A daylong health and wellness conference for women returns to Madison in April with a keynote speaker, health screenings and several sessions focusing on well-being and personal health.

The Speaking of Women's Health event will take place for the second year at Ivy Tech Community College on April 13.

The conference will focus on health needs and choices for women while providing health education at a low price.

Paula Heiderman, executive director for resource development at Ivy Tech and an organizer of the event, said this year's event features WAVE 3 news anchor Dawne Gee as the keynote speaker and nearly 15 health-related breakout sessions throughout the day. Health screenings - including body mass index calculations, bone density, hearing, vision and oral cancer screenings and more - will be offered during the event.

A market of local vendors will be offered as well, with each vendor giving away a door prize valued at $100.

The keynote speaker wasn't an easy decision this year, Heiderman said, as organizers were hoping to find someone women could relate to and someone who was familiar to women in the area.

"We bounced around a lot of different names," she said.

Gee, a native of Louisville, comes into many local homes through her television newscasts and is active with many groups in her hometown. She serves on the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky Board and is a board member of the Red Cross. She also serves with several organizations including the Spina Bifida Association, American Cancer society, the MS Society, American Lung Association, the Lupus Foundation, Community Health Charities, St. Baldricks and Guardia Care Advisory Council.

Because of Gee's commitment to the health organizations, organizers for the event felt that she could relate to women's health needs and issues.

"She's lived it," Heiderman said of Gee.

Doors open at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast and health screenings.

Gee's keynote presentation will begin at 8:30 a.m. Other breakout sessions will be available throughout the day-long event. The event will end with the last prize drawing at 2:45 p.m.

There will be some changes to the 2013 event after receiving feedback from participants last year. The keynote speaker will give only one presentation, instead of two sessions like last year. More volunteers will be on hand to direct participants to different locations in the building, and all of the health screenings will take place at the Ivy Tech building.

Other aspects of the conference will remain the same as last year, Heiderman said. The 2013 Speaking of Women's Health Conference Honoree also will be recognized during the event.

The honoree will be a woman who shows the spirit of the conference's motto of "Be Strong. Be Healthy. Be in Charge." A nominee should show a passion for bettering the lives of others through a commitment to health, well-being or personal safety. Nominations including the nominee's name, address, occupation, professional affiliations and a description of why she should be honored for award will be accepted until March 6. Nominations should be sent to Ivy Tech Community College, 590 Ivy Tech Dr., Madison, IN 47250, or by e-mail to kayers13@ivytech.edu.

Tickets are $30 for the one-day event, which include a continental breakfast, lunch on the go, gift bags, a variety of health screenings and more. Tickets are available by visiting www.ivytech.edu/southeast and clicking on the Speaking of Women's Health link.