Women's Health


MSDC has long advocated for women's health protections, the rights of women physicians, and affordable care for women's issues. MSDC works closes with ACOG, AAFP, AAP, and other specialty organizations to craft local legislation that allows DC to be the best place to practice women's and maternal medicine.

In the face of a maternal mortality crisis in the District, engagement in these issues is more important than ever. Learn more about how MSDC is working to protect the health of women, mothers, and babies in all wards in the city.

MSDC Statements and Testimony on Women's Health Issues


DC Health Releases 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment

Feb 20, 2020, 08:06 AM by MSDC staff
The DC Health report is a snapshot of the District's overall health through various metrics.
DC Health released its 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) last week which showed that the District is meeting some, but not all, of its public health goals.

The purpose of the CHNA, according to the department, is to comprehensively analyze the overall health status and quality of life for District residents. The assessment "serves as a resource that catalogs the District's existing assets, healthcare services and facilities, public health infrastructure, community partnerships mobilized to address priority needs, promising practices and policies, population health data, and funding opportunities.

Read the executive summary here, the description of the District's population as a whole here, and health outcomes data here.

Some of the top line data that will be of interest to District physicians include:
  • DC Health considers its Substance Use target as "met", with a 13.6% increase in the proportion of persons with co-occurring SUD and mental disorders receiving treatment for both disorders (target = 12.4%)
  • Areas with health indicators getting "worse" include mental health and mental disorders, injury and violence prevention, clinical preventative services (focused on patient control of diabetes), and LGBTQ health
  • Maternal mortality statistics show little or no change towards meeting 2020 goals
  • The District's overall population has increased by 14% since 2010 and has the third youngest population in the U.S. (median age = 34)
  • The difference in lief expectancy between a Ward 3 resident and a Ward 8 resident is 16.5 years (86 v. 70.5 years)

Sample of Legislation MSDC is Tracking in Women's Health and Maternal Health

(See the whole list of bills here)

Postpartum Coverage Act of 2019 (B23-326)

What does the bill do? Extends postpartum inpatient and outpatient benefits to at least one year after childbirth

MSDC position: We support this legislation and the extension of insurance benefits to mothers and babies to help maternal health in the District

Current status: SUCCESS. The bill passed the Council and was signed into law by the Mayor on August 14, 2020.

Strengthening Reproductive Health Protections Act (B23-434)

What does the bill do? The bill prohibits the District government from interfering with patients' reproductive health decisions and prohibits employers from punishing physicians who perform abortions or sterilizations outside of their employment.

MSDC position: We support this legislation as it allows physicians freedom of practice.

Current status: SUCCESS. The bill passed the Committee on Government Operations in January. MSDC submitted testimony at the December hearing, and MSDC member Sara Imershein testified at the hearing. The Council passed the bill and the Mayor signed it into law on March 23, 2020.

Maternal Health Care Improvement and Expansion Act (B23-362)

What does the bill do? The bill extends coverage for maternal health issues and fertility preservation, creates a Maternal Health Center in the District, and mandates two hours of cultural competence CME for health care providers.

MSDC position: We oppose the bill without changes due to inclusion of mandatory CME and some of the definitions in the bill being medically questionable.

Current status: The bill had a hearing in the Committee on Health in December, with MSDC member Dr. Sara Imershein testifying for MSDC and ACOG.