On Wednesday, May 1, UNC Greensboro hosted the “Status of Women in NC: Health and Wellness Report” event, in which government officials and community leaders gathered to discuss new data on the health of women in North Carolina.
The research was conducted and presented by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Administration’s Council for Women and Youth Involvement. Attendees of Wednesday’s event were given a sneak peak of the 2019 Health and Wellness Report, which will be released to the public later this spring.
Preliminary data show that, while progress has been made since the inaugural release of the 2013 Status of Women in North Carolina report, there is still work to be done. Nationally, North Carolina ranks 11th highest in infant mortality and 9th highest in stroke mortality among women – and the problem is even worse in rural counties. The good news is that mortality rates for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and breast cancer, among other diseases, have decreased since the 2013 report.
“We’re seeing improvements in women’s health but not for everyone. Many women face health challenges and barriers to health care, especially in our rural counties,” said Secretary Machelle Sanders. “Improving the health of women strengthens families, communities, and our entire economy, and this report underscores the need to close the health insurance coverage gap.”
UNC Greensboro will be the first of many stops across the state to discuss the report and its findings. The University was chosen for yesterday’s event because of its history of advocating for women, and its current work to promote health and wellness, including through the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness (where the event was held), which offers fitness equipment and on-site classes and activities for students, faculty and staff, and the local community.
“UNC Greensboro was founded as a women’s college more than 125 years ago,” said Provost Dana Dunn, “and today women make up nearly 70 percent of our student population. Health and wellness are areas of excellence for UNC Greensboro; along with the state-of-the-art Kaplan Center for Wellness, our School of Nursing is one of the best in the nation, and our public health and kinesiology programs are second to none. We are thrilled to host this event, and to support a critical initiative for the future of North Carolina, and for women everywhere.”
As a follow-up to the event, leaders from the council and Department of Administration will embark on regional visits this fall to share the report findings and hear local community input on the status of women.
More information is available at ncadmin.nc.gov/statusofwomennc2019.
Photography by Jiyoung Park, University Communications