Physicians and Students Visit with Legislatures at the First Annual Advocacy Day
A group of National AMWA Students joined AMWA physicians and PRCH (Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health) in a co-sponsored advocacy day on Capitol Hill from June 11-12, 2009. Over 30 physicians and four medical students took part in the first annual “Conversations on the Hill” Advocacy Day.
From the moment the group arrived in Washington, DC, the education and empowerment began as the participants were taught the tools and skills necessary to meet and speak confidently with congressmen and women about health reform. Divided into regions, the groups were briefed on the positions of the legislators and roll-played with PRCH staff to prepare for an exciting day on Capitol Hill. The next morning, the AMWA and PRCH group walked to the Hill to advocate for quality, accessible health care for all and for the inclusion of reproductive healthcare in the upcoming health legislation.
Additionally, the AMWA and PRCH members advocated for a public plan, the inclusion of comprehensive reproductive health services in the health reform bill, and the maintenance of Medicaid and Title 10 funding. At the conclusion of the day the group had met with a total of 47 legislative offices, specifically members of the five committees in the House and Senate responsible for drafting the upcoming health care reform bill.
Only two days prior to the visit, the Senate had dropped one health reform bill and the House was expected to draft and drop bills the following week. “The event was very exciting because we were able to not only witness but were actively a part of shaping the upcoming health reform!” said Siatta Dunbar, AMWA Student Advocacy Co-Chairperson. She added, “These are defining moments in history, when real change and reform are possible. We will continue to advocate for a working health care system that protects the health of our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, friends, and patients!”
For more information on the First Annual Advocacy Day, please contact AMWA Student Advocacy Co-Chairs Dani Barnes and Siatta Dunbar at AMWAStudentAdvocacy@Gmail.com.
About American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
The American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) is an organization of women physicians, medical students and other persons dedicated to serving as the unique voice for women's health and the advancement of women in medicine. The organization was founded by Dr. Bertha VanHoosen in 1915 in Chicago, at a time when women physicians were an under-represented minority. As women in medicine increase in numbers, new problems and issues arise that were not anticipated. AMWA has been addressing these issues for 93 years. AMWA functions at the local, national and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women’s health by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise, mentoring and through building strategic alliances. The American Women’s Hospital Service (AWHS), a program within AMWA, has agreed to cover the salary of the Engeye Clinic’s nurse on an ongoing basis, which translates to $170.00 a month. The AMWA is located at: 100 North 20th Street, 4th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103. The phone number is: 215-320-3716 and the website is: http://www.amwa-doc.org/