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The White House recently announced a new initiative on women’s health research from the Office of the First Lady. The Women’s Health Research Initiative aims to improve women’s health by addressing women’s specific health needs and gaps in research, including for autoimmune diseases that affect primarily women, reproductive health, and many others.  

Women’s research has been underfunded and underrepresented, despite women comprising half of the U.S. population. By funding critical women’s research, the goal is to provide doctors and women with the tools to prevent, diagnose, and treat health conditions more effectively. 

First Lady Jill Biden’s statement on this initiative: “Every woman I know has a story about leaving her doctor’s office with more questions than answers. Not because our doctors are withholding information, but because there’s just not enough research yet on how to best manage and treat even common women’s health conditions. In 2023, that is unacceptable. Our new White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research will help change that by identifying bold solutions to uncover the answers that every woman and her family deserves. We also are calling on congressional leaders, the private sector, research institutions, and philanthropy to join us in taking urgent action to improve the health and lives of women throughout the nation.” 

First Lady Jill Biden has been a longtime supporter of improving women’s health and will lead this initiative with the White House Gender Policy Council. Carolyn Mazure, PhD, the founder and Director of Women’s Health Research at Yale University, will chair the Women’s Health Research Initiative. 

The President is directing his Administration to: 

  • Establish an Initiative consisting of executive departments and agencies across the Federal government 

  • Deliver concrete recommendations to advance women’s health research 

  • Take a targeted, high-impact approach 

  • Engage the scientific, private sector, and philanthropic communities 

The first part of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research requires federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, Departments of Health and Human Services, Veteran Affairs, and Defense, among others, to provide recommendations within 45 days on the course of action for advancing women’s health research. 

The Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) in the National Institutes of Health, which also comprises of the Office of Autoimmune Research, will collaborate with the White House. OWRWH Director, Janine A. Clayton MD, FARVO, states their aim is: “To promote research that involves women across the lifespan, considers the influence of sex and gender, and fosters health equity to ensure that all women receive evidence-based disease prevention and treatment tailored to their unique needs and circumstances.” 

The Foundation is excited for the opportunities and potential outcomes the Women’s Health Research Initiative could have on progressing Sjögren’s research  

To read more about the Women’s Health Research Initiative, please visit the following links: