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SWHR Appoints Sarah Wells Kocsis New Vice President of Public Policy

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WASHINGTON, DC (April 18, 2017) —The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) announced the hiring of Sarah Wells Kocsis, MBA, as its new Vice President of Public Policy. Kocsis will lead the organization’s national policy agenda, including shaping public discussion around issues impacting women’s health, and designing and implementing effective stakeholder engagement activities.

Kocsis brings more than 20 years of expertise in driving public policy solutions aimed at improving patient access to care. Most recently, Kocsis served as the Health Policy and Market Access Director at Hologic Inc., where she led and implemented policy, legislative, and reimbursement priorities for the company’s breast and skeletal health, and gynecologic surgery portfolio.

“I am thrilled that Sarah has joined our growing team,” said Amy M. Miller, PhD, president and CEO of SWHR. “She shares our values and focus on women’s health issues, and is uniquely qualified to serve in this important role with her outstanding legislative and regulatory experience in health policy.”

Previously, Kocsis worked at Amgen Inc., as the US Health Policy and Reimbursement Director, where she facilitated government interactions to secure and maintain appropriate Medicare and Medicaid coverage and reimbursement for Amgen products. Kocsis also established Boston Scientific’s first Washington, DC, government affairs office, where she managed the health program function and served as the primary interface with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, industry trade groups, and stakeholder coalitions.

“For over 27 years, SWHR has been the leading science-based advocate for advancing women’s health interests,” said Kocsis. “I am highly motivated to leverage this evidence-based platform to shape policy priorities on a number of critical and complex issues that impact the health and well-being of women.”

Kocsis received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Tulane University and earned an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

SWHR leads the way in advocating for greater funding for women’s health research and for the study of biological differences that affect disease; promotes the inclusion of women and minorities in medical research; pushes for the analysis of research data for sex and ethnic differences; and informs women, health care providers, and policymakers about contemporary women’s health issues.

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About SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national non-profit based in Washington, DC. A thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease, SWHR is dedicated to advancing women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. For more information, visit http://www.SWHR.org. Follow on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SWHR.

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The Society for Women’s Health Names Anne B. Cropp, PharmD, New Member of its Board of Directors

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WASHINGTON, DC (April 12, 2017) —The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is excited to announce the appointment of a new member to its Board of Directors. Joining the Board is Anne B. Cropp, PharmD, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer for Early Access Care, LLC.

“We are pleased to welcome a longtime supporter of SWHR and champion for women’s health research, Dr. Cropp, to our Board of Directors,” said Dr. Amy M. Miller, SWHR president and CEO. “Her wide-spanned experience in the biopharmaceutical industry marked by achievements in the successful development of new drug products makes her a great asset to the Board.”

Dr. Cropp is a PharmD, pharmacist and board-certified clinical pharmacologist who has worked in the biopharmaceutical industry since 1991. Recently, Dr. Cropp founded Early Access Care, LLC., a healthcare company focused on facilitating all stakeholders involved in the review and approval of expanded access and compassionate use requests for investigational drugs. As the founder and chief scientific officer at Early Access Care, LLC., she provides consultative and functional support to biopharmaceutical companies.

Prior to Early Access Care, LLC., she held the position of vice president in the Global Product Development Group at Pfizer Inc. She was responsible for the strategic planning, development, and execution of investigational drugs across a wide spectrum of disease areas in adult and pediatric patients. Dr. Cropp also has significant first-hand knowledge and expertise of pediatric drug development having served as chair of the Pfizer Pediatric Council for eight years.

As an innovator, Dr. Cropp has held a number of leadership positions in clinical development leading multidisciplinary teams across the full lifecycle product. She is a leading authority in study design and protocol evolution, leads multi-company collaborations focused on improving clinical trial quality and execution, and is a global expert in expanded access/compassionate use.

Dr. Cropp earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Duquesne University and her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. In 1984, she was awarded the Roche Young Investigator Award for her work with naloxone in ischemic stroke.

“Joining the SWHR Board of Directors is a natural fit coming from a research and healthcare background. I believe there are tremendous opportunities for synergy between SWHR, patient partners, researchers, and policy makers in many areas of women’s health,” explains Dr. Cropp.

