Capitol Update: New coalition advocates for women’s health care
View a slideshow from the press conference.
The new Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, of which TAFP is a member, held a press conference yesterday afternoon announcing its creation and intentions. TAFP member Janet Realini, M.D., led the conference where media heard from Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin; Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place; and Anavi Cantu, a patient of Realini’s. The coalition formed late last year and has 32 partners ranging from health care and public policy organizations to faith-based groups.
The newly-formed organization advocates for sufficient funding for state programs that provide accessible health care to low- and moderate-income women across Texas, as there are an estimated 1 million women in Texas that are currently lacking preventive care and family planning services, according to the coalition.
The Department of State Health Services Family Planning program was cut by 66 percent during the 2011 Texas Legislature, cutting off 147,000 women from access to preventive health care and closing more than 50 clinics across the state. Simultaneously, the Texas Women’s Health Program, which serves approximately 130,000 women, is vulnerable to federal financial cuts and not enough active providers.
The state must improve the conditions of the current state of women’s health care quickly. TWHC says that to do so, the DSHS Family Planning program should at least be funded back to 2010-11 levels, $55.6 million per year, to continue serving the 147,000 women who lost access to the health care they need, and the Women’s Health Program needs $36 million per year to continue aiding the 130,000 women it serves. The state should also implement tactics to guarantee that each county and public health region throughout Texas have a sufficient amount of providers for the area.
Thanks to the Physicians of the Day
Spots still available through May
Thanks to the physicians who volunteered for the Physician of the Day program in the last several days: Kanaka Paladugu, M.D., of Bastrop; Mitch Finnie, M.D., of Shavano Park; Travis Bias, D.O., of Austin; Keith Miller, M.D., of Center; Thomas Cherry, M.D., of Chandler; Georgeanne Freeman, D.O., of Austin; Francisco Barrera, M.D., of Boerne; and Jorge Duchicela, M.D., of Weimar, who brought fourth-year medical student Ima Duchicela.
The Physician of the Day program brings a family physician to the Capitol each day of the legislative session to provide health care to members of the Capitol community. Dates are still available throughout the session. For more information on how to sign up and to view the calendar of open dates, go to the Physician of the Day page of the TAFP website, www.tafp.org/advocacy/get-involved/physician-of-the-day.