204925 Women speak out for health care and healthy communities: Giving voice to health disparities

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:30 AM

Byllye Avery , Avery Institute for Social Change, Provincetown, MA
Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need (RWV) is a national collaboration working to engage a broad array of reproductive health and justice advocates in local, state and national health reform discussions. A central strategy of RWV is to shine a spotlight on the voices of women who have struggled to get the health care that they and their families need, and to make the connection between these experiences and policy solutions. RWV is conducting a Speak Out initiative that features women telling personal stories and engaging with a panel of policy respondents who can identify themes among the stories and discuss the various policy solutions to the health care problems identified. The speak outs serve to mobilize women in support of comprehensive health care reform efforts; expand policymakers' and health reform advocates' understanding of women's broad concerns about the current health care system; and raise public awareness of women's commitment to improving US health care. Using the tried and true tools of the women's health movement, supplemented by 21st century technology and the multiplier effects it makes possible, RWV is ensuring that women's health care needs will be addressed within the effort to establish quality, affordable health care for all. The Avery Institute for Social Change, one of the founding RWV coordinators, plays a special role in the speak out initiative, giving voice to those who experience the impact health disparities, particularly in communities of color and promoting public policies that will create healthy communities of color.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how the speakout initiative conducted by Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need advanced the goal of quality, affordable health care for all that meets the needs of women; and 2. Discuss the specific needs within health care reform of those who experience the impact health disparities, particularly communities of color.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the founder of the National Black Women's Health Project and have been a health care activist for over 27 years, focusing on women's needs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.