Executive Order on Advancing Women’s Health Research and Innovation

Health & Medical Care, Press Release, Racial Equity | March 26 2024

Women’s health has not received the attention it deserves for far too long. This week, during Women’s History Month, President Biden signed a new $12 billion initiative to be led by First Lady Jill Biden that advances both women’s health research and women’s health data. Under the executive order, all federal clinical trial research—not just NIH research—must represent women. The Women’s Health Initiative will also support important research for improving women’s health and closing health disparities. And it will strengthen research and data standards related to women’s health—from study design to data collection to how data are reported.

Recognizing and addressing the unique health needs of women is pivotal to creating a healthcare system that serves everyone equitably.

The Women’s Expert Panel that contributed to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Commission to Transform Public Health Data
Systems has played an important role in the mission to advance women’s health and research. The panel highlighted the need to improve the quality and completeness of data collection, as social factors like housing, transportation, and employment play an important role in a woman’s risk for poor health. The Commission’s final report, Charting a Course for an Equity-Centered Data System, provided recommendations that will help to eliminate inequities in public health data by addressing the legacies of structural racism which contribute to the poor health outcomes for women, particularly women of color. With the work of the Commission and other leaders in this space, and this recent executive order, I am optimistic about a future where women’s health is prioritized, leading to improved wellbeing for all.

Dr. Gail C. Christopher
Executive Director, NCHE