June 2023 Advocacy in Action

June 27, 2023

The Alliance for Women’s Health & Prevention (AWHP) exists at the intersection of women’s health and public policy. Our unyielding and persistent focus is advancing policy that drives equitable access and prevents the burden and progression of disease for all women and girls. In June, AWHP mobilized around the topics of obesity, HPV cancer prevention, and access to laboratory testing.  

AWHP Comments on USPSTF’s Draft Research Plan on Weight Loss to Prevent Obesity-Related Morbidity and Mortality in Adults 

As an organization focused on preventive health policy, AWHP believes it is important to address obesity using equitable and holistic tactics and measures. We are therefore encouraged by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) prioritization of weight loss to prevent obesity-related morbidity and mortality in adults. 

In our comments, we underscored the importance of considering the harms associated with unaddressed obesity and examining the issue through the lens of health equity. Prevailing myths and misconceptions about obesity are that obesity is a lifestyle choice or that those with obesity have a lack of willpower. Obesity is a complex and chronic disease expected to impact close to half of the U.S. population by 2030. It is also the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Further, obesity and excess body weight are risk factors for nine of the nation’s top ten leading causes of death. 

We called on the Task Force to consider examining the full continuum of obesity care, including behavioral therapy, medical nutrition therapy, pharmacology, and the different types of surgical interventions, as it conducts research.  

Read the full letter here.  


HPV Vaccination: Supporting the 2023 HPV Vaccine Cancer Moonshot 

AWHP joined other leading organizations in endorsing a letter calling on President Biden to take concrete action to realize the full benefit of cancer prevention through HPV vaccination. HPV vaccination is an important milestone in HPV-caused cancer prevention. Analysis from the CDC has demonstrated that HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90% of HPV-caused cancers, which correlates to a reduction of 33,000 cases each year. AWHP is prepared to work with the Biden Administration and other relevant stakeholders to accomplish the White House’s goal of reducing the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years. We are grateful that the Moonshot prioritizes cancer prevention and specifically references the importance of HPV vaccination in that effort. We are urging the administration to take concrete action to realize the full benefit of cancer prevention through vaccination. 

Read the full letter here.  


Laboratory Testing: Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA) 

AWHP joined 37 leading advocacy organizations, including groups that represent patients with common and chronic conditions who depend on laboratory testing to manage their health, in urging Senate and House leaders to protect access to clinical laboratory services by enacting the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act this year. 

Clinical diagnostic tests play a critical role in preventive health care by informing 70 percent of the medical decisions doctors and other health care providers make to care for patients. In 2020, care for Medicare beneficiaries was supported by more than 17 million hemoglobin tests that assessed diabetes risk, 28 million tests that diagnosed and monitored heart disease, and 90,000 tests that diagnosed leukemia and hereditary breast and colon cancer. A strong, national laboratory infrastructure is critical to ensuring that testing can be rapidly developed and made widely available when pathogens of concern are identified. Simply put, clinical laboratories strive to be prepared for whatever the next infectious disease outbreak may be and, in times of emergency, are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. 

Read the full letter here

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