Voices Across America

Advocating for Women’s Health Research and Equity

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State: California
Congressional District: CA16


Cancer, Endocrine Disease, Immune Disease

Issues and Challenges

Karin has encountered: Rare / Underserved Disease, Gaslighting, Invisible Illness, Job Insecurity / Loss

My Story

I turned to other ways of knowing and wellbeing after being required to navigate knowledge gaps, lack of treatments and care disparities common to autoimmune diseases that disproportionately affect women.

Like many women, the burden has been on me to figure out, experiment with and cobble together a 'lifestyle and lifespan' chronic illness management plan. This kind of holistic plan and approach to chronic illness and managing care disparities required I immerse myself in the formal study of other systems of knowing, and practices that support agency, reduce stress, increase problem solving, and inspire joy. For me, such systems and practices have included mindfulness, energy medicine, diet, exercise, Tibetan Buddhist psychology, shamanism and arts/aesthetics practices.

As a 'seasoned' patient navigating several chronic illnesses, I continually champion more supportive, equitable, insurance-supported 'chronic illness lifespan models of care' that can help accelerate women's wellbeing and advance women's health research and care and equity.

My Motivation and Inspiration

I am currently inspired by the work at the intersection of neuroscience, arts, and women's mental wellbeing and health. I believe in the power of arts to harmonize and evolve systems – personal, collective, as well as our systems of care and how we care for ourselves, others, and the world around. I am a champion of recent initiatives (NueroArts Blueprint, W.H.O. Arts in Health) prioritizing other ways of knowing health, self and other.

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