From the office of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski:
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D- Md.) announced the passage of her resolution to honor the 20th anniversary of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH). The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).
Senator Mikulski is a longtime advocate of women’s health and a supporter of scientific research. In 1990, Senator Mikulski and a group of her women colleagues drove together to NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. Their goal was to assemble all 12 institutes and talk to them about their concerns regarding women’s exclusion from clinical research. Later, Senator Mikulski and her colleagues worked to establish and fund the ORWH at NIH, a clinical research organization.
“I could not be prouder of all the Office of Research on Women’s Health has done for women’s health, and I am honored to be a part of its history,” Senator Mikulski said. “Twenty years ago, women did not have much to celebrate when it came to scientific advances – we weren’t even at the table. Now researchers look at disease in a gender-specific way, and we’ve made great strides in breast cancer and cervical cancer research, AIDS research and mapping the human genome.”
“I am tremendously proud to have been able to introduce the bill to establish the Office of Women’s Health Research at the National Institutes of Health, now celebrating its outstanding 20th anniversary,” said Senator Snowe. “Throughout my career, I have felt a tremendous responsibility and obligation to expose and eliminate the health care gender gap. Incredibly, there was a time – and not that long ago – when women’s health was a missing page from America’s medical textbooks, and women were systematically excluded from clinical trials. I am committed to continuing my fight to ensure women’s access to affordable, quality health services.”
“I am so proud of the work that has been done to advance health research by taking into account the needs of women in developing lifesaving treatments and cures,” Senator Boxer said.
The ORWH has made significant progress in developing and implementing policies to ensure the inclusion of women in NIH clinical research. The office’s research efforts benefit all individuals with the diseases and disorders the researchers study, including men, women, older and younger adults, children and minority populations. ORWH-supported research has dramatically increased understanding of the importance of sex differences research, and has spurred policy change and programs focused on the health of girls, women and their families.