September 24, 2015
For Immediate Release
Hadassah Members Nationwide Meet With Members of Congress and Push for Legislative Action on Gender Equity in Medical Research
(New York, NY) – Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., has been advocating for its policy priorities - especially Hadassah’s Gender Equity in Medical Research (GEM) Initiative - in congressional district offices from Southern California to Fargo, North Dakota to New York City. Hadassah was encouraged by last week’s passage of Senate Resolution 242, sponsored by all 20 female senators, urging action on gender disparities in medical research.
“With a unique, grassroots perspective, Hadassah members are committed to community service and empowerment,” said Hadassah National President, Marcie Natan. “We have members in every congressional district in America, and we intend to ensure that our relationships are strong and our voices are heard with our representatives in Washington.”
Since Hadassah’s Day in the District launched this spring, the program has trained and mobilized hundreds of women across the country. Day in the District prepares Hadassah’s over 330,000 members, Associates, and supporters to meet directly with their representatives and discuss the issues that matter most, including gender equity in medical research, women’s preventive health and a robust U.S.-Israel relationship.
“Communicating with the people I represent helps inform the decisions I make every day,” said Representative Ami Bera (sponsor of the Women’s Preventive Health Awareness Campaign) in a personal message to Hadassah advocates to kick off the Day in the District program. “I applaud Hadassah for providing this opportunity for constituents to meet with Members of Congress and make their voices heard.”
Since its inception, Hadassah advocates have already visited 10 legislators in their congressional offices from six states, including Senators Richard Blumenthal and Robert Menendez, and Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Rosa DeLauro and Jim McGovern, among others. Dozens of additional meetings are currently being scheduled for the coming months. “These recent in-district visits are just the beginning of our Day in the District program, with many more opportunities for advocacy to come,” said Natan.
“Hadassah is like a well-oiled machine. You know how to get things done,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro, ranking member on the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, during her meeting with Hadassah advocates in August. “You take an issue, research it, and form a plan to take care of it, mobilize your thousands of members across the country and get it done.”
Hadassah’s GEM initiative addresses the limitations of medical research, diagnostic tools, and treatments frequently based only on male physiology – leading to insufficient knowledge around diagnoses, as well as the effects of drugs and therapies on women. Research dedicated to the study of women's health is essential to help save lives and reshape the healthcare system to become more responsive to the health and needs of both genders.
Hadassah is a proud endorser of the Research for All Act and other policy initiatives to ensure that medical research benefits women and men equally. “The Senate’s attention to gender-biased medical research shows that there is a movement underway to improve women’s health, and that our advocacy is working,” said Natan.
Hadassah has a tradition of policy and advocacy work in women’s health, leading targeted and effective campaigns on stem cell research and genetic information non-discrimination. Hadassah Medical Organization’s medical expertise has led the way on women’s health research for decades, including the areas of gender-balanced medical research and access to basic, preventive care. For more information on Hadassah’s advocacy efforts, please visit: www.hadassah.org/advocate.