Senators Collins, Shaheen, Kirk Named to Women’s and Family Global Health Task Force

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today announced that they have been named to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Task Force on Women’s and Family Health. The goal of the CSIS Task Force is to develop consensus on pragmatic policy recommendations for how the United States can continue to make an effective and sustained impact on global women’s and family health.
      “Nearly all maternal and child deaths occur in the developing world, and each year, millions of these deaths occur because of treatable or preventable causes,” said Senator Collins. “I am honored to have been named to this task force. It is vital that the United States continue to provide global leadership in the areas of maternal, newborn, and child health.”
      “The work of this task force is not only to address the most common health risk factors for women and children – it’s to unlock the full potential of half of our world’s population,” said Senator Shaheen. “The United States is a leader in this endeavor, and our Task Force is dedicated to sharing our health successes globally, particularly as they pertain to women and families. I am proud to be a part of this important mission.”    
      "Women and families who have access to healthcare and clean water are key for communities to thrive," Senator Kirk said. “By halting the spread of diseases through increased access to vaccines and working to prevent maternal and child deaths, we can improve the lives of women and children around the world.”
      Millions of pregnant women, new mothers, and children experience severe illness or death each year, largely from preventable or treatable causes. Almost all maternal and child deaths (99 percent) occur in the developing world, with Africa being the hardest hit region. Each year, there are an estimated 6.3 million deaths of children under age five – primarily infants.  In addition, approximately 289,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth each year, and millions more experience severe adverse consequences.
      Recognized as leaders on efforts to improve the lives of many around the world, all three senators have worked to support bipartisan legislation, including the International Violence Against Women Act and the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, to bolster the U.S. responses to gender-based violence and maternal and child health and help ensure that women and young children are able to reach their full potential, no matter where they are born. Both the International Violence Against Women Act and the Reach Every Mother and Child Act were sponsored by Senator Collins. 
      The CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health is co-chaired by Helene Gayle, President and CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative, and John Hammergren, Chairman, President, and CEO of McKesson Corporation, and will meet throughout 2016.