A Commitment to Women
Our commitment to women is rooted in our history. Catherine McAuley, founder of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, began her ministry to attend to the health and education needs of poor women and children in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831. We have continued her mission through the Campaign for Women's Health as we respond to the significant and unique health needs of women of all ages in our community.
Over time, we have learned that disease and disability affect men and women in different ways, women's health concerns are not the same as men's and research, education and treatment provides the greatest benefit when they are gender-specific. Through the education programs and health care services supported by the Campaign for Women's Health, we can address the many health issues facing women today and give women the information and care they need to live longer, healthier lives.
In addressing their specialized needs, we are fulfilling our promise for improved health for all women in our community. Many health issues face women as they age from adolescence through their senior years. And while breast cancer remains a primary concern, a number of other health issues are prominent. For example:
- Heart disease is the number-one killer of both women and men, yet a woman's chance of surviving a heart attack is lower than a man's.
- Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women.
- Osteoporosis, thinning of the bones, affects half of all women over age 45 and 90 percent of women over 75. Of more than 25 million Americans with osteoporosis, 80 percent are female.
- Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases affect 37 million Americans - two-thirds of them are women.
- Depression affects twice as many women as men.
And although the statistics go on and on, thanks to our Women's Health programs and services, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is better able to help women protect themselves from disease and live healthier lives. Through exercise, diet, routine health screening and other lifestyle changes, women are able to impact their overall health and well being.
Today, the Ellen Thompson Women's Health Center serves a testament to our community's support of a center designed with women's needs in mind. Thank you for helping us fulfill our promise to women of all ages.