The White House announced on Monday it is establishing an initiative focused on women’s health research, which will be led by first lady Jill Biden.
To launch the new initiative, which will also be led by the White House Gender Policy Council, President Biden will direct multiple agencies to deliver recommendations to advance women’s health research within 45 days.
The initiative will then find areas for additional investments, like in research around heart attacks in women and menopause, according to the White House, which also plans to engage the private sector and philanthropic leaders.
The chair of the initiative will be Carolyn Mazure, who is a professor in women’s health research, psychiatry, and psychology at Yale School of Medicine. She created the research center, Women’s Health Research at Yale, and previously worked at the National Institutes of Health
The first lady, in a call with reporters, said that Maria Shriver talked to her about the need for more research into women’s health, which turned into the creation of the initiative.
“Maria, thank you for bringing this urgent issue to our attention,” Biden said, adding that Shriver will be advising her and the philanthropic communities involved in the initiative.
“It’s a really big deal what you just announced,” Shriver said on the call with reporters.
The first lady, in a statement, said the initiative aims to identify “bold solutions” to answer questions for women and their health.
“Every woman I know has a story about leaving her doctor’s office with more questions than answers. Not because our doctors are withholding information, but because there’s just not enough research yet on how to best manage and treat even common women’s health conditions. In 2023, that is unacceptable,” she said.
She specifically pointed to a “stunning lack of information” about how to manage menopause. When asked about research for abortion, senior administration officials said maternal and reproductive health are essential to women’s health but did not specifