National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. It brings together communities, businesses, government, health organizations, and other groups in an effort to promote women’s health. The theme for 2012 is “It’s Your Time.” National Women’s Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority. It also encourages women to take the following steps to improve their physical and mental health and lower their risks of certain diseases:
- Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups andpreventive screenings.
- Get active.
- Eat healthy.
- Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
- Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.
We all have a role to play in women’s health. Women often serve as caregivers for their families, putting the needs of their spouses, partners, children, and parents before their own. As a result, women’s health and well-being becomes secondary. As a community, we have a responsibility to support the important women we know and do everything we can to help them take steps for longer, healthier, and happier lives.
Women can easily take charge of their health, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, a landmark health care reform law enacted in 2010. This law gives Americans greater choice and better control over their own health care and includes changes that are especially meaningful to women and their families. For instance, new plans cover vital preventive services, including mammograms, colon cancer screenings, and well-woman visits with no out-of-pocket costs. It also ensures women can see an OB-GYN without a referral. To learn more about the law and your health insurance options, visit HealthCare.gov.
The 13th annual National Women’s Health Week kicks off on Mother’s Day, May 13, 2012 and is celebrated until May 19, 2012. National Women’s Checkup Day is Monday, May 14, 2012.