Home Virginia Politics Governor McAuliffe Makes Major Women’s Health Announcements

Governor McAuliffe Makes Major Women’s Health Announcements


The following press release is from Gov. McAuliffe's office. Yet ANOTHER example, if any more are needed, that: a) elections have consequences; b) voting REALLY matters; and c) there are huge differences between the parties (e.g., Republicans want to take women’s reproductive rights away from them; Democrats fight so that women control their own bodies). 

RICHMOND – Today, Governor Terry McAuliffe kicked off National Women’s Health Week with four significant announcements demonstrating his commitment to protecting Virginia women’s rights to make their own healthcare decisions. 


“This is not just a health issue – it’s an economic issue,” McAuliffe said during his announcement at the state Capitol. “In order to grow and diversify our economy, Virginia needs to be open and welcoming to all, and we need to ensure that all Virginia women have access to the healthcare resources they need.”


The governor highlighted three initiatives he is pursuing to meet that goal:


Board of Health directive. McAuliffe issued a directive asking members of the Board of Health to immediately begin a review of last year’s regulations on women’s health centers to ensure that those regulations guarantee Virginians’ access to the centers’ services.


“I am concerned that the extreme and punitive regulations adopted last year jeopardize the ability of most women’s health centers to keep their doors open and place in jeopardy the health and reproductive rights of Virginia women,” McAuliffe said.


Board of Health appointments. The governor also announced the appointment of new members to the Board of Health who share his commitment to women’s health and support his plan to review the health center regulations. Governor McAuliffe noted that he has “a right and a responsibility to have reasonable people of my own choosing at the table for that review.”


The new board members are as follows:


Dr. Benita Miller, DDS

Dr. Benita Miller is a Richmond dentist who practices Periodontics. Dr. Miller has been a member of the American Dental Association since 1980 and has held many leadership positions in the Richmond Dental Society and the Virginia Dental Association since 1986.


Dr. Miller was inducted as a Fellow to the International College of Dentists in 2000 and previously served as an Assistant Clinical Instructor at the Department of Peridontics at the VCU School of Dentistry. Miller received a B.S. from Duke University and a D.D.S. degree from VCU/MCV School of Dentistry.


Faye O. Prichard, Ashland

 Faye O. Prichard is the mayor of Ashland. She has been serving the residents of Ashland on the Town Council since 2002. Ms. Prichard earned her master's degree in literature from Virginia Commonwealth University and has taught composition there for approximately 15 years. Currently, she is the Director of Writing at the Honors College at VCU. 


Before her entry into academia, she held certification and state licensure in respiratory care and worked in a number of Richmond hospitals and for several local home health care companies.


James Edmondson, McLean

Mr. Edmondson, principal of E&G Group, has been in the real estate business as consultant, developer, property owner and manager since 1972. He has served as vice chair of the Health Systems Agency of Northern Virginia for many years. Gov. Mark Warner appointed him to the Virginia Board of Health in 2005. He was re-appointed to the board in 2009 by Gov. Tim Kaine. Edmondson has an A.B. in economics from Princeton and an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden School. 


Linda Hines, RN, MS, Chester

Ms. Hines earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing and her master of science in executive nursing administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently serves as the vice president of medical management for Virginia Premier Health Plan, Inc. Ms. Hines has worked in managed care for more than 17 years and brings a strong clinical, administrative and management background to her work in managed care.


She is active in a variety of professional activities, including the Virginia Maternal and Child Health Council and Leadership Metro Richmond. She is a task force member to Gov. Kaine’s health care policy committee and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Ms. Hines has served as adjunct faculty for the VCU School of Nursing.


Tommy East, Salem

Tommy East is the president and chief executive officer for American HealthCare, LLC in Roanoke.  American HealthCare is the management company for 17 Heritage Hall Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centers throughout the commonwealth.


Mr. East, who has served as the company’s chief executive officer since 2012, is a 30-year veteran of eldercare, having managed nursing facilities and assisted living facilities, and worked in home health and hospice. The Salem native is an accomplished businessman who has served on the board of directors and the executive board for the Virginia Health Care Association.

Discounted drug pricing program. The governor announced that he is directing the Virginia Health Commissioner to register and enroll Virginia’s eligible women’s health clinics in the 340B Drug Pricing Program, which allows eligible clinics to obtain pharmaceutical drugs from manufacturers at a significant discount.


