Fourteen members of the American Medical Women’s Association Board of Directors and Leaders arrived in Washington, DC, one day ahead of their Interim Board Meeting to advocate for improved healthcare.
These AMWA leaders appreciated the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Klein, Director of the White House Gender Policy Council; Lina Violin, Director for Health Policy, White House Gender Policy Council; and Gabriela Cristobal, Senior Advisor, White House Office of Public Engagement to discuss how we might address workforce opportunities for women physicians and to advance our healthcare agenda with a focus on long neglected conditions affecting the health of women.
The White House Gender Policy Council (GPC), formed by Executive Order, was established by President Biden “to advance gender equity and equality in both domestic and foreign policy development and implementation. The GPC covers a range of issues–including economic security, health, gender-based violence and education–with a focus on gender equity and equality.”
We discussed several topics of mutual concern:
Reproductive Health Care
Since the Dobbs decision, reproductive health justice has become a leading concern for the Administration, and both the President and Vice President have been doing everything within their power to help ensure that practitioners can provide and patients can access reproductive care as necessary healthcare. AMWA shared information about the work of the Reproductive Health Coalition (co-founded by AMWA and Doctors for America) as a means to raise the collective voice of health practitioners in this space.
Advancing Women’s Health
The White House Directors acknowledged that greater resources are needed to address the unmet needs in women’s health – in biomedical research, clinical care, and the impact of gender-based stereotypes.
The Administration is committed to advancing research on a range of women’s health issues that until now have received insufficient attention ranging from cardiovascular disease to menopause. AMWA leaders also emphasized the importance of addressing sex and gender differences to assure the best health outcomes. Gun Violence: AMWA thanked the Administration for their actions on addressing gun violence and shared information about our report submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services outlining three important strategies to address the urgent public health crisis of gun violence as the number one cause of death in U.S. children.
In response to AMWA’s focus on gender equity for women physicians, the Gender Policy Council indicated their commitment to furthering economic security with a focus on pay equity, to be met through provisions of the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. We also were pleased to learn that another area of focus is gender-based violence, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence, also a focus of advocacy and education for AMWA.
AMWA leaders were also able to share information about our ongoing work in COVID-19 vaccination and treatment, preventive and lifestyle medicine, treatment of obesity as a chronic disease, and much more. We also highlighted new areas of interest, including the growing use of artificial intelligence in healthcare.
AMWA Visits Senate Office to Advocate for Women’s Health
AMWA leaders also met with health advisors and legislative aides for our respective senators to advocate for healthcare issues and to learn how we might support legislation that will further those healthcare priorities.