SWHR leads the way in advocating for greater funding for women’s health research and for the study of biological differences that affect disease; promotes the inclusion of women and minorities in medical research; pushes for the analysis of research data for sex and ethnic differences; and informs women, health care providers, and policymakers about contemporary women’s health issues.

A full list of SWHR Board of Directors is available here: http://swhr.org/about/board-of-directors/

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About SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national non-profit based in Washington, DC. A thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease, SWHR is dedicated to advancing women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. For more information, visit http://www.SWHR.org. Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWHR.

 

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The Society for Women’s Health Research Celebrates Three Outstanding Honorees

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CONTACT:
Heena Patel
202-223-8224
heena@swhr.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2017

The Society for Women’s Health Research Celebrates Three Outstanding Honorees

Awards dinner honors visionaries AARP Executive Myrna Blyth, Senator Susan Collins, and Dr. Mary Lake Polan

WASHINGTON, DC (April 4, 2017) – The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) hosted its 27th annual awards dinner on March 22 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC, where nearly 400 guests gathered to celebrate advances in women’s health and honor three individuals with the Women’s Health Visionary Award:

  • Myrna Blyth, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director of AARP Media, overseeing AARP The Magazine, AARP Bulletin, AARP Studios, AARP Book Division, and the AARP Website.
  • Senator Susan Collins, Senior Senator from Maine, ranks nineteenth in Senate seniority and is the most senior Republican woman.
  • Mary Lake Polan MD, PhD, MPH, Clinical Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University School of Medicine.

“We were pleased to honor Myrna Blyth, Senator Susan Collins, and Dr. Mary Lake Polan. Each have advocated for women’s health in their respective diverse fields of work for many years,” said Dr. Amy M. Miller, SWHR president and CEO. “Through education, research, or innovation, their contributions have inspired women to be advocates for their own health.”

Award-winning journalist Leon Harris, who is best known for anchoring newscasts for ABC7/WJLA-TV in Washington, DC emceed the event. Harris discussed his own experience in overcoming pancreatitis, the importance of health awareness and education, and introduced guest speakers and awardees throughout the evening.

A special guest appearance was made by Dan Rather, former CBS Evening News anchor, and now managing editor and anchor of the television news magazine Dan Rather Reports, who presented the award to longtime friend Dr. Polan. In her acceptance speech, she spoke about her support of SWHR.

“Working with the organization over many years has been a wonderful experience, promoting this movement for women’s health not only in the US, but overseas as well,” said Dr. Polan.

Following the awards presentation, Dr. Miller concluded with remarks on the importance of SWHR’s mission and what the organization plans to accomplish in the future. “In the face of possible drastic federal cuts to research and affordable care, we continue our legacy of successful advocacy for women’s health,” said Dr. Miller.

In addition to the gala dinner, SWHR also hosted its second annual gala symposium earlier in the day. The symposium featured a keynote discussion on research gaps in underrepresented diseases in women and minority ethnic groups. Notable speakers included Linda Goler Blount, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Black Women’s Health Imperative; Marsha Henderson, MCRP, Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health at the US Food and Drug Administration; Cynthia Hess, PhD, and Associate Director of Research at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; and Andrew Sperling, JD, Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

SWHR expresses gratitude to all who supported and attended the event, including our generous Award Benefactor sponsors AARP, Hearst, and also our Leadership sponsors Amgen, Astellas, Celgene, PhRMA, Genentech, and Roche.

Proceeds from the event will benefit SWHR’s science, advocacy, and educational programs, which ensure that women’s health remains a national priority.

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ABOUT SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national non-profit based in Washington DC. A thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease, SWHR is dedicated to advancing women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women. For more information, visit http://www.swhr.org. Follow us on Twitter at @SWHR

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SWHR’s 27th Annual Gala: The State of Women’s Health

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 2, 2017

CONTACT:
Heena Patel, Communications Director
202-223-8224
heena@swhr.org

Celebratory event honors visionary women on Wednesday, March 22 in Washington DC

WASHINGTON, DC (February 2, 2017) – The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®), widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease, will host its 27th Annual Gala: The State of Women’s Health on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, DC.

SWHR’s Gala will host more than 400 attendees, including members of Congress; researchers and clinicians; advocacy groups and disease awareness organizations; professional, scientific and medical associations; and individuals interested in the advancement of women’s health.

