National Women's Health Week

May 10–16, 2020


Meet our 2020 ambassadors

 

Ambassadors are celebrities, athletes, and entrepreneurs who are champions for women's health issues. They voluntarily help the Office on Women's Health promote National Women's Health Week to a wide range of women, including the ambassadors' fans and communities. 


Please note: The personal statements and opinions expressed by ambassadors are their own and do not represent the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or the Office on Women’s Health (OWH). Reference in this website to these ambassadors does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by HHS or OWH of the ambassadors or any related products, processes, services, or companies.


 

Melania Trump

First Lady of the United States

“In difficult times, we must take care of ourselves in order to care for those around us. Demonstrating kindness and compassion helps show children that social and emotional well-being are important, and reaching out for support reminds us all that even in times of isolation, we are not alone. I want to thank all of the National Women’s Health Week Ambassadors for offering their words of inspiration, and encourage you all to continue to BE BEST.”


Karen Pence

Second Lady of the United States

“It is important for all of us to pay attention to our emotional well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is as critical as washing our hands, maintaining physical distance, and other measures that help prevent the spread of this virus. One, check in with yourself every day. Two, do what you know helps you. For me, art is important to my mental health and well-being. Three, talk about your struggles and successes with those you trust. Four, talk to your kids and give them the emotional support they need. And remember, it’s okay to say that you’re not okay.”


VADM Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH

U.S. Surgeon General

“Though it’s not always obvious, a key to staying mentally strong and healthy during COVID-19 is to keep active and moving. Physical activity helps boost your mood and has endless other health benefits. I find my health by playing soccer with my daughter every free chance I get! We love our time together and it keeps us healthy in body and mind!”


Alex M. Azar II

HHS Secretary

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, America is witnessing the dedication and talents of millions of strong women, from scientists and public health experts at HHS to physicians, nurses, leaders, and moms who help keep their families and communities healthy. More is being asked of women now than ever, and it’s more important than ever to support and promote women’s health and well-being.”


Tammy R. Beckham, DVM, PhD

Director, Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy

“We all have many stressors in our life of varying degrees. I am working hard to find healthy ways to manage my stress, especially during COVID-19. When I feel my body get tense at work, I take deep breaths, stretch and take a walk. When I am at home, I make sure to connect with my son and get enough sleep.”


RADM Felicia Collins, MD, MPH, FAAP

Director, HHS Office of Minority Health

“While we are social distancing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we should look for opportunities to stay connected to friends and family, whether they live next door or across the country. Staying connected with others is a great way to support emotional wellness, which in turn impacts our physical health. Efforts to support others through a call, text or video chat are also a wonderful gift to yourself.”


Beverly Cotton, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC (Mississippi Choctaw)

Nashville Area Director, Indian Health Service

“Women are sacred in Indigenous culture. There is power in recognizing our collective strength and resilience. The foundation to my strength and resilience is my faith. Working for an agency that focuses on raising spiritual health is a privilege. During COVID-19, I find my health through daily prayer. It has been a privilege to pray for tribal nations, our country, and other women leaders making a difference in the lives of women and girls.”


Sheri Denkensohn, Esq.

Co- Founder, Happy On Wheels, LLC

“I am a quadriplegic of 36 years with compromised lung capacity and am also a breast cancer survivor. It is vital that everyone take the necessary precautions during this pandemic. I have only gone out for urgent medical appointments. As a former employee at HHS for over 25 years, I am confident that progress will continue to be made in medicine. With my additional free time, I am currently making progress on writing a book.”


Diane Foley, MD

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs

National Women’s Health Week reminds us why it is so important to promote health across the reproductive lifespan. By adapting services to meet the COVID-19 requirements, we continue to support the physical and emotional well-being of everyone we serve during this critical time, especially women and girls.


ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD

Assistant Secretary for Health

"As the @HHS_ASH, I work to lead America to healthier lives. As a husband, father and grandfather, I practice what I preach and do my best to stay active and healthy. For a healthy body, my wife and I love getting outside and being active. For a healthy mind, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, I connect virtually with my granddaughters and daughters. This #NWHW and beyond, I encourage us all to find the time to take care of our health."


Mindy Grossman

President and CEO of WW (formerly Weight Watchers)

“How we manage our health and wellness is not one size fits all. The implications of COVID-19 have created barriers greater than we could have ever imagined, but the foundational components of good health are still the same. On top of trying to eat healthy and follow WW recipes, I like to get active, which helps my mental health and stress management. My hope is that through this unfortunate situation, we become even more open with how we’re feeling and recognize the importance of tuning into our mind and body. We must take action to maintain the wellbeing of ourselves and of those around us.”


