Rep. Howard Announces First Meeting of Women’s Health Advisory Committee

Group of Stakeholders To Make Recommendations on HHSC Consolidation of Women’s Health Programs

(AUSTIN) – Today, State Representative Donna Howard announced the first meeting of the Women’s Health Advisory Committee, a group of providers and stakeholders which will make recommendations to the Texas Health & Human Services Commission regarding the consolidation of women’s health programs. It will take place on Wednesday, September 23rd @ 10:00 a.m., at 4900 N. Lamar Blvd; the meeting will be webcast for those unable to attend.

Based on recommendations from the Sunset Advisory Commission and guidance from lawmakers, HHSC is anticipated to consolidate two of the state’s programs related to women’s health: the Expanded Primary Health Care for Women (EPHC) Program and the Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP). The Advisory Committee was formed as a result of Rep. Howard’s amendment to SB 200 in the 84th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. The amendment called for the Executive Commissioner of HHSC to establish an advisory committee on the consolidation, and to ensure that a majority of its members are health care providers who are participating in women’s health programs of various sizes, are located in separate geographic areas of this state, and have experience in operating women’s health programs.

“Women’s health and family planning services have gone through a number of changes in recent years, and this advisory committee will be critical to ensuring that any consolidation of programs will be implemented successfully, in a manner that retains and builds our provider base, and serves as many women as possible,” Rep. Howard said. “I applaud Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor’s appointment of a geographically-diverse group with deep knowledge and experience in this area. He has pulled together a true A-Team for women’s health, and their work will be invaluable to this process.”

Rep. Howard continued, “there will be opportunities for public comment at this first meeting, and at subsequent gatherings of the committee. I would encourage stakeholders, including providers and members of the general public, to attend and provide input.”

Details on the first meeting are as follows:

Women’s Health Advisory Committee
September 23, 2015
10 a.m.
Health and Human Services Commission
Brown-Heatly Building
Public Hearing Rooms 1420 and 1430
4900 North Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78751

The list of advisory committee members is as follows:

• Dr. Janet Realini (President, Healthy Futures of Texas)
• Peggy Smith (Professor and Director, Teen Health Clinics at Baylor College of Medicine)
• Paula Turicchi (Senior Vice President for Women and Infants Specialty Health, Parkland Health & Hospital System)
• Dr. Moss Hampton (District XI Chair, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
• Dr. Jennifer Almonte-Gonzalez (Founding Partner, The Women’s Center for Excellence)
• Carol Everett (Founder and President, The Heidi Group)
• Martha Zuniga (Executive Director, South Texas Family Planning & Health Corporation)
• Dr. John Thoppil (River Place Ob/Gyn)
• Eric Todd (CEO, Brazos Valley Community Action Agency)

The public notice of the meeting, including a full agenda and a link to the live webcast, can be found here: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/news/meetings/2015/092315-whac.shtml.

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