Harnessing the Launch of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research for Expanded Focus on Preventive Health

As an organization focused on women’s health, AWHP is thrilled by the launch of the White House Initiative of Women’s Health Research, an effort led by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and directed by Dr. Carolyn Mazure. The initiative aims to spur extensive investment in women’s health research and close health disparities for women nationwide.

In response to the launch, AWHP sent the White House two letters, urging the initiative to include additional research around mental health and obesity in its initial recommendations, and signed on to another letter representing the collective asks of more than 300 other women’s health advocates.


Prioritizing Mental Health Research

The impact of mental illness is immense: one in five U.S. women are currently experiencing mental illness, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or an eating disorder. As with nearly any disease, women experience mental illness and its impacts differently than men. Additional research is needed: an increased understanding of the unique experiences of women living with mental illness, women’s-specific mental illnesses, and how mental health disparities can decrease would improve the health of countless women.

Read the full letter, co-authored by HealthyWomen, here.


Increasing Understanding of Obesity as a Chronic Disease  

Obesity is a complex and chronic disease that impacts approximately 1 in 3 women in the United States, with that number expected to continue to rise. Furthermore, obesity and excess body weight are risk factors for nine of the nation’s top ten leading causes of death and are related to over 200 other conditions — such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mental health issues — leading to a tremendous impact on women’s health throughout their lifespan. As such, obesity treatment is critical preventive care, and the Initiative can spur additional research on the impact of obesity and the benefits of treating this chronic disease.

Read the full letter here.


Joining Forces with Hundreds of Other Women’s Health Advocates

Finally, AWHP CEO Millicent Gorham signed on to a letter representing more than 300 women’s advocates in sharing insights and recommendations for changing women’s health, including improving research funding, disease impact ratio representation in research, access to care and innovation, and maternal health and gynecological care.

Read the full letter here.

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