Women of Firsts to appear at Adagio Health second annual Transforming Womens Health Symposium

Women of Firsts to appear at Adagio Health second annual Transforming Women's Health Symposium

Women of Firsts to appear at Adagio Health second annual Transforming Women's Health Symposium
International Women’s Day Announcement
AMA President-elect Dr. Patrice Harris, former Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Provost of the Minnesota Medical University Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee among planned speakers


Pittsburgh, Pa. (March 8, 2019)— As Adagio Health presents its second annual Transforming Women’s Health Symposium on September 24, 2019—Dr. Patrice Harris, the first African American woman to serve as President-elect of the American Medical Association; and Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee, the first African American woman to be appointed Dean of an American medical school, will join a growing list of national healthcare experts and speakers set to appear at the Pittsburgh gathering this fall.  Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, is also on that list—and will help to lead the discussion as the Symposium gets underway. 

“Culturally, we are in the midst of an important national conversation about women and healthcare,” said president and CEO of Adagio Health, BJ Leber. “Dr. Harris, Dr. Ross-Lee and Valerie Jarrett are incredibly accomplished women with unique insights on healthcare in America, and we are thrilled they will be sharing their perspectives at our Transforming Women’s Health Symposium this fall.”

Active in organized medicine her entire career, Dr. Harris has held many leadership positions at both the national and state level.  She has served on the AMA’s Board of Trustees since 2011, including a term as chair from 2016 – 2017.  She previously served as chair of the AMA’s Council on Legislation, and on the boards of the American Psychiatric Association and the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association. A key priority for Dr. Harris is developing solutions to end the nation’s opioid epidemic.  Since 2014, she has chaired the AMA’s Opioid Task Force, which brings together specialty and state medical societies and other health care associations to move swiftly to implement best practices to combat the opioid epidemic and save lives.  

Dr. Ross-Lee is a nationally-recognized expert on health policy issues and serves as an advisor on primary care, medical education, minority health, women's health, and rural health care issues on the federal and state levels.  She is the director of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Health Policy Fellowship program, which prepares mid-career osteopathic physicians for leadership roles in health policy. She is also director of the Training in Policy Studies (TIPS) for post-graduate (resident physicians) osteopathic trainees; director of the Institute for National Health Policy and Research; and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Osteopathic Medical Association, a medical association of minority osteopathic physicians.  Dr. Ross-Lee began her studies in Detroit, Michigan, at a time when it was nearly impossible for a young African American woman to pursue a career as a doctor. Over time, she was able to make her mark in medicine, as her younger sister, Diana Ross, made her mark in music.  

Valerie Jarrett is a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation, a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and President of the Board of When We All Vote. She was the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, and oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs along with Chairing the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Additional sessions at the September Symposium will include discussion on a variety of issues impacting women’s health, including: From Clinical to Community—Addressing the Opioid Epidemic; #MeToo—Beyond the Hashtag; the Maternal Health Crisis in America; Intersections of Women’s Healthcare; and more. Dr. Harris and Dr. Ross-Lee will help to close out the formal discussions at a Fireside Chat session. A networking reception will follow. 
“It is our goal that every participant in our Symposium walks away feeling energized and ready to make a greater impact as we work together toward better health outcomes for women and families,” said Ms. Leber. “We are looking forward to a powerful day of discussion, education, and action with a group of speakers who understand what it takes to make real progress on transforming women’s health.”   

Adagio Health’s Transforming Women’s Health Symposium is made possible in part by a generous sponsorship from the Highmark Foundation. CMEs will be available for medical professionals. For more information call 412-253-8140.

About Adagio Health – For 47 years, Adagio Health has provided health and wellness services and support throughout 23 counties in Western Pennsylvania. Services include family planning/gynecology/prenatal care/STI testing and prevention, breast and cervical cancer screening, community education and nutrition services. Most of the nearly 110,000 patients receiving services are women who are uninsured, underinsured or need access to confidential reproductive health and family planning services. These services are provided through funding from foundations, the State and Federal government and in partnership with a variety of community partners and other funders, such as Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh.  www.adagiohealth.org