Ted style talk with Sara Tancman, founder of the Briah Fund
The Briah Fund promotes
women's rights in Healthcare.
Albeit recent improvements, gender stereotypes still influence the medical research, diagnosis, and treatment men and women receive. When it comes to healthcare, the gender gap can have life and death repercussions. For example:
Women wait, on average, 15 minutes longer than men in emergency rooms in the case of acute abdominal pain.
While women are the primary sufferers from chronic pain conditions (Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, etc.), there is a lack of research, awareness, and medical services for patients with these conditions.
Heart disease, the leading death cause for women, is often undiagnosed and undertreated in women.
Bridging the gender gap in medicine will save lives.
Briah Fund takes action by changing policy and promoting grass-roots activism to reach a better health care system for women
CORE ISSUE 1
Gynecological examinations: defining standardized professional guidelines
CORE ISSUE 2
Improving medical services for chronic pain illnesses (Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, etc.)
Research and Policy Change
The Briah Fund strives to change the healthcare system. The voices and needs of women guide our strategy. We use mass online surveys that reach thousands of women to collect data about obstacles that they face when receiving medical care. The data is processed into reports with concrete recommendations, allowing us to impact:
Policy and public awareness | Protocols of health systems and HMOs | Medical staff training
Current and future projects
The Gynecological Examinations Survey (2017-2020)
Groundbreaking research of 6,500 women (the most robust worldwide survey of this issue) demonstrated the challenges of the gynecological exam performed today. The results led to the publication of the first official guide for intimate examinations in Israel that includes the following guidelines: covering the patient, providing a privet area to undress, adequate explanations, warning before each step, and more. Adopted by the Israeli Gynecological Union and Clalit, the biggest HMO in Israel, these guidelines are now part of the official ethical code for doctors. Also, we conduct lectures for doctors and interns in Gynecology on communication during intimate exams as a result of this research.
Surveying Pregnancy Loss
Pregnancy loss can lead to trauma. Improved medical services and communication have a substantial role during these difficult situations. The answeres of 1,200 women that took part in our survey answered map the difficulties women face in the health system and promote better services.
Birth Survey (2018-2021)
A joint initiative of the Briah Foundation and “Nashim Korot Laledet," an organization focused on women’s rights in childbirth. A survey of 3,500 participants helped us learn how women wish to experience childbirth. We are in the final stages of writing a report with concrete recommendations, which will be the foundation for policy change and awareness building.
Bor'ot: Women's Health Care Incubator
Bor'ot incubator identifies initiatives that promote women's healthcare in Israel. Participants receive financial support of approximately $6,000 per project and ongoing mentoring. Doctors, nurses midwives, social activists, and non-profit groups identify a challenge in their field. The incubator supports their work and creates a dynamic movement of women that are working towards the same goal. The second cohort (2018-2019) had 12 projects:
Improving Treatment for Victims of Sexual Trauma | Dr. Anna Pedoah, Dr. Inbal Brener- The Israeli Medical Association
Advanced methodologies for treatment and care for victims of sexual assault are being taught at conferences and training sessions for healthcare professionals to help reduce the trauma. The action plan includes establishing the organizational structure, organizing a conference, graphic design of the logo, and creating a website and a Facebook page.
Identification of Post Partum Depression and Support for Nursing Moms through Technology |Dr. Eran Viener, Dr. Hadas Miremberg, and Keren Yirmiya
A cellular app will enable new mothers at Wolfson hospital to connect with the medical staff, ask questions, and receive personal information regarding medical and emotional queries.
The project will be evaluated to determine the potential of the app to increase the number of mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies and to identify post-partum depression.
Initial goal: to develop the app
Providing Support for Midwives Working in Public Hospitals
Improving the birthing experience by providing training and support to midwives. Action plan: Creating a qualitative and quantitative research project to gather data on the impact of a support system for midwives and its effects on mothers during labor.
CALM – Support for Young Women Diagnosed with Cancer | Dr. Iris Glick, Danya Veber social worker
Training the support staff at Sheba hospital in the CALM technique (Cancer and Living Meaningfully), which provides short term personalized support for patients suffering from serious illnesses. Created in Canada, this technique was adapted to support young female cancer patients.
