Calling All Villagers

Calling All Villagers

BJ Leber, President and CEO Adagio Health

Clichés become clichés because they contain an essential truth that bears repeating. In that light, we offer this familiar one – It takes a village.

Indeed, the combined voices, hands, hearts, and minds of people dedicated to a cause can create an indelible influence. Whether concerning raising strong, well-adjusted, productive children, or standing up for the environment, or advancing an idea shared by diverse and divergent people, a chorus will always sing louder and with greater harmony than someone singing solo.

On March 22, just such a village will gather at the Omni William Penn in Pittsburgh for the first Adagio Health Symposium on “Transforming Women’s Health.” For a full day, leading experts on public health and the opioid crisis, preserving women’s health care in politically unstable times, health disparities in marginalized communities, effective sexual education for youth, and more, promise to deliver information, insight, and inspiration to attendees. Dr. Rachel Levine, the Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the Honorary Chair of the Adagio Health Symposium. Lifelong veteran “change maker” U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California kicks off the daylong event.

We owe it to women everywhere across this nation to stand up, stand out, and stand united in demanding adequate funding for women’s health issues, supportive policies that make it easier for women to adequately care for themselves and their children, and the education and resources to help women safeguard their sexual health.

These are positive, enabling ideas and ideals that protect women, produce stronger families, and even represent a respectable financial return on the investment. If it takes a village to advocate for these issues and causes, it would certainly seem that many constituencies across that village would benefit from getting involved.

We have seen the power of combining our numbers to make an irrepressible, impactful statement – and not all that long ago, actually. A little more than a year ago, millions of engaged citizens across the United States and around the world peacefully and enthusiastically demonstrated in support of women’s causes. This incredible outpouring offered undeniable proof that women’s issues deserve protection, regardless of current federal or state political leadership.

The power of this upcoming symposium extends beyond listening to these speakers. That’s only the start. As each major area gets discussed, participants will immediately gain access to opportunities for action, such as pledging to act as advocates on behalf of topics that have special meaning to them. Information provides the foundation, but first-person action and involvement makes the lasting difference. It’s the only thing that ever has.

The experience of the past year, in terms of politics and policy emanating from Washington and Harrisburg, may serve as a cause for concern, even hopelessness at times. Yet to placidly accept decisions and dialogue that minimize and threaten women’s health would be the worst outcome of all.

At Adagio Health – along with legislators, community leaders, activists, corporate representatives, and many others in the full panoply of concerned “villagers” – we stand ready to ride the wave of positivity, support, and sisterhood that rose up in January 2017.

We urge everyone interested in transforming women’s health to join us on March 22, to learn, to stand, to decide, and to act. We are the majority. We are the village we have been waiting for.