Women: Click this link to find out how to get and stay healthy. Photo by HHS

Women: Click this link to find out how to get and stay healthy. Photo by HHS

Miss Universe, Dear Abby, a WNBA star and the co-founder of “The Foundation to Increase Awesome” have two things in common.

They are all women. And they are all public health ambassadors for National Women’s Health Week.

The 16th annual observance, hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from May 10-16, empowers women with easy-to-use action steps to improve their health. Simply visit womenshealth.gov/nwhw and select your age group — ranging from 20s to 90s — from the drop-down menu. Health tips include:

  • for women in their 30s: getting an annual well-woman checkup and flu shot; limiting alcohol use; and talking to doctors about any domestic and interpersonal violence.
  • for women in their 60s: getting blood pressure exams; getting a pneumonia shot (for ages 65 and older); and talking with your doctor about age-appropriate exercise programs and preventing falls.
  • for women in their 90s: talking to your doctor about hearing or vision problems; and talking to your doctor about mental health concerns including stress and depression.

You can also challenge yourself to get healthier at every age by taking the National Women’s Health Week pledge.

On Monday, President Barack Obama issued a presidential proclamation for the observance, emphasizing the Affordable Care Act and how it has saved money and lives for women nationwide.

“Over the past year, millions of women have gained the security of knowing their personal and professional goals will not be jeopardized just because they face a health challenge,” the proclamation reads. “Because of the Affordable Care Act, women can no longer be charged different premiums than men for the same coverage or be denied insurance based on pre-existing conditions, such as pregnancy or violence-related injuries. The law also requires most insurance plans to cover basic health services, including contraceptive, prenatal, and maternity care. And today, tens of millions of women are benefiting from expanded access to preventive care under the law — services which can lead to early detection of some of the many health challenges that disproportionately affect women.

“Because these preventive services — like screenings for breast cancer, domestic violence, and osteoporosis — are available without cost sharing, women are not forced to choose between health care necessities and other essential expenses.”

Check out APHA’s health reform page to learn more about the ACA’s impact.