Online Program

Building a state-based coalition to address women's health care needs after Massachusetts health care reform: Who, why, how, when, what, and lessons learned

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Rose MacKenzie, JD, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Amanda Dennis, DrPH, MBE, Ibis Reproductive Health, Cambridge, MA
Karen Edlund, Family Planning Program, MA Dept. of Public Health, Boston, MA
Therese Fitzgerald, PhD, MSW, Women's Health Policy & Advocacy Program, Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
Laura Cohen, Women's Health Policy & Advocacy Program, Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
Background In 2006, Massachusetts passed sweeping health care reform legislation, leading to an expansion of the number of residents with insurance. Despite the overwhelming success of reform, a number of women's and girls' health care needs remain overlooked and unaddressed.

Methods We aimed to build and sustain a broad-based coalition to ensure that women's and girl's health is proactively considered and visibly integrated in health care and systems reform in Massachusetts.

Results After launching with four organizational coalition members, the current coalition is rapidly growing and now consists of 9 organizations that represent direct service providers, advocates, researchers, policymakers, and others. The coalition, now in its second year of running, aims to identify research, policy, and advocacy strategies that effectively address identified barriers women and girls face in accessing critical health services, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health services.

In this presentation, we plan to share the methods, progress, selected aims and priority areas, rationale behind the selected aim and priority areas, and the next steps for the coalition, as well as the valuable lessons learned through the inauguration of the coalition, selection of coalition members, and the development of operating principles, priority areas, and priority actions.

Conclusion National and state health care reforms provide a number of opportunities to improve health outcomes and access for women and girls. The Massachusetts's coalition experience with building such a coalition may prove invaluable for stakeholders working on reform efforts in other states and at the federal level.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the successes and the challenges of a coalition working to address women’s health care needs after Massachusetts health care reform. Discuss the need for and brainstorm strategies for developing their own state-level coalition, based on the experiences of the Massachusetts coalition.

Keyword(s): Abortion, Health Care Reform

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the leader of this coalition for a year and currently manage the coalition's work. Through that work as well as my position at NARAL I have worked on reproductive health and health reform being the leading advocate for women's health in state reform and state implementation of federal reforms for over two years.
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.