This year’s gala honorees will be presented the Women’s Health Visionary Award and include:

  • Myrna Blyth, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director of AARP Media, overseeing AARP The Magazine, AARP Bulletin, AARP Studios, AARP Book Division, and the AARP Website;
  • Susan Collins, Senator from Maine, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Aging and the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, and also serves on the Intelligence Committee, as well as the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and
  • Mary Lake Polan, MD, PhD, MPH, Clinical Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University School of Medicine.

“The Society for Women’s Health Research is delighted to honor Myrna Blyth, Senator Susan Collins, and Dr. Mary Lake Polan for their lifetime of exemplary leadership and commitment to professional excellence,” said Amy M. Miller, PhD, SWHR president and CEO. “These extraordinary visionaries are powerful role models who have made unique contributions in advancing women’s health.”

SWHR will also host its Second Annual Gala Symposium on March 22, 2017, which will convene some of the best minds in health policy. The symposium will feature a series of presentations on the existing challenges and important advances needed to improve the health of women of all ages. Based on this discussion, SWHR will identify strategic next steps to addressing some of the most important policy issues related to women’s health.

From its inception, SWHR has worked to further women’s health and the study of biological sex differences and continues to raise awareness of the impact of sex differences on diseases and treatment. All event proceeds will benefit SWHR’s science, advocacy, and educational programs, which ensure that women’s health remains a national priority.

Media are invited to attend the gala. To request a complimentary seat, email your name and news organization to communications@swhr.org.

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About SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women.

For more information, visit http://www.SWHR.org. Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWHR.

 

 

 

 

 

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SWHR Names Amy M. Miller, PhD New Chief Executive Officer

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Held Leading Post At Personalized Medicine Coalition

WASHINGTON, DC (November 22, 2016) – The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) announced the hiring of Amy M. Miller, PhD as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 3, 2017.

Dr. Miller leaves the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), where she served as Executive Vice President, directing national programs and in particular working with innovators, scientists, providers and payors on policy issues impacting personalized medicine.

“We welcome Amy to lead SWHR at a critical crossroads in women’s health research,” said SWHR Founder Florence Haseltine, PhD, MD. “While we celebrate the many achievements in women’s health policy advocacy to date, we must continue to press for unlocking the mysteries in sex differences and how men and women are different when it comes to cures, treatments and prevention. Amy understands that, and we’re excited to invite her to lead SWHR,” said Dr. Haseltine.

Before joining PMC, Miller worked in the office of the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, where she served as a liaison among the scientific community, the legislative branch, and the consumers of mental health care and their families. A former American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, she also served as a domestic policy advisor to Senator Jay Rockefeller.

Dr. Miller began her career as a researcher at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Miller received a BA from the University of New Orleans and holds a doctoral degree in human development from the University of Connecticut.

“The SWHR board of directors enthusiastically welcomes Dr. Miller to SWHR, and at the same time, thanks our interim CEO Larry Hausner for his effectiveness in leading SWHR in the past year,” said SWHR Chair John J. Seng.

SWHR leads the way in advocating for greater funding for women’s health research and for the study of biological differences that affect disease; promotes the inclusion of women and minorities in medical research; pushes for the analysis of research data for sex and ethnic differences; and informs women, health care providers, and policy makers about contemporary women’s health issues.

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ABOUT SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women.

For more information, visit www.SWHR.org. Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWHR.

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DiabetesSisters and the Society for Women’s Health Research Release A Report On Women and Diabetes

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Women and Diabetes: 10 Relevant Health Topics for Women Living with Diabetes, Advancing Women’s Health through Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Management

DiabetesSisters and the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) have partnered to create “Women & Diabetes: 10 Relevant Health Topics for Women Living with Diabetes,” a report that aims to educate women living with diabetes, diabetes educators and healthcare providers on a variety of relevant health topics.

Edited by Aimee Gallagher, MPH, MS (SWHR) and Anna Norton, MS (DiabetesSisters), the report highlights issues specific to women living with diabetes, ranging from prevention, management, interventions and disparities, to different hormonal milestones during a woman’s lifespan.

One topic addressed in the report, Planning For A Healthy Pregnancy In Women With Type 1 Diabetes, will be presented later this month at the American Association of Diabetes Educators’ Annual Meeting in San Diego. The report’s topics, selected on a basis of importance to women and the healthcare providers and educators who interact with them, are intended to further facilitate discussions between the health and research communities and address the needs of women living with diabetes.

