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halle berry menopause care presser

Source: Tom Williams / Getty

Halle Berry is using her star power to lead the charge on providing fair and equitable healthcare for middle-aged women.

The actress is championing the advancement of the Advancing Menopause Care and Mid-Life Women’s Health Act. This bill would provide $275 million to boost federal research, physician training and public awareness about menopause. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Sens. Lisa Murkowsik (R-Alaska), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and other lawmakers are behind the bipartisan Senate bill.

Berry has long disclosed her experience with menopause-related misdiagnoses. On May 2, she joined the female senators who were backing the bill at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Senator Murray said this legislation is a framework to boost services and support a condition they say is widely misunderstood. Many physicians say they have gotten little to no training about menopause. This is something women from all backgrounds and experiences can relate to. Menopause can cause exhaustion, hot flashes, and night sweats.

Only 31% of OB/GYNs surveyed in 2022 said menopause was part of their curriculum in their residency programs and both patients and providers are confused about potential treatments.

“There’s not enough information” about menopause, Sen. Murray said in a Washington Post interview. “It is overlooked, it’s underinvested in, and it’s been left behind. And it is about time that our country and everyone really started taking this seriously.”

Berry struggled to be diagnosed with menopause. In an interview, the Academy Award-winner said it took six months and different doctors to finally get the right diagnosis. She knew menopause affected middle-aged women but was surprised when she began to experience “the change” at the age of 54. She told the Washington Post her frustrations led her to begin to advocate for both patients and providers to make tackling menopause a more cohesive effort. Right now, she’s putting the pressure on holdout senators to sign onto the bill so it can advance through Congress.

“Demand to be heard,” she said during a May press conference.

Of the $275 million requested in the healthcare bill, $125 million would go toward menopause-related research grants through the National Institutes of the Health, $50 million would go toward creating a public awareness campaign about the condition, $50 million would fund additional training for health workers, and another $50 million would go towards improving diagnosis and treatment of chronic conditions that affect middle-aged women. The legislation also requires researchers to have the Department of Human Services report to Congress on its menopause work.

The lawmakers behind the legislation said once this bill is passed, women will no longer have to silently wage this internal war.

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Halle Berry Backs $275 Million Bill That Boosts Menopause Care  was originally published on elev8.com