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Raising Women's Voices for Health Care

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Women are getting proactive about their health needs and rights. The financial downturn has made it crystal clear that women’s economic status is intertwined with the health care equation.

On April 1st and 2nd in New York City, a National Women’s Speakout for Action on Health Reform, combined with a Strategy Conference, was held. Sponsored by Raising Women’s Voices, the first day dealt with how to amplify women’s concerns and integrate their opinions into the health care discussion, building from the grassroots level up. A workshop was devoted to developing the appropriate skills for eliciting personal stories from women, which could be introduced into the larger conversation. The strategies of new media and social networking were referenced as tools that could exponentially expand the efforts to influence public policy. Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News Medical Editor, moderated a two-hour speak- out for action. The focus was to bring the modalities learned for organizational outreach back to the community.

Day two featured a host of top speakers sharing their insights on how to jumpstart reform in a way that puts women’s interests squarely in the middle of the health care landscape. Individual presenters parsed varying agendas, with each pointing out inequities in the existing formula.

Deborah Reid, a staff attorney in the Washington D.C. office of the National Health Law Program addressed “systems issues” and the disparity in the distribution of services. She emphasized that health care should “not be seen as a commodity, but as a public good.” She pointed to data on the low birth rate — under 5 pounds — of babies born to women of color (13 per cent for African-Americans; 6.4 per cent for Latinas). Reid identified the wall of silence facing the LGBT community explaining, “People don’t want to talk about it.”

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EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for giving important attention to the recent Raising Women's Voices event. I wanted to bring to the attention of those interested in these issues, another important resource. Dr. Snyderman is Editor in Chief of BeWell.com a consumer social networking site on health. Along with Dr. Susan Love, Dr. Janet Taylor, Dr. Miriam Nelson, Dr. Alice Domar, along with many others including Byllye Avery (one of the organizers of the Raising Women's Voices event). Thanks for bringing the important issue of the many aspects of healthcare reform to light.

Cheryl Heiks,
Director of Communication

May 1, 2009 - 9:04am
EmpowHER Guest

Support of HR 676 is support for women, and men, children and seniors for the decades to come, and it is so because it is fiscally responsible, medically necessary, and morally tenable. Our current for-profit-health-insurance-industry can't claim any of that.

April 29, 2009 - 4:10pm
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