Dayton women selected to research and combat gender bias in healthcare

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The United States of Women is a national organization started under the Obama administration. They recently selected two Dayton women as Ambassadors for gender equality studies and research.

Courtney Cordner and Jasmyne Martin, both healthcare professionals in Dayton, are now taking a closer look at how women are treated by medical professionals in comparison to men and how gender bias can play a role in healthcare.

“When we’re talking about bias, especially with women, one of the things that we’ve found time and time again is that their complaints of pain tend to be more dismissed,” said Cordner, a behavioral health specialist.

They’re also looking at how doctors prescribe medicine for men and women who present with the same symptoms.

Cordner quoted an “attitude study” where a health scenario was printed on two sheets of paper. Both papers had the same symptoms, vitals, and statistics. However, the papers were labeled with either a common male name or a common female name.

“For the exact same clinical presentation men were clinically treated 91 percent of the time and women were only treated 77 percent of the time,” explained Cordner.

Dayton and Montgomery County Health Director, Dr. Michael Dohn says he and his cohort are working to reduce health inequalities across all groups in the region.

He explained that they use five pillars to reduce these inequalities: access, utilization, treatment, response and health status.

He also says that times are changing with new research and information.

“Medicines behave differently in different people. Not so much today; but historically, women tended to be left out of research studies for a number of different reasons,” said Dr. Dohn.

Cordner and Martin say they are now looking to work with local organizations like the YWCA, Dayton Women’s Resistance, Dayton’s Women’s Alliance, Women’s March, League of Women Voters of Greater Dayton, Ohio National Organization of Women, the American Medical Women’s Association and any other groups willing to collaborate on the project.

They say their current task is to conduct a “needs assessment” and then create an action plan using the research.

“Women [from] everywhere need to know that Courtney and I are here for them specifically in Dayton and we’d love to hear from them,” said Martin, a labor and delivery nurse.

As ambassadors, both women will have an opportunity to publish their findings in Forbes magazine and continue to represent Dayton on a national scale.

For more information on The United State of Women, click here.

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