2024 Annual Awards Gala

Celebrating achievements, advancements, & innovations in women’s health.

SWHR to Host the 34rd Annual Awards Gala, April 25

Join supporters of the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) as we gather in-person for SWHR’s 2024 Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, April 25, 2024 This event will honor leaders who have significantly advanced women’s health throughout their careers.

SWHR will recognize Janine Austin Clayton, MD, FARVO, Maria Shriver, and Shontelle Dodson, PharmD for their commitment to improving women’s health. These leaders will be honored for their development of a policy requiring scientists to consider sex as a biological variable; their unwavering advocacy for women’s health and Alzheimer’s disease research; and their service as an industry leader and to SWHR through service on the Board of Directors, respectively.  



SWHR is excited to announce that our Annual Awards Gala will be held in the newly renovated National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). After being shuttered for over two years, NMWA recently reopened to the public.

The SWHR 2024 Annual Awards Gala is going to be one hot ticket! A limited amount of new pre and onsite Gala sponsorships are available – first come, first served! View and download the 2024 sponsorship prospectus here or Contact Development Director Julie Miller at julie@swhr.org for information on sponsorships and tickets.

You may also directly purchase individual tickets and sponsorships here.

Check out highlights from past SWHR Annual Awards Galas, including the 2023 Annual Awards Gala here.

2024 Award Winners


Janine Austin Clayton, MD, FARVO
Women’s Health Visionary Award Winner
Janine Austin Clayton, MD, FARVO
Women’s Health Visionary Award Winner

Janine Austin Clayton, MD, Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health and Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the architect of the NIH policy requiring scientists to consider sex as a biological variable across the research spectrum. This policy is part of NIH’s initiative to enhance reproducibility through rigor and transparency. As co-chair of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers with the NIH Director, Dr. Clayton also leads NIH’s efforts to advance women in science careers. In 2021, Dr. Clayton was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Prior to joining the ORWH, Dr. Clayton was the Deputy Clinical Director of the National Eye Institute (NEI) for seven years. A board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Clayton’s research interests include autoimmune ocular diseases and the role of sex and gender in health and disease. She is the author of more than 120 scientific publications, journal articles, and book chapters.

Dr. Clayton, a native Washingtonian, received her undergraduate degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine. She completed a residency in ophthalmology at the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Clayton completed fellowship training in cornea and external disease at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital and in uveitis and ocular immunology at NEI.

Dr. Clayton has received numerous awards, including the Senior Achievement Award from the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2008 and the European Uveitis Patient Interest Association Clinical Uveitis Research Award in 2010. She was selected as a 2010 Silver Fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. In 2015, she was awarded the American Medical Women’s Association Lila A. Wallis Women’s Health Award and the Wenger Award for Excellence in Public Service. Dr. Clayton was granted the Bernadine Healy Award for Visionary Leadership in Women’s Health in 2016. She was also selected as an honoree for the Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards and the American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis Awards for Outstanding Government Service in 2017.

Maria Shriver
Women’s Health Visionary Award Winner
Maria Shriver
Women’s Health Visionary Award Winner

Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a grandmother, an Emmy, Gracie and Peabody award-winning journalist, story-teller, seven-time New York Times best-selling author, NBC News Special Anchor, founder of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and Strategic Advisor on Women’s Health and Alzheimer’s at Cleveland Clinic. She is also the founder of Shriver Media and co-founder of the mission-driven brain health and wellness brand, MOSH.

A trailblazer for empowering women, Shriver uses her voice and multiple platforms to advance some of our nation’s most pressing issues affecting women and women’s health. Today she acts as an outside strategic advisor to President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden on the first-ever White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, an initiative Shriver helped bring about. But her leadership in women’s health began long before. In 2010, she broke new ground when, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s” reported for the first time publicly that women are at an increased risk for the disease. Shriver went on to receive the first-ever Alzheimer’s Association Lifetime Achievement Award for her decades of public service, activism, and leadership.

Today, the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement at Cleveland Clinic is the preeminent organization for women and Alzheimer’s, funding gender-based Alzheimer’s research —with a mission to educate women and their families about the disproportionate impact the disease has on them.

During her time as First Lady of California from 2003-2010, Shriver worked tirelessly on behalf of women and families, particularly those living on the brink of poverty. In 2016, Shriver was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. She is also the recipient of the Best Buddies Spirit of Leadership Award for her life-long advocacy on behalf of those with intellectual disabilities.

Shriver’s life and career are driven by her fervent belief that everyone has the ability to be an “Architect of Change” and make the world a better place. Her for-benefit media company Shriver Media, produces award-winning content across multiple platforms, including books, digital series, films, and documentaries such as HBO’s Paycheck to Paycheck and The Alzheimer’s Project.

Shriver Media’s digital platform, The Sunday Paper, is multiple award-winning publication that elevates the voices of today’s greatest hearts and minds and is a roadmap to living life Above the Noise. Shriver’s weekly Sunday Paper column, “I’ve Been Thinking,” is the recipient of the prestigious Gracie Award.

Her book imprint, The Open Field, which she launched in 2021 at Penguin Random House, has published multiple New York Times bestselling books. Shriver’s own latest books, New York Times bestseller I’ve Been Thinking and its companion I’ve Been Thinking…The Journal offer wisdom, guidance, encouragement, and inspiration for those seeking to create a meaningful life of their own.

Shontelle Dodson, PharmD
Women’s Health Visionary Award Winner
Shontelle Dodson, PharmD
Women’s Health Visionary Award Winner

Dr. Shontelle Dodson is Executive Vice President and Head of Medical Affairs globally at Astellas Pharma, Inc., responsible for leading Astellas’ Medical Affairs activities for late-stage development and marketed products across all therapeutic and focus areas.

Previously, Dodson served as Senior Vice President of the Medical Specialties Business Unit. In this role, she led US commercial activities for marketed products in the urology, anti-infectives and hospital business units. Prior roles also include Senior Vice President of Market Access overseeing payer and channel account management, contracts and pricing, reimbursement and market access strategy, marketing, key account management and operations; and Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs Americas.

Shontelle joined Astellas in 2012 in Medical Affairs, and during her tenure has expanded the Health Economics & Outcomes Research function and pioneered multiple, innovative real world data projects, including the creation of two national registries and innovative research partnerships with leading managed care and academic organizations. She also led the Medical Specialties Commercial organization through an extensive restructuring while preparing for the launch of a novel new treatment option for women.

She started her career in direct patient care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and also worked at Pfizer, Inc. and GTx, Inc. in various medical affairs leadership roles.

Dodson joined the board of directors of the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC), a health policy research organization dedicated to advancing good evidence and science and fostering an environment that supports medical innovation in the United States in 2017. She is also a board member and former Chairwoman for the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR). She has received multiple awards for leadership and innovation during her career, including the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Rising Star and Astellas Vision Award.

Shontelle holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University College of Pharmacy and completed a postdoctoral residency at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

2024 keynote Speaker

To be announced. 


To be announced. 

Explore the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. NMWA advocates for better representation of women artists and serves as a vital center for thought leadership, community engagement, and social change.

Just 11% of all acquisitions at prominent American museums over the past decade were of work by women artists. The NMWA collections feature more than 5,500 works from the 16th century to today created by more than 1,000 artists.