women and their families healthy. Prior to her role as director, she served as the executive assistant to the secretary of health.  A dedicated community advocate and educator, Mollye is an established special education counselor with broad experience teaching and working with children, adolescents, families and couples. In addition, her private practice spanned from 1978 to 1997 and focused on educational testing, with specialization in adult dyslexia.

    Mollye’s involvement in nonprofit organizations includes serving as a founding  member of Baltimore’s Odyssey School for children with dyslexia. She also has served on the Special Task Committee for the Woodborne Foundation and School, Mayor White’s Task Committee of the Future of Cleveland Public Schools, and theHoward University School of Public Health Leadership Council.

    Additionally, Mollye served on the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute Board of Governors and serves on the Department of Psychiatry Advisory Board. Since 2001, she has been a member of the board of trustees and a national spokesperson for the National Stroke Association and was featured in the NSA magazine, Stroke Smart. She has been active on numerous institutional boards and councils, including the Women’s Board of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, the Brimmer and May School Alumnae Association, Brimmer and May School, Leadership Council of the Harvard School of Public Health and Lesley University and has served as a trustee of the Brimmer and May School since 2008.  Mollye has been featured as an “Outstanding Alumnae of Brimmer and May School” in 1996, honored with the Brimmer and May Community Service Award in 1995, and the Lesley University Alumni Council Service Award in both 1990 and 1995.

    Mollye Block passed away on December 29, 2020.

 
Katie CouricFrom left to right: Harriet Legum; Mollye Block; Katie Couric; and Dr. Paul Rothman.

Kelly Geer Ripken Named a Chair of A Woman's Journey

Plenary Speaker, Katie Couric was honored for her work as a cancer advocate and co-founder of Stand Up to Cancer at the 19th annual A Woman's Journey conference in Baltimore. Read more about  Kelly Geer Ripken.

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