White House Sleep Equity Convening

HUGE NEWS! On Tuesday, Nov. 14th, 2023, Project Sleep partnered with the White House Office of Public Engagement to host a Sleep Equity Convening. This meeting was the first-of-its-kind on sleep with the White House.

The conversation brought together leaders from 12 sleep-related organizations, professional societies, and patient advocacy organizations including:

Sleep Equity as a Social Justice Issue

Key White House officials and sleep community leaders gathered in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to discuss access to sleep equity as a social justice issue.

The conversation shed light on current social, economic, and environmental inequalities. Furthermore, it highlighted ways to advance sleep equity — where everyone has an equal opportunity, based on their need, to obtain an amount and quality of sleep that promotes physical and mental well-being. Learn more about sleep equity.

The meeting featured a multidisciplinary panel of speakers. Julie Flygare, JD, President & CEO of Project Sleep, kicked things off with introductory remarks.

For a research perspective, Michael A. Grandner, PhD MTR, Director, Sleep and Health Research Program, University of Arizona, and Dr. Robert W. Turner II, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Research and Leadership, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science shared their knowledge of sleep equity.

Patient advocates were also given an important seat at the table. Sleep advocates Lauren Thomas and Matthew Horsnell shared powerful first-hand stories. Their stories underscored how race, gender, and socioeconomic status can affect sleep and access to care.

Powerful Quotes

“After wading through the labyrinth of sleepiness and the isolation it brought, I am grateful today to stand with a diagnosis and to have discovered a sense of community amid the chaos that defined those years.”

“Even armed with a diagnosis, a supportive specialist, and a community, I continue to face barriers due to my race, gender, and condition.”

– Lauren Thomas

“Living in poverty has significant sleep health consequences.”

“Due to inadequate healthcare and awareness of sleep disorders, my narcolepsy diagnosis was delayed thirteen years and my sleep apnea diagnosis was delayed five years. Those delays contributed to the onset of type 2 diabetes; a lifelong disease that could have been prevented with adequate healthcare.”

– Matt Horsnell

White House Sleep Equity Convening Photos

Thank you to the White House Office of Public Engagement for leading this important discussion, along with our speakers and participating sleep organizations. The unity of this community gives us great hope that we can continue to achieve great things together.

Special thanks to Lindsay Scola for making this dream a reality! Learn more about Lindsay’s connection to the cause in SELF Magazine.

More Sleep Advocacy Updates

On Monday Nov. 13, 2023, Project Sleep welcomed leaders of various patient advocacy organizations and professional societies to Washington, DC for the 4th annual Sleep Advocacy Forum. Read about the 2023 Sleep Advocacy Forum.

After the White House meeting on Tuesday Nov. 14, 2023, sleep community leaders headed to Capitol Hill to advocate with key Congressional offices to promote important sleep research and sleep public health priorities. Full update coming soon!

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