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Speakers, Student life

Liberty and Justice for All? Part Two: Women and Healthcare

On Thursday, March 29, students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to hear from healthcare and medical professionals in a panel discussion entitled “Women and Healthcare,” as the second part of the “Liberty and Justice for All?” series hosted by Mount Ida’s Center for Community Engagement.

Moderated by Beth Grampetro, Director of Wellness Services, the panel was introduced by former Newton Mayor Setti Warren, a Visiting Fellow in the Center. This discussion focused on the multifaceted challenge of access and cost of healthcare, especially for women in the United States and around the world. The three panelists represented a range across the healthcare spectrum: Dr. Deborah Youngblood, Commissioner of Health and Human Services in Newton; Kaitlyn Kenney Walsh, Senior Director of Policy and Research for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation; and Dr. Don Berwick, a pediatrician and President Emeritus/Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

After a brief introduction of the panelists, Beth Grampetro fielded questions from the audience that they could submit anonymously or ask from the crowd. These questions focused on how the healthcare system works in relation to a women’s experience at varying levels of that system. These questions included:

  • “What are the main differences between men and women when it comes to accessing healthcare?”
  • “Can you speak to the disparity of care for women of color who have given birth (regardless of education level)?”
  • “What are the challenges still in place to accessing healthcare if someone has an employer-sponsored healthcare plan?

Moderator Grampetro commented, “I appreciated the thoughts shared by the panelists and enjoyed hearing them talk about what is a very complex topic with many intersecting parts. It was great to have so many questions from the audience to guide the discussion.”

She continued, “It was especially nice to hear the three panelists talk about how granting someone access to health insurance doesn’t necessarily translate to easy access to health care, and how our society and systems can work to level the playing field.”

The last of the series for the spring semester will be on Thursday, April 19, which will focus on Environmental Impact on the Human Body.