Our Organization

The Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition (TWHC) is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women, babies, and families by ensuring access to preventive care – including contraception –   for all Texas women.

Our membership includes healthcare, provider, advocacy, and faith organizations from across the state (see our members here). We are eager to increase representation from local and regional organizations.

The TWHC’s objectives include:

  • Increasing funding for women’s preventive healthcare, including contraception, to fully meet the growing need among low-income uninsured women;
  • Ensuring Texas has a strong provider network with the capacity to serve all women in need of preventive health services; and
  • Supporting innovative new health care policies that benefit the health of Texas’ women and families.Dr. Janet Realini, President of Healthy Futures of Texas serves as Chair for the TWHC.
Membership Packet

Supporters

Any individual, group, or organization can be a Supporter of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition (TWHC), regardless of affiliation or IRS tax status. Supporters are not required to endorse TWHC Principles, but can indicate their support of TWHC. Supporters do not have voting privileges within the coalition and may not speak on behalf of the coalition.

Supporters can:

  • subscribe to the general Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition listserv
  • participate in open coalition meetings
  • donate to TWHC

Members

Members of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition are groups or organizations that endorse the TWHC Principles. By endorsing the Principles, Members agree to be publicly associated with the coalition.

Members can:

  • participate in open coalition meetings
  • participate in decision-making and voting
  • subscribe to the general Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition listserv
  • participate in member-only discussion forums

Additionally, coalition Members may be asked to participate in the following activities, according to their organizational capacity:

  • Attend coalition meetings and events
  • Participate in coalition media events and public statements
  • Speak on behalf of the coalition at media and other public events
  • Provide legislative testimony
  • Engage, educate, and involve their own constituents and members in the work of the coalition; for example, through email alerts or other communication
  • Disseminate the messages and materials of TWHC
  • Host a presentation about TWHC and/or women’s healthcare issues
  • Participate in legislative lobby visits
  • Conduct strategic outreach and membership recruitment on behalf of the coalition
  • Support the coalition with funding and in-kind resources

Prospective members will receive an enrollment packet including the coalition principles, bylaws, and an application form.

While only organizations may become Members, individuals can participate as Supporters of TWHC.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is comprised of coalition members and is tasked with ensuring that TWHC moves forward with its objectives and agenda. In addition to the responsibilities of all members, the Steering Committee:

  • provides thoughtful leadership for coalition initiatives and will propose specific legislative ideas based on the coalition’s adopted principles and legislative agenda;
  • with input from the general membership, makes the high-level, strategic coalition decisions;
  • works with staff to make day-to-day decisions necessary for carrying the coalition forward;
  • acts as the face and the first point of contact to the coalition for media and the general public;
  • commits to providing support to the coalition, such as: staff or individual time, meeting space, printing, e-communications, teleconference hosting, and other supports; and
  • meets in person on a monthly basis, or as scheduled
  • at least biennially reviews coalition bylaws.

The Steering Committee will have a maximum of 10 members. Only TWHC members are eligible to serve as Steering Committee members. A TWHC member may self-nominate or be nominated by a member of the TWHC to become a Steering Committee member. To qualify as a Steering Committee member, the member must have attended at least 50% of coalition meetings in the preceding 12 months. The Steering Committee will decide by a 4/5 vote whether to accept the nomination.

Decisions of the Steering Committee are ideally made by consensus. If a vote is needed, the Steering Committee will decide by a 4/5 vote. Each organization member of the Steering Committee has one vote, although member organizations are welcome to send more than one individual to participate in Steering Committee meetings.

In the case that a member organization objects to a new organization’s inclusion in the coalition, the Steering Committee will review the objection and use a simple majority to vote the organization in question in or out.

Steering Committee Chair

The Steering Committee Chair is nominated and elected by the Steering Committee and must commit to serving as Chair for at least one legislative session. The Steering Committee Chair must have been an active Steering Committee member by attending at least 50% of Steering Committee and/or General Coalition meetings in the year prior to nomination.

Responsibilities of the Chair include:

  • Calls meetings of the general membership and steering committee
  • Presides at meetings of the general membership and steering committee
  • Works with the Steering Committee, Coalition Membership, and Coalition Staff to ensure successful implementation of decisions

Coalition Decision-Making Process

Recognizing the importance of developing an inclusive and representative collective body, the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition will make its best effort solicit input from supporters and members in order to make strategic decisions about legislative and organizing initiatives.

To the extent that it is possible, large-scale decisions will be discussed by participants at open quarterly meetings of the coalition. Members and supporters will be given an opportunity to discuss and provide input into such decisions. All coalition members (i.e. those organizations who have endorsed the coalition’s principles) will be allowed one vote to affect the outcome of the decision although member organizations are welcome to send more than one individual to participate in Coalition meetings. The passage or failure of a proposal will be determined by a two-thirds majority of those who choose to vote (e.g. If 18 out of 20 members vote, at least 12 must vote the same way).

Because we strive to be a statewide coalition, we will work to accommodate those who cannot physically be in the room by providing teleconference or webinar capabilities and an ability to submit votes by email. Specific instructions on how to vote via these avenues will be provided with each decision item.

Inevitably, there will be decisions and items that will need to be addressed by the coalition Steering Committee, such those that are time sensitive or which concern the everyday workings of the coalition. However, the goal will always be to solicit and include the will of the coalition in all decision-making processes, where appropriate.

Staff

Currently, the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition receives staff support from Healthy Futures of Texas. The staff member(s) is/are responsible for convening the coalition and the Steering Committee, providing logistical and administrative support for the coalition at large, helping coordinate the coalition’s policy and advocacy efforts, and communicating with national partner organizations that work on access issues concerning preventive healthcare, preconception care, and contraception.

Sign – Ons to Public Coalition Documents

The coalition often provides comments on rules and policies impacting women’s preventive healthcare. TWHC staff will strive to provide comments for members’ review at least 24 hours in advance of their submission, and to provide as much additional time for review as circumstances allow. If coalition staff does not receive any objection to the document, staff will assume members agree to have their organization included in the list of supporters.

Amending Coalition Bylaws

A general coalition or Steering Committee member may propose to amend the coalition bylaws by submitting a request to the Steering Committee with at least a 30-day notice before vote. Amending the bylaws will be determined by a 4/5 vote of the Steering Committee.