Newswise — CHICAGO, IL, April 10, 2019 —MLA ’19: “Elevate,” the Medical Library Association’s (MLA) premier annual event will be held from May 3 to 8, 2019 in the eclectic host city of Chicago, IL. More than 2,400 participants including medical librarians and other health information professionals, international attendees, and over 100 exhibitors will travel to the windy city in May to engage in exceptional programming, check out the latest industry products and engage in meaningful industry connections. All MLA ’19 attendees and the general public will be given an extraordinary opportunity to learn from two insightful authors, skilled strategists and unapologetic game changers in the global nonprofit and medical training arenas.

On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, the MLA National Program Committee invites all MLA ’19 attendees and members of the general public to attend back-to-back featured sessions presented by Nadya Okamoto, the Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecturer and Katherine (Katie) L. Watson, Closing Keynote Speaker. From 9:00 to 10:15 AM on Wednesday, Nadya Okamoto, a 20-year old Harvard student and Executive Director of one of the fastest growing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in health care in the United States will share her thoughts on access to health information in underserved communities, health literacy, health disparities, gender identity, volunteer engagement, and the Generation Z perspective. She will also address the role of NGOs, hers included, in providing health information and how it connects trusted health information to a broad audience.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Ms. Okamoto is a social entrepreneur, activist, and founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization PERIOD: The Menstrual Movement. PERIOD is a global, youth-run nonprofit that aims to achieve gender equality and equity through education, health care, employment and economic mobility, and representation in politics and decision-making. She founded the organization four years ago, when she was just sixteen. Nadya is also the author of the newly-released book, “Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement.” A book signing will be offered at Noon following her session.

Also featured on Wednesday, from 10:30 to 11:55 AM, Katherine (Katie) L. Watson, JD, a lawyer and Associate Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Medical Education and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University (NU), will offer innovative and practical instructional techniques for medical education. Ms. Watson, a native of West Lafayette, Indiana, is also a bioethicist who completed fellowships in clinical medical ethics at the University of Chicago Medical School MacLean Center and medical humanities at the NU Feinberg School of Medicine. Watson is a talented playwright and an adjunct faculty member at the training center of Chicago’s Second City theater. During her keynote presentation, she will share stories about her nationally-recognized seminar called, “medical improv,” designed to improve doctor-patient communication and her commitment to leading yearly train-the-trainer workshops here in Chicago. Watson is also the author of “Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law and Politics of Ordinary Abortion.” A book signing will be offered immediately following her session.

Tickets for these sessions are available online at: Prices for both sessions are: $40 for Health Information Professionals and other guests or $25 for students or members of the Association Forum of Chicago. For more information, visit                                        


About MLA                                                                                                                                                                                                               

The Medical Library Association (MLA) is a global, nonprofit educational organization, with a membership of more than 400 institutions and 3,000 professionals in the health information field. Since 1898, MLA has fostered excellence in the professional practice and leadership of health sciences library and information professionals to enhance health care, education, and research throughout the world. MLA educates health information professionals, supports health information research, promotes access to the world's health sciences information, and works to ensure that the best health information is available to all. For more information about MLA, visit

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