Supported by grants from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Merck, and Novo Nordisk, the report brought together experts in the diabetes field including:

  • Brandy Barnes, MSW
  • Wendy L. Bennett, MD, MPH
  • Nicole M. Bereolos, PhD, MPH, CDE
  • Deborah Clegg, PhD
  • Stephen Clement, MD
  • Elizabeth (Libby) Downs, MS, RD, CDE
  • Angela F. Ford, PhD, MSW
  • Aimee M. Gallagher, MPH, MS
  • Riva Greenberg, DPE, CHC
  • Diane Herbert, CDE, MSS, LS
  • Amy Huebschmann, MD, MS, FACP
  • Monica Malampalli, PhD, MSc
  • Franck Mauvais-Jarvis, MD, PhD
  • Rhonda Merwin, PhD
  • Maria Mupanomunda, MD, PhD, MBA
  • Wanda Nicholson, MD, MPH, MBA
  • Anna Norton, MS
  • Donna Rice, MBA, RN, CDE, FAADE
  • Joshunda Sanders
  • Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE
  • Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN

Experts represented various institutions including: American Diabetes Association, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Cedars-Sinai, The Johns Hopkins University, University of Colorado, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

To read the entire report, please visit: http://swhr.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SWHR-Diabetes10Q_2016.pdf

 

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About DiabetesSisters

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, DiabetesSisters is the only organization worldwide focusing exclusively on women with diabetes. Our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of women living with and at risk of developing diabetes, and to advocate on their behalf. DiabetesSisters has a 10,000-member peer network that unites women with diabetes for the purpose of support, education, and advocacy. Signature programs include monthly small group meetings (PODS Meetups); DiabetesSisters conferences throughout the U.S.; the Life Class Webinar Series, and online blogs, forums, and expert resources. For more information, visit diabetessisters.org.

About SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®), is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominantly affect women. For more information, visit http://www.SWHR.org.  Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWHR.

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Society for Women’s Health Research Launches New Interdisciplinary Network to Focus on Sex Differences in Alzheimer’s Disease

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Leading researchers, scientists, and clinicians to examine sex differences in Alzheimer’s disease with a focus on Women

Washington, D.C. (July 26, 2016) – The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®), the leading voice in research on biological differences between women and men, announces the start of a new initiative focused on examining sex and gender differences in Alzheimer’s disease.

“SWHR is proud to assemble some of the best researchers in the country to examine sex differences in Alzheimer’s disease and promote policies to advance Alzheimer’s disease research. The focus on sex differences is needed to understand why the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and its progression are different in women compared to men, and to further improve our current efforts for better therapies and prevention strategies,“ said Monica Mallampalli, PhD, MSc., SWHR Vice President of Scientific Affairs.

The members of the SWHR Interdisciplinary Network on Alzheimer’s Disease will work collaboratively over the next five years to address areas of need in Alzheimer’s disease pertaining to both research and policy.

“This unique Network addresses aging and dementia, one of the most important issues facing modern societies and it does so in the context of sex differences and how they are manifested across the life course,” said Bruce McEwen, PhD, Alfred E. Mirsky Professor of Neuroscience at the Rockefeller University, Director of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, member of the SWHR Board of Directors and now current member of SWHR Interdisciplinary Network on Alzheimer’s Disease. “This Network fills an important gap, as no other group is likely to do this.”

The Network officially launched following a successful introductory meeting held by SWHR on July 20, 2016. The highlights of the meeting included a review of each member’s research expertise, a discussion of Network members’ viewpoints on Alzheimer’s disease, and their thoughts on prevention and treatment, latest research advances, and evidence-based policy needs.

Click here to learn more about the Network.

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ABOUT SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®), is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominantly affect women.

For more information, visit www.SWHR.org.  Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWHR.

SWHR Board Chair John Seng, Founder Florence Haseltine, Ph.D, and Interim CEO Larry Hausner.

SWHR Announces Larry Hausner as Interim CEO; Names Heather Boyd Director of Public Policy

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Photo: SWHR Board Chair John Seng, Founder Florence Haseltine, Ph.D, MD, and Interim CEO Larry Hausner.

