Prioritizing Women’s Preventive Health with the Women’s Preventative Services Initiative
By: Diana Ramos, MD, Co-chair of Dissemination and Implementation Steering Committee and Women’s Preventive Services Initiative
As an obstetrician–gynecologist and women’s health expert, I am dedicated to supporting and advocating for women’s physical and mental health needs. Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to care for many women throughout their life span. I have often seen that women are the drivers, role models, and decision makers of their own healthcare as well as their family’s healthcare. I have also learned that the health of the one patient in front of me is often the reflection of the health within her community. This is why I understand the urgency in addressing women’s preventive health and the potential effect I can have on her community.
The unfortunate reality is that nearly half of all women in the United States are not receiving the preventive services they need. With COVID-19 exacerbating the many challenges that women already face, priorities for medical visits are shifting, and preventive services are not always at the forefront of a patient’s mind.
That is where the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) comes in. WPSI consists of a multidisciplinary team of experts who provide evidence-based, cutting-edge recommendations for women’s preventive health. Led by ACOG and the Health Resources and Services Administration, WPSI’s resources provide clinicians with a trusted guide to support their patient’s preventive health needs. This includes the Well-Woman Chart, an easy-to-use summary of WPSI’s recommendations based on age, health status, pregnancy status, and general risk factors.
WPSI’s strength is in the cross-collaboration of clinicians across disciplines and its focus on preventive health. This allows for an informed focus and review of the organization in addressing pressing and often overlooked women’s health needs. WPSI provides clinicians across specialties and fields with resources and clear guidance for implementing preventive health services recommendations to ensure that they can serve their patients. A variety of clinicians play a role in providing preventive services to women, so it is critical that we all engage women about their preventive health early, often, and at every stage of their lives.
The latest WPSI recommendation on screening for anxiety in adolescent and adult women highlights, recognizes, and prioritizes the health needs that disproportionately affect women. This includes mental health, which is a critical part of a patient’s overall well-being. It is wonderful to have the WPSI partnership that allows for anxiety and mental health services for patients without cost-sharing.
Patients and communities will see many health improvements by using WPSI’s recommendations and the Well-Woman Chart to address each patient’s preventive health needs. For questions and concerns, or to schedule your Well Woman visit, give us a call at 407-566-2229. FULL ARTICLE HERE
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