Robin Strongin, Disruptive Women
Who she is: Creator, Disruptive Women in Health Care blog
What she does: An accomplished public affairs expert with more than 25 years of experience working in Washington, DC, Robin’s areas of specialization include health care, science, technology and innovation. She has worked with and for Federal and state governments, regulatory agencies, Congress, think tanks, non-profit organizations, corporations, coalitions and trade associations.
Why she does it: She founded Disruptive Women in Health Care in 2008 to serve as a platform for provocative ideas, thoughts, and solutions in the health sphere. “We recognize that to accomplish this, we need to call on experts outside of the health industry,” she asserts. “The founding Disruptive Women have audacious hopes for our blog, We’re not managing change, we’re not waiting for cures. We’re driving change, we’re creating chaos, and we’re finding cures.”
By Hope Katz Gibbs
As the president of the Washington, DC public affairs firm Amplify Public Affairs, Robin Strongin and her firm are leading the way in the integration of new media and traditional communications strategies.
Through the blending of innovative communication technologies, credible coalition building, grassroots and top-tiered public affairs expertise, Amplify leverages connections to achieve targeted objectives in the public, private, and political arena.
So it was only natural that Robin would connect her passion and experience in the health care arena with her ability to get the word out about important causes. In 2008, she did just that when she launched Disruptive Women in Health Care, www.disruptivewomen.net — a popular blog that features the voices of dozens of women in the health care industry.
In a recent post, Robin asked, “What does it mean to be healthy? Beyond that, what does it mean to be a healthy woman? What does it mean to be a healthy woman in the developing world?”
To answer those essential questions, she points to the United Nations WomenWatch Directory of U.N. Resources on Gender and Women’s Issues, which says:
“Women have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The enjoyment of this right is vital to their life and well-being, their ability to participate in all areas of public and private life.”
Robin realizes that many women around the world do not enjoy this right.
“If you look at the studies and research, it’s clear that despite considerable progress in the past decades, societies continue to fail to meet the health-care needs of women at key moments of their lives, particularly in their adolescent years and in older age,” she says, pointing to a report entitled, Women and Health: Today’s Evidence Tomorrow’s Agenda.
“The report explains that although women provide the bulk of health care, rarely do they receive the care they need—up to 80 percent of all health care and 90 percent of care for HIV/AIDS-related illness is provided in the home—almost always by women,” Robin explains. “Nonetheless, women go unsupported, unrecognized and unremunerated in this essential role, and health care continues to fail to address their specific needs and challenges throughout their lives.”
The good news, she says, is that women are fighting back.
“Since 1975, which was International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating March 8th as International Women’s Day,” Robin shares. “WomenWatch, an initiative of the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality, explained on their Web site that the day’s symbolism has a wider meaning: ‘It is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. It is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilize for meaningful change.’ Here’s to that.”