July 14, 2020

SWHR Applauds House Appropriations Committee for Advancing HHS Funding Increases

Society for Women’s Health Research President and CEO Kathryn G. Schubert, MPP, issued the following statement:

“The Society for Women’s Health Research commends the House Appropriations Committee on its approval of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. We are particularly pleased to see a total NIH funding recommendation of $47 billion, a $5.5 billion increase over FY2020 funding.

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the work of U.S. public health agencies is more important than ever. These agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — including the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ARHQ) — are the foundation of America’s medical research ecosystem and are vital to the health and wellness of all Americans.

SWHR would have liked to see more robust and sustainable funding levels for each of these agencies overall, but we are pleased with the emergency supplemental appropriations included for the NIH and the CDC to address immediate needs for COVID-19 monitoring and surveillance, as well as for the research and development of new treatments and vaccines. SWHR also strongly approves of the call for improved research on sex differences related to COVID-19, given recorded differences between women and men in morbidity and mortality.

Additionally, the inclusion of report language addressing crucial women’s health concerns, including endometrial cancer and endometriosis, lung cancer in women, women’s cardiovascular health, headache disorders, domestic violence, and maternal morbidity and mortality, is essential to ensuring that women’s health is prioritized. We appreciate the attention paid to the important efforts of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child and Human Development (NICHD) Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (PRGLAC), as well as the recommendations promoting appropriate inclusion of historically underrepresented populations, such as pregnant women and breastfeeding women, within COVID-19 research.

Finally, SWHR supports the continued funding for the HHS Office on Women’s Health (OWH) and the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) at levels designed to allow these important offices to expand their work in FY2021. SWHR played an instrumental role in establishing these offices, which support health research, education, and services for women. SWHR remains committed to and will continue to vigorously support their important work and sustainability, which is core to our organization’s legacy and mission.”

About SWHR
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national 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, researchers, and health advocates, SWHR is making women’s health mainstream.