Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ):
The mission of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is to improve the safety, quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of health care for all Americans. AHRQ has a large number of resources addressing women’s health for health professionals and consumers.
AHRQ Priority Areas on Women’s Health
- Enhancing the response of the health system to women's needs.
- Understanding gender differences.
- Understanding and eliminating disparities in health care.
- Empowering women to make better health care decisions.
AHRQ supports research on all aspects of women’s health care, including quality, access, cost, and outcomes. A priority is given to identify and reduce disparities in the health care of minority women, address the health needs of women living in rural areas, and care for women with chronic illness and disabilities. AHRQ serves as a catalyst for change by promoting the results of research findings and incorporating those findings into improvements in the delivery and financing of health care. This important information is brought to the attention of policymakers, health care providers, and consumers who can make a difference in the quality of health care women receive.
Women and Medications
The Journal of Women's Health has published a special issue on improving the use and safety of medications in women, which was edited by Rosaly Correa‐de‐Araujo, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., AHRQ's Senior Advisor for Women's Health. The articles in this issue were based on discussions at an expert meeting called by Dr. Correa‐de‐Araujo to highlight gender differences in medication use. Topics of the articles include evidence for gender and racial differences in drug response, the role of biological rhythms in medication safety for women, geriatric pharmacotherapy, and strategies for reducing the risk of medication errors in women. Read the entire issue for free.
Relevant Consumer Materials
Prevention and Chronic Care (current as of July 2019).
Patients and Consumers (current as of May 2019).
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Relevant Recommendations for Women
Below is a link to relevant recommendations from the USPSTF. Additional information as well as links to recommendations.
Fact Sheets, Program Briefs, and Other Products
Quality and Patient Safety Resources (current as of April 2019).
AHRQ operates a Publications Clearinghouse to meet the ever‐increasing demand for its publications,
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
• In the United States, call the toll‐free number: 800‐358‐9295.
• Hearing impaired persons may call 888‐586‐6340 for the TDD service.
• Callers outside of the United States only should use the telephone number (703) 437‐2078.
Electronic requests may be made to: AHRQPubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.
AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 8547 Silver Spring, MD 20907‐8547
Rosaly Correa‐de‐Araujo, MD, MSc, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor on Women's Health
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
John M. Eisenberg Building
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone (301) 427‐1550 Fax (301) 427‐1561
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH)
The Office on Women's Health (OWH) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the Government’s champion and focal point for women’s health issues, and works to redress inequities in research, health care services, and education that have historically placed the health of women at risk. The Office on Women’s Health coordinates women’s health efforts in HHS to eliminate disparities in health status and supports culturally sensitive educational programs that encourage women to take personal responsibility for their own health and wellness.
- National Women’s Health Information Center (NWHIC) Website (last updated April 2019):
- Various publications can be ordered by calling 1‐800‐994‐9662 or by visiting the web site above.There is no charge for this service.
- Girl’s Health
- OWH publications (last updated April 2019)
Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health (OWH)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Women’s Health (OWH) works to protect and advance the health of women by supporting policy, research, and educational initiatives both within and outside the Agency.
In support of its mission, OWH:
- Provides FDA information to women’s health stakeholders including consumers, health professionals, researchers, and advocates.
- Promotes the inclusion of women in clinical trials and the analysis of clinical trials data on women and other sub‐populations.
- Supports regulatory research to advance the understanding of women’s health and facilitate regulatory decision‐making.
- Promotes women’s health issues across all the organizational components of the FDA
- Forms partnerships with government and non‐government entities, including consumer groups, health professional organizations, universities, and industry to promote FDA’s women’s health objectives.
- Women’s Health Research Home Page (updated July 2019)
- Women’s Participation in Clinical Trials (page last updated June 2019)
- Sex and Gender in Human Health – online course series developed with NIH
- Science and Research Information
- Guidance Documents
Patient Education Tools
- Women’s Health Website - Consumer publications, videos, safety alerts, and other resources
- OWH Consumer Publications - Easy‐to‐read fact sheets and medication booklets in English, Spanish, 14 Asian Pacific Islander languages, and more.
- Women’s Health Topics (page last updated 10/2019) Information from across FDA Centers on women’s health issues such as mammography, birth control, pregnancy, menopause, and diabetes.
- Consumer Updates (page last updated 10/2019) Easy‐to‐read articles on product safety issues and FDA programs
Clinical Practice Tools
- Pregnancy Exposure Registry Web Portal (page last updated 8/2018) Links to Pregnancy Registries and resources on medication use during pregnancy
- MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program
- Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts
- Drug Shortages Index
- Information for Health Professionals
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Women’s Health (OWH)
HRSA’s mission is to improve the nation’s health by assuring equitable access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality health care for all. The guiding principle of HRSA OWH is “Healthy Women Build Healthy Communities.” The HRSA OWH provides a cross‐cutting and coordinated focus to eliminate gender‐based disparities, and ensure that all women receive comprehensive, culturally competent, quality health care.
