President's Blog |

Prioritizing Women’s Preventive Health with WPSI

As an obstetrician–gynecologist and women’s health expert, I am dedicated to supporting and advocating for women’s physical and mental health needs. Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to care for many women throughout their life span, and I have seen that women are the drivers, role models, and decision makers of their own health and often their family’s health. I’ve learned that the health of the one patient in front of me is often the reflection of the health within her community and therefore understand the urgency in addressing a woman’s preventive health and the potential effect I can have on her community.

The unfortunate reality is that nearly half of all women in the United States are not receiving the preventive services they need. With COVID-19 exacerbating the many challenges that women already face, priorities for medical visits are shifting, and preventive services are not always at the forefront of a patient’s mind. 

That’s where the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) comes in. WPSI is a multidisciplinary team of experts who provide evidence-based, cutting-edge recommendations for women’s preventive health. Led by ACOG and the Health Resources and Services Administration, WPSI’s resources provide clinicians with a trusted guide to support their patients’ preventive health needs. This includes the Well-Woman Chart, an easy-to-use summary of WPSI’s recommendations based on age, health status, pregnancy status, and general risk factors. 

WPSI’s strength is in the cross-collaboration of clinicians across disciplines and its focus on preventive health, which allows for an informed focus and review of the organization in addressing pressing and overlooked women’s health needs. WPSI provides clinicians across specialties and fields with resources and clear guidance for implementing preventive health services recommendations to ensure that they can serve their patients. A variety of clinicians play a role in providing preventive services to women, so it’s critical that we all engage women about their preventive health early, often, and at every stage of their lives. 

The latest WPSI recommendation on screening for anxiety in adolescent and adult women highlights, recognizes, and prioritizes the health needs that disproportionately affect women—including mental health, which is a critical part of a patient’s overall well-being. It is wonderful to have the WPSI partnership on the anxiety recommendation, which enables patients to receive this service without cost-sharing. 

Help your patients stay healthier throughout their lives and improve the health of your community by using WPSI’s recommendations and Well-Woman Chart to address your patients’ preventive health needs.