Natalie Gulbis

LPGA Player and Member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition

“For me, health is a mindset. I wake up early and show gratitude for the day ahead. My highest priority everyday is to take care of my mental, physical and emotional health. I listen to my favorite music, drink water, do workouts I enjoy, and eat whole foods that give me energy. In times of stress, I use mental discipline to talk back to negative thoughts, learn, and speak words of encouragement to others.”


Sally G. Haskell, MD, MS

Veterans Health Administration

"During this stressful time, don’t forget to take care of yourself. The pandemic has brought changes to the way we provide healthcare, and one positive thing is the increased ability to connect with each other, healthcare providers and patients, through telehealth technology. VA providers are here for women Veterans."


Julie Hocker

Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities, Administration for Community Living

“Maintaining our health is a tie that unites all women. Each of us has a recipe that fits our lifestyle, and we must make sure we don’t lose that recipe during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve maintained my usual schedule and routines. I’ve avoided falling into the snack trap, have been video chatting a lot with nieces and nephews, walking my dog several times a day and eating healthy meals. Bon appétit!”


LCDR Tenzin Jangchup

PharmD, Regulatory Officer, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

“Growing up in a Tibetan household with four sisters, we were always taught the importance of practicing mindfulness especially during stressful times. Women are the vital keepers of peace and strength in our community and known for their selflessness. Currently with COVID-19, I find it helpful to set aside couple minutes out of each day to just be present. We get so busy with work, family and planning our next day that we sometimes forget to live in the moment. I encourage all women and girls to also take the time to concentrate on their own health and well-being during #NWHW and #FindYourHealth.”


Lynn Johnson

Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families

“During times of stress, self-care usually goes by the wayside. In this environment of COVID-19, taking care of yourself is more important than ever because when your own needs are met, you are better able to take care of the needs of others. During National Women’s Health Week, we want to encourage women and girls to support their health so they can be stronger to serve their families and communities.”


Dr. Nita Landry

Dr. Nita Landry

OB-GYN and co-host of The Doctors

“As we protect ourselves from COVID-19, we shouldn’t neglect the other aspects of our health. For example, heart disease kills approximately 647,000 Americans every year. Therefore, it’s important to keep our hearts healthy by maintaining a balanced diet and finding ways to spice up at home exercise routines. The COVID-19 pandemic is definitely an unexpected 2020 twist, but we’ll get through it. And when we do, I want us to be as healthy as possible!”


Mary Lazare

Principal Deputy Administrator, Administration for Community Living

“As every woman knows, life is a balancing act. I’ve learned that doing just ten things every day can help even the busiest people. Here’s my abbreviated list: walk a lot, balanced diet, plenty of sleep, do crunches, brush your teeth, watch some TV, stand and move often, stay close to family, pray and meditate often, and fight every day, especially as you get older, and, finally, check off everything on the list every day.”


Laura Lee

Plus-size model

“During COVID-19, I am working to keep my mind and body busy. Laughing is key for me. I call-video chat with my family, and hold virtual trivia nights and dressed-up dinner galas with friends. As for my physical health, I find free workouts online. We are all in this together so reach out to your circle of people and connect, and find the right concoction of active ways to keep you kicking during this hard time. I’m still smiling and hope you are too now and during NWHW.”


Joan Lunden

Award-winning journalist, best-selling author, and health and wellness advocate

“As a women’s health advocate, I’m always looking for ways to inspire other women to make good lifestyle choices. During this unprecedented time, it’s more important than ever that we tend to our health by taking a power walk each day, a moment to de-stress with a good book, and to get a good night’s sleep. It’s also imperative that we wash our hands frequently and practice social distancing. There will be time for hugging later, now is the time to #findyourhealth.”


Ashlee Lundvall

Former Ms. Wheelchair USA, Outdoor Recreation Enthusiast, and Member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition

“With the current social distancing requirements, I’ve never been more thankful for the great outdoors. Staying active outside gives me the chance to breathe the fresh air, stretch my muscles, and clear my mind of stress and anxiety. Even if it’s just a walk around the block or a wheel out to the mailbox, take advantage of any opportunity to move your body and enjoy a change of scenery.”


Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD

Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

“Our daily lives and routines have changed drastically over the last couple of months, with women reporting new stressors, increased anxiety and depression, and grief and loss impacting our ability to care for ourselves and our families. During and after National Women’s Health Week, we must focus on women’s mental health. Women play a vital role in keeping our families, communities, states, and nation strong.”


