We are very excited to announce that our Vice President of Programs Surina Khan was appointed to the Women’s Health Policy Council (WHPC) of Los Angeles County. While WHPC works directly with the Office of Women’s Health in Los Angeles (OWH) to improve health policies, programs and services offered to all women in Los Angeles, WHPC has a particular emphasis on improving the health care available to low-income women.
We sat down with Surina to learn more about the significance of this appointment.
What will your duties and responsibilities be as a new member of the Women’s Health Policy Council?
Surina: As a member of the Women’s Policy Health Council, I’ll primarily serve as an adviser to the Office of Women’s Health on their priorities. I’ll provide input and guidance on developing a strategic plan for women’s health policies, services and programs. I’ll also have an opportunity to help evaluate programs and polices that affect women’s health. I’ll work on prioritizing scientific, medical, ethical, and policy issues that are related to improving the health status of women.
What most excites you about this appointment?
Surina: I’m very excited about the opportunity to work in partnership with distinguished and accomplished experts in the field of women’s health on improving women’s health in Los Angeles. The LA Office of Women’s Health takes a comprehensive overview of health services and programs and identifies gaps and areas for improvement of health services. As someone who uses the healthcare system and has experienced the shortcomings, I am personally excited to help improve the healthcare delivery system. There are many communities that face difficulties and barriers to getting good quality, respectful healthcare like lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, low-income women and people of color. And I’m excited to engage with people in these communities and hear how the WHPC and the OWH can help improve the health care system.
How does this appointment relate to your work at the Foundation?
Surina: Since our inception, the Foundation has supported access to health services for women, especially as relates to the health of those who are most vulnerable such as the elderly and people who are living in poverty. We have policy expertise on a wide range of women’s issues, and I am excited to bring this knowledge to the WHPC and help improve access to healthcare services for all women. The Foundation works with and listens to a wide variety of organizations and leaders so I will be able to bring the concerns that I’ve heard expressed by our grant recipients and colleagues in the policy arena to the WHPC.