March 8, 2010 is a historic day for women in America. Not only is March 8 International Women’s Day, it is the day the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) announced its support of the principles laid forth in President Barack Obama’s Healthcare Reform Plan.
AMWA is “The Vision and Voice of Women in Medicine.” As the nation’s oldest multi-specialty organization for women in medicine, AMWA was founded in 1915, at a time when the percent of women physicians declined from 10% in the late 1800's to 6% in 1915. For the next nearly 60 years, the percent of women medical graduates remained the same. It was not until passage of Title IX of the 1972 Civil Rights Act that women began to make huge strides towards parity. From that point on, from 1969 to 2008, the percent of women in medical school increased from 6% to 48.8% and the percent of women in the medical profession increased from 7.6% to 28.9%.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
The American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) is "The Vision and Voice of Women in Medicine."
Founded nearly a century ago, AMWA is the nation's oldest women's multi-specialty organization dedicated to advancing the status of women's health and the advancement of women in medicine. We believe in equality and equal opportunity so women can achieve their full professional and personal potential. We believe in equal opportunity in education, employment and access to health services to include women's wellness and a woman's right to choose.
Mr. President, we write today to applaud your visionary leadership to create and sustain a Healthier America.
We support the principles you laid forth in the Bicameral Health Care Summit of February 25, 2010, and support your efforts to advance legislative language that will:
1. expand access to high-quality, client-centered services for at least 31 million more uninsured,
2. ensure that clients are not discriminated against based on gender, pre-existing condition, income, race and ethnicity,
3. offer a full range of women's wellness services, and protect a woman's right to choose,
4. expand training opportunities in women's wellness, reproductive health, and domestic violence, to advance women's equality,
5. provide for Medicare, and
6. protect our most vulnerable, by ensuring that every state has a health care safety net (Medicaid and CHIP).
Mr. President, this Women's History Month, AMWA is proud to stand with you, to advance the goals of your Health Reform Proposal, and get Health Reform signed into law. Our patients, their families, and the women, men and children of America, deserve no less. The time for Health Reform is now!
Mr. President, if there is anything we can do to help you pass and implement Health Reform, know you can call on AMWA. Nothing would be more exciting than to celebrate the successful passage of Health Reform at AMWA's 95th Anniversary Gala in Washington, DC on March 27, 2010. We truly hope that you, First Lady Michelle Obama, and DHHS Secretary Sebelius can join us.
For America's Health,
Beatrice Desper, MD
2009-2010 AMWA President
Eliza Lo Chin, MD, MPH
Incoming 2010-2011 AMWA President