Women's Health Updates — April 2020
Learn about recent developments in women's health as well as SWHR's activities that promote the study of sex differences and serve our mission to eliminate imbalances in care for women through science, policy, and education.
SWHR is excited to announce the hiring of Kathryn G. Schubert as our new President and CEO, effective April 27. Coming to SWHR from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, she brings a wealth of experience in health policy and is a passionate advocate for women's health. Read more on SWHR's blog.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SWHR has rescheduled its 30th Anniversary Annual Awards Dinner to Thursday, October 22 (originally scheduled for April 30). All previously purchased sponsorships and tickets are transferable to the new date. Join SWHR in October to honor three leaders in science and medicine who have significantly contributed to the advancement of women's health. Sponsorships and tickets are still available.
Coronavirus data collected by the Washington Post from more than a dozen states and New York City show that while slightly more women are getting infected in most states, the majority of victims are men. However, there isn't a unified process across the nation for reporting this information. Read why tracking this sex breakdown is important for disease response and vaccine development in the New York Times .
Information is limited so far regarding COVID-19 and pregnancy, but it appears that pregnant women are not more likely to have severe symptoms from the virus and that the virus does not seem to pass from mother to fetus. However, much more research is needed, according to this New York Times article .

SWHR Weighs In: SWHR partnered with 18 other members of the Coalition to Advance Maternal Therapeutics to ask NIH and FDA to consider policies for including pregnant and breastfeeding women in COVID-19 clinical trials. Read the letter.
In strictly medical terms, the coronavirus seems to hit men harder than women. But as the virus spreads globally, it appears women are bearing the brunt of the social and economic disruption. Read more from Bloomberg Businessweek .

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented and swift change in access to health care. Mental health professionals have been some of the first health care providers to switch full time to telehealth during the crisis. This transition particularly affects women, who receive mental health care at significantly higher rates than men. Read more on SWHR's blog.
Related: Stress and Isolation During COVID-19, A Woman's Journey
Solving health emergencies like COVID-19 demands the best minds the world has to offer. We know diverse teams lead to more innovation, and neglecting half the talent pool limits our ability to make life-saving choices. Leaders dictate where funding and research goes, from vaccine development to social safety nets. Without women in these positions, subsequent decisions will not adequately address the hurdles women face. Read more.
In 2020, SWHR is bringing attention to the need for advances in diagnostic and screening tests across a variety of diseases and conditions to improve the health of women. Our latest post in this blog series discusses what women need to know about these tests. Learn more.
Adenomyosis is a poorly understood disorder associated with heavy menstrual bleeding and menstrual cramps that often cannot be controlled with drugs like Advil. Women with adenomyosis need better treatment options, and to accomplish this, we need to invest in research to better understand the disease. Read more.
While celebrating the amazing contributions of women in science and technology during Women's History Month, SWHR emphasized the clear need for policies and programs that encourage and support women in STEM careers and remove systemic barriers to their advancement. Learn more.
Like 1 in 10 women worldwide, Rep. Abby Finkenauer has endometriosis, an often-debilitating gynecological condition that can cause infertility and pelvic pain. During Endometriosis Awareness Month in March, Finkenauer unveiled the Endometriosis Caucus and publicly shared her experience with endo for the first time. Read her story in this Glamour article , which cites SWHR's paper on gaps in endometriosis research and care and quotes lead author Dr. Suzie As-Sanie.

SWHR sent comments to the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care in response to its call for feedback related to Alzheimer’s disease research and treatment. SWHR addressed how to best incorporate sex and gender considerations into research and the need to examine sex-specific risk factors. Read the letter.
Recognizing sex and gender disparities and the pressing issues they present for the health of women, the Food and Drug Administration recently launched the Health of Women Program to foster and advance device innovation for women. Dr. Terri Cornelison, the program’s director, recently spoke to SWHR's policy committee. Read more on our blog.
Lawmakers introduced a bill last month that would vastly change oversight for diagnostics and give the FDA explicit authority to regulate tests developed by labs. SWHR CEO Dr. Amy M. Miller spoke with GenomeWeb about the VALID Act's implications, including on reimbursement, manufacturing capacity, and protocols to respond faster in situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
Due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, the leadership of the OSSD has elected to cancel the May 4-7 meeting. Learn more about the cancellation and the 2021 meeting in Calgary.
Although the Health of Women 2020 is currently scheduled to run as planned June 25-28, registration is temporarily closed as the organizers monitor the development of COVID-19 and evaluate options for delivering this content to attendees. If needed, postponement, cancellation, or change of format will be announced in advance of the scheduled event date. Sign up to be notified when registration reopens.