One of the highlights of The Black Women's Agenda, Inc.'s 40th Annual Symposium Workshop & Awards Luncheon was the announcement of a $50,000 donation to BWA made by Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.PH, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascension Healthcare, Vice President, Ascension, and BWA's 2017 Health Award recipient.

Ascension, the nation's largest non-profit health system, is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. The company's donation will support Because We Care - BWA's healthcare initiative - which Dr. Maryland praised for the valuable service it provides to the African-American community. "It has been my life's work to ensure that health care is seen as a universal and fundamental right for all," she said. "One of my greatest wishes is to achieve a just and inclusive policy of healthcare that leaves no one behind - in our country, and, do we dare dream it - our world."

The Because We Care initiative was established by BWA in 2014 as a series of free forums that provided Black women across the country with resources and tools to take better care of their loved ones and themselves. Last year, the organization expanded the initiative, introducing "Love Letters," a critical information template that helps families begin the often-difficult conversation about providing and receiving care. During BWA's 40th Annual Symposium Workshop, participants were encouraged to explore strategies that would enable them to live their best lives at every age.

"As women, providing care, compassion, and support to our families and loved ones is something that we do almost instinctively," explained BWA President Gwainevere Catchings Hess. Because We Care reminds us that we must take care of our own physical, mental and emotional health with the same passion and sense of purpose."



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