USA – The Biden administration has unveiled a pioneering initiative aimed at revolutionizing how the federal government approaches and funds research on women’s health.
Despite constituting more than half of the U.S. population, women have been historically understudied and underrepresented in health research, leading to significant gaps in understanding and potential consequences for women’s health nationwide.
Led by First Lady Jill Biden and the White House Gender Policy Council, the newly announced White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research seeks to address and rectify this gender disparity.
During a conference call to announce the initiative, Biden emphasized the power of research in saving lives and ensuring quality healthcare delivery to those who need it.
President Joe Biden, flanked by officials integral to the government-wide effort, signed directives in the Oval Office, instructing federal departments and agencies to commence their work.
In a written statement, Biden stated that the initiative aims to “drive innovation in women’s health and close research gaps.”
First Lady Jill Biden, a longtime advocate for women’s health, shared her personal connection to the cause, citing a meeting with women’s health advocate Maria Shriver earlier this year.
Shriver highlighted the persistent research gaps in women’s health, prompting Biden to take action. “That is what he does,” emphasized the first lady.
Maria Shriver, in collaboration with other women’s health advocates, has spent decades advocating for equity in research.
She underscored the critical need for research answers to guide medical treatment for women, especially considering the disproportionate impact on women in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, and mental health issues.
Jennifer Klein, director of the White House Gender Policy Council, outlined the comprehensive approach of the initiative.
Leaders from vital government departments, including Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, Defense, and the National Institutes of Health, will participate.
The initiative seeks to address women’s health issues across the lifespan, from heart attacks to menopause.
Dr. Monica Bertagnolli’s recent confirmation hearing for the National Institutes of Health directorship highlighted the insufficient knowledge about women’s health throughout their lives.
President Biden’s memorandum tasks members with providing “concrete recommendations” within 45 days to enhance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women’s health issues. Priority areas of focus, such as heart attacks and menopause, will guide transformative investments.
Furthermore, the administration envisions collaboration with scientific, private sector, and philanthropic communities.
Carolyn Mazure, chairing the research effort, brings her expertise from the Yale School of Medicine, where she founded the Women’s Health Research Center.