 

Contact: Taylor Kuether
Phone: 202-223-8224
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SWHR Announces Larry Hausner as Interim CEO; Names Heather Boyd Director of Public Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 25, 2016) – The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) announced today that non-profit health advocacy organization veteran Larry Hausner is now serving as the Society’s interim CEO. Heather Boyd, MPP, also has joined the SWHR staff as the organization’s Director of Public Policy.

“Larry’s executive leadership experience at national scale organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and National Multiple Sclerosis Society manifestly equips him to guide SWHR through our directional and leadership transition process,” said SWHR Board Chair John Seng. “We also welcome Heather Boyd, who will bring her outstanding legislative and regulatory advocacy experience to work in realizing her passion for furthering women’s health research,” Seng said.

“I’ve come to appreciate SWHR’s legacy in women’s health research and effectiveness in putting the need for increased study of sex differences on the national agenda,” said Mr. Hausner. “The SWHR Board and our staff can seize new opportunities to underscore the need to expand the science behind why disease and risks to health affect women differently than men,” he said.

Helping to build SWHR’s policy presence is new Director of Public Policy Heather Boyd, MPP. Ms. Boyd comes to SWHR from the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, where she analyzed state legislation related to biosimilars, opioid abuse, and other managed care pharmacy issues. She brings almost a decade of policy analysis experience on a variety of healthcare issues including long-term care, pharmacy policy, and Medicare payment policy.

“Ten years ago, I moved to DC to work specifically on women’s health issues,” said Ms. Boyd. “The opportunity to advocate on behalf of women’s health is a dream come true for me. I could not be more excited to lead the advocacy efforts for women’s health research on behalf of SWHR.”

SWHR leads the way in advocating for greater funding for women’s health research and for the study of biological differences that affect disease; promote the inclusion of women and minorities in medical research; push for the analysis of research data for sex and ethnic differences; and to inform women, health care providers, and policy makers about contemporary women’s health issues.

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ABOUT SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®), is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women.

For more information, visit www.SWHR.org.  Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWHR.

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Phyllis Greenberger, SWHR’s Leader For More Than Two Decades, Steps Down as President & CEO

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Contact: Taylor Kuether
Phone: 202-223-8224
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phyllis Greenberger, SWHR’s Leader For More Than Two Decades,
Steps Down as President & CEO

Earned Legacy as Leading Women’s Health Research Advocate

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 23, 2016) – The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) announced that its longtime president and CEO, Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, has decided to move on from that role.

“No one in Washington led the way to advance women’s health research over the past 25 years as did Phyllis Greenberger,” said SWHR Founder Florence Haseltine, MD, PhD. “We offer our deep gratitude to Phyllis for her passion and performance in all this time. She has guided SWHR in casting a bright light on the need to explore the scientific difference in the sexes and to advocate for the inclusion of women in clinical trials,” said Dr. Haseltine. “Anyone who knows or has worked with Phyllis has appreciated her determination to advance our understanding of the differences between the health of women and men.”

Ms. Greenberger had been president and CEO of SWHR since 1993, shortly after its founding. As a result of SWHR’s work under Ms. Greenberger’s leadership, federal mandates require the inclusion of women in medical research and clinical trials; and scientists are researching the ways in which health conditions and diseases affect men and women differently and why.

“I want to thank Florence for her vision and confidence in hiring me to lead SWHR, and acknowledge my appreciation to SWHR staff as well as thank our corporate and institutional supporters over all this time,” said Ms. Greenberger. “Together, we’ve truly made a difference in the lives of not only women but men worldwide. With so many of the milestones I set for SWHR achieved, I have decided it is time to step down from my executive and operational role with the organization. I would like to spend time on independent projects and pursue new ventures to continue bringing important insights into science that advance women’s health,” she said.

“On behalf of the entire SWHR Board of Directors, we thank Phyllis for everything she has done to advocate and help improve the health of all, through education and science advocacy in women’s health,” said SWHR Chair John Seng. “We will continue her legacy of advancing the science of sex-based biology and advocating for making a difference in people’s lives,” said Seng.

The SWHR Board of Directors is set to announce the retention of an interim CEO in the next week. Ms. Greenberger remains a member of the SWHR Board of Directors.

SWHR will continue to lead the way in advocating for greater funding for women’s health research and for the study of biological differences that affect disease; promote the inclusion of women and minorities in medical research; push for the analysis of research data for sex and ethnic differences; and to inform women, health care providers, and policy makers about contemporary women’s health issues.

