Today, Americans will gather around BBQ pits, attend parades, and watch fireworks in celebration of Independence Day. Here at DW, we want to do a little celebrating of our own. We take this opportunity to honor a few women who have been disrupting the world of health care this year. Happy Fourth of July!
The pink sneakers that sparked a revolution. Senator Wendy Davis stood for eleven straight hours in the Texas capitol last week to filibuster a bill aimed at reducing access to abortion services. During the filibuster, supporters of Sen. Davis’ efforts filled the capitol building and the hashtag, #StandWithWendy, went viral on Twitter. Davis stood strong and successfully filibustered the bill as the clock struck midnight. Davis’ fight for reproductive rights continues and she vows to not back down.
“If you care about patients, then Marilyn is your person.” Marilyn Tavenner was named Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in May. Before coming to CMS, Tavenner served for four years as Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources. Tavenner is a registered nurse, earning her degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and previously served as Chief Executive Officer at Johnson-Willis Hospital in Richmond, VA. Now, Tavenner, a long-time community health advocate, holds in her capable hands a federal agency responsible for the health care coverage of over 100 million Americans.
Stopping sequestration from starving our seniors. Although she’s only been CEO of Meals on Wheels since January, Ellie Hollander is vocally fighting to prevent senior hunger. Charitable organizations like Meals on Wheels who receive government funding have had to slow operations down since sequestration reduced their funding. In June, Hollander stood before the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and testified on the positive impact of Meals on Wheels, not just to senior health, but also to our economy.
“These laws are based on bias, not science.” Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced the Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal (REPEAL) HIV Discrimination Act, a bill aimed at ending unfair and unjust HIV criminalization laws. Lee said of the current laws, “These laws breed fear, discrimination, distrust, and hatred, and we’ve got to modernize them. That’s exactly what this legislation would do.” Ros-Lehtinen went on to encourage her congressional colleagues to put aside political differences and work to eradicate these outdated and discriminatory practices.