The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) hosts an awards dinner  every year to discuss new significant advancements and prominent issues in women’s health. SWHR has hosted this event since its inception in 1990, and each year has focused on certain themes and honored different leaders in science and women’s health. Attendees are typically members of Congress, members of the scientific community, organizations and nonprofits dedicated to health policy, and individuals interested and passionate about advancing improve the health of all women through science, education, and advocacy.  We look forward to our annual premiere event every year as an opportunity to advocate for women’s health.

  • 2017

    This year’s awards dinner celebrates advances in women’s health and honors three individuals with the Women’s Health Visionary Award:

    • Myrna Blyth
    • Senator Susan Collins
    • Mary Lake Polan

    Award-winning journalist Leon Harris, who is best known for anchoring newscasts for ABC7/WJLA-TV in Washington, DC emceed the event and 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.

    Click here to learn more about the event.



  • 2016

    This year’s awards dinner examines how data can be used to transform medicine from bench to bedside.

    Keynote speakers Alyson J. McGregor, MD and David C. Page, MD lead a conversation on how data is advancing health and medicine. The evening also features a panel discussion moderated by Kavita Patel, MD, with panelists Philip E. Bourne, PhD; Robert M. Califf, MD; Anna McCollister-Slipp; and Jane L. Snowdon, PhD.

    Click here to learn more about the event.

  • 2015

    This year’s awards dinner celebrates 25 years of SWHR’s efforts to acknowledge the crucial differences between men and women, and the organization’s accomplishments in closing the gap through science, advocacy, and education.

    • Rep. Lois Capps
    • Sen. Susan Collins
    • Rep. Rosa Delauro
    • Rep. Nita Lowey
    • Sen. Barbara Mikulski
    • Sen. Lisa Murkowski
    • Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
    • Rep. Louise Slaughter
    • Sen. Debbie Stabenow

    The Women’s Health Leadership Award is presented to Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the Pioneering Biomedical Research Award is presented to Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, NIH Director.
    The also event features Judy Woodruff, Co-Anchor and Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour as emcee.

    Click here to learn more about the event.

  • 2014

    Transforming Science: Innovations in Molecular Diagnostics

    This year’s awards dinner focuses on how the field of molecular diagnostics is revolutionizing health care and driving the personalized medicine revolution by helping to uncover the underlying mechanisms of disease, leading to better more customizable care.  The Women’s Health Leadership Award is presented to Marsha B. Henderson.

  • 2013

    This year’s awards dinner highlights SWHR’s innovative approach to using mobile health technology to advance women’s health. Technology plays a vital role in the lives of nearly all Americans. From smartphone applications that encourage exercise, to electronic health records that hold patient’s vital statistics, technology has become integral to health and wellness.  These advances encourage women to manage their own health conditions and empower them to communicate more effectively and efficiently with their healthcare providers to improve their quality of life.
    The Medtronic Prize for Scientific Contributions to Women’s Health award is presented to Mia K. Markey, PhD.

  • 2012

    This year’s awards dinner highlights musculoskeletal diseases and conditions that affect women differently and disproportionately to men this year. Women are incredibly susceptible to issues with bone and tissue, from osteoporosis to breaking a hip.

  • 2011

    Beyond the Camouflage—Uncovering the Health Needs of Women Veterans

    This year’s awards dinner thanks the 1.8 million women veterans and 230,000 women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for their dedication and service. The Medtronic Prize for Scientific Contributions to Women’s Health” award is presented to Denniz Zolnoun, MD, MPH.

  • 2010

     Celebrating 20 Years, because Sexx Matters

    The year’s awards dinner celebrates 20 years of accomplishments by SWHR, from women being represented in medical research, to inclusion in medical trials, to scientists beginning to study from “womb to tomb” the ways in which health conditions and diseases affect men and women differently. The Medtronic Prize for Scientific Contributions to Women’s Health” award is presented to Sabra L. Klein, PhD. The event also features pieces by artist Mindy Weise.


  • 2009

    Knowledge is Power

    This year awards dinner focuses on entering a new era with great potential for medical research. The Medtronic Prize for Scientific Contributions to Women’s Health” award is presented to Kimberly Kenton, MD, MS.

  • 2008

    This year’s awards dinner focuses on biological sex as a variable that should be considered when designing and analyzing studies in all areas and at all levels of biomedical and health-related research. The Medtronic Prize for Scientific Contributions to Women’s Health” award is presented to Karyn Morrione Frick PhD.