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ABOUT SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®), is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women.

For more information, visit www.SWHR.org.  Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWHR.

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Cancer Advocates Press for Swift Implementation of the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act of 2015

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WASHINGTON (May 17, 2016) – Now that the number of mastectomies is increasing significantly, advocates and experts fighting for improved treatments for invasive breast cancer today called for swift action by Congress and the Obama Administration to implement the provisions of the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act of 2015 (BCPEA) so women will understand their reconstruction options at the time of diagnosis.

Assembling at a briefing on Capitol Hill, women’s health and cancer advocates celebrated BCPEA’s enactment as an important victory but urged rapid implementation because many women remain unaware about their reconstruction rights.  Accordingly, the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) urged the U.S. Congress to appropriate the funds necessary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fulfill its responsibilities under BCPEA, which mandates a national education campaign on the availability and insurance coverage of breast reconstruction and prostheses. Since passage of the Women’s Health Care and Cancer Rights Act in 1998, health plans that offer breast cancer coverage are required to provide coverage for breast reconstruction and prostheses.

Along with action by Congress, SWHR called on HHS to take the initial steps to implement BCPEA, such as updating existing materials created by the Office of Women’s Health and the Office of Minority Health and disseminating this content through the websites of relevant federal agencies.

“Passing BCPEA, frankly, is the beginning of the journey, not the end,” said Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, President and CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR). “That is why we are calling for action to implement BCPEA on an expedited basis.”

Underscoring the need for BCPEA implementation, David Song, MD, MBA, FACS, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), reported that many women are unaware of their reconstruction rights, including those of racial and ethnic minorities.  This is particularly concerning for African American women under age 40 and Hispanic women who are at increased risk for invasive breast cancer.  Among the more than 230,000 women diagnosed annually with invasive breast cancer, a recent assessment from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) finds that mastectomies increased 36% between 2005 and 2013 while the number of doubled mastectomies tripled. Yet, even with higher rates of mastectomy, ASPS puts the overall rate of breast reconstruction among these women at well below 25%.

“Today, there are many reconstruction techniques available that restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following mastectomy,” Dr. Song said. “When it comes to invasive breast cancer,
women, and especially those of minority backgrounds, should not be left without proper knowledge of their reconstruction rights so they can learn about their treatment options and make informed decisions.”

-More-

Echoing the call for quick action, Tracy Posner, a patient advocate who opted for a full hysterectomy and a preventative double mastectomy after learning she has the BRCA gene mutation associated with an increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers, said that despite working in the medical field, trying to get answers about reconstruction can be harrowing. While she successfully underwent reconstructive surgery in 2016, Ms. Posner struggled to find adequate information to help her and is now speaking out so other women anticipating mastectomy can make the best choice for their care.

“You shouldn’t have to work in the healthcare system to have access to information about the availability and coverage of breast reconstruction options,” Ms. Posner told policymakers. “It is in everyone’s interest for women to understand their treatment options, which includes access to breast reconstruction.”

At the Congressional briefing, Debra L. Monticciolo, MD, Chair of the Commission on Breast Imaging for the American College of Radiology (ACR) and a Professor of Radiology at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, also stressed the importance of early detection through breast imaging so women will have greater treatment options and an improved chance for a full recovery.

“Breast cancer is a serious concern for all women but early detection and information on treatment options are powerful weapons for the best outcome,” said Dr. Monticciolo. “It is extremely important that women have access to thorough and understandable information on their reconstructive rights.”

The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act, which was passed on December 18, 2015 as part of omnibus spending legislation, was introduced by Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) in the House of Representatives and Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in the Senate. The education campaign mandated by BCPEA will inform women that breast reconstruction is possible at the time of mastectomy or after treatment is completed and if women choose not to have reconstruction, prostheses or breast forms are covered options.

About the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR)
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®), is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women.

For more information, visit www.SWHR.org.  Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWHR.

About the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world. Founded in 1931, the society is composed of board-certified plastic surgeons that perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. The mission of ASPS is to advance quality care to plastic surgery patients by encouraging high standards of training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery. The Society advocates for patient safety, such as requiring its members to operate in accredited surgical facilities that have passed rigorous external review of equipment and staffing.

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