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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

"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."

"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."

"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 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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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

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.

The Women's Health Empowerment Summit’s bipartisan Honorary Host Committee includes: U.S. Senator Susan Collins (ME); U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA); U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY); U.S. Senator Patty Murray (WA); U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA); U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty (OH-03); U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence (MI-14); U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01); U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney (NY-12); U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez (CA-38); U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09); U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23); U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (CA-43).

Program Overview

Summit Emcee:
Jessica Byrd, Founder and Principal Strategist, Three Point Strategies

A Call To Action
Ellen Hershkin, Hadassah National President

Legislator Keynote The Honorable Raul Ruiz, MD representing the 36th District of California

Women’s Health Today: Next Steps for Policy & Advocacy  
Moderated by:
Susan Wood, Director, Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health Services at George Washington University; former Director, FDA Office of Women's Health
Speakers:
Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health, National Women’s Law Center
Mary McGowan, CEO, WomenHeart
Jessi Leigh Swenson, Senior Policy Counsel for Reproductive Health Programs, National Partnership for Women & Families
Testimonial:
Lynne T. Braun, Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioner

Organized by WomenHeart and National Partnership for Women & Families
Sponsored by American Heart Association

Women’s Health For All Ages: New Trends & Perspectives
A conversation about women’s health at all ages from the perspective of women leaders working in government, health care, nonprofit and advocacy organizations

Moderated by:
Gay Johnson, CEO, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
Speakers:
Mary Worstell, Senior Advisor to Director, HHS Office of Women’s Health

  • Perspective on the status of women’s health for all ages, with a strong focus on aging and women over 50. Discussion will incorporate aging as a women’s issue, the financial health of women, and economic vulnerability of aging women.

Jill Lesser, WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s

  • Perspective on women’s brain health, the current landscape of dementia and women, the complexities of the role that caregiving plays on women’s lives and their health. A personal story of women’s health experience: caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s

Athena Cross-Edge, Board Member of Black Women’s Health Imperative

  • Perspective on the needs, challenges, and successes of black women’s health and importance of increasing accessibility of public health care resources

Susan Hoffstetter, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

  • Perspective on the role of nurse care practitioners, how women’s relationship to health changes with age – including heart health, brain health, and the risks of caregiving. Highlight major findings of a joint survey conducted by Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health and WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s.

Lynn Yeakel, Director of the Drexel University College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership

  • Perspective on the importance of women as practitioners and health care leaders. What does the future hold for women’s health? Presenting crucial steps to achieving economic, political, and social equality by the year 2020.

Organized by National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health and WomenAgainstAlzheimer's

Lunch by Wolfgang Puck

A Patient Story
Testimonial by Malia Litman, lawyer, nurse, stem cell activist and MS patient at the Hadassah Medical Organization

Women’s Health: Past, Present, and Future
Keynote remarks by Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, MD, First Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health; Former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General; Senior Fellow, New America; Clinical Professor, Tufts and Georgetown Schools of Medicine

Heart to Heart
One on one with Nanette Wenger, MD, women's health pioneer and renowned cardiologist, and CNN political commentator Maria Cardona
Sponsored by WomenHeart

Legislator Keynote
The Honorable Brenda Lawrence, representing the 14th District of Michigan
The Honorable Joyce Beatty, representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Closing
Janice Weinman
, CEO/Executive Director, Hadassah

ABOUT HADASSAH:

Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With nearly 300,000 members, Associates and supporters, HWZOA brings women together to effect change and advocate on such critical issues as ensuring the security of Israel, combating antisemitism and promoting women’s health. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization's (HMO) two hospitals in Jerusalem, HWZOA helps support exemplary patient care for over a million people every year and HMO’s world-renowned medical research. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace.” Additionally, HWZOA supports several Youth Aliyah villages that set at-risk children in Israel on the path to a successful future. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org or follow Hadassah on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.