Coalition for Women's Health Equity Convenes Women's Health Empowerment Summit in Washington, DC on May 17 For National Women's Health Week (May 14-20)

Monday, May 1 2017

Renee Young, National Public Relations
(212) 303- 8140


May 1, 2017 - NEW YORK — The inaugural Women's Health Empowerment Summit, hosted by the Coalition for Women's Health Equity, will take place in Washington, DC on May 17, during National Women's Health Week (May 14-20). The half-day event will bring together women's health policy-makers, champions and thought leaders to identify legislative opportunities and align mobilization efforts to advance women's health equity. Rear Admiral Susan J. Blumenthal, MD, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health and US Assistant Surgeon General, will serve as keynote speaker. Dr. Blumenthal's pioneering work helped expose inequities in women's health. She then developed a broad range of initiatives and public/private sector partnerships to address critical women's health issues and the study of sex differences across the life cycle. The 2017 Women's Health Empowerment Summit will take place on May 17 from 10 am - 2 pm at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC. The event will be emceed by Jessica Byrd, Founder and Principal Strategist, Three Point Strategies

The 2017 Women's Health Empowerment Summit will feature policy briefings on women's health issues, testimonials from patients and medical professionals and opportunities to network and align mobilization efforts. With a rapidly changing legislative landscape, the 2017 Summit will focus on action strategies to further women's health equity — from prevention and diagnosis, to treatment and cure. The 2017 Summit will also highlight how key advances in women's health equity have been achieved and identifying the next frontiers — including the emerging scientific, economic and advocacy solutions to improve women's health.

Admiral Susan J. Blumenthal, MD, who served as the first-ever Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health and US Assistant Surgeon General, states, "In the past, lack of attention to the health of 51% of the US population — women — has resulted in striking gaps in scientific studies and inequities in their health care. While significant progress had been made over the past two decades, women's health issues are being threatened in the current political environment and much more work needs to be done. A new national prescription is needed that increases investments in women's health, ensures that sex differences in research are evaluated and reported, expands access to quality health care, educates the public and providers about gender differences, and makes the prevention of disease a top priority. The results should be a healthier future for women — and men — in America."

One of the most significant things a woman can do is bring her lived experience to the table and advocate on behalf of herself and her community,” said Jessica Byrd. “Thus, I am thrilled to participate in the Women's Health Empowerment Summit, a Summit wholly organized and led by women who are leaders in ensuring that health is a right for all, regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, class, geographic location and more.

The first panel on May 17, "Women's Health Today: Next Steps for Policy & Advocacy," offers a briefing on the current legislative landscape and state-of-play for women's health policy and advocacy opportunities. The second panel, "Women's Health for All Ages: New Trends & Perspectives," will feature a conversation about women's health across the lifespan from the perspective of women leaders working in government, health care, nonprofit and advocacy organizations. For the full agenda and speaker bios, visit: hadassah.org/Summit.

In additional to practitioner and caregiver testimonials during the panels, the Summit will also feature a patient story from Malia Litman, lawyer, nurse, stem cell activist and MS patient at the Hadassah Medical Organization. The afternoon session "Heart to Heart" will feature an intimate one-on-one conversation between Nanette Wenger, MD, women's health pioneer and renowned cardiologist, and CNN political commentator Maria Cardona.

The 2017 Women's Health Empowerment Summit Planning Committee includes: American Heart Association; Black Women's Health Imperative; HealthyWomen; Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health (NPWH); National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF); WomenAgainstAlzheimer's and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. – Ellen Hershkin, National President
"Women's health impacts all aspects of our lives and society — from the classroom and workplace, to our communities, family life and more. Eliminating disparities and discrimination in women's health care is the top priority for the Coalition for Women's Health Equity. The inaugural Women's Health Empowerment Summit will amplify the strength of Hadassah and our Coalition partners and other key stakeholders in the fight for positive policy change."

American Heart Association – Sue Nelson, Vice President of Federal Advocacy
"What better way to mark National Women's Health Week than to participate in this important summit. Our association's Go Red for Women effort is already hard at work to further women's health equity by providing lifesaving information to women of all ages and ethnicities and working to increase gender-focused medical research. While much progress has been made, every 80 seconds a woman in the U.S. dies from cardiovascular disease. This summit is a perfect opportunity to take a deeper dive into what's been achieved so far and what opportunities exist to do even more to improve the health of all women."

Black Women's Health Imperative – Linda Goler Blount, President and CEO
"The inequities in women's health care can only be eliminated if women work together to demand and create change. By serving as a platform for champions of women's health to join forces, mobilize and strategize, this inaugural summit moves us closer to the day when all women are able to live healthier, more prosperous lives."

HealthyWomen – Beth Battaglino, CEO
"HealthyWomen is thrilled to be part of the Coalition for Women's Health Equity. Now, more than ever, we must work together to identify inequities in health care access, safety and delivery for women and work together to support policies that improve and safeguard women's health."

National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health – Gay Johnson, CEO
"This inaugural summit on women's health equity could not be more timely. By uniting women from both sides of the aisle and all walks of life, this Summit underscores that improving American women's health can be a universal, bipartisan goal. Women's health nurse practitioners stand ready to work in common cause with anyone who can help advance our patients' health throughout the life cycle."

National Partnership for Women & Families – Jessi Leigh Swenson, Senior Policy Counsel
"We're proud to stand with our colleagues and fight for policies and programs that protect ALL women's access to high-quality, comprehensive and affordable health care. We know that when women do better, families do better and our nation prospers."

WomenAgainstAlzheimer's – Jill Lesser, President
"WomenAgainstAlzheimers is pleased to participate in the Women's Health Empowerment Summit as we work together to ensure women's health equity in research and care. It is a wonderful opportunity to put a spotlight on the needs of women health across the lifespan."

WomenHeart – Mary McGowan, CEO
"The Women's Health Empowerment Summit will highlight the importance of women taking charge of their health and working together to craft policies, regulations and legislation that improve their access to care; strong heart healthy women can lead the way."

The Coalition for Women's Health Equity — a broad coalition of women's, health, and faith organizations — promotes policies to address inequities in quality of care, funding and support, and gaps in women's health awareness. The 23-member Coalition, which has nearly doubled in size since its 2016 launch, was convened by Hadassah to create a well-coordinated and unified force to advocate for women's health equity. This Summit helps further the Coalition's mission to publicly promote policies in support of gender equity in medical prevention, research, access and treatment, and raise awareness about how that lack of equity adversely affects women and families throughout the United States. For more information on the Coalition, please visit: hadassah.org/womenshealthequity

Coalition for Women's Health Equity Member Organizations:
Alliance for Aging Research; Alzheimer's Foundation of America; American Association of University Women; American Heart Association; Black Women's Health Imperative; Breast Cancer Prevention Partners; Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA) (convener); HealthyWomen; Institute for Women's Health and Leadership of Drexel University College of Medicine; Jewish Women International; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health; National Council of Jewish Women; National Organization for Women; National Partnership for Women & Families; National Women's Law Center; National Women's Political Caucus; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Preeclampsia Foundation; Society for Women's Health Research; Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) Alliance; Vision 2020; WomenAgainstAlzheimer's and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.


Hadassah is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With 330,000 members, associates and supporters across the country, Hadassah brings Jewish women together to effect change and advocate on criticalissues such as medical care and research, women's empowerment, and the security of Israel. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization's (HMO) two hospitals, the world-renowned trauma center and the leading research facility in Jerusalem, Hadassah supports the delivery of exemplary patient care to over a million people every year. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace” through equality in medical treatment. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.

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