Rep. Raul Ruiz Joins Hadassah To Advocate for Women's Health Equity on May 16 in Washington

Friday, May 25 2018

Congressman Raul Ruiz, MD CA-36

Contact: Renee Young
Hadassah National Public Relations

Rep. Raul Ruiz, 28-Member Coalition, and Hundreds of Women Call for Gender Health Equity at Hadassah’s Second Women’s Health Empowerment Summit

May 18, 2018 - Washington, DC Yesterday, 300 women gathered at the Second Annual Women’s Health Empowerment Summit in Washington — an event convened by Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), in conjunction with the 28-member Coalition for Women’s Health Equity during National Women’s Health Week. A full recording of the event is available HERE.

Legislative keynote speaker and physician Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36) shared examples of the many healthcare disparities he’s observed as a physician, male ally, and lawmaker. “We lack public health outreach, preventative services that could screen for illnesses that could catch them early on that could save their lives … We also lack enough women in our healthcare profession and in healthcare studies so that we can truly understand the way different illnesses present between women and men,” stated Rep. Ruiz. He further announced plans to address the gender health gap, stating “I’m working on a health equity bill with all of you to make sure no woman falls through the cracks and they get the care they need.”

Keynote speaker Fatima Goss Graves, President & CEO of the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) spoke about how the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund — which NWLC administers — is fighting for gender health equity in the courts. “What we rarely discuss are the many ways patients themselves experience harassment…Just know that women are and have been saying #MeToo as patients as well,” she noted. “In this moment, we will win and we will heal.”

Hadassah National President Ellen Hershkin opened the event by proclaiming, “Women are refusing to stay silent about misdiagnoses, the disproportionate burden of caregiving responsibilities, and the lasting scars of harassment and assault.” Hershkin affirmed, “Women’s health doesn’t advance itself — we have to fight to advance it.”

Hadassah Executive Director/CEO Janice Weinman similarly observed, “We've also seen how women's health equity intersects with many aspects of our lives.” Weinman outlined the various policies and regulations that are moving the dial on women’s health, noting, “We will continue to fight for these and other policies that improve women's health at every stage of their lives. We will make 2018 a year of success and progress for women everywhere.

The Summit is a cornerstone of the Coalition for Women’s Health Equity, which consists of WomenAgainstAlzheimer's, Planned Parenthood, and more. The coalition aims to advance the fight for women’s health equity through amplifying women's voices, uniting policymakers and leaders in women’s health, and mobilizing them to action. The Summit Planning Committee consisted of Hadassah; American Heart Association; HealthyWomen; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health; WomenAgainstAlzheimer's and WomenHeart.

About the Coalition for Women’s Health Equity The Coalition for Women's Health Equity is a broad coalition of women's, health, and faith organizations working together to promote policies to address inequities in quality of care, funding and support, and gaps in women’s health awareness. The 28-member Coalition, which has nearly doubled in size since its 2016 launch, was convened by Hadassah to create a well-coordinated and unified force to advocate for women’s health equity. For more information and a full list of members of the Coalition, please visit:

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA) is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With 330,000 members, associates and supporters Hadassah brings Jewish women together to effect change and advocate on critical issues such as medical care and research and women's empowerment. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization's two hospitals, the world-renowned trauma center and the leading research facility in Jerusalem, Hadassah supports the delivery of exemplary patient care to over a million people every year. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace” through equality in medical treatment. For more information, visit

The Women's Health Empowerment Summit’s bipartisan Honorary Host Committee includes:
US Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA); US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY); US Senator Ed Markey (MA); US Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK); US Senator Patty Murray (WA); US Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA); US Representative Joyce Beatty (OH-3); US Representative Don Beyer (VA-8); US Representative Kenneth Buck (CO-4); US Representative David N. Cicilline (RI-1); US Representative Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5); US Representative Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11); US Representative Jim Cooper (TN-5); US Representative Lou Correa (CA-46); US Representative Elijah Cummings (MD-7); US Representative Suzan DelBene (WA-1); US Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12); US Representative Lloyd Doggett (TX-35); US Representative Lois Frankel (FL-21); US Representative Andy Harris (MD-1); US Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-7); US Representative Joe Kennedy (MA-4); US Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-6); US Representative Ann Kuster (NH-2); US Representative Brenda Lawrence (MI-14); US Representative Alan Lowenthal (CA-47); US Representative Carolyn Maloney (NY-12); US Representative Jim McGovern (MA-2); US Representative Grace Meng (NY-6); US Representative Seth Moulton (MA-6); US Representative Stephanie Murphy (FL-7); US Representative Donald Norcross (NJ-1); US Representative Scott Peters (CA-52); US Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-1); US Representative Raul Ruiz (CA-36); US Representative Linda Sanchez (CA-38); US Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-9); US Representative Adam Schiff (CA-28); US Representative Dina Titus (NV-1)

Summit Planning Committee: Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America; American Heart Association; HealthyWomen; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health; WomenAgainstAlzheimer's and WomenHeart.

Program Overview

SUMMIT EMCEE: Samantha Abrams, Executive Director, March on Washington Film Festival

Keynote Speaker: Fatima Goss Graves, President & CEO, National Women's Law Center

Ellen Hershkin, Hadassah National President

Policy Primer
Dr. Janice Weinman, CEO/Executive Director, Hadassah

Legislator Keynote
The Honorable Raul Ruiz, M.D.,
U.S. Representative (CA-36)

Caregiving Across the Lifespan: The Disparate Impact of Caregiving on Women and Opportunities for Change*
Moderator: Jill Lesser, President, WomenAgainstAlzheimer's

Dr. Tamilyn Bakas, Professor and Jane E. Procter Endowed Chair at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing
Dr. Yanira Cruz, President and CEO, National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA)
Diana Drake, Chair Elect, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health (NPWH)
Jane Heller, New York Times best selling author
*Sponsored by American Heart Association and WomenAgainstAlzheimer's

Lunch by Potomac 18

Fireside Chat
Gender and Mental Health: How Bias Affects Women's Mental Health and Treatment*
A conversation with Mary Giliberti, CEO, National Alliance on Mental Illness and Dr. Jennifer Payne, Director, Women's Mood Disorders Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
*Sponsored by The Shane Foundation

Women & Clinical Trials: Past, Present and Future
Moderator: Fran Hawthorne, Award-winning author and journalist
Dr. Neelum Aggarwal, Co-leader, Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center Clincial Core; Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush University Medical Center
Dr. Monica Mallampalli, Scientific Consultant, HealthyWomen
Zikria Syed, Co-Founder and CEO, VitalTrax
Dr. Jamie Holloway, Clinical Research Advocate, Science 37

Kathryn Fox, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Patient Advocate
Starr Mirza, Heart Disease Patient Advocate
Dr. Donna Zfat-Zwas, Director of the Hadassah Medical Center's Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Center for Women

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