Action plan: To organize a training seminar for the Sheba Hospital staff (and later to other Israeli healthcare professionals) by bringing the creators of the CALM technique - Dr. Gary Rodin and his staff, to Israel.
Improving Trauma Rooms for Rape Victims in Hospitals | Yael Sherer, Ariel Lurberbaum, Neta Lior-Young
Each rape victim will receive upon arrival to the hospital a rape kit. The kit includes information and basic supplies and will be provided to all rape victims throughout Israel.
The action plan includes preparing a booklet for victims, hygienic supplies, a water bottle, energy bars, and even stuffed animals; to assist the victims through the long, critical initial hours at the hospital.
Providing Accessible Mental Health Services to Women in the Circle of Prostitution | Lilach Tzur ben Moshe, Or Mashusha, Limor Segal
Training for mental health personnel and providing tools to treat women involved in prostitution.
Action plan: Facilitating round table discussions for patients, mental health workers, managers of clinics, and care providers.
Ambassadors of Health | Dr. Karni Lahad, Dr. Shiri Tennenbaum, Dr. Ohad Beitan
Training female asylum seekers as “Ambassadors of Health” to promote women activism within their communities.
Initial goal: to provide training and information about women's health issues to a group of 10 women refugees. The training is provided by Dr. Karni Lahad and Dr. Shiri Tennenbaum, together with the Kuchinate collective. As part of the activities, the women will distribute a booklet that provide information on women's health, pregnancy, and birth, as well as other issues in Hebrew, English, and Tigrinya language.
Hackathon for Gender Medicine | Noga Shifman and Dr. Yasmin Frehdin
The Hackathon participants included inter-disciplinary teams that analyzed different research topics associated with gender and health. The goal was to raise awareness of the importance of gender medical research and initiate research in these areas.
Initial goal: to organizing and run the hackathon that included participants from a wide spectrum of domains – including health care specialists, data scientists, and medical students.
Support in Birth for Women who Suffered Trauma, at Assuta Hospital
Personalized support services that include emotional and medical guidance during the birth experience for women who have suffered from trauma in the past.
Action plan: Training of hospital staff, lectures, seminars, producing a brochure, and an informative video.
Supporting Women Suffering from Post-Partum Depression in Jerusalem | Betty Herman, Social Worker
Emergency treatment to women who suffer from post-partum depression, during the first year after birth.
Action plan: Organizing round table discussions about the treatment of women suffering from post-partum depression (hospitals, health clinics, HMOs, and early child care clinics).
The Lilach Clinic for Labor After Sexual Trauma, Kaplan hospital | Dr. Hila Leibovich, Dr. Neta Miller, Shir Dafna-Tekoa Social Worker, Keren Zilber Social Worker, Chofit Abramson Social Worker, Raaya Rosenzweig, Malca Altman
Creation of services at the Kaplan hospital that will provide personal, ongoing support during birth to women who have suffered sexual trauma. Action plan: Organizing a seminar to define professional protocol and guidelines for this situation.
Raising Awareness and Supporting Women Suffering from Pain During Sexual Intercourse | Sharon Orshilimi, Dr. Michal Prince
Raising awareness and activism within the community of women who suffer from pelvic pain (Vulvodynia; Vestibulitis; Vaginismus)– to promote better solutions and services.
Action plan: to create a focus group to aggregate knowledge and form an action plan. The group organized the very first conference on this subject in Israel and created booklets that describe the personal experiences of women dealing with these conditions.
Sara Tancman - Founder and CEO
Sara founded the Briah foundation following a personal experience that led her to the understanding that there needs to be a drastic change in the way that the medical systems approach women.
"I was five months pregnant when I suddenly felt a sharp pain. I went to seek help at an emergency clinic, only to be told by the doctor that my pain was imagined. I was sent home. A few hours later, I lost my twins, who were stillborn due to early labor. Raising women's voices in healthcare saves lives. This is why I founded the Briah foundation."