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Legislation to be introduced at the September 26th Cuyahoga County Council meeting
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – Today, Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne announces the introduction of legislation to create a Cuyahoga County Women’s Health Advisory Council to serve as a resource for information, advice, and recommendations regarding goals, strategies, and programs of the County. The council will support women’s access to the full range of healthcare options, including reproductive and maternal health and to eliminate health disparities.
“It is more important than ever that we work together to tackle the medical disparities that exist for women across the region and protect access to reproductive healthcare,” said County Executive Chris Ronayne. “The Women’s Health Advisory Council is an important step towards a healthier Cuyahoga County, where critical healthcare services and resources, especially regarding maternal care, are available and accessible to all.”
The ordinance is sponsored by Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne and co-sponsored by Cuyahoga County Councilmembers Meredith Turner (District 9), Cheryl Stephens (District 10), Yvonne M. Conwell (District 7, Martin Sweeney (District 3) and Dale Miller (District 2).
Once adopted, the Women’s Health Advisory Council will first be appointed in October of 2023. The Council will be composed of thirteen members, including members of the County Executive’s Office, Cuyahoga County Council, the Cuyahoga Department of Health and Human Services, The MetroHealth System, and nine members appointed by the Cuyahoga County Executive and confirmed by Cuyahoga County Council.
“As leaders, we must protect women’s rights to full, comprehensive medical services,” said Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Meredith Turner. “Cleveland is the second-worst city for health outcomes for Black women. The creation of this Council will help us ensure that women of color are listened to and not left behind when it comes to matters of healthcare. I applaud the creation of this critical group.”
“Because we have a crisis in women’s health in Cuyahoga County, especially for women of color, we need to ensure that every woman has access to a full range of health care options and that we put in place the social supports that will improve their health and wealth. I look forward to working with the County Executive, the County Council and an array of partners to give women from across our community a seat at the table and a real voice as we strive to eliminate health disparities,” said Dr. Airica Steed, President and Chief Executive Officer, The MetroHealth System.
The Women’s Health Advisory Council will act as a resource for information, create recommendations for allocating grant funding related to women’s health issues, and provide advice and recommendations regarding funding of programs designed to support better access to women’s healthcare. The Council will meet publicly on a quarterly basis to provide a forum for the public to offer ideas and recommendations regarding women’s health, as well as serve as a resource for crisis responses around the status of reproductive rights in the state of Ohio.