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Region III

Women's Health Coordinator

Sarah Shrimplin, M.P.H.
150 S. Independence Mall West, Ste. 436
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3499
Phone: 215-861-4620
Email:email icon sarah.shrimplin@hhs.gov
Region resources:

Region III consists of:

Region III overview

The region's demographic, economic, and health status indicators describe a diverse population with challenging needs. The region contains 4 Centers of Excellence (COE) and 1 Community Center of Excellence (CCOE) in Women's Health awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health. The COEs and CCOEs promote comprehensive, coordinated, culturally sensitive women's health care. An overview of the indicators for the region is presented followed by more specific information for each state and the District.

The population of Region III is 28.5 million, and more than 51 percent are women. The states and District contain some of the most densely populated areas in the United States in predominantly urban settings. In contrast, the states of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia exceed the U.S. average of the percentage of the population (21 percent in 2000) living in rural areas. The 2000 racial/ethnic distribution of the region shows the overall percentage of whites to be 76.9 percent, blacks 17.1 percent, Asian/Pacific Islander 2.7 percent, American Indian/Alaska Native .2 percent, and Hispanic 3.5 percent. The 2001 national average for women without health insurance was 13.3 percent, with Region III ranging from 6.8 percent in Delaware to 19.4 percent in West VA.

The behavioral risk factors associated with the leading health problems in the U.S. are physical inactivity, obesity, and smoking. The leading causes of death in the region are heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD). These mirror the U.S. trends and are the same for women as for men.

For more information on women's health data, visit Quick Health Data Online.


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Delaware

Delaware ranks as the 46th smallest state consisting of 3 counties with a population of 817,491 of which 51.4 percent are women. Twenty percent of the population lives in rural areas and 10.2 percent live below the poverty level. In 2000, the racial/ethnic distribution of women in the state was 73.2 percent White; 19.9 percent Black; 2.3 percent Asian/Pacific Islander; 0.4 percent American Indian/Alaska Native; and 4.3 percent Hispanic. In 2002, the 2 leading causes of death for women were heart disease and total cancer (lung, breast and colorectal). In 2000, the state had one of the highest levels of health insurance coverage among women ages 18-64.

In 2000-2002, 19.4 percent of women age 20 and over were obese. No leisure-time physical activity was reported by 30.7 percent.

The state has an Office of Women's Health. The women's health contact for that office is Dr. Jacqueline Christman. She can be reached at email icon Jacqueline.Christman@state.de.us. Delaware has a National Community Center of Excellence in Women's Health, which is located in the Christiana Health Care System.


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District of Columbia

The District of Columbia has a population of 563,384, of which 52.9 percent are women. The District is racially and culturally diverse and has the highest percent of Blacks in the region. In 2000, the racial/ethnic distribution of females was 27.1 percent White; 62.6 percent Black; 3.1 percent; Asian/Pacific Islander; 0.4 percent American Indian/Alaskan Native; and 7.0 percent Hispanic. In Region III, the District has the highest percent of women living below the poverty level (21 percent) as well as the highest percent (15 percent) on public assistance. In 2000, the 2 leading causes of death in women were heart disease and total cancer (lung, breast and colorectal cancer). In addition, a high percent of mothers in DC do not receive early and adequate prenatal care.

In 2000-2002, 24.2 percent of women age 20 and over were obese. No leisure-time physical activity was reported by 25.1 percent of women.

The District of Columbia has an Office of Women's Health. In the District of Columbia there is a Women's Health Initiative implemented by the Department of Health, Office of Maternal and Child Health and the contact person is Felicia Buadoo-Adade. She can be reached at email icon Felicia.Buadoo-Adade@dc.gov. The District's health department's website is www.dchealth.dc.gov. There is no National Center of Excellence in Women's Health in DC.


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Maryland

Maryland has a population of over 5.5 million people of which 51.7 percent are women. In 2000, the racial/ethnic distribution of females was 62.2 percent White; 29.2 percent Black; 4.3 percent Asian/ Pacific Islander; 0.4 percent American Indian/Alaska Native; and 4 percent Hispanic. In 2000, the 2 leading causes of death in women were heart disease and total cancer (lung, breast and colorectal). Colorectal and breast cancer deaths are among the highest in the nation.

In 2000-2002, 20.6 percent of women age 20 and over were obese. No leisure-time physical activity was reported by 27.2 percent of women.