Expanded access to testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. The Virginia Department of Health will also sign a Memorandum of Agreement with Virginia’s four Planned Parenthood affiliates to provide free HIV testing to more than 1,800 women and men by the end of 2014. The initiative is part of a directive from the governor to pursue programs that expand access to testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, the leading cause of infertility in women.


  • From Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia:

    Governor McAuliffe Issues Proclamation for Women’s Health Week

    New Appointments to Board of Health Strengthens Women’s Health

    RICHMOND, VA – Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV) applauds Governor Terry McAuliffe for issuing a proclamation for National Women’s Health Week (May 11-17) and signaling a new direction for oversight of women’s health in Virginia.

    National Women’s Health Week celebrates the extraordinary progress in women’s health and encourages all Virginia women to make their health a priority, understand what it means to be well, and schedule wellness checkups and lifesaving preventive health screenings.

    “Governor McAuliffe has made important strides toward assuring that all Virginia women have access to affordable reproductive health care,” said Cianti Stewart-Reid, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia.  “We commend Gov. McAuliffe for his leadership on women’s health and for taking proactive steps to re-evaluate medically unnecessary restrictions that are designed to deny Virginia women access to important reproductive health care.”

    Governor McAuliffe also announced new appointments to the Board of Health, and sent a clear message that recommendations should be based on health and safety, rather than ideology.

    “PPAV commends the slate of highly qualified candidates that the Governor chose for vacancies on the Board of Health,” said Stewart-Reid.  “This much-needed change in leadership will result in members who believe in access to reproductive health care. The Governor has made it clear with these appointments that he expects the Board to operate based on the best medical evidence.”

    Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV) is leading the cause and fight for the quality health attention women and their families deserve. Virginia women and families need more access to health care, not less.

  • Richmond, VA- Lieutenant Governor Northam issued the following statement in support of Governor McAuliffe’s announcement regarding the Board of Health:

    I am very pleased that Governor McAuliffe has chosen to appoint such a strong group of individuals to the Board of Health. These new appointees are experienced professionals with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise. While the Board of Health deals with a diversity of issues, unfortunately its decisions in the last few years have been notable for their adverse affects on women’s reproductive rights and safe access to healthcare. I am supportive of the Governor’s request for a review of the TRAP regulations and I am hopeful that the Board will conduct an independent review genuinely focused on health and safety, and absent of outside political influences.

  • Time for evidence-based medicine to take priority over ideological agendas

    ProgressVA today applauded Governor Terry McAuliffe’s directive ordering a review of the burdensome and medically unnecessary Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers. The regulations, approved by the Board of Health after excessive interference by anti-women’s health Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, are designed to shut down women’s health centers and limit women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care services.

    “Regulations dictating hallway width, number of parking spaces, and the size of awnings aren’t about keeping women safe, they’re onerous, non-medical requirements designed to shut down women’s health centers,” said ProgressVA executive director Anna Scholl. “Under political pressure, the Board of Health repeatedly ignored the advice of medical experts while crafting these regulations and allowed the process to be hijacked by a political agenda. We can all agree that women should be safe and supported in their reproductive health decisions. It’s far past time these burdensome and ideological regulations were evaluated for evidence-based practices to ensure we’re protecting women’s health, not blocking access to care.”

    The regulations approved by the Board of Health subject women’s health centers to a level of regulation not imposed on any other existing outpatient facility or hospital. The regulations require existing facilities to meet the physical plant standards for newly constructed hospitals, dictating strict requirements for width of hallways, number of parking spaces, the presence of awnings, and more.

    ProgressVA strenuously objected to the burdensome and medically-unnecessary regulations, delivering thousands of public comments opposing the proposed rules to the Board of Health.

  • swvagrl

    How about all of you who thought Terry was going to be a lightweight!?! So far, I am very pleased with the job he is doing, especially for women. Hoping so much that he can find some way to get Medicaid Expansion for VA. So many people need it, and too many Republicans can live with themselves somehow as they allow their fellow citizens to suffer. For those who agree with Governor McAuliffe, it’s our responsibility to help him–it’s not just his job alone.

  • The Governor’s announcements today are extremely positive steps to make sure Virginia women have access to needed healthcare services. In addition to naming a slate of eminently qualified individuals to serve on the State Board of Health, his request for a review of the TRAP regulations is a prudent step. Throughout that review, my office and I will work with Board members to ensure they are well-informed about their powers and responsibilities in the regulatory process.

    Virginia moves in the wrong direction when government tries to dictate women’s personal healthcare decisions. As Attorney General, I will do all I can to ensure Virginia women can make their own private decisions regarding healthcare and have access to a full range of healthcare services.