Symposium: 20th Anniversary of Office of Research on Women’s Health

x-post Women Historians of Medicine:

[My note:  To be fair, this is a scientific symposium on the future of research on women’s health, not the history of the ORWH.    As to Green’s r concerns about the Women’s Health Initiative — that was actually funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.  The Office of Research on Women’s Health held a celebratory conference on the WHI in 2006.  I imagine that Dr. Healy would mention this in her address. Also, the ORWH has sponsored many projects on a variety of women’s health issues and even women’s health history – for example, they co-funded my current project on the history of emergency contraception. Attendees would no doubt be familiar with the findings of the Women’ Health Initiative and/or Bernadine Healy would cover this in her opening address.  ]

For those unfamiliar with this office, here’s a brief institutional history.]


From Monica Green:

Dear WHOMers,

I just got this notice from the OSSD (Organization for the Study of Sex Differences).  This sounds like a major event but, alas, aside (perhaps) from the keynote by Bernadine Healey, there no historical perspective on how the Office of Women’s Health came to be established and how its trajectory has been set.  (Shockingly, at least from the titles, I see nothing at all about the Women’s Health Initiative and allied studies and how they blew away standard thinking on hormone replacement therapy.)

Is anybody on the list planning to go to this?  If so, might you send a brief report of the discussions to the list?

Monica Green
Professor of History
4th floor, Coor Hall
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ  85287-4302

—— Forwarded Message
From: Viviana Simon <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 09:41:42 -0700
To: Monica Green <>
Subject: ORWH 20th Anniversary Scientific Symposium and Celebration

Dear OSSD Members,

I wanted to make you aware of the following symposium celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the NIH. If you are in the area, you may consider attending.


Scientific Symposium
Date: September 27, 2010
9:00 a.m.- 5:15 p.m. (Registration will open at 8:00 a.m.)

Location: Natcher Conference Center
(NIH Campus in Bethesda, MD)

On September 27, 2010, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a symposium to highlight some of the scientific advances that have increased our understanding of women’s health, differences between males and females, and implications for sex/gender-appropriate clinical care and personalized medicine. At this exciting event, the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) will launch the third scientific agenda for women’s health research for the coming decade, entitled A Vision for 2020 for Women’s Health Research: Moving Into the Future with New Dimensions and Strategies.

The daylong event, to include a reception, will provide a forum to recognize some of the major contributors to the establishment of ORWH and will celebrate progress in the field of women’s health research realized through the dedicated work of investigators, clinicians, and scientific colleagues from a wide range of disciplines and arenas-women and men. The 20th anniversary celebration will acknowledge the role of the many advocates who have worked tirelessly to energize support and set the stage for the realization of a vision-ensuring NIH-wide attention to research on women’s health issues across the lifespan and the role of sex/gender in health and disease.

This symposium is open to the public.


1 thought on “Symposium: 20th Anniversary of Office of Research on Women’s Health

  1. I think the biggest sex difference is that men have been “getting away” with doing health research on illnesses that primarily concern men, or test drugs on men and there’s very little research on illnesses that occur more often in women (autoimmune and specific diseases, like CFS/ME Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: cause unknown, but no gov’t funding except for that which CDC rec’d from Congress and misappropriated for other things, $14 million, apology but no return of funds:source AP).
    Other diseases, like asthma have been researched in men, but not women (a friend recently wrote a paper for a support group on this).

    I became aware of the problem of no research about women’s health issues when my sister-in-law died of a heart attack, age 49 (her first/only), mildly diabetic, in 1995. It seems that it is still best to be a “middle aged white male” in terms of research. And treatment. Not long ago there was a study reported on that women with heart attacks receive “less aggressive” treatment (stents, bypass) than men (the words of the reports, not mine). Finally, I took a long time responding to a posting on this blog that appeared several weeks ago: I am a feminist. I raised a child. Feminism to me means choices. I also had an abortion in the mid1960s.

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