Sunday, May 19 is National Hepatitis Testing Day. Click here to find out about testing events near you!
Posted by ywcakatie on May 17, 2013
Next Monday is National Women’s Checkup Day!
When was the last time you went in to see the doctor? Has it been a while?
Go on – go ahead and schedule an appointment with your doctor for a check up or to get an important health screening. It’s a good time to connect with your healthcare provider, give an update on how you’re doing, and find out if there are any health screenings or tests that are right for you!
Next week is National Women’s Health Week – use this time to get caught up on dental cleanings, primary health care appointments, and seeing a mental health therapist.
Click here to learn about what screenings and tests are suggested for women based on age range. And click here to learn more about the 22 preventive health services that are covered for women with no cost-sharing, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Posted by ywcakatie on May 6, 2013
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has recently led a new initiative – the NewPublicHealth National Prevention Strategy series, exploring the impact of jobs, transportation and more on health. The infographic below tells a visual story on the role of employment in the health of our communities. Check it out!
Posted by ywcakatie on April 30, 2013
I am also the Lead Advocate in the YWCA’s Healthy Birth Outcomes program, which provides education, case management and services to pregnant women and mothers whose young children are at risk for low-birth weight and prematurity.
The Healthy Birth Outcomes program goals are to help women of child-bearing age to have a healthy birth and experience a supportive transition into motherhood.
We meet mothers where they are to help them address their greatest social stresses and barriers.
We promote health access through linkage and referrals for all mothers and their families, regardless of immigrant status, religion, race and ethnicity.
We advocate, for those unable to speak for themselves for lack of knowledge are disabilities. It’s an ever ending battle to advocate for those judged because of status, race, religion, and ethnicity.
Please take a few moments and share your stories or ideas on how we can together decrease infant mortality due to racism. And remember together we stand and divided we fall!
Posted by ywcakatie on April 26, 2013
In our work with homeless women in the community, we hear about and witness racism in the healthcare system on a daily basis. Although this does include individual acts of racism, the impact of institutionalized racism in this system is perpetually devastating for the health and well-being of these women and children of color. We are well aware in our work that racism is alive within the health care system in our country. In fact the depth to which institutionalized racism has impacted health care is in part the reason our program and others like it even exist. So as we take a stand against racism this week and in our daily work at the YWCA, I want to share my dream for healthcare in our country. It is one that I have faith that we can all embody.
The Co-creation of a Dream
I remember when I walked the halls of the shelters
In the days when it was normal for a woman to go without dental care for ten years
Or not be able to tell you the name of her doctor
because it changed with each visit
I remember when it was easier to receive care at the ER than the clinic
When women would request the treatment they needed
And be denied based on the color of their card, or the color of their skin,
Or the place at night where they sought shelter
I remember when I could order a pizza and have it delivered
In the time it took to schedule a medical appointment
When the system was so complicated to navigate
That many ended up going without care they were entitled to receive
I remember the day when health care reform was our only hope
Even though it was far from enough at the beginning
When we settled for mandated insurance instead of mandated care
When health care was seen as a political position instead of a human right
I am still living my memory. That day is today. I want more.
I want to live in a world where everyone has a doctor they can go to
Or a doctor that can come to them
A world where everyone insured and understands how to use their insurance
NO! - one in which insurance ceases to exist
I want to live in a world where oral and mental health
Are as important as physical health
Where we understand the whole person
And expend more energy to prevent than to treat
I want to live in a world where life expectancy has nothing to do with the color of your skin
where patients guide their treatment plans
doctors look like their patients
And everyone receives the same high quality of care
I want to live in a world where health care is a human right
One where I am worked out of a job
Because it is easy to access health care services
And the care you receive is not based on the money you have
I want to co-create a world together in community
One full of beauty, wholeness and diversity
Where our humanity unites us
and racism is no more.
Racism is no more.
Racism is no more.
Posted by ywcakatie on April 25, 2013
Racism is the belief that human races exist, that races possess different abilities and characteristics, and that some races are better than others.
Many people believe that with the re-election of our first African American president that race is no longer a major issue. Bigotry still exists in the year 2013 and unless we as a society continue to make a conscious effort to eliminating it, it will continue to raise its ugly head. As BABES we do our part on a continual basis, through trainings, to do our part in ending racism.
BABES Network-YWCA is a sisterhood of women facing HIV together. We reduce isolation, promote self-empowerment, enhance quality of life, and serve the needs of women facing HIV and their families through outreach, peer support, advocacy, and education.
In fact, on April 26th, we will be attending a conference on how women of color are affected by HIV. Though it is a small part, it is also a big one, in that we are better able to serve our BABES members who are women of color.
Visit African American Reach & Teach Health Ministry to learn more about the conference.
~Camilla Wilson, Peer Advocate at BABES Network-YWCA
Posted by ywcakatie on April 24, 2013
Do you know what significance April 26 has in America? I will give you three hints! It is not Easter, that was in March! It is not Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was on the 7th – and it is not Earth Day. That’s today!
In the YWCA of Seattle | King County | Snohomish County, Women’s Health Outreach is a small program that links women of all cultures and gender identities with health education and services. In 2012, we provided 538 women with mammograms and educated over 12,000 women on breast cancer awareness.
After the passage of the Affordable Care Act, our department – which also includes Healthy Birth Outcomes, BABES Network, Health Care Access, and Community Mental Health – began reflecting on and examining our services and how we deliver them in hopes of viewing prevention and the services we offer through different lenses. Focus groups were held with clients we serve. Surveys were conducted and studied. Trainings and some soul searching took place.
During this time of reflection and dialogue, the concepts of racism, its impact, and health disparities continued to appear. I think about racism and everything that goes along with it, and systemic racism, and how it all leads to poor health in our communities. As our department at the YWCA explores ways to prevent disease and to help women heal, we understand more and more that the seemingly insurmountable task of eliminating racism will bring us closer to health and wellness as individuals, as communities, and as a society.
Therefore, my colleagues and I are taking as many opportunities possible to help people live healthier lives and this includes examining racism to eliminate racism!
Here is how you can join us!
Posted by marilynwho on April 22, 2013
We see it all around us – breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer… The list goes on. Cancer devastates families and communities across our country. In 2008, there were approximately 12 million Americans living with a history of cancer – either living with cancer or having become cancer free. In 2012, it was expected that 1.6 million Americans would be diagnosed with cancer.
Education on cancer, prevention, and early detection is critical. And so is celebrating the successes and victories of individuals, their families, and their medical teams as they beat cancer and go on to live healthy and wholehearted lives. Recently The New York Times created a photo board of people who share insights from their lives after cancer.
The New York Times asks: How did your life change after cancer?
Click on an image in the gallery and that person’s story will appear.
Here is one such story – an inspiring message from Eileen from NYC:
If you’re interested in sharing your own story, click here to upload a photo and tell the world about how your life is different after cancer.
Posted by ywcakatie on April 10, 2013
Did you know April is National Stress Awareness Month? I just found out today, and I must say I’m excited. Nothing like a month full of spring showers, budding trees, blooming flowers, and more sunshine to spend some time contemplating the stress in our lives and learning about ways to reduce it.
- Too much job-related stress increases our chances of having a heart attack and accelerates aging. It can also make women and men more prone to diabetes.
- When we smile, we lower our heart rate. Try smiling after a stressful moment – it may help you calm yourself and feel a bit better.
- Even thinking about stress can stress us out and impact our heart health. A study published in the journal Annals of Behavior Medicine showed that people who felt anxious and stressed about everyday life are more at risk for heart conditions, arthritis, and other chronic health issues in the future.
- Millennials – people between the ages of 18 and 33 – currently experience more stress than any other generation. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, the greatest cause of stress for this group is work-related.
- Stress is contagious! We can feel others’ stress and then start feeling it ourselves.
To counter all the stress in our everyday lives, The Huffington Post suggests we incorporate mindful meditation – which means learning to focus on being in the present – into our daily lives.
Check out these other blog posts for different ideas on how to reduce stress.
Posted by ywcakatie on April 1, 2013
The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women—we fight systems of oppression every day. Privilege is an assumption that one way is the normal way and that any deviation from that is just an exception.
Systems of oppression use privilege—all types of it, from white privilege to cis-gendered privilege to class privilege—to function. So it’s not a surprise that this affects the ways that health information is taught to us. Heart attacks are an example of this. We’ve been taught from movies and TV that a heart attack “usually” or “normally” feels like a sudden, intense chest pain, when in reality that’s a male-privileged view. For women, the signs of a heart attack may not fit that description. This means that heart attacks in women often go unnoticed and untreated, even though heart disease is the leading cause of death in women.
Although the sudden “elephant on the chest” feeling is the most common symptom of a heart attack, women may experience the other signs instead. The American Heart Association describes them as follows:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Being a woman does not mean that the signs of a heart attack should go unnoticed.
And remember, there are many ways to prevent heart disease, including quitting smoking, increasing exercise, losing weight, and eating nutritious foods that are low in sodium.
Posted by ninaywca on March 25, 2013