LA Alum reflects on ways to improve women’s health and health care and reduce health disparities


Chloe E. Bird is a senior sociologist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and co-author of Gender and Health: The Effects of Constrained Choices and Social Policies (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Chloe Bird is women’s health researcher and a new entrant to the world of OpEds and blogs.  Just one month after doing the OpEd Project’s “Write to Change the World” seminar in Los Angeles in April, she published a piece in Ms. Magazine online on why we should consider celebrating mothers’ day by sharing the costs of contraception.  She notes that while “Birth control and motherhood may appear to be competing goals . . . the typical American family wants two children . . . and women typically must use reliable contraception for three decades to achieve this goal.”  She went on to discuss the many benefits to society that reliable birth control has provided and questions whether the best way to share the cost is for individual women to bear the costs. 


Her OpEd contributed to the rich discussion prior to the Supreme Courts’ ruling on the Affordable Care Act and to the discussion that has followed regarding the merits of requiring insurers to cover the cost of preventive care including contraception. 

As national leader in research on women’s health and on gender differences in health and health disparities, Chloe contributes to the research and policy discussions regarding gender differences in health and health care and ways to improve the care women receive and their outcomes.  For Chloe, the OpEd seminar was a valuable tool for learning how to communicate with a much larger audience regarding policy relevant aspects of women’s health and how to address socioeconomic disparities in health. 

We’re elated that our seminar has inspired her to take great leaps towards publishing work in popular sites ranging from Ms. Magazine Online to Girl with Pen.

Most recently, she and her colleague Tamara Dubowitz commented on the obesity epidemic asking “what happens when you don’t have good options?” Chloe and Tamara discuss how many of the decisions that affect weight are made by provide the other food options that are available in our workplaces and our communities including the decisions on what to stock in the vending machines.   


Chloe has completed 3 AvonWalks, which cover a marathon and a half in a day and a half, and she’s now training with her sister Corinne for the Susan Komen 3-day walk in San Diego where they’ll be walking 20 miles a day for 3 days. To learn more about Chloe’s Breast Cancer walks- and to donate!- click on the photo.


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