As millennials come into positions of power and leadership in their communities around the country, their coming-of-age stories center around a few central themes: One of them is a healthcare routine — or a lack of one.
So many young people skip doctor appointments, avoid taking medication and work when they are sick because of the broken system they exist in. Who can afford $300 for medication out of pocket? What happens if you are hit by a car while riding your bike and can’t afford follow-up treatments after the ER? Why isn’t preventative care encouraged and incentivized, and why on earth is eating organic food so expensive? Some grew up in food deserts, some haven’t been to the dentist or eye doctor due to lack of coverage, and some can’t quit a job they hate because healthcare is tied to their employment.
How can we ignite a conversation around health in a way that’s both meaningful and transformative?
Dr. Vonda Wright is the founder and CEO of Women’s Health Conversations, an event series and online community that focuses on women ages 40 to 60 years old. She’s expanding its reach to include our very important younger sisters and daughters: the millennials.
Millennials are the largest generational cohort in U.S. history, and it’s impossible to ignore the voice of this generation — specifically the women who are shaping healthcare and policy. To understand what millennial women want and need from healthcare, Women’s Health Conversations launched the HOT for your Health lifestyle brand, which includes signature events, an iTunes podcast series, books and an online community.
“Living in healthcare for the last 35 years, I believe part of ‘universal healthcare’ is taking personal responsibility for the choices we can control while working collaboratively to make the changes to increase well being for all,” Dr. Wright said.
By integrating the millennial perspective into Women’s Health Conversations, today’s generation of women can transform our nation’s health for the betterment of all women and the world. And when health is improved, our cultures and economies benefit, too.
But how does this translate into action?
That’s where you come in. Become part of the conversation around women’s health, preventative care and how millennials are changing the game by taking control of their health in new and innovative ways.
This generation is poised to make their mark through legislation, cultural shifts and changing up the social norms surrounding healthcare. Innovation and adaptability are two of the hallmarks of being part of the millennial generation. They’ve survived the worst recession in modern history, dealt with crushing student loans, experienced stagnant wages that have prevented so many from buying homes and have been told they may not outlive their parents.
Millennials are the largest generational cohort in U.S. history, and it’s impossible to ignore the voice of this generation -- specifically the women who are shaping healthcare and policy
And how have they responded? By thinking on their feet and jumping into action. They’ve embraced environmental justice causes, opened conversations surrounding universal healthcare and juggled multiple jobs without safety nets to ensure the survival of themselves and their families.
If any generation of women is ready to tackle the big structural issues facing us all with grace, humor and innovation, it’s millennials. Stay tuned for pieces about preventative care, reproductive health, politics surrounding healthcare policies and more, every Wednesday here on DrVondaWright.com/blog
This series on Millennial Women’s Health was created in partnership with Dr. Vonda Wright’s non-profit Women’s Health Conversations. Read more in the series here.