Fetal Harm Laws: Are They the Best Way to Protect the Unborn?

Danielle Brooks

She was just 15 years old. Not necessarily the honor student or homecoming queen, but nonetheless by societal standards still a child. And while most young girls her age are consumed with passing their first drivers test, Rennie Gibbs gave birth to her first child, Samiya, who was stillborn. Now, seven years after the death of her daughter, Gibbs is facing a possible life sentence for depraved heart murder, even though her daughter never took a breath.

So how does this story of misfortune equate to a potential sentence of life in prison? Though an autopsy revealed that Samiya most likely passed away as a (more…)

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Jahi’s Story: Who Decides?

Danielle Brooks

My tonsils and I have a love hate relationship. I cannot count how many times I missed school or had to stay inside because of tonsillitis when I was a child.  While the numbers have fallen in recent decades, the tonsillectomy, a removal of the tonsil to treat reoccurring infections amongst other ailments, remains a relatively common procedure for children with  583, 000  procedures performed in the United States in 2006. (more…)

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The State of the Young Invincible

Danielle Brooks

“I work for a government agency in New York City however I am not allowed to receive employer insurance because though I am a full time employee, I do not qualify as a permanent employee. So I began to look at insurance plans to cover myself. I didn’t want just emergency coverage; I needed something that was affordable, had prescription drug coverage, and a low deductible. As I was looking around I found New York plans to be too expensive. For bare basics some plans were over $500. So I looked to Georgia where my mom currently resides. I found a significantly cheaper plan that covered everything I needed.  My biggest concern was making sure the plan also worked in New York City but so far it’s posed zero issues.”- Micah Peterson a young invincible (more…)

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Prevention: Take Control of your Breast Health

Danielle Brooks

It was the summer before college and I was hanging out in my Aunt’s living room with my grandmother, uncles, and cousins. It was a fairly typical summer afternoon in Detroit: we were eating lunch, watching bad day time T.V., and generally joking around while avoiding the muggy July heat. My aunt, 40 at the time, had just returned from her second lumpectomy.  At first she was her usual self, warm and in good spirits. We joked, gossiped about family members, and enjoyed each other’s company.  But then without warning, her eyes filled with tears as she began to cry.  Her tears were filled with fear, relief, and gratitude. Without hesitation, we all gathered around her and offered what we could at that very moment: support and love. (more…)

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Should Health Care be Considered a Right? A Look at the Role of Health Care in the Civil Rights Movement

Danielle Brooks

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”- United States Declaration of Independence, 1776

This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed to the inalienable rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. “- I Have a Dream,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963

The quotes listed above reference two of the most important moments in American history, moments which represent freedom: the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Civil Rights movement nearly 200 years later. Yesterday, policy makers, civil rights leaders, and celebrities joined together alongside citizens to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Martin Luther King Jr. made his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. When thinking about the promise set forth in the Declaration of Independence and Dr. Kings’ call for America to fulfill that promise, I am always drawn back to the particular passages listed above and how both parties recognized the importance of life, liberty, and happiness for all individuals. Yet to attain these rights that both the Founding Fathers and Dr. King declared to be unalienable, having health and access to health care is a necessity. I recently sat down with Ruth Perot, CEO of the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education Inc., (SHIRE) a Washington D.C. – based organization that (more…)

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Safety for Survivors: Care and Treatment for Military Sexual Trauma

Danielle Brooks

 “I was sexually assaulted by the same people who trained with me. We wore the same uniform. We worked for the same goals. I struggle every day to be proud of my service.” – Testimony from a Military Sexual Assault Survivor

On Friday, July 19th the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs held a hearing on mental and medical services for sexual assault survivors. During the hearing, veteran sexual assault survivors testified that the military and VA failed to provide adequate, appropriate, and timely access to services for sexual assault victims with post-traumatic stress disorder. (more…)

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Supreme Court Invalidates Patents on Human Genes

Danielle Brooks

It has been a busy 2013 for the United States Supreme Court. Thus far, they have heard a variety of cases- spanning from voting to the right to marry for same sex couples. Today, the Supreme Court ruled on another highly anticipated decision concerning the ability to patent human genes, which held implications for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer.

In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled that companies cannot patent parts of naturally-occurring human genes.  Specifically, the case concerned patents held by Myriad Genetics on  genes that correlate with increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. (more…)

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DW’s coverage of HealthBeat 2013

Danielle Brooks

healthbeatOn May 21st and 22nd VentureBeat hosted its first HealthBeat conference in San Francisco with extreme success.  Focusing on how technology disrupts care, the event explored how “smart” hospitals, practices and patients are making positive changes in the health care industry.

Disruptive Women was proud to participate as a media partner and got the opportunity to attend the event. Below are a few highlights we wanted to share with you!

Do you find it difficult to stay fit while working full time? To remedy this, Keas announced a program called My Healthy Dish and Noshtopia to help employees make wiser nutritional choices and save employers money on health care costs.

In addition to learning sessions and compelling speakers, up-and-coming innovators got a chance to participate in the Grand Rounds Innovation Showdown, an innovation challenge. Beyond Lucid Technologies and Liviam walked away as winners. Beyond Lucid won for the Series A and above, they are the maker of a tablet app for emergency medical responders. Liviam won for the Seed round,  and is a social networking tool for people with serious illnesses. (more…)

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The politics of emergency contraception

Danielle Brooks

“Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.” - World Health Organization

Reproductive rights are the legal rights of individual reproductive health. Access and use of contraception has been a highly politicized and controversial concept in American history. At the center of this struggle is the right of women to individually control their reproduction; to have unrestricted access to birth control, abortion, and family planning services. Until recently, the right for minor women (18 years and younger) to control reproduction, specifically access to emergency contraception, was largely left out of the conversation. (more…)

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