The Women's Health Initiative

Are you ready to help us break down the walls that prevent women from getting the health care they need?

The Women’s Health Awareness Council is a community-led platform composed of stakeholders who have demonstrated leadership on women’s health issues in Chicago. We’re focused on igniting a conversation on the deeply-entrenched barriers that prevent many women and children from accessing health care services. By uniting elected officials, members of the media, community leaders, care providers, distinguished academics and major philanthropies, the Women’s Health Awareness Council has established a diverse consortium of leaders that is capable of turning ideas into action.

Learn more about our members.

Discussion Highlights and Council Member Interviews


The Women’s Health Awareness Council convened three meetings in the fall of 2014 as part of a speaker series  focused on important issues that often go unreported by the media. Visit our Research and Resources section to download key research and view video highlights and Council member interviews.

Council members are now exploring additional awareness opportunities and potential collaborations that have the potential of removing gender-based health care disparities for thousands of women throughout Chicago. We welcome you to join us in our mission. You can follow the conversation as it unfolds on social media through the hashtag #BreakingDownWalls.

#BreakingDownWalls News

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    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


  • 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 to learn more.


  • photo from Tumblr