March 28, 2022

SWHR Announces 2022 Honorees in Public Service, Education, and Industry for Annual Awards Gala

Monday, March 28, 2022 – The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) will recognize and honor three leaders in health care who have made contributions to advance women’s health at its 2022 Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, April 28, 2022. These exceptional leaders have advanced maternal health, increased access for women both in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and the scientific workforce, and developed a COVID-19 vaccine in record time that has saved the lives of people across the globe, respectively. SWHR is proud to honor Wanda Barfield, MD, MPH, FAAP, Sudip S. Parikh, PhD, and Pfizer.   

SWHR will present the Health Public Service Visionary Award to Wanda Barfield, MD, MPH, FAAP, RADM USPHS (ret.), Director of the Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As DRH Director, Dr. Barfield leads efforts to provide optimal and equitable health to women, infants, and families through improved surveillance and applied public health research. SWHR is honoring Dr. Barfield for her lifetime commitment to addressing women’s health, specifically maternal and infant health through improving access to risk-appropriate care and early child health services, and advancing the quality of maternal, infant, and reproductive health data for public health action. SWHR is also recognizing Dr. Barfield for her efforts to build partnerships between CDC and diverse reproductive, maternal, and child health organizations to raise awareness and ensure equitable and optimal care for women and infants across the country. In addition to her role at DRH, Dr. Barfield serves as an associate professor of pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University and as an adjunct assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine, and she continues her clinical work in neonatology, providing care to premature and other critically ill newborns. 

SWHR will present the Health Education Visionary Award to Sudip S. Parikh, PhD, CEO for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher at the Science family of journals. SWHR is honoring Dr. Parikh for his exemplary leadership at AAAS, where he has worked to increase access to and opportunity in STEM education, strengthen and diversify the science workforce, and amplify underrepresented and marginalized voices within STEM. In particular, SWHR would like to recognize Dr. Parikh’s considerable efforts and success in advancing women in the STEM workforce. His leadership in support of women in STEM careers has laid the foundation for women to participate and lead in the industry, and his work has paved the way for others to evaluate their own commitment to building and advancing inclusive workforces for current and future generations. Dr. Parikh became CEO of AAAS and executive publisher of the Science family of journals in January 2020. Early in his career, Dr. Parikh was a Presidential Management Intern at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship while earning his PhD in macromolecular structure and chemistry from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. He has spent two decades at the nexus of science, policy, and business and is an active member of the scientific advocacy community.  

SWHR will present the Health Industry Visionary Award to Pfizer. SWHR is honoring Pfizer for its extraordinary efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine along with partner BioNTech just months into a global pandemic. In an ever-evolving global health pandemic, the development of this vaccine is a triumph for science and research. Pfizer has supported SWHR and its work to improve health care for women across the lifespan, disease states, and health conditions since SWHR was founded 32 years ago. Judy Sewards will accept the award on behalf of Pfizer. Sewards serves as Vice President of the Head of Clinical Trial Experience for Pfizer’s Global Product Development organization. In this role, she leads cross functional teams in the creation and activation of new communications and services to build trusted relationships with investigator site partners and deliver a convenient and comfortable experience for clinical trial participants. She played a critical role on the COVID-19 vaccine operations team stewarding all investigator site and trial volunteer communications for the study, including overall recruitment efforts, and building awareness of and educating on the importance of participation within diverse communities. She has been with Pfizer over 10 years and has held a variety of leadership roles across marketing and innovation. Before joining Pfizer, Sewards worked for Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and has a diverse range of experiences from tech start-up to advertising and management consulting. Sewards received her bachelor’s degree from Smith College, where she also served as a member of the Board of Trustees.  

SWHR supporters will gather in person on Thursday, April 28 for the 2022 Annual Awards Gala to celebrate the achievements of Dr. Barfield, Dr. Parikh, and Pfizer, and their continued efforts to advance and innovate in the space of women’s health. The event will be held at the InterContinental Washington, D.C. – The Wharf, with a reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET and dinner following at 7:00 p.m. ET. Find out more about the 2022 Gala and see highlights from past galas here 

Sponsorships and tickets are still available, and information can be found here. Funds raised from the event will support SWHR’s science, policy, and educational initiatives. For additional information about the gala, please contact the Development Team at 



About SWHR  

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is a national nonprofit and thought leader dedicated to promoting research on biological sex differences in disease and improving women’s health through science, policy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers, and health advocates, SWHR is making women’s health mainstream by addressing unmet needs and research gaps in women’s health. Thanks to SWHR’s efforts, women are now routinely included in most major medical research studies and more scientists are considering sex as a biological variable in their research. Visit for more information.