From left to right are panelists Dr. Jessica Blake, Assistant Professor at APSU, Dr. Kristen L. Brewer, Assistant Professor at WKU, and Shelia Bryant, Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Photo by Makayla Blevins I The All State

On Monday, March 27, a panel focused on healthcare and equal opportunity rights was hosted by Women & Gender Studies, the Adult and Non-Traditional Student (ANTS) Center, and the Latino Community Resource Center (LCRC).  

The featured panelists were assistant professor Dr. Blake, assistant professor Dr. Kristen L. Brewer, and deputy Title IX coordinator Sheila Bryant.  

This panel went into the history of women’s healthcare and explored subjects such as abortion, sex, and contraceptives, as well as the stigma associated with those subjects.  

The panelists highlighted the importance of listening to your body and putting yourself first when it comes to your healthcare, despite the stigma.  

Dr. Brewer said, “You are the expert on your body. If something feels off or weird, don’t sugar coat it.” 

Dr. Brewer noted the importance of conversation in a doctor’s office. Often, healthcare workers will use terms that are not common knowledge, leaving room for misinterpretation and miscommunication. 

Dr. Brewer told students to use terms that they feel comfortable with, even if they are considered taboo (e.g., vagina, breasts) to encourage conversations where they feel confident in understanding them. 

 “Practice talking about your body. Use the words that you’re comfortable using,” she said. 

Dr. Brewer discussed women being put to the side when it comes to healthcare, often being viewed as exaggerative or emotional. Often this results in a late diagnosis or no diagnosis.  

Dr. Brewer urged the audience to get a second opinion or stop seeing that doctor, saying “Remember that they work for you. If you were to go anywhere else where you experience bad care or service, you wouldn’t go back.”  

Bryant also explained the components of Title IX, which protects students from being discriminated against in healthcare and on campus and primarily focuses on pregnant and parenting students.  

Bryant stated, “They have rights. There’s an office that will help them navigate the system and help them navigate the rights of Title Nine. There is a procedure if they experience discrimination.” 

Bryant urged students to reach out to her and the office of Equity, Access, and Inclusion for help or inquiries regarding Title IX.  

You can reach Bryant in the Browning Building rooms 138-140, or by email at

Dr. Brewer further encouraged students to, “Find someone that you trust. You are all valuable.”