Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra released the following statement in honor of Women’s History Month, celebrated every year in the United States throughout the month of March, and in recognition of International Day of Women on March 8, 2022:
“During Women’s History Month at HHS, we honor the contributions women have made in shaping our country and our health care and human services systems. This year’s theme, ‘Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,’ shines a light on the critical role that women caregivers and health care workers play every day in our lives. This is especially true during the pandemic where many women are serving on the frontlines while often juggling the challenges of parenting and child care. In particular, to the selfless women serving in our health care workforce: I see you, I hear you, and we at HHS are doing everything we can to support and help you.
“At HHS, our commitment to women is not just a part of our history, it’s a critical part of our everyday mission. Our programs and initiatives over the last year have focused on improving the lives of women and their families in their communities, homes, and workplaces. We’ve provided grants to thousands of women facing challenges while taking care of their families. Programs like Medicaid ensure postpartum care for many women and their babies and our Title X and community clinics provide care for women nationwide. We’ve prioritized the health of expectant mothers with programs that champion the best practices in maternity care, as well as emphasized and supported initiatives that underscore the importance of access to preventive and reproductive care. Whether it’s developing and understanding the best practices for care delivery, raising awareness around diseases and conditions that disproportionately impact women, or providing quality health care in federally-funded health centers, HHS has—and will continue to—advance the health of every woman in America. We also remain vigilant in our efforts to combat human trafficking at home and abroad, and continue to develop strong partnerships with our local, state, and global counterparts.
“The stress introduced by COVID-19 continues to put a strain on many of us, including women and people of color who are at greater risk for the emotional toll of the pandemic because they disproportionately work on the frontlines. As part of HHS’ Department-wide efforts to address these challenges, we are working to strengthen mental health and crisis care systems across the country.
“As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I am especially honored to serve alongside incredible women, including many who lead agencies and divisions across the Department. The more than 51,000 women contributing to our 90,000-strong workforce make HHS a truly wonderful place to work, and a vanguard for the health and well-being of all Americans.”