Reflecting On AWHP’s First Leadership Meeting & The Path Ahead

By: Millicent Gorham

The Alliance for Women’s Health & Prevention (AWHP) recently hosted our first in-person Leadership Meeting with members of our Board, Advisory Council, and Corporate Roundtable. Over the course of two days, we were thrilled to connect with our invaluable partners who have invested their valuable time, expertise, and resources into ensuring that all women and girls have access to affordable, high-quality preventive healthcare services.

Our discussions covered several critical and timely topics important to women’s health. As AWHP continues to expand our efforts throughout 2024, we want to share key takeaways from these discussions:

Screening is critical for prevention

So many diseases, including cancer, disproportionately impact the lives of women. While our policy pillars emphasize the importance of early detection and diagnosis, our Leadership Meeting discussions have reinvigorated AWHP’s drive to ensure that all women are educated on the importance of screening, have access to the tests they need, and trust in their validity. With new screening methods on the horizon, it is more important now than ever to make sure women are aware of and can access preventive screening options.

Vaccine uptake & coverage

Leadership Meeting attendees also discussed the importance of addressing barriers to vaccine uptake and hesitancy through policies that seek to bolster health equity. Our discussions highlighted the need for a generational approach to vaccines, spanning pediatric to geriatric patients. In addition, we addressed the potential that clearer guidance​ surrounding vaccine recommendations and seasonality has the potential to increase vaccination rates. AWHP will continue to engage on vaccine advocacy and policy issues and is exploring potential collaborations with non-healthcare entities, such as influencers and women’s sports teams.

Obesity care coverage

At the start of this year, AWHP successfully launched the EveryBODY Covered campaign, a first-of-its-kind obesity care campaign aiming to activate women to advocate for comprehensive obesity care coverage. We are grateful to have Advisory Council members at the Obesity Action Coalition and American Diabetes Association who have been working in this space for years and have helped shape these efforts. As we continue to strengthen this campaign’s efforts, our discussions highlighted additional opportunities that acknowledge the impact of obesity’s co-morbidities, including mental health, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Women’s mental health

Our conversation also addressed the importance of advocating for women’s mental health across the lifespan. AWHP is currently working with HealthyWomen to launch an initiative focused on women’s mental health throughout various ages and stages. AWHP leadership acknowledged the importance of this focus throughout our discussions and additional opportunities we can pursue specific to prevention, screening, and brain health.

Reaching young women navigating their preventive health care for the first time

Lastly, Leadership Meeting attendees highlighted the need to reach young women with preventive health messaging and education. As young women navigate the healthcare system for the first time, often alone on college campuses, many do not have the tools needed to prioritize their preventive health. AWHP will consider future initiatives and activities that focus on this important population.

AWHP remains grateful for this critical opportunity to connect in-person with our Board, Advisory Council, and Corporate Roundtable members. We appreciate the expertise every attendee brought to these discussions, from topics ranging from rural health and vaccine policy to health equity and cardiac care. Our mission is only as strong as our partnerships with one another. We sincerely look forward to convening with this dynamic group of partners again soon.

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