The Women's Health Initiative
AT SWEDISH COVENANT HOSPITAL

This page contains important research and perspectives related to the focus areas of the Women’s Health Awareness Council. Following each meeting of the Council, we will update this page to feature communications toolkits and speaker presentations. All content is available to use free-of-charge with proper attribution.


Meeting One
Cultural Barriers to Health Care

Health care disparities related to race and culture have increasingly been recognized by the medical and academic communities as a critical issue of concern. Over the course of the past decade, there has been a shift in focus from documenting health care disparities to uncovering and exploring potential solutions for these disparities, and developing means for implementation.

On Sept. 5, 2014, the Women’s Health Awareness Council met to discuss the power of language, culture and race in determining the quality of healthcare women receive. Included below are presentation slides from keynote speaker Dr. Monica Vela and a toolkit containing data, perspectives and key research studies.

Media and Communications Toolkit >

Full Video of Meeting >

Meeting One Highlights and Council Member Interviews (playlist available by clicking top left icon on media player)


Meeting Two
The ACA and Breast Cancer: Danger for Disparities Still Exists, Despite Law’s Intentions

Free/Reduced Cost Mammogram Resources for Chicago Women

Researchers and scholars acknowledge that there have been recent improvements in breast cancer survival rates in the United States. However, disparities in breast cancer mortality and outcomes based on race/ethnicity and socioeconomic factors remain, exposing the deep need for targeted interventions to help eliminate barriers to quality health care.

The disparities are deepest between African American and White women—studies demonstrate that although White women have a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer than African American women, African American women have a higher breast cancer mortality rate than White women. Additionally, research shows that poverty, less education and not having health insurance are all factors that are associated with lowered breast cancer survival rates.

Importantly, recent studies have also suggested that the disparities in breast cancer outcomes between African American and White women are greater in Chicago than they are in the country as a whole. This suggests that highly-targeted, localized interventions are needed to address the unique needs of women in Chicago.

The Affordable Care Act has made care available for many women in our community. However, while it may have opened the door for more women to access preventive services, there exists an ongoing need to improve educational resources and access to quality preventive services and screenings, such as mammography.

Experts state that it will take several years to gather and analyze data surrounding the impact of the Affordable Care Act on breast health disparities; now is the time for action to help ensure that women in our communities are able to access the preventive resources and care they need to improve their breast and overall health.

On Sept. 25, 2014, the Women’s Health Awareness Council met to discuss these important issues. Included below are presentation slides from panelists and a toolkit containing data, perspectives and key research studies.

Speaker Presentations

Media and Communications Toolkit

Meeting Two Highlights and Council Member Interviews (playlist available by clicking top left icon on media player)


 Meeting Three

Violence Against Women: Exploring Health Care’s Role in Serving Victims of Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault 

Violence against women is a global epidemic that affects women of every age, culture and socioeconomic status. Health care settings are a critical point of intervention for women who face violence at home. Women who are unable or afraid to access other support services may be treated for injuries or illness, creating a confidential, private space for women to speak with an experienced health care provider.

This Women’s Health Awareness Council meeting will explore issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking here in Chicago, and more globally. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 70 percent of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. A community-wide response to these issues is the only way to develop comprehensive solutions to address these widespread epidemics.

In order for health care organizations to successfully identify and treat victims of violence and trafficking, it is important for health care workers to be knowledgeable about the signs of abuse, and to receive training on how to appropriately care for victims of violence.

On Oct. 30, 2014, the Women’s Health Awareness Council met to discuss these important issues. Included below are presentation slides from panelists and a toolkit containing data, perspectives and key research studies.

Speaker Presentations

#BreakingDownWalls News

  • photo from Tumblr

    Thanks to all who attended our third meeting of the Women’s Health Awareness Council: Violence Against Women: Exploring Health Care’s Role in Serving Victims of Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault. 

     

    During the lunch on October 30 at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, council members discussed the need to combine efforts to tackle violence against women in Chicago, and more globally.

    Violence against women is a global epidemic that affects women of every age, culture and socioeconomic status. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

    Health care settings are a critical point of intervention for women who face violence at home. Women who are unable or afraid to access other support services may be treated for injuries or illness, creating a confidential, private space for women to speak with an experienced health care provider.

    “Prosecutors cannot do this work alone,” said panelist Jennifer Greene, policy advisor, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. “Domestic violence is a major epidemic in our city. It really does take all of us [to fight it].”

    Also in attendance were Representative Greg Harris (13th district) and panelists: Summar Ghias, STOP-IT Program Coordinator, Salvation Army; Kim Leslie, RN, MS, emergency department clinical director, Swedish Covenant Hospital; and, Laura Washington, columnist, Chicago Sun-Times, who moderated the event.

    If you missed the LiveStream of the meeting, click here.

     

    And don’t forget to continue the conversation on social media using the hashtag: #BreakingDownWalls

    10/31/14

  • Did you know...?

    One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

    Join the conversation and help us in our mission of #BreakingDownWalls

    Visit SCHWomenshealth.org to learn more.

    10/29/14

  • photo from Tumblr

    10/27/14