SWHR continues to fulfill its mission to improve the health of all women through science, advocacy, and education, with scientific meetings, policy briefings and public education campaigns. Below list some of SWHR’s important accomplishments over the past 25 years.
- SWHR commemorates 25 years of transforming women’s health and honors the accomplishments of several champions of women’s health at its annual gala.
- SWHR forms the Interdisciplinary Network on Urological Health in Women, aiming to raise awareness on the impact of bladder health on women’s well-being across the lifespan.
- SWHR and the Endocrine Society host a Congressional briefing on the importance of including female subjects in both preclinical and clinical biomedical research, which could potentially revolutionize medical research and scientific discovery.
- SWHR convenes a two-day conference solely focused on women’s cardiac health to discuss nontraditional risk factors that predispose younger women to cardiovascular disease.
- SWHR, in partnership with fourteen prestigious healthcare provider organizations, establishes a new coalition, The Patient’s Alliance for Drug Safety Protections, to advance the knowledge of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies as a vital tool in improving public health and patient safety.
- As required under FDASIA, FDA releases an “Action Plan to Enhance the Collection and Availability of Demographic Subgroup Data” and launches a dedicated website from six studies reflecting a two-month period to make transparent the percentage of female and minority participation in clinical trials for medications intended for all populations. SWHR releases a white paper on the new NIH policies requiring investigators to address sex and gender issues in the design and conduct of NIH-funded preclinical studies differences.
- SWHR releases groundbreaking survey on what women want in breast cancer screening. The survey finds that cost and lack of insurance are biggest barriers to mammograms.
- FDA Releases the report “Collection, Analysis, and Availability of Demographic Subgroup Data for FDA-Approved Medical Products,” as required by FDASIA, that examines the collection, analysis and public availability of data on how approved medical products affect women, minorities and ethnic groups.
- SWHR in partnership with the American Medical Women’s Association, the American College of Women’s Health Physicians, and the Laura Bush Institute for Women’s Health, founds the Sex and Gender Women’s Health Collaborative.
- SWHR launches the Interdisciplinary Network on the Link between Domestic Violence and Chronic Disease to focus attention on approaches to minimize the chronic health consequences of domestic violence in women. The network concludes in 2015.
- SWHR launches the Interdisciplinary Network on Sleep to stimulate sex- and gender-based research that elucidates the role of sleep and circadian rhythms on health and wellbeing across the lifespan.
- The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) is signed into law, requiring the FDA to provide a special report and accounting of trials by sex, race, and ethnicity.
- SWHR in partnership with WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease release an updated 10Q Report: Advancing Women’s Heart Health through Improved Research, Diagnosis and Treatment. The first report was launched in 2006.
- SWHR in partnership with Susan G. Komen launch Network for the Study of Exercise and Breast Cancer. The network concludes in 2014.
- SWHR launches the Biology of Sex Differences (BSD), the official journal of OSSD.
- SWHR President and CEO Phyllis Greenberger participates in roundtable discussions and testifies on gaps in female veterans’ health care and ways to eliminate those gaps before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
- SWHR launches the Interdisciplinary Network on Cardiovascular Disease to promote interdisciplinary and translational research that defines sex and gender differences in pathophysiology, healthcare delivery, and treatment effectiveness to reduce cardiovascular disease burden. The network concludes in 2014.
- SWHR and the National Institute of Mental Health, in cooperation with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, sponsor a conference on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Women Returning from Combat.
- SWHR advocacy efforts aid the passage of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 and 2008 into law. The act prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment.
- SWHR establishes the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD), a scientific membership society that advances the study of sex differences and implications for health and disease.
- SWHR in partnership with WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease release the long awaited 10Q Report: Advancing Women’s Heart Health through Improved Research, Diagnosis and Treatment.
- SWHR and the Medtronic Foundation establish a Prize for Scientific Contributions to Women’s Health to recognize a female scientist or engineer for her contributions to women’s health. The prize is intends to encourage research on issues uniquely related to women’s health and mentorship of scientists considering sex differences research.