5600 Fishers Lane Rockville, MD 20857.
National Institutes of Health
Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)
The Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) is part of the Office of the Director of NIH. ORWH works in partnership with the 27 NIH Institutes and Centers to ensure that women’s health research is part of the scientific framework at the NIH—and throughout the scientific community.
Congress established ORWH in 1990 to:
- Advise the NIH Director and staff on matters relating to research on women’s health
- Strengthen and enhance research related to diseases, disorders, and conditions that affect women
- Ensure that research conducted and supported by NIH adequately addresses issues regarding women’s health
- Ensure that women are appropriately included in biomedical and behavioral research studies supported by NIH
- Develop opportunities for, and support recruitment, retention, re‐entry, and advancement of, women in biomedical careers
- Support research on women’s health issues.
NIH Strategic Plan on Women’s Health and Sex Differences Research
NIH Mandate for Including Women and Minorities in Clinical Research
ORWH leads the effort to monitor adherence to NIH’s inclusion policies, in collaboration with NIH Institutes and Centers, the NIH Office of Extramural Research, and the NIH Office of Intramural Research. The policies require that women, men, and minorities and their sub populations are sufficiently included in clinical research, and for NIH Phase III Clinical Trials, the inclusion of men/women and minorities must be sufficient to allow for valid analyses by sex/gender and/or race/ethnicity.
ORWH Programmatic Focus
- ORWH co‐funds research with NIH Institutes and Centers to ensure that investigating the role of sex and gender in health and disease continues to expand and inform women’s health.
- ORWH develops and supports opportunities for the recruitment, retention, re‐entry, and sustained advancement of women in biomedical careers and sponsors programs that support both women and men in women’s health and sex differences research.
ORWH Outreach Activities
ORWH supports initiatives to inform the public about advances in women’s health research and works with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices, and other federal agencies, advocacy groups, and professional organizations to disseminate and exchange information, and solicit recommendations. An example of ORWH outreach efforts includes:
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR)
A national non‐profit organization based in Washington DC, is widely recognized as the thought leader in research on sex differences and is dedicated to improving women’s health through advocacy, education, and research.
Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the myriad of diseases and conditions that affect women uniquely. Due to SWHR’s efforts, women are now routinely included in most major medical research studies and scientists are beginning to consider biological sex as a variable in their research. Read the full history.
Today, SWHR advocates for greater public and private funding for women’s health research and the study of sex differences that:
- Affects the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease;
- Encourages the appropriate inclusion of women and minorities in medical research studies;
- Promotes the analysis of research data for sex and ethnic differences; and
- Informs women, health care providers, and policy makers about contemporary women’s health issues through media outreach, congressional briefings, public education campaigns, conferences and special events.
What We Do
As the thought‐leader in sex‐based biology research, SWHR is often called upon to offer expert testimony before Congress and to provide guidance on legislative and regulatory matters on women’s health. Every year, SWHR holds educational briefings for members of Congress and their staff and state of the science policy conferences. SWHR created the Women’s Health Research Coalition (WHRC) in 1999. This grassroots advocacy network of over 600 leaders at academic, medical, health and scientific institutions encourages coordination of and funding for women’s health research. SWHR’s advocacy priority issues are:
- Sex and Gender Differences Research
- Funding for Research in Women’s Health
- Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Clinical Research
- Comparative Effectiveness Research
- Stem Cell Research
- VA Women’s Health Research
Due to SWHR’s advocacy and public policy efforts, women’s health issues are a national priority.
SWHR engages the public through:
- Public education campaigns
- Online moderated discussions
- E‐newsletters and news service articles
- Media roundtables
- Special events SWHR’s website features information regarding illnesses and disorders that affect women predominantly or differently than men.
SWHR promotes the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical trials by educating the public on how to participate and what to expect if they do join a trial.
In January 2006, SWHR published its first book for consumers, The Savvy Woman Patient: How and Why Sex Differences Impact Your Health. This consumer guide informs women about health conditions and treatments that are unique to women and focuses on how women’s health differs from men’s.
SWHR works with researchers and clinicians to advance the field of sex‐based biology. SWHR hosts scientific conferences to encourage dialogue and research on sex and gender differences.
SWHR established the following groups to further advance its mission:
- SWHR Networks ‐a series of networks comprised of researchers and clinicians, launched first in 2002, to foster interdisciplinary basic and clinical research on sex and gender differences.
- The Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) ‐an interdisciplinary scientific membership society launched in 2006 to enhance the knowledge of sex/gender differences.
- The "SWHR‐Medtronic Prize for Scientific Contributions to Women’s Health"—introduced in 2006, this annual $75,000 award recognizes a female scientist or engineer for her contributions to women’s health.
- The RAISE (Recognizing the Achievements of Women In Sciences and Engineering) Project—a campaign to increase the status of professional women through enhanced recognition of their achievements in science and medicine.
As a result of SWHR’s efforts, the study of sex differences has reached a wider audience with more women and minorities able to participate in clinical trials. Over the past 20 years, SWHR has successfully increased federal funding for sex‐based research, won the passage of notable legislative changes and put sex‐based biology at the forefront of researchers’ minds.