A key challenge for the 21st century is to transform our workplaces so people can meet the dual demands of work and family, and implement the health care reform so it provides coordinated, quality, affordable care for all. Those were the messages at the National Partnership for Women & Families’ Annual Luncheon, held at the Washington Hilton hotel here today. The event honored Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
Some 1,000 guests came to hear Secretary Sebelius discuss the Obama Administration’s commitment to women and families as it implements health reform and rebuilds the economy. Other speakers included Chair of the Board of EMILY’s List Ellen Malcolm, who also chairs the National Partnership’s Board of Directors; and Regina Holliday, who is using paint and brushes to promote health information technology and patients’ rights. WRC-TV’s Eun Yang emceed the event.
"Newspapers are filled with stories about the rise in women in power, but it’s the rise in the power of women that isn’t getting noticed," Ness said at the event. "That transformation is affecting every aspect of American life... An earlier generation of women proclaimed that 'we could have it all.' Today, women are being asked to do it all. But we’re being asked to do it all with one hand tied behind our backs because of policies that don’t begin to reflect the realities of 21st century American life." The National Partnership supports the Healthy Families Act, which would allow all workers to earn paid sick days, other family-friendly initiatives, and strong anti-discrimination measures.
Ness also discussed the Campaign for Better Care — a project of the National Partnership, Community Catalyst and the National Health Law Project — that is organizing vulnerable patients and their caregivers, including older adults with multiple chronic conditions. She stressed the importance of widespread adoption of electronic medical records to improve care coordination and safety, reduce waste, and save dollars and lives.
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.