  • 2007

    This year’s awards dinner works to advance prevention research, raise awareness of prevention tools, and increase utilization of available measures. The Medtronic Prize for Scientific Contributions to Women’s Health” award is presented to Elizabeth Petri Henske, MD.

  • 2006

    Innovative Literacy Programs that Improve Women’s Health

    This year’s awards dinner includes the first annual Medtronic Prize for Scientific Contributions to Women’s Health award which is presented to Marisa S. Bartolomei, PhD.

  • 2005

    Celebrating Hope and Promise

    This year’s awards dinner recognizes the importance of biotechnology and the hope and promises it offers in improving women’s health. The event features speaker Terri Garr.

  • 2004

    New Innovations in Women’s Health

    This year’s awards dinners showcases the many new devices and diagnostic tools in medical technology geared towards women solely, disproportionately or differently from men, slowly closing the gap between the needs of the entire population and the medical care available. The event features musical artist Christine Baze.


  • 2002

    Celebrate Change: The Coming of Age of Women’s Health

    This year’s awards dinner invites leaders from the public and private sector to celebrate with SWHR the “Coming of Age” of women’s health and to illustrate advances in the quality and duration of a woman’s life. The event features an exhibit of photographer Jayne Wexler, “A celebration of Women in Midlife and Beyond.”


    • Gail Devers
    • Cheryl Ladd
    • Connie Morella
    • Gail Sheehy
    • Trisha Yearwood
  • 2001

    Reach for the Stars

    The year’s awards dinner recognizes the increased funding for research on women’s health, the inclusion of women in clinical research studies, and the acceptance of sex-based research as a vitally important field of study.


    • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    • Robert Essner
    • Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson
  • 2000

    10th Anniversary Gala Dinner

    This year’s awards dinner celebrates ten years of SWHR advancing women’s health and changing the face of medicine.


    • Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro – 3rd District Connecticut
    • Rep. Nita Lowey – 18th District New York
    • Sen. Barbara Mikulski – Maryland
    • Rep. Connie Morella – 8th District, Maryland
    • Rep. Patricia Schroeder – 1st District, Colorado
    • Rep. Louise M. Slaughter – 28th District New York
    • Sen. Olympia Snowe – Maine
    • Rep. Henry A. Waxman – 29th District California
  • 1999

    The New Awareness that Now Exists

    This year’s awards dinner pays homage to the fight SWHR has waged since its founding for increased focus on and funding for women’s health research. While there is increased awareness of the gender inequity in health research, SWHR knows that there is still more work to do. The event honors music industry pioneer Frances W. Preston with the Woman of Achievement award.


  • 1998

    Gala Society for the Advancement of Women’s Health Research

    This year’s awards dinner focuses on dispelling the antiquated notion that women’s health concerns are just ‘diseases of the womb.’ The event features a special performance by Mark Russell.


  • 1997

    Celebrating Advances in Women’s Health Research

    This year’s gala honors Florence Haseltine, PhD, MD for her work in creating SWHR and the subsequent request from the Congressional leaders to the General Accounting Office to examine the level of women’s participation in federally-funded research. The findings from the report served as a “lightning rod” for the women’s health “revolution.” The event includes a special performance by the Washington Opera.

  • 1996

    An Evening to Celebrate, Get Real: Straight Talk About Women’s Health

    This year’s gala underscores the increased attention to federal and private research communities in gender inequities in health research over the last five years.


    • Phyllis Greenberger, MSW
    • Florence Haseltine PhD, MD
    • Gordon Peterson
    • Wendy Wasserstein
  • 1995

    Many Faces

    This year’s gala showcases artist Mindy Weisel’s “Many Faces” piece, which symbolizes the uniqueness of conditions affecting women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, and also includes a performance by “Women of Broadway.”

    Special artist:

    • Mindy Weisel


    • Maureen Bunyan
    • Leonard L. Ross (Gala Chair)
    • Robert Essner (Corporate Chair)
    • Phyllis Greenberger, MSW
    • Florence Haseltine PhD, MD
  • 1993

    Celebrate with Us – The Advancement of Women’s Health
    The year’s gala highlights inequities being addressed through new research, public policies, and programs.

    Special guests:

    • Hillary Clinton served as Honorary Chair but was unable to attend the event
    • Congressman Martin Hoke (on piano)
    • Leila Florentino (Broadway’s Miss Saigon)
    • Lainie Kazan
    • Swoosie Kurtz (Star of Sisters)
    • Judy Woodruff