Women’s Health Week

5/11/2014

WHEREAS, the 4.16 million women and girls living in the Commonwealth of Virginia have unique health needs in all phases of their lives; and 

WHEREAS, significant disparities exist in the prevalence of disease among women of different backgrounds, including women with disabilities, women of color, low-income women, and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women; and 

WHEREAS, National Women’sHealth Week celebrates the extraordinary progress in women’s health and encourages all Virginia women to make their health a priority, understand what it means to be well, and schedule wellness checkups and lifesaving preventive health screenings; and 

WHEREAS,access to comprehensive reproductive health care - including colposcopies, Pap smears, mammograms, treatment for sexuality transmitted infections, and birth control - is critical to the overall well-being of women and their families; and 

WHEREAS, OB-GYN providers play a critical role in providing primary and preventive care and serving as entry points into the health care system. Almost six in ten women report seeing an OB-GYN provideron a regular basis, and one-third of women view their OB-GYN provider as their main source of health care. OB-GYN providers, as specialists in women’s care, are uniquely positioned to improve the health of women and help their patients take charge of their own health care. By a 16-point margin, women say they are more likely to be open and honest with their OB-GYN provider; and 

WHEREAS, Virginia women need more access to health care. Fifty-two counties in Virginia have no OB-GYNs, and many women in rural areas are experiencing significant increases in the distance they must travel for OB-GYN care due to closures of health facilities. Rural areas also report the highest rates of breast cancer deaths among both African American and white women; and 

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia values the many licensed health care professionals who provide this high-quality, evidence-based care in a compassionate setting; 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize May 11-17, 2014, as WOMEN’S HEALTH WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

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