The Adams administration today hosted the first-ever Women’s Health Summit minutes from Harlem at Hunter College.
Convening more than 100 experts across sectors to shape New York City’s first ‘Women’s Health Agenda,’ set to be released this summer.
The summit follows a citywide address New York City Mayor Eric Adams delivered in January, where he, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom, and others — both inside and outside the administration — outlined their vision for an agenda that aims to dismantle decades of systemic inequity that have negatively impacted the health of women across the five boroughs and, instead, make New York City a model city to support women’s health at all stages of life.
Participants in today’s summit broke into working groups that focused on four key areas: chronic disease, birth equity, sexual and reproductive health, and mental health.
“Health is wealth, and women need both,” said Mayor Adams. “New York City has been shaped by tireless generations of women and today’s Women’s Health Summit brought us one step closer to making this city the nation’s leader when it comes to women’s health. This entire administration is committed to building a city that is here for all women and girls, and I am grateful to everyone who joined the summit today for stepping up to make this vision a reality across all five boroughs.”
“No matter the race, gender identity, body type, and more — all women deserve health care that meets their needs,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “I look forward to continuing to be part of this deeply needed and long overdue change alongside so many dedicated and accomplished women.”
Today’s summit focused on the biggest drivers of mortality and morbidity for women in both New York City and across the United States, such as chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, mental health, and maternal health, as well as sexual and reproductive health including menopause. The summit was centered on equity, inclusion, and intersectionality, centering voices and experiences of women, gender nonconforming and other members of the LGBTQ+ community in New York City.
Takeaways from today’s summit and future convening will inform New York City’s Women’s Health Agenda, a report set to be released later this year. The administration will continue to develop this agenda through future sessions and research to include as many voices as possible. The agenda will include recommendations to promote women’s health that leaders across sectors can implement in their workspaces and steps the city will take to make New York City the national model for supporting women’s health.
Major focuses of today’s summit included:
- Expanding access to high-quality maternal health care, including the use of doulas and midwives, to eliminate disparities in maternal mortality and reduce mortality overall;
- Building a mental health care system designed for women and members of the LGBTQ+ community to best serve their needs;
- Ensuring the city’s sexual and reproductive health care system provides comprehensive care to women and girls including menopause care, fibroids, infertility, birth control, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) care;
- Substantially reducing the rates of, and deaths from, chronic diseases, including heart disease — the number one killer of women in New York City — among women.
- Promoting awareness of top women’s health issues among New Yorkers and efforts to prevent issues before they start;
- Developing cross-sector partnerships and collaborations to promote all aspects of women’s health, including technology, business, health care, community, nonprofit, and other sectors;
- Developing women-friendly workplaces that promote health and wellness through space accommodations and policy reforms; and
- Expanding research into women’s health issues and reducing disparities in medical research.
“Hunter College is honored to partner with Mayor Eric Adams on this summit and his courageous plan to undo decades of inequity that have negatively impacted the health of women across the five boroughs,” said Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab. “Hunter has always put the education of women first, and, as a result, is the only college to have two female Nobel Prize winners in medicine. On top of that, our alumna Evelyn Lauder fearlessly broke down barriers in breast-cancer research. Her husband Leonard’s $52 million gift to Hunter’s School of Nursing in her honor that, in lockstep with Mayor Adams’ vision, will help us train the next generation of nurses and nurse practitioners who will serve communities across New York City.”
“By emphasizing digital health, New York City is enabling women to access the care they deserve,” said Dr. Neel Shah, chief medical officer, Maven Clinic. “We are proud to partner with the mayor to build an ecosystem of innovation that can be a model for the nation.”
“The female body shouldn’t be a medical mystery,” said Priyanka Jain, co-founder & CEO, Evvy. “As a femtech company based in New York City, we are honored and grateful to be partnering with Mayor Adams, the city of New York, and leaders across all sectors — medicine, research, policy, and technology — to finally close the gender health gap for good.”