I was pleased to speak at a press conference organized by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Former New Jersey First Lady Mary Jo Codey, Audrey Meyers, President of Valley Hospital, Dr. Fred Rezvani, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Sylvia Lasalandra. The press conference was held at Valley Hospital, Ridgewood NJ to galvanize awareness and continue the national momentum in support of The Melanie Blocker Stokes Mothers Act.
The responsive audience and numerous press representatives asked many excellent questions which gave an opportunity to address misconceptions about S 324 and talk about the fantastic opportunity this legislation presents to end the preventable suffering of thousands of America's mothers. Senator Menendez clarified that the bill does NOT mandate screening, but will seek research into the most efficacious methods of identifying these illnesses for earlier treatment and prevention.
Dr. Fred Rezvani, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood NJ, emphasized the need to include all forms of treatment for new mothers suffering from these disorders including nutrition, massage and acupuncture and other complementary therapies, to home services, social support and psychological counseling. The bill will provide funding and make grants available to private, non profit or public entities for many forms of services supportive to new mothers.
As our most socially and economically disadvantaged mothers have increased risk for the development of these disorders, only a federal mandate will ensure that all mothers have access to the services and healthcare needed to bring recovery.
Senator Menendez was presented with a petition of national organizations and individual constituents representing millions of Americans who understand the need for this legislation can no longer be ignored. With the bipartisan support that currently exists for the legislation, its likelihood of passage among the priority of healthcare reform seems likely, but the advocacy efforts must continue! The entire audience expressed their thanks to Senator Menendez for his determined advocacy on behalf of America's mothers.