Dr. Jenna Benyounes, Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Joins CARE About Fibroids as New Women’s Health Advisor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2018
Washington, DC — CARE (Community, Action, Research, and Education) About Fibroids (careaboutfibroids.org), a recently-established nonprofit women’s health organization dedicated to increasing awareness of uterine fibroids, announced today that Dr. Jenna Benyounes, a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP), has become the group’s new women’s health advisor.
“We are excited to begin Uterine Fibroids Awareness Month with the announcement of our partnership with Dr. Benyounes, whose mission as a clinician and educator is focused on improving care for women, raising the bar for women’s health education, and cultivating new health care providers who are passionate and knowledgeable about women’s health,” said Jenny Rosenberg, CARE About Fibroids Executive Director. “Dr. Benyounes’ passion for women’s health and her diverse and experienced clinical background — including with patients who have suffered from uterine fibroids — will bring an important perspective to our work that is focused on improving the lives of millions of women with uterine fibroids.”
“CARE About Fibroids’ work to improve the lives of women with uterine fibroids and raise the public’s awareness of this condition is perfectly aligned with my professional and personal focus on educating and inspiring women to be their authentic and powerful selves, as well as empowering them to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families,” said Dr. Benyounes. “This important work we will be doing together, to reach patients and their families, and others who are active in women’s health, will empower women to better recognize when they have uterine fibroids and be able to make informed decisions about the course of their care.”
Along with her clinical practice, Dr. Benyounes is extremely engaged in the women’s health community. Dr. Benyounes has an active faculty appointment at Georgetown University, where she is a professor in their Midwifery and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner programs. She has also held positions in policy and in organizations aimed at serving women in a larger context, such as being Treasurer of the DC Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives on their Annual Conference Planning Committee, and serving on the Board of the Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSSRH). Currently, Dr. Benyounes’ advocacy work includes acting as the co-founder of the organization DNPs (Doctor of Nursing Practitioners) of Color.
Dr. Benyounes holds a Doctorate of Nursing Practice and a Master of Science degree from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Central Florida. While obtaining those degrees, she served as President of the Student Nurses Association and as a Board Member of the Florida Student Nurses Association.
About Uterine Fibroids
CARE About Fibroids has launched its online resource at a time when estimates are that between 70 percent and 80 percent of women will have uterine fibroids by the age of 50. Yet, due to lack of awareness or the belief that fibroids are a problem to be endured, many women go undiagnosed and untreated.
Among women in the U.S., uterine fibroids are significantly under-diagnosed and under-treated, despite being declared a public health burden by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Collectively, the price tag of symptomatic uterine fibroids, including lost work and disability, approaches $34 billion a year.
According to recent studies, women with “symptomatic” fibroids wait, on average, more than three years before seeing a doctor and almost a third wait up to five years. This lag can result in anemia, urinary tract infections, urinary obstruction, and kidney damage as well as leading women to experience body-issue anxieties, lower self-esteem, and worries about relationships and sexuality.
The problem is especially important for black women because, compared to other American women, African-American women are three times more likely to develop fibroids, experience them at an earlier age, experience twice the pelvic pain and swelling, and have three times the rate of anemia induced by fibroids. As a result, black women also have four times higher rates of hospitalizations and are three times more likely to undergo a hysterectomy. Similarly, myomectomy — the other form of fibroid surgery that leaves the uterus in place — is about seven times more common among African-American women.
In terms of the economic impact, more than $9 billion is spent annually for surgery, hospital admissions, outpatient visits, medications, and other direct medical costs for fibroid treatment. Symptomatic fibroids costs the economy $17 billion annually in absenteeism, lost work, and short-term disability. An additional $8 billion is spent annually on fibroid-related pregnancy complications.
CARE About Fibroids is Sparking a National Dialogue on Uterine Fibroids
CARE About Fibroids is taking the lead in mobilizing women’s health advocacy and policy-focused organizations to build greater awareness of uterine fibroids, as well as a sense of urgency around the need for improved diagnosis, expanded and better treatment options, and enhanced patient access to appropriate care.
CARE About Fibroids is headquartered in Washington, DC, under the direction of its Executive Director Jenny Rosenberg, Public Health Advisor Dr. Nancy C. Lee, and a Steering Committee of leading independent nonprofit patient/consumer organizations focused on women’s health. Currently, the steering committee is comprised of (in alphabetical order): The Black Women’s Health Imperative, COSHAR Healthy Communities Foundation, HealthyWomen, and To Know Is To Know.