NWHN Board of Directors Election Headquarters

Voting for the NWHN Board of Directors is now closed.

Thank you for voting.

Click on the names below to read more about the candidates for the 2024 Board of Directors election.

Terms will last from June 2024 through May 2028.

I found my way to healthcare advocacy through my experience as a rural teen parent and queer young woman who realized I was not receiving quality or comprehensive healthcare. After finding community among feminist scholars and clinicians who were working to improve healthcare systems, I became a nurse and researcher so I could advocate for equitable, evidence-based, and safe healthcare. I am currently a clinical assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing. In this role, I teach nursing students about evidence-based practice, coordinate interprofessional education experiences, and conduct scholarship about race, gender, and weight bias in healthcare. I also practice clinically in emergency and forensic nursing, where I advocate for victims of violence and abuse by providing trauma-informed nursing care, performing evidence collection, and serving as a resource for anti-violence efforts. I found the NWHN through reading about FDA advocacy in gender and women’s studies courses and discussing The Women’s Health Activist Newsletter with clinician colleagues during the ACA rollout and perpetual attacks on reproductive health. I decided to run for the board in February 2020 to serve and govern an organization that I deeply care about. As a board member, I have served on all committees and am currently the board secretary and chair of the governance committee. I am now seeking reelection to continue to push our policy priorities forward while staying true to our progressive and feminist roots. 

My family moved to the US when I was 4 years old. We came for the opportunity for a better life and I remember our early years – my parents didn’t know English but they searched and figured out about the different resources for our family. We would visit places for our immunizations, to find out where we can get dental care, and specialty medical care – there was a community that was there to support us. We moved ahead with that support. I grew up following what our culture expected for success: corporate world, great salary, continued promotions to the highest level… but throughout that I was missing something. After a lot of reflection, I realized that I can work in the nonprofit world and be passionate for my job. My first role was Executive Director of a women’s health clinic. I soon realized that is where I belonged. I remembered my family’s experience facing barriers to health but also finding the community to support us. I wanted to do the same for more families and have them achieve their dreams and goals. My experience has allowed me to use my experience while continuing to learn from everyone around me. It is that perspective that I want to bring to the NWHN – share my experience and continue to learn so I can be part of the change needed for health equity. 

As a Midwife, NWHN’s work aligns with my passions. I have dedicated 15+ years to community health, focused on maternal health disparities. Currently, I am a Population Health Specialist for a Medicaid plan, where I have impact on thousands of pregnant people in rural and urban areas across Oregon. My commitment to addressing disparities and protecting reproductive rights aligns seamlessly with the Network’s mission to advance women’s health on a national scale. I also practice as a homebirth midwife, serving primarily Medicaid clients – allowing me unique insight into the challenges faced by low-income Americans. My experience has not only shaped my commitment to women’s health but have also equipped me with a unique perspective that I believe would greatly benefit the National Women’s Health Network in its mission to address the multifaceted aspects of women’s well-being. I am drawn to the Network’s commitment to improving lives through advocacy, education, and policy initiatives. Serving on the Board would provide me with a platform to leverage my skills and experiences to contribute to the Network’s mission at a national level. I am eager to collaborate with like-minded professionals and lend my voice to shape policies that positively impact women’s health across the country. 

I am joining the Board of the National Women’s Health Network because I believe that every generation has a responsibility to champion the causes that impact their lives. As a Black woman who has faced multiple health challenges throughout my life, I intend to harness the skills I have amassed during my 25+ year career in public relations to do just that. I have had the good fortune to successfully help guide various organizations, from grassroots nonprofits to multinational corporations, through revitalization initiatives that improve the health and well-being of the communities they serve. With a profound passion for promoting diversity and inclusion, I am eager to bring my expertise to the National Women’s Health Network so that my daughters and their daughters will have the chance to live in a world where prioritizing women’s health leads to improved overall public health, and empowers women to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives, ultimately benefiting everyone in society. 

I am passionate about breaking down silos! My work involves preventing the exploitation of people and the planet through the effects of patriarchy, capitalism and other systems of oppression. My role at the Center for Biological Diversity is to work at the intersection of reproductive health, gender equity and environmental justice. I believe every person has the right to choose if and when they want to have children, and how many, and to do so in a safe and healthy environment. All these issues are connected – Until everyone has the tools to make informed decisions about their health, we won’t have reproductive justice, climate justice, food justice or economic justice. Besides holding a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from NC State, I received a master’s in public health from USF after deciding to pursue my lifelong interest in reproductive health. I have many years of board experience – 5 as part of a creative reuse art center and 7 with the Social Marketing Association of North America where I was the founding president. I look forward to using my past board experience, newly acquired MPH, desire to work at the systems level through the social determinants of health lens and passion for women’s issues to support the NWHN.

In public health school over 25 years ago, I was turned on to the fact that women die in pregnancy- and I couldn’t then and still cannot believe that so basic a human process for new life could be so fundamentally dangerous for women and their babies. Of course as my understanding about the systemic and inbuilt patriarchal systems that support the perpetuation of this became more clear I committed to working in it. Sadly all these years later little has changed and the US has the worst statistics of any so called developed country. It’s awful and I would like to engage in a movement that addresses this. Also, there are so many other challenges that women should not have to live with. We are part of humanity and should be unencumbered and free to live whatever expression of life we want to. I am interested to engage in an organized movement that is systematically addressing the injustices that women have to live under because they are women. 

