Contact: Evita Almassi, ealmassi@nwhn.org

After more than twenty years, Cindy Pearson announced today she is stepping down as Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network. 

Under Cindy’s leadership, the NWHN has grown into a national powerhouse. The organization has forced the federal government to institute new rules against sterilization abuse, sparked Congressional investigations exposing misleading health information, and convinced the FDA to include women and people of color in its studies of new drugs. 

During Cindy’s tenure, the NWHN fought for and won the biggest expansion of health care coverage in a generation, reducing uninsurance rates, most dramatically among people of color. The organization’s decades-long campaign challenging Big Pharma’s marketing of menopause as a disease eventually prevented more than 160,000 cases of breast cancer and heart disease as women and their doctors learned that aging healthfully doesn’t require “replacement” hormones.

“A lot has changed during my time at the NWHN—thank goodness those clunky typewriters are gone!—but our core values have been consistent.” says Cindy. “We believe that health justice demands racial justice. We believe women are grassroots experts on health care. We believe that all people deserve to be treated with respect by their clinicians. We believe we can’t compromise our ability to speak the truth by taking money from drug companies. I’m so proud of what the NWHN has accomplished during my time here.”

Thanks to Cindy, the NWHN is poised to tackle the biggest issues of today—racial equity in health, ensuring that all people are treated respectfully regardless of their gender identity, truly universal access to healthcare, disease mongering and more. 

“I have had the pleasure of working with Cindy Pearson for over 15 years,” said Kim Robinson, Chair of the Board of Directors. “The passion and dedication that she has shown to the NWHN after all these years is truly remarkable. Leadership is about finding your unique framework, cultivating your staff, as much as it is about expressing your ideas courageously, confidently, and vulnerably even at the disagreement of some. Over the past 20 years Cindy has been the quintessential driving force behind the success of the NWHN. She has developed relationships that have supported the organization’s financial stability, which is how the NWHN can do its vitally important work today. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are grateful for the work, support, political guidance, and strength that Cindy has given to the organization, members, staff, funders and stakeholders.”

The Board of Directors will conduct a national search for the next Executive Director over the coming weeks. 

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