Jill Biden will head a new program aimed at increasing federal government research on women’s health.
The Biden administration has recently revealed a new program at the White House aimed at enhancing the way the federal government conducts and finances research on women’s health. Despite comprising over half of the U.S. population, women have been overlooked and underrepresented in health studies.
During a conference call held at the White House to announce a new initiative, officials from the Biden administration and others expressed concern that the underrepresentation of women in research could lead to significant gaps and negative impacts on women’s health nationwide.
The White House’s efforts to promote research on women’s health will be spearheaded by First Lady Jill Biden and the White House Gender Policy Council.
President Joe Biden expressed his belief in the effectiveness of research in improving healthcare and saving lives. Accompanied by the first lady and other officials involved in the government’s efforts, Biden signed documents on Monday in the Oval Office to direct federal departments and agencies to begin their tasks.
The president stated in a written statement that in order to make scientific advancements and improve our capacity to prevent, identify, and manage illnesses, we must be daring. He also mentioned that the initiative will stimulate progress in women’s health and address any gaps in research.
During the conference call, Jill Biden mentioned that she had a meeting earlier this year with Maria Shriver, a former first lady of California and advocate for women’s health. Shriver emphasized the importance of addressing and closing the research gaps in women’s health, which have been present for an extended period of time.
The first lady stated that when she discussed this matter with her husband, Joe, a couple of months ago, he paid attention and proceeded to take steps. This is his usual course of action.
Jill Biden has been dedicated to addressing women’s health concerns since the 1990s when she saw close friends battling breast cancer. She also established a program in Delaware to educate high school girls about breast care.
Shriver stated that herself and other supporters of women’s health have been advocating for equal treatment in research for many years. She also acknowledged that the Democratic president and first lady recognize the importance of research in answering medical questions related to women’s health.
According to Shriver, women account for 66% of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis, and make up over 75% of those diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
According to her, women experience depression and anxiety at a rate twice that of men, and women of different races are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues compared to white women. Additionally, countless other women deal with the daily challenges of menopause.
According to Shriver, it is crucial that we fund the necessary research in order to effectively treat and prevent sickness. He made it clear that this is a priority starting today.
Jennifer Klein, the director of the Gender Policy Council at the White House, stated that government officials from various departments and agencies that play a crucial role in women’s health research will be involved. This includes representatives from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, Defense, and the National Institutes of Health.
During the Senate health committee’s confirmation hearing for Dr. Monica Bertagnolli’s nomination as permanent director of the National Institutes of Health, many women brought up concerns about women’s health. As one of the top biomedical research agencies in the world, Bertagnolli emphasized the need for more knowledge on women’s health at all stages of life.
The memorandum from President Biden instructs members to provide specific suggestions within 45 days on how to enhance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women’s health concerns. It also requests them to identify key areas of focus, such as studying heart attacks in women and menopause, where additional funding could have a significant impact.
The president is seeking cooperation with the scientific, private sector, and philanthropic communities.
Carolyn Mazure, who previously established the Women’s Health Research Center at Yale School of Medicine, has been appointed to lead the research initiative under the first lady’s office.