The National Women’s Health Network, (AKA the Network), is a DC-based nonprofit that works to improve health by strategically shaping policy, expanding health care access, and providing accurate, unbiased health information. A lot has changed in the world of women’s health since 1975, the year we were founded. In this live recording of our very first podcast episode, we spoke with Byllye Avery, Cynthia Gutierrez, and Rachel Branaman, three giants in the policy and programming space. Together, we discussed the history, present, and future of the women’s health movement in the U.S., and how we can better fight for health care access and equity for all.  

In this episode, you’ll learn: 

  • How the women’s health movement has changed from the 1970’s until today  
  • What helps move the movement forward, and what acts as barriers towards progress 
  • About the power of storytelling, direct action, and why one brave woman chose to hide speculums in a box marked “toys”  
  • How intersectional, trauma-informed care can make all the difference for patients (and what it looks like)  

More about the Panelists: 

Resources for Episode 001: A Path Forward with the National Women's Health Network

  • Learn more about Betty Friedan’s seminal book “The Feminine Mystique” on goodreads.  
  • Peruse the Boston Women’s Health Collective’s historical records over at the Harvad Radcliffe Institute.  HIVE’s mission is to advance reproductive and sexual wellness for individuals, families and communities affected by HIV in San Francisco and beyond. 
  • Team Lily is a Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital-based multidisciplinary care team providing person-centered, trauma-informed, wrap-around services to pregnant and postpartum people. 
  • The Black Women’s Health Imperative is the first and only national non-profit solely dedicated to achieving health equity for Black women in America. 
  • Founded in 2011, Talem Consulting provides nonprofits the tools they need to build capacity, fundraise, and dismantle systems of inequity. 
  • Black Millennials 4 Flint is a national environmental justice and  civil rights organization with the purpose of bringing like-minded organizations together to collectively take action and advocate against the crisis of lead exposure specifically in African American & Latinx communities throughout the nation. 
  • We Testify is an organization dedicated to the leadership and representation of people who have abortions, increasing the spectrum of abortion storytellers in the public sphere, and shifting the way the media understands the context and complexity of accessing abortion care. 

Terms Mentioned + Links to Definitions:  


The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and entertain. All views expressed by the persons featured on the Your Health Unlocked podcast are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the NWHN or its affiliates. Information provided in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Consult your own provider for any medical issues that you may be experiencing.

Your Health Unlocked