As a woman of color, I have witnessed the aversion many women have towards healthcare professionals who do not understand or respect their identities. My mother’s experience with prejudiced doctors during her hospitalization had a lasting impact on me. It is not just her, but many women of color face dehumanization within healthcare. When I was 10, my mother was hospitalized for supraventricular tachycardia. The doctor discharged her from the hospital and said she was fine despite her SVT and shortness of breath. He brazenly told her not to eat fried chicken and watermelon, all the while ignoring her symptoms and making her pain worse with vicious stereotypes. These issues highlight the critical need for women’s health advocacy. I acquiesce to the NWHN’s efforts to advocate for women’s health, uniquely subjugated women’s health. It is crucial that we address the issue of health disparities among women, especially women of color, by targeting the social determinants that impact health results. I am a firm advocate for advancing women’s autonomy, reproductive freedoms, sexual health, and holistic wellbeing. I am dedicated to improving the health of women and promoting social equity. I want to empower women and improve their health and reproductive rights by fostering open dialogue. 

As a college freshman in 1984, I sat in an orientation session explaining the health center’s offerings. A student, one of the new student liaisons, piped up saying she was frustrated that the health center had violated her privacy when they informed her parents about a pregnancy test request. I vividly remember contemplating the power of her confession. This woman had spoken up not for herself; she risked judgment and condemnation for all of us. That’s true courage. Women deserve the right to be empowered, to be educated, to be adults in their own lives and we cannot do that when legislation treats us as incompetent or flawed. NWHN is vital and I believe that I can be an asset to its mission. From working with abused women and children to building a business specifically designed to support women in achieving their goals is a testament to my drive and commitment to continue the fight towards fairness in managing and maintaining our basic rights. My experience as a board member and chair as well as countless years in the nonprofit community can only be an asset to the organization as it brings service leadership to the table. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller. I look forward to working together, making this nation better for all women. 

My advocacy skills developed in childhood; as the oldest of fourteen kids, I learned the importance of caregiving, organizing, and speaking up. I now understand advocacy through various roles: individual allyship, solidarity among organizations, and creating grassroots efforts. I have learned from advocating for sexual/repro health: modernization of HIV criminalization laws, demanding the FDA reverse a ban on sperm donation for people living with HIV, updating clinical guidelines for pregnant people impacted by HIV’s family building & breast/chestfeeding choices, to a global movement to accurately define the risk of sexual HIV transmission. I am devoted to creating a world where women have sex when, where, and how they want to. This ambition explicitly includes trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive people. Increasingly, I am interested in how we age and how we die. Our struggle for bodily autonomy is connected to a more expansive conversation on aging and end-of-life. People are powerful, and together, we are a force. Now is the time to work collectively to create sustainable care and support systems for women across our lifespans. NWHN is a leader in taking action towards sustainable solutions. I am eager to contribute to this critical work as a NWHN Board member. 

Thank you for your interest in our Board of Directors!   

The National Women’s Health Network is a 501c3 not for profit tharepresents the health interests of women across the life continuum. We maintain an intersectional focus on sexual and reproductive health, maternal health and the health and well-being of aging women. We work to improve women’s health outcomes through state and federal advocacy, consumer health education, and grassroots technical assistance initiatives. Since our founding in 1975, we have empowered millions of women nationwide to access high quality health care.   

First and foremost, we are seeking candidates who are passionate about our Vision and Mission.

To round out our Board composition, we are looking for individuals with different backgrounds and experiences, including those who live in rural and suburban areas, the Midwest, Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. Additionally, we welcome individuals who have time and energy to commit to the roles and responsibilities of being on a national board. Individuals with expertise in mental health, legal, financial management, HR, and fundraising professions are of special interest.

The NWHN acknowledges that multiple systems of oppression exist and we are looking for Board candidates who want to be a part of the solution to challenge and resist them in our work. We aim to build a Board which reflects our Network membership so we continue to seek a diverse pool of candidates for our slate.  The term of service is 4 years.  All nominees must be NWHN members. You can become a member, quickly and easily, here.

The NWHN Board of Directors is the governing body of this organization. Board meetings are quarterly, and at least one meeting each year is held in person. Board members must serve on at least one Committee; Committees meet 8 times each year, in the months between Board meetings. Board members commit to their role by agreeing to and signing the Board Member Compact annually.

We estimate that active board members who fulfill their board commitments spend 4-6 hours per month on board responsibilities. This typically includes reading emails, reflecting on them, and responding thoughtfully; preparing for, and attending, committee meetings, and other miscellaneous tasks that arise.

Click here to review the Board Member Compact

  • Membership notified of election timeline and process: December 1, 2023
  • Nominations/application deadline: 11:59pm EST January 22, 2024
  • Interviews conducted, slate created & sent out to Board by: March 10, 2024
  • Board approves slate for election via E-vote: March 13, 2024
  • Applicants not on the slate notified: March 15, 2024
  • Open voting to membership: March 20, 2024
  • Deadline for submitting ballots: April 10, 2024
  • Announcement of election results; call candidates elected, then email those not elected: April 23, 2024
  • Newly elected Board members take office at the next Board meeting following the election: June 6-8, 2024 Board meeting

If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to contact Denise Hyater-Lindenmuth, the Network’s Executive Director, by email at [email protected].