Reflecting on 30 Years of The Revitalization Act: A Conversation with SWHR’s Founder

Webinars & Videos

Published 6/9/23

Thirty years ago, women and minority populations were regularly excluded from research. This led to gaps in our understanding about the impact of diseases, conditions, and life stages on women as well as the ability to provide informed, personalized care for these populations. On June 10, 1993, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) passed the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993. The Revitalization Act was a historic moment for women’s health research, mandating that women and minorities be included in all NIH-funded clinical research and that Phase III clinical trials be analyzed for sex differences. The law also established the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) within the NIH and gave it the authority to monitor the inclusion of women in the NIH’s clinical research. 

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR), which was founded just three years prior to this landmark legislation being passed, played a fundamental role in the Act’s development and subsequent passage. While SWHR has achieved myriad successes in women’s health, its advocacy for the Revitalization Act epitomizes SWHR’s commitment to changing the culture of medical research and advocating for the inclusion of women in clinical research across all areas of medicine.  

In celebration of 30 years since the initial passage of the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 this June, SWHR is reflecting on the history, progress, and future of women’s health research. While progress has been made, with many women’s health conditions are receiving unprecedented funding and focus today, there remain important gaps in women’s health that we can and must address.  

During a special conversation, SWHR President and CEO Kathryn Schubert, MPP, CAE sits down with SWHR Founder and Board Member Florence Haseltine, PhD, MD to discuss SWHR’s history and what opportunities lie ahead for inclusive, diverse, and equitable women’s health research. 

This event is free and open to the public.


Kathryn G. Schubert, MPP, CAE

Kathryn G. Schubert, MPP, CAE

Kathryn G. Schubert, MPP, CAE

Kathryn G. Schubert, MPP, CAE

Kathryn (Katie) Schubert joined the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) as President and CEO in April 2020. Under Katie’s leadership SWHR developed a strategic plan focused on fulfilling the organization’s mission of promoting research on biological sex differences in disease and improving women’s health through science, policy, and education. She previously worked for the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), where she served as the organization’s chief advocacy officer, growing SMFM’s role nationally and building its reputation in women’s health.

Katie is a trusted leader and consensus builder among women’s health stakeholders, particularly in the policy arena. She has served in multiple Board roles for nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC-area, including as Chair of the Board of the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance and as advisor to the John E. Lewy Fund for Children’s Health. She is a past president of Women in Government Relations.

Prior to SMFM, Katie served as senior vice president at CRD Associates, where she advised clients — including nonprofit patient advocacy groups, medical professional organizations, and private companies — on government relations and public policy related to health and biomedical research issues, among others. She has also spent time working in key legislative roles on Capitol Hill. She received her BA from Mary Washington College and her Masters of Public Policy from George Washington University. Katie lives in Virginia with her husband, three children, and dog George.



Phone: (202) 496-5004

Florence P. Haseltine, PhD, MD

SWHR Founder and Board Member

Florence P. Haseltine, PhD, MD

SWHR Founder and Board Member

Florence P. Haseltine, PhD, MD, is a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist and an expert in reproductive endocrinology. She is the founder of the Society for Women’s Health Research.

Haseltine received her undergraduate training at University of California at Berkeley, a doctorate in biophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Following her internship at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia and her residency at Boston Hospital for Women (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), she served as Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Ob/Gyn and Pediatrics at Yale University.

While at Yale University School of Medicine, she took a year of training at the School of Organization and Management in order to develop a proficiency in administration, policy, strategic planning and business development. She wrote computer programs for automating sperm counting and sold them to industry. She has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of Health Care Ventures, a venture capital group specializing in biotechnology.

The health of women and their advancement professionally are central issues for Haseltine. In 1990, she founded the Society for Women’s Health Research and was its first president. SWHR has brought the issue of research on women’s health to the attention of federal officials and prominent members of the media as well as placing it on the nation’s priority research agenda. As SWHR’s founder, Haseltine wrote mission statements, raised monies, established bylaws, and hired the original staff. She is also the founder of Haseltine Systems, a company devoted to easing travel for persons with disabilities.

Haseltine has co-edited and reviewed numerous publications and books on a range of topics, including reproductive biology, women’s health, and proceedings of NIH-sponsored conferences related to the reproductive sciences and population issues. She was also the founding editor of the Journal of Women’s Health. In addition, she has made many scientific, public, and media presentations across the country and internationally. She now concentrates on helping nonprofits in the medical advocacy area with their IT requirements. Her current activities include developing mobile apps for medicine. As an early adopter, her work as expanded to include such wearable devices as Google GLASS.

Haseltine was on the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Gynecologic Investigation. She is currently a board member of the American Women in Science and the Older Women’s League. She has been recognized for her contributions in the field of women’s health and reproductive science by election to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (now the the National Academy of Medicine (NAM)) and by receiving a variety of accolades. These awards include the following: the Weizmann Honored Scientist Award, the American Woman’s Medical Association Scientist Award, the Advocacy Award from Research!America for the Society for Women’s Health Research, and Kilby Laureate. She was also an honoree for Health Hero of the American Health for Women Magazine and for Prevention Magazine “Hall of Fame;” and Ladies’ Home Journal “Champions of Women’s Health.” She has received lifetime achievement awards from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and from the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine (FHWIM).

Explore SWHR’s History

Visit The Timeline