Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Pittsburgh Chapter of Women’s Health Activist Movement to Host June 26 Event Featuring Tribute to Local Activist Leaders, $10,000 Pitch Competition

On Monday, June 26 from 5-8 PM EST, the Pittsburgh chapter of the Women's Health Activist Movement (WHAMglobal) will host a celebration of "Big Ideas" around women's health activism—past, present, and future. The event will feature an awards ceremony for women's health activists in Pittsburgh, a tribute to national and international activists from the past century, and a "Big Idea Challenge," with local nonprofits pitching their plans to improve women's health in Western Pennsylvania for a chance to win a $10,000 award and the support of the WHAM network. WHAMglobal is supported by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and the Heinz Family Foundation.

The event will take place at the August Wilson Center (980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15222).

Established in 2016, WHAMglobal is a "network of networks" designed to empower and cultivate female leaders who advance healthcare systems that are transparent, respectful, accountable, and equitable. WHAMglobal advances this mission through an online community (, boots-on-the ground chapters in cities across the U.S. that feature in-person events, and the establishment of champions programs that empower communities to unify behind addressing a specific health issue.

WHAM Pittsburgh Women of the Year

During the event, WHAMglobal will recognize the inaugural WHAM Pittsburgh Women of the Year honorees. The honorees were selected for their longstanding commitment to improving the health and well-being of women and girls in the Pittsburgh region. The 2017 WHAM Pittsburgh Women of the Year are:

  • WTAE media personality Sally Wiggin, spokesperson for JHF's Working Hearts® initiative. Working Hearts® united more than 70 local organizations to improve women's heart health.
  • Pittsburgh Race for the Cure co-founders Eileen Lane, Laurie Moser, and Pat Siger. Established in 1992, the Pittsburgh Race for the Cure has raised more than $20 million locally for breast cancer treatment, screening, research, and education.
  • Kathi Elliott, executive director of social service organization Gwen's Girls (accepting on behalf of Gwen's Girls founder and former Pittsburgh police commander Gwen Elliott). Gwen's Girls empowers at-risk girls through gender-specific programs, education, and experiences.

WHAM Pittsburgh "Big Idea Challenge" Finalists

The inaugural WHAM Pittsburgh "Big Idea Challenge" started with 20 dynamic video submissions from local non-profit organizations that outlined a strategy for improving women's health and health equity in Western PA. Eight finalists, selected by a panel of independent judges, will pitch their health improvement ideas live on June 26. The audience and a panel of independent judges will select a winning team based on how innovative, actionable, scalable, and unifying each non-profit's idea is determined to be.

The "Big Idea Challenge" finalists represent the following organizations: Allegheny Health Network—West Penn Hospital, Bethlehem Haven, the FISA Foundation, Gateway Rehab, the Latino Community Center, the Magee-Womens Research Institute, the University of Pittsburgh Center for Women's Health Research and Innovation, and the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development.

The U.S. spends close to 20% of its annual GDP on health care—nearly twice as much as any other affluent nation—yet has some of the worst population health outcomes related to life expectancy, chronic disease management, and child and maternal well-being. At the same time, women are vastly underrepresented in healthcare leadership positions. Less than 10 percent of the Top 100 U.S. Hospitals (as rated by Truven Health Analytics) have female CEOs, and under 30 percent of Top 100 Hospital board members are female. No Fortune 500 health care companies are led by a female CEO. WHAMglobal aims to improve the U.S. health system and cultivate a new generation of female health activists and leaders.


Available for Interviews: Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD, WHAMglobal Co-Founder; President and CEO, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative and Jewish Healthcare Foundation 

 Connect with WHAMglobal Online


Twitter: @WHAMglobal



About The Jewish Healthcare Foundation

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) is a public charity that offers a unique blend of research, education, grantmaking and program management to advance the quality of clinical care and health of populations, with a focus on improving the quality, efficiency, and safety of health care. JHF and its three operating arms—the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), Health Careers Futures (HCF), and the Women's Health Activist Movement (WHAMglobal)— are located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and serve a national and global audience. JHF is also a founding member of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI). For more information, visit

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