Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., reaffirms its mission to enhance the health and lives of people worldwide and deepens its commitment to help women in the United States live their healthiest lives possible. Hadassah’s vision for women’s health is put into action organization-wide through our domestic advocacy, health and wellness education, support for women’s leadership and cultivating appreciation and support for the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO).
Women’s health equity is the attainment of an optimal level of health for all women. The hallmarks of Hadassah’s vision for women’s health are empowered wellness, integration and innovation. HMO exhibits these values through areas of excellence and pioneering work, as well as the quality of care and diverse research carried out every day. This further reinforces the organization-wide commitment to a holistic approach to women’s health. Hadassah mobilizes its members and Associates around key health issues that are important to them and align with this vision.
Empowered Wellness: Health is more than the absence of disease. Hadassah strives for a health care system that supports women to proactively advocate for their own health and wellness with medical professionals and in their daily lives. Promoting wellness includes ensuring patients are equipped with the information and support to prioritize self-care and to take charge of their health decisions. Women deserve agency over their own bodies and the autonomy to make health decisions – especially reproductive health decisions – based on medical guidance, their own values, and what they feel is best for their health, their families and their future.
Integration: Health is multifaceted and interconnected. To enhance quality of care and improve health outcomes, patients, nurses, physicians, policymakers and all others involved in the health care system must understand the multiplicity of factors affecting women’s health. At the individual level, bodily systems are interdependent and many biological and social determinants affect a person’s health at each stage of life. On a larger scale, multidisciplinary approaches – for both individual patient care and for establishing widely applicable best practices – help to ensure that care is not fragmented.
Innovation: In research and development, studying women’s health and implementing data-driven solutions benefits everyone. According to a major report by Women’s Health Access Matters (WHAM), investments of $300 million in women’s health research across just three diseases would generate $13 billion in returns to the US economy. The future of medicine – emerging diseases, personalized/precision medicine, new technologies and more – must take into account women’s distinctive health needs.
To help realize this vision, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., calls for government, industry and community-driven solutions to:
- Increase public awareness, patient education and community outreach around prevention/early detection, health literacy and various health conditions’ distinctive impact on women
- Present clinical education initiatives, through medical and nursing schools as well as continuing education, featuring the most current information about women’s biology, genetics, health needs and all factors that impact women’s health, including information about rates of misdiagnosis and inequities in women’s health care
- Protect and expand women’s access to a full range of primary care services, which includes preventive, mental and reproductive health care
- Promote women’s participation and leadership in all aspects of health care problem-solving and decision-making
- Apply a women’s health lens to all types of health research, especially at the new frontiers of medicine. Research must include females as test subjects, analyze data based on a variety of demographic subgroups, receive equitable funding for diseases that affect women differently, prioritize the study of sex/gender medicine as a stand-alone discipline and ensure efficacy and safety of medical products for women
- Create and support coordinating committees, cross-sector strategies and technologies that improve women’s preventive health, diagnosis, treatment and access to care
Hadassah encourages its chapters and supporters to promote, educate others about and advocate for this vision of women’s health.