The Orange County Women’s Health Project is a nonprofit collaborative launched in 2011 to address the lack of coordination around women’s health issues in Orange County, California.

Nearly half of Orange County’s 3.2 million residents are women, but unlike other counties, Orange County has no Office of Women's Health, Commission on the Status of Women, and until recently, no coalition to focus on women's health issues across the county.  Instead, Orange County government agencies have often lumped women in with families and children when it comes to data collection, health planning, and service delivery, or overlooked women as a category altogether.  In addition, it has been common for healthcare and social service providers to focus on specific medical conditions (i.e. breast cancer), demographic segments of the population (i.e. Latino or Asian patients) or geographic regions of the County (i.e. North, Central, Coastal, or South County) rather than examine the full spectrum of health issues for women throughout the region. 

This is simply not acceptable.  Women face greater obstacles in accessing health care than men (particularly if they are low-income or women of color), experience medical issues (such as heart disease) differently than men, are subject to unique medical conditions (such as pregnancy-related issues), have historically been excluded from medical research, and tend to outlive men.  As caregivers, women make most health decisions for their families, and women are significant health consumers themselves.

It is time to make women’s health a priority in Orange County.  The OCWHP mobilizes health care providers, nonprofits, government agencies, researchers, educators, businesses, and advocates to collectively identify women's health needs in Orange County, develop recommendations, and drive solutions.  

The OCWHP serves as a collaborative platform for individuals and organizations to transform regional systems and ensure that all OC women live longer and thrive.