Emory Report

February 14, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 21

Emory Issues: President's Council on the Status of Women

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld

First on the agenda at the President's Commission on the Status of Women's (PCSW) Feb. 3 general meeting was a discussion about recent changes made to Emory's health benefit options.

Last fall, Human Resources announced that CIGNA and Aetna U.S. Healthcare would be the new administrators for EmoryCare and EmoryChoice, respectively. With this announcement came confusion, many PCSW members said.

Ali Crown, director of the Women's Center, said there wasn't enough attention paid to the wage span found among Emory employees. These differences make prescription and doctor visit co-payments unaffordable for some Emory employees, Crown said.

Other PCSW members were concerned about the reputation of the health care plan administrators and about network doctors' policies on new patients.

President Bill Chace promised to discuss the issue with the President's Cabinet the following Monday. He admitted he is somewhat sheltered when it comes to health care benefit issues. "When I call up a doctor, I get an appointment, and that's very unfair," he said. "It does, as I said, cocoon me from concerns."

Chace said while it is easy to blame the situation at hand on national health care issues, the University should concentrate on what can be done locally. "Some problems are national, but we need to focus on [Emory's] immediate concerns," he added.

The PCSW faculty committee reported on its newly created mentoring program. Stemming from findings of a 1999 study of mentoring issues, the "Passages" program is in its inaugural year of pairing junior and senior faculty members. Participants meet once a month, and each junior faculty member has an advisory board of five senior faculty from within and without her department. Twenty-one pairs of women are participating in this program.

The staff concerns committee said it has reviewed a video of the "Invisible Barriers" panel discussion and is now evaluating the findings so it can offer recommendations, according to Pat Long.

The student committee announced the Emory Women's Alliance (EWA) list of resources soon will be ready for campuswide distribution. The group hopes to hold a series of brown bag lunches, and the development of a web page is in the works. Programs addressing women's communication, eating disorders at Emory and sexual assault awareness training programs also are being developed through EWA.

Nominations for the 2000-01 PCSW commission are now being accepted. To nominate oneself or a candidate, contact Deb Floyd at 404-727-6869 or e-mail her at dfloyd@emory.edu.

The next PCSW meeting is Thursday, March 2, at 3:30 p.m.

-- Stephanie Sonnenfeld

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