May 2024 Advocacy in Action

In recent months, AWHP has engaged in extensive activities that promote policies focused on uplifting women’s preventive health — including reaching out directly to lawmakers, endorsing legislation, supporting stakeholder letters, and attending key events. Read on to learn more about our recent advocacy work.

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Supporting Women’s Preventive Health Through Key Policy Pathways 

In further response to the launch of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, AWHP and other groups with a vested interest in women’s health submitted consensus recommendations to support continued dedicated research and development of technologies and procedures to address women’s health conditions. These recommendations include: empowering women’s engagement in health research through amplifying their voices; increasing understanding of women’s health and existing care gaps that impact the survival, well-being, and quality of life for women; increasing investment in women’s health research to include increased diversity, consistent study funding, and improved technology/procedure payment; and improving the research environment for women’s health technologies. 

In April, AWHP submitted a statement of support for the Uterine Fibroids Intervention and Gynecological Health Treatment (UFIGHT) Act, which promotes early detection of uterine fibroids, including by authorizing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award state-level grants for carrying out programs that increase early detection and intervention. 

Finally, AWHP supported a letter from the HPV Cancers Alliance to President Biden’s White House Cancer Moonshot Initiative encouraging action to attain 90% vaccination against HPV, which would be a tremendous preventive tool in the fight against cervical cancer. 

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Supporting Coverage for Comprehensive Obesity Care 

In February, AWHP, in partnership with 17 prominent women’s health and patient advocacy organizations, launched the EveryBODY Covered campaign, a first-of-its-kind initiative focused on mobilizing women to advocate with employers, insurers, and elected officials for coverage of evidence-based obesity care and treatment. 

As part of AWHP’s broader advocacy around obesity care, the Alliance sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Finance expressing its support for the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act, which would ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to the full scope of obesity care, including medications. 

AWHP has also engaged in several state-level policy opportunities pertaining to support for comprehensive care, including supporting the Colorado Diabetes Prevention & Obesity Treatment Act, urging Rhode Island to consider opportunities to expand access to obesity care coverage in reviewing its Medicaid budget, requesting a study committee on obesity and its impacts in Indiana, and commenting on the new Virginia state budget bill’s language on obesity medications for Medicaid beneficiaries. 

Finally, AWHP has supported stakeholder efforts to expand access to comprehensive obesity care by signing on to a letter from the Partnership to Advance Cardiovascular Health to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting that they expand coverage of obesity medications, and a letter from the American Security Project to the Department of Defense asking it to review its obesity identification and treatment guidelines and modify policies that prevent military service members from accessing vital medical care. 

Learn more about AWHP’s obesity advocacy and the new EveryBODY Covered campaign at everybodycovered.org

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Attending Key Events 

AWHP CEO Millicent Gorham frequently represents the organization — and advocates for women’s preventive health — by attending key stakeholder events. In March, Millicent attended the White House Women’s History Month Reception, where she witnessed the signing of an Executive Order expanding women’s health research as part of the new White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research. AWHP hopes this critical effort will improve the well-being of women nationwide and spark continued innovation. 

Millicent also participated in a Women’s History Month panel hosted by the National Minority Quality Forum, moderated a panel hosted by the American Medical Women’s Association on obesity and women’s health, moderated a panel at the National Minority Quality Forum’s Annual Summit on cardiovascular disease in Black and Brown communities, and attended the Amgen Health Summit. She looks forward to continuing her presence at key events and building relationships with decision-makers and stakeholders who are equally committed to advancing women’s health equity.

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