Maryland does not have an Office of Women's Health. The State/territorial liaison is Diana Cheng, MD. She can be reached at email icon chengd@dhmh.state.md.us. The state health department's website is www.dhmh.state.md.us. There is no National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health in Maryland.


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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania ranks 5th in size in the nation with a population of over 12 million people of which 51.7 percent are women. Thirty-three percent of the population lives in rural areas and 12.2 percent of women are below the poverty level. In 2000, the racial/ethnic distribution of females was 84.6 percent White; 10.3 percent Black; 1.9 percent Asian/Pacific Islander; 0.2 percent American Indian/Alaska Native; and 3.0 percent Hispanic. In 2000-2002, Pennsylvania ranked among the top states for health insurance coverage for women ages 18-64. In 2000, the two leading causes of death in women were heart disease and total cancer (lung, breast and colorectal). The state ranks among those with the largest proportion of women who smoke and has some of the highest rates of death among females due to breast and colorectal cancers.

In 2000-2002, 22.1 percent of women age 20 and over were obese. No leisure-time physical activity was reported by 25.5 percent of women.

The state does not have an Office of Women's Health. The women's health contact person is Jayme Trogus. She can be reached at email icon jtrogus@state.pa.us. The state health department website is www.health.state.pa.us/womenshealth. There are 2 National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health (COE), 1 at Drexel and the other at Magee. Both of these are first generation COEs.


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Virginia

Virginia has over 7 million people of which 51.0 percent are women. Twenty-seven percent of the population lives in rural areas and 10.7 percent of the female population lives below the poverty level. The racial/ethnic distribution of females is 70.9 percent White; 20.4 percent Black; 4.2 percent Asian/Pacific Islander; 0.4 percent American Indian/Alaska Native; and 4.3 percent Hispanic. In 2000, the 2 leading causes of death in women were heart disease and total cancer (lung, breast and colorectal). Virginia ranks among the states with the highest rates of death among females due to breast cancer. Virginia ranks near the top in having a high percentage of women who receive early and adequate prenatal care. However, the percentage of black and Hispanic women in Virginia who receive this care is significantly lower than the white population, which may put these women at greater risk of experiencing complications during pregnancy and delivering before 37 weeks gestation.

In 2000-2002, 20.6 percent of women age 20 and over were obese. No leisure-time physical activity was reported by 27.6 percent of women.

There is no Office of Women's Health in the Virginia Department of Health. There is a state health department point of contact for women's health and her name is Deborah Harris. She can be reached at deborahmharris@vdh.virginia.gov. The state health department website is www.vdh.state.va.us. Virginia also has a nonprofit organization headed by Miriam Bender. She can be reached at email icon mbender@womenshealthvirginia.org. This organization is called Women's Health Virginia and provides educational programs on women's health. The website for this organization is www.womenshealthvirginia.org. Virginia has a National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health at Virginia Commonwealth University and their website is www.womenshealth.vcu.edu.

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West Virginia

West Virginia has a total population of 1,810,354, of which 51.4 percent are women. This is the only state that is entirely within the Appalachian Mountain Range. It is also the most rural state in Region III with 53.9 percent of the population living in rural areas and has the second highest rate of women living below the poverty level at 19.2 percent. The composition of the population is predominantly white with the distribution of females in 2000 as 95.4 percent White; 3.2 percent Black; 0.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander; 0.2 American Indian/Alaska Native; and 0.6 percent Hispanic. In 2000, the 2 leading causes of death in women were heart disease and total cancer (lung, breast and colorectal). West Virginia has some of the highest death rates among females due to heart disease, cancer, CLRD and diabetes. In addition, it has one of the highest proportions of women who smoke. It ranks near the bottom in having high rates of diagnosed high blood pressure, obesity and physical inactivity among women, health risk factors associated with heart disease and diabetes. It also has one of the lowest levels of health insurance coverage among women under 65.

In 2000-2002, 25.0 percent of women age 20 and over were obese. No leisure-time physical activity was reported by 32.8 percent.

There is no Office of Women's Health. The point of contact for women's health is Anne Williams. The state health department's website is www.wvdhhr.org/bph. West Virginia has a Center of Excellence in Women's Health at West Virginia University and their website is www.wvhealthywomen.org.

Content last updated: January 01, 2007.

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