We Need Your Support

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Dear Friends of the CWHN:  WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

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Health is a human right.  Trusted health information protects women’s lives.  When the CWHN began, almost 20 years ago, it was founded because there was little information for the public on the health needs of women and girls.  Two decades later, there are still many gaps in women’s healthcare. But we also face another challenge.  The public is overwhelmed by magazine ads, television commercials and websites that can damage women’s health.  Much of the media tells girls and women that they are not healthy or beautiful unless they take a pill, make a surgical cut or starve themselves.  Even more worrying, many brochures and websites discussing health issues appear to be independent but are funded by for-profit companies.

More than ever, we need a national women’s health organization we can trust. 

The Canadian Women’s Health Network has been the voice of women’s health for two decades.  I’ve been a part of the CWHN since the beginning, first as a volunteer and board member, and recently as Executive Director.  Members of our board and staff are all dedicated to making the CWHN a dynamic organization.  We follow all of the latest medical and community research and we translate the findings into user-friendly articles and webinars.  We have one of the largest collections of women’s health books, articles, and webinars.  Our hard-copy collection is so extensive we’ve found a new and larger home for it at the University of Ottawa.  We have over 15,000 publications and community listings available online through our eLibrary.

You also care about the health of women and girls.  Many of you are involved in women’s health beyond the CWHN.  It’s hard to ask you for money when many worthy causes are calling out to you for support.  It may be easier to understand why a breast cancer charity or a shelter needs funding.  But a national women’s health network?  Maybe that feels too general.  But women are more than the sum of their parts.  Without question, we need support for individual women’s cancers and shelters.  But we also need one place that ADDRESSES THE HEALTH NEEDS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS AS A WHOLE.

Only at the Canadian Women’s Health Network can 360,000 visitors go each year to find information on hundreds of health topics in English and French and with more than 1,000 items in dozens of different languages.  You can search through our database to find information on community groups from coast to coast to coast.  You can find the latest information on health concerns from Addictions to Breast Cancer to Endometriosis to Osteoporosis.  For an update of our past year, read our Annual Report.

In the past year, we launched two new projects:

  • Get the Word Out – Women and Breast Cancer Prevention
  • Girls, Women and Alcohol

and several newsworthy articles and webinars on:  cancer in the workplace; food security issues for women; and daughters of women in residential schools.

We really need you.  Until now, we’ve been largely funded by Health Canada and we haven’t turned to the public with fundraising campaigns. We have done much that is good with that funding, but on March 31st, 2013, all of our Health Canada funding STOPS.  Gone.  After 17 years of supporting our national efforts, we are losing almost $400,000 in annual funding.  This is not a reflection of our value; the entire department that funded us has been cut.  Some groups are closing.  We are committed to staying open.

We need your donations and your memberships.  The more members we have the greater the voice we can bring to women’s health.  Five hundred voices speak louder than a hundred.  Membership is only $25.  Above all, we need your donations.  And we need you to share this letter, share the word that the CWHN cannot survive without the help of everyone involved in women’s health.  You can mail or phone in your memberships and donations or make a secure online donation.  April 1st is coming fast.  Now is the time to donate so the CWHN is open for its 20th Anniversary, and for the next 20 years.

My thanks to you all,

Anne Rochon Ford

Executive Director, CWHN