SWHR Migraine Network members — including researchers, health care providers, patients and health care decision-makers — will provide thought leadership about migraine in the U.S. health care system, including:

  • Identifying approaches for engaging, educating, and empowering patients, health care professionals, and health care decision-makers about the costs and burden of migraine
  • Developing strategies and tools for implementing these approaches to inform and impact value driven health care decision-making
  • Building a plan for reaching and mobilizing a broad community with an organized voice for advancing this work



Dawn Buse, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Paul Fronstin, PhD, Employee Benefit Research Institute

Laurie Garner, PA-C, PhD, Woodford Family Physicians

Kelly Gavigan, MPH, Global Healthy Living Foundation

Brian Gifford, PhD, Integrated Benefits Institute

Toni M. Guglielmo, patient

Matthew Harman, PharmD, MPH, Employers Health

Emily Kandel, parent of patient

Lauren Neves, JD, PhRMA

Jelena Pavlovic, MD, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Jaime Sanders, patient

Donna Shaw, patient

Karen T. Smith, patient

Amaal Starling, MD, Mayo Clinic

Christine Utley, DNP, RN, University of Toledo

Sara van Geertruyden, Partnership to Improve Patient Care

William B. Young, MD, Thomas Jefferson University


Migraine Patient Toolkit: A Guide to Your Care

Vetted by migraine patients and medical experts, the toolkit includes:

  • What migraine is and who it affects
  • A guide to talking with health care providers
  • A monthly headache diary template
  • Lists of lifestyle and medical interventions for preventing and treating attacks
  • Tips for to talking with health insurance companies
  • Steps to appeal a health claim denial
  • A glossary of migraine terms

Peer-Reviewed Paper: Sex and Gender Differences in Migraine — Evaluating Knowledge Gaps, Journal of Women’s Health

Media Coverage

Policy Engagement

Scientific Roundtable and Public Forum

SWHR launched its migraine initiative in October 2017 with a one-day closed roundtable and public panel discussion, Migraine Matters: Beyond Burden to Value. SWHR brought together 13 experts from a wide variety of backgrounds, including basic scientists, clinicians, behavioral scientists, and patient advocates, to explore the current state of the science regarding the role of sex and gender differences in migraine.


Migraine is a chronic debilitating, painful disease affecting more than 47 million Americans — 14% of the population — and is the second leading cause of global burden of disability. Migraine is three times more common in women than men and places significant burden on women, their families, and society as a whole.

  • Migraine affects women differently than men.
  • Women are more likely than men to experience longer and more intense migraine attacks, more symptoms such as nausea and visual aura, and higher levels of  disability.
  • Women account for 80 percent of an estimated $78 billion in direct and indirect costs associated with migraine in the United States


SWHR Creates Migraine Toolkit to Help Patients to Manage Their Care

SWHR’s Migraine Patient Toolkit is a new resource with useful information about migraine diagnosis and treatment options, as well as tips on interacting with health care providers and health insurance companies to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Speeding Progress in Migraine Requires Unraveling Sex Differences

To decrease the substantial health and economic burden of migraine on individuals and society, researchers need to examine and address how the disease differs between women and men, according to an SWHR report in the August issue of the Journal of Women’s Health.

Hormones and Migraine: A Lifelong Connection

For women with migraine, fluctuating hormonal levels both during their monthly menstrual cycle and over the course of their lifespan are intimately connected to their experience with migraine.

Hill Briefing: Addressing Migraine Burden Through Research and Policy

To draw attention to the need for research and policy changes to address migraine burden, advocacy group Research!America hosted a congressional briefing that included SWHR President and CEO Amy M. Miller.

SWHR has sole authority over the scope and content of this program. Sponsorship of this network does not imply agreement with any content and/or comments presented by the members during network proceedings.