Liz Plosser

Liz Plosser

Editor in chief, Women's Health

“Feeling those peaks and valleys of emotions? A little sweat at home does wonders for the body and the soul. In the last week, I have logged onto live group fitness classes, 1x1 training sessions via FaceTime, a team stretch on Zoom, and a physical therapy sesh in Google Hangouts. Without the gym and other go-to coping outlets, the convenience of these virtual health platforms has helped me stay mentally and physically connected.”


Julianna J. Reece, MD, MPH, MBA

Chief Medical Officer, Albuquerque Area, Indian Health Service

“Community strength is defined by the health of our women. As a Family Physician and member of the Navajo Nation, I face these pandemic times using “Hozho”—the Navajo concept of balance and harmony. Hozho parallels a holistic health perspective including mind, body and spirit. As women, we often sacrifice our needs for the sake of others. I encourage women everywhere to strive for “Hozho,” but to remain at our best by putting health first.”


Laura L. Rogers

Acting Director of the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice

"During COVID-19 it’s particularly important for women to take steps to protect against domestic violence. As many women are unfortunately sheltered at home with abusers, we support service providers who find creative ways to help. As we protect women against domestic violence during this pandemic, my amazing team is juggling work and family duties so I encourage their mindfulness, which helps us stay balanced and healthy."


Shauna Rohbock

Olympic Silver Medalist in Bobsled and U.S. Army National Guard, Member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition

“Taking care of our mental and physical health has taken on a whole new challenge these days. Between homeschooling, work calls, & getting snacks for the kids, who has time for self-care? After 2 weeks of chaos, I had to find some structure that worked for us as a family. I went back to healthy behaviors, such as working out, eating a balanced diet and getting good sleep. I found these 3 components were vital for my mental state. Once I found a balance that worked for me, I felt mentally stronger and had more energy to take on the day.”


RADM Erica G. Schwartz, MD, JD, MPH

Deputy Surgeon General

“Healthy habits are key to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy you. In my career built in preventive medicine, I have always stressed the importance of small things that can add up and make a huge impact on your health. Quality of sleep, a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, and keeping your mood up are all ways that can add up to a healthier you and can prevent future illness.”


Sanya A. Springfield, PhD

Director, Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, National Cancer Institute

“I’ve found it helpful to connect with my team through video chats with the expressed purpose of seeing how everyone is doing on a personal level—'How’s your family?’ ‘What’s going well?’ ‘What’s been difficult for you?’ The act of being together, even in a virtual space, can give us strength in challenging times. A flexible approach to women’s working hours is also key – especially for those with children and other dependent family members in the household or who are pregnant.”


Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens

Professional tennis player

“I've been trying to stay active during this time by doing some home workouts. I try to do cardio in the morning, like on our bike in the house or a morning jog, and then do a little interval training in the afternoon. I think having this routine really helps me stay on track. We built a make-shift home gym with the essentials to encourage us to stay active while we're home. During these stressful times, I've also been making sure I make time for my mental wellbeing, whether that's a face mask, a FaceTime with my grandma, or my favorite essential oil blend."


Ali Stroker

Tony Award winning actress

“Taking care of my health during this time has been a process. Having a disability sometimes feels overwhelming when it comes to exercise, but I have learned that creativity is the key. I have been taking a breathing/dance/yoga class twice a week on Zoom. I try to stretch my body every day and go out for a push in my wheelchair. I continue to connect with my family and friends daily, which helps me stay present.”


Madeline Stuart

International Model/Advocate/Business Woman

“The past 5 weeks have been very strange. I went from travelling weekly around the world to staying at home. During this time we put InsideOutside Dance, the dance school I started 3 years ago for people with disabilities online. I now do dance, musical theatre, yoga etc., with friends and other dancers every day to keep fit, active and stay emotionally stable. It is so important we look after ourselves during this pandemic.”


RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams, PhD, RN, FAAN

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health

“Healthy women are the foundation of our communities. I want all women and girls, during #NWHW and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, to take care of themselves physically and mentally. I take care of myself by eating a healthy diet and being active throughout my week. I know if I put my health first, I am better able to take care of others. When women make their health a priority, we all benefit.”


CDR Dena Wilson, MD, FACC

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Phoenix Area, Indian Health Service

“Pandemic or not, my keys to health are centered on mind-body balance. Meditation creates psychological peace and relaxation while active exercise creates energy, helping me to stay healthy, strong, and energized. As a Cardiologist, I always try to encourage a mind-body balance for my patients, friends, and family. During this time of social distancing, the use of video technology has allowed me the ability to continue promote healthy habits, both physical and mental.”