- SWHR establishes the RAISE Project to increase the status of professional women through the Recognition of the Achievements of Women In Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine.
- SWHR releases the National Institutes of Health: Intramural and Extramural Support for Research on Sex Differences report.
- SWHR releases the Connecting research in Security to Practice (CRISP) report that shows the National Institutes of Health support of research on biological differences between women and men is lower than the growing evidence of the importance of sex differences warranted. It also shows that NIH, which has the largest budget supports the least research
- SWHR launches the Interdisciplinary Network on Metabolism to advance understanding of sex-dependent differences in energy homeostasis and metabolic disorders. The network concludes in 2009.
Celebrate the Good News in Women’s Health Research
This year’s gala honors journalists who recognize the importance of media coverage that is reported accurately and appropriately, and honor those who excel in providing women with valuable information with the Society’s Excellence in Women’s Health Research Journalism Award.
- Emily Senay
- Katherine Arnold
- Judy Foreman
- *Honorable mention: Christine Haran
- SWHR launches its first Interdisciplinary Network on Sex, Gender, Drugs and Brain. The network concludes in 2007. Top of FormThis network publishes the Sex Differences in the Brain: From Genes to Behavior
- SWHR testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, regarding appropriations directed towards creating a Food and Drug Administration database focused on women’s health activities to include demographic data in clinical trials.
- SWHR’s advocacy efforts lead to the Institute of Medicine to validate the concept of sex differences, with a landmark report “Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter?” The report concludes that “there is now sufficient knowledge of the biological basis of sex differences to validate the scientific study of sex differences and to allow the generation of hypotheses with regard to health…Naturally occurring variations in sex differentiation can provide unique opportunities to obtain a better understanding of basic differences and similarities between and within the sexes.”
- SWHR advocates for funding for IT systems at the Food and Drug Administration to analyze sex differences.
- From 2000-2006, SWHR hosts innovative conferences on Sex and Gene Expression (SAGE), which explore how sex influences the expression of genetic information from embryonic development through adulthood. SAGE conferences assemble leading researchers, as well as outstanding new researchers in biochemistry, genetics, molecular, developmental, and cellular biology.
- SWHR establishes the Women’s Health Research Coalition, a grassroots, advocacy network comprising of over 600 advocates from across the nation.
- SWHR begins a six-year campaign to secure funding for an Institute of Medicine “Committee on Understanding the Biology of Sex and Gender Differences,” in order to to validate the concept of sex differences.
- Women’s Health Office Act (WHOA), SWHR’s signature piece of legislation, is introduced by then Representative Olympia Snowe. The WHOA ensures the offices of women’s health within the Department of Health and Human Services are permanent.
- SWHR advocates for the need to establish a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women’s Health. SWHR co-founder and past Scientific Director Susan Blumenthal, MD, MPA is the first to fill this position.
- Journal of Women’s Health, the official journal for SWHR launches.
- SWHR receives the National Health Council’s “Trend-Setters” Award.
- President Clinton signs the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act into law. The legislation, written with input from SWHR, mandates that women and minorities be included in all clinical research and requires that Phase III clinical trials be analyzed by sex.
- In response to SWHR’s advocacy, Members of Congress ask the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to examine the inclusion of women in clinical trials used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in evaluating drugs for marketing approval. The GAO’s report concludes that “FDA has not effectively overseen the presentation and analysis of data related to sex differences in drug development.”
- SWHR supports the appointment of Dr. Bernadine Healy, the first female Director of the NIH.
- The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is founded by Florence Haseltine, PhD, MD, with the help of other physicians, medical researchers, and health advocates who want to bring attention to the lack of inclusion of women and minorities in medical research and clinical
- The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is the first organization to support SWHR.
- SWHR, with the help of Representative Louise Slaughter assists in drafting the Women Health Equity Act, which helps to establish the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health.