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July 2023 Volume 14
Last year, Beyond the Paper Gown sponsored a webinar titled "Putting Women’s Health on the Ballot," where we emphasized the immense influence of policy and legislation on the well-being of women. We highlighted how political choices can shape the terrain of women's health research funding, inclusion in clinical studies, insurance mandates for preventive services, contraception, and postpartum care, and the fundamental freedom of reproductive health options and beyond.
Another challenge that has gained considerable attention is the censorship of women's health information. A dedicated group, the Center for Intimacy Justice, led by Jackie Rotman, has been making strides in tackling this issue. Their efforts prompted Senate members to draft a letter to Meta, spotlighting the biased practice of banning ads and information about women's health while similar content related to men's health gets the green light. This censorship hampers women's access to vital health data and hinders innovation and market accessibility by preventing companies from effectively advertising their products. Almost all of the innovators I've interviewed have expressed their frustration about this social media censorship. Even some of our own posts have been mysteriously rejected!
Women's health research is also an area that is greatly influenced by policy decisions. Funding decisions made by Congress can dictate the direction and depth of the research carried out. Carolee Lee's Women's Health Access Matters (WHAM) conducted insightful research, illustrating how even modest investments in key health areas for women can yield significant returns in health and productivity. Another organization pushing for more inclusion and funding in women's health research is the Society of Women's Health Research, headed by Kathyrn Schubert. These women are leading the charge in advocating for women's health; their drive is truly inspirational.
The good news is - YOU have the power to make a difference! Want to join the fight against social media censorship of women's health information? Sign the petition and make your voice heard. Want to advocate for more funding for women's health research? Reach out to your elected officials, drop them a letter or an email. And let's not forget the most powerful tool we all have—our vote. For more inspiration on how to shape policy to improve our health, check out our conversation with Liz Powell, CEO of G2G Consulting. Our resource page provides additional ways to actively participate in policy making.
Earlier this month, we celebrated Independence Day. There's no better way to honor our freedom than by using it to better our health and well-being. By raising our collective voice, we can realize a future where women's health information is freely accessible, research is supported, and policies promote optimal health.
I look forward to continuing to share ways we can turn this vision into a reality!
Take good care,
Mitzi Mitzi Krockover, MD
Do you ever wonder about what you don't see, especially with respect to women's health? Our guest today, Jackie Rotman, Founder and CEO of the Center for Intimacy Justice, has taken this issue on along with the social media giants that control what we see -– or don't see. The Center for Intimacy Justice is a social change organization committed to more significant equity and well-being in people's intimate lives. The Center aims to allow more information and expression about women's sexual health and wellness.
Are you ready to dive into the world of policy and legislation surrounding women’s health care and learn how you can make a difference? It can feel overwhelming to know where to start when it comes to advocating for causes that are important to you. Liz Powell, ESQ., MPH, is the Founder and President of G2G Consulting and a former legislative director on Capitol Hill. During this episode, she shares her experience raising government funding and crafting policy changes for health care issues. She also offers our listeners insight into the gaps in women’s research, barriers to innovation and tips on advocating for change.
Did you know that men and women may have different symptoms when they have a heart attack and that could impact on the treatment we get? Kathryn Schubert, CEO & President of The Society of Women’s Health Research joins us to talk about the importance of women’s health research. We discuss why inclusion in clinical trials is important and how biological sex, even at the cellular level gives us clues to disease, which can impact diagnosis and treatment. We’ll also talk about how you can advocate for increased funding and investment on women’s health research to improve health for everyone.
If you've gone to the doctor and been frustrated by a lack of options, then you've probably experienced the effects of a lack of research on women's health and the impact of certain diseases on women. Unfortunately, it wasn't until 1993 that a law was passed to ensure the inclusion of women and other underrepresented groups in health research. Many of us see this as an essential health equity issue. But you may be surprised to learn that it also affects our country's economy, impacting all of us, regardless of biological sex or gender. Our guest, Carolee Lee, Founder, Women's Health Access Matters, created this organization dedicated to understanding the financial impact of a lack of funding for women's health research and developing solutions to address this critical issue. Don't miss this inspiring conversation on the importance of women's health research and the economic impact of closing the gender health gap.
Putting Women’s Health on the Ballot
On October 26th, 2022, we hosted a webinar, “Putting Women’s Health on the Ballot”, where 11 experts joined me in 4 separate panels to discuss the various ways that policy impacts on women’s health. You can listen to these 4 panels by clicking the titles noted below or you can access the webinar in it's entirety via the webinar button.
HERhealthEQ is launching a campaign to showcase life-saving stories of women benefiting from early cancer detection!
Share your story about cervical or breast cancer screening to spread the word about the importance of medical equipment access. You can send in a video telling your story or a short paragraph to be read aloud by the HERhealthEQ team. These can be made anonymous.
To share your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "#MyScreeningStory"
Senators Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Mazie Hirono, Peter Welch & Rep. Schiff wrote a public letter in support of a legal complaint that the Center for Intimacy Justice filed asking the Federal Trade Commission to act to address Meta’s censorship of women's health ads and information primarily focused on sexual and reproductive health.
You can support the effort to #StopCensoringSexualHealth by signing the petition.
Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Chickpeas
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil. Add the rinsed quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Once done, fluff it with a fork and let it cool.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and chopped cilantro or parsley.
3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.
4. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and gently toss until all the ingredients are well coated.
5. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
6. Serve the quinoa salad immediately or refrigerate it for a while to let the flavors meld together before serving.
Why is this recipe menopause-friendly?
- **Quinoa:** It's a whole grain that provides fiber, protein, and essential nutrients like magnesium and iron, which can be beneficial during menopause.
- **Chickpeas:** Rich in plant-based protein and fiber, they can help stabilize blood sugar levels and manage weight, which may be important during menopause.
- **Avocado:** A source of healthy fats and vitamin E, which can support skin health and may help with hormonal balance.
- **Tomatoes and Cucumber:** Low in calories, high in water content, and rich in vitamins and minerals, they help with hydration and provide essential nutrients.
- **Red Onion and Garlic:** Provide flavor and some sulfur-containing compounds that may offer health benefits during menopause.
- **Olive Oil:** Contains monounsaturated fats that support heart health and provide anti-inflammatory properties.
- **Lemon Juice:** A good source of vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption and supports the immune system.
This quinoa salad is not only nutritious but also easy to prepare and can be stored in the refrigerator, making it a convenient option for busy days. Remember, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and staying hydrated are essential components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle during menopause.
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"I'm interested in women's health because I'm a woman. I'd be a darn fool not to be on my own side."
– Maya Angelou