30th anniversary virtual
annual Awards GALA

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Timeline: Our History

2020 Award Winners

Diana W. Bianchi, MD
Health Public Service Visionary Award Winner
Diana W. Bianchi, MD
Health Public Service Visionary Award Winner

Dr. Bianchi is director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where she oversees an annual budget of about $1.5 billion in support of NICHD’s mission to lead research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all.

Dr. Bianchi received her MD from Stanford University School of Medicine and her postgraduate training in pediatrics, medical genetics and neonatal-perinatal medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bianchi’s research focuses on prenatal genomics with the goal of advancing noninvasive prenatal DNA screening and diagnosis to develop new therapies for genetic disorders that can be administered prenatally.

She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a past president of the Perinatal Research Society and the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Human Genetics and on the Councils of the American Pediatric Society and Society for Pediatric Research. Dr. Bianchi has received multiple awards, including the 2015 Neonatal Landmark Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the 2016 Maureen Andrew Award for Mentorship from the Society for Pediatric Research, and the 2017 Colonel Harland Sanders Award for lifetime achievement in Medical Genetics from the March of Dimes. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam in 2020.

Charlotte D. Owens, MD, FACOG
Health Industry Visionary Award Winner
Charlotte D. Owens, MD, FACOG
Health Industry Visionary Award Winner

Dr. Owens is the Women’s Health Lead, U.S. Medical Affairs, at AbbVie. She is involved in the direction, planning, execution, and interpretation of clinical trials dedicated to delivering high-quality clinical data supporting overall product scientific and business strategy.

Dr. Owens is dedicated to ensuring all women have access to care and recently led late-stage clinical research on a new treatment option for symptomatic uterine fibroids that successfully recruited and retained nearly 800 women, including a significant number of African American women, a group typically underrepresented in research. Findings from this work were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This is the first FDA-approved non-surgical, oral medication to treat heavy menstrual bleeding associated with fibroids.

Dr. Owens’ parents passed down a belief that has guided her throughout her life — that we all have the responsibility to be of service to others. She has applied this principle in every aspect of her career, which has included clinical practice, television medical contributor, lead strategic health care consultant, and medical director in the medical device and pharmaceutical industry. For more than 20 years she has been involved in global efforts focused on improving health care and education for women in six of the seven continents.

Prior to joining AbbVie, Dr. Owens was an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, director of the Division of Industry Collaborative Research and chief medical officer for the Office of Translational Technologies at Morehouse School of Medicine. She is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist and remains an adjunct clinical assistant professor at Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Owens received her bachelor’s in physiology from the University of California, Davis, and her MD from the University of Michigan Medical School.

Jill B. Becker, PhD
Health Education Visionary Award Winner
Jill B. Becker, PhD
Health Education Visionary Award Winner

Dr. Becker is the Biopsychology Area Chair, the Patricia Y. Gurin Collegiate Professor of Psychology, and Senior Research Professor in the Michigan Neuroscience Institute at the University of Michigan. For more than 30 years she has researched how sex and gender differences and ovarian hormones influence the brain and behavior, with a specific focus on drug addiction and motivation.

Dr. Becker has been a longtime supporter of SWHR. She served as a member of the SWHR Board of Directors and chaired SWHR’s Interdisciplinary Network on Sex, Gender, Drugs, and the Brain, which promoted research and education in the area of sex and gender differences in brain health and disease. She was also senior editor for the Network’s groundbreaking book, “Sex Differences in the Brain: From Genes to Behavior.”

A leader in the field of sex differences research, Dr. Becker was a founding member of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences, the only scientific membership society in the U.S. dedicated to promoting research on biological sex differences, and she has served on the Editorial Board of Biology of Sex Differences journal since its inception. Dr. Becker has dedicated significant time to the promotion, mentorship, and professional advancement of women in neuroscience and has been honored by the Society for Neuroscience and the University of Michigan for these efforts. She received her BA and MA in human development from the University of Kansas and her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Illinois, Urbana.


Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG

President and Dean, Morehouse School of Medicine

Dr. Montgomery Rice is the first woman to lead the freestanding medical institution and a former SWHR Board member. Previously, she was the founding director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color.

Thank you to our SPONSORS


Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy

American Society for Microbiology

Early Access Care LLC

Grayscale LLC

Linda G. Griffith, PhD

Florence Haseltine, MD, PhD

Kelly Advocacy Outcomes LLC

Myriad Women’s Health

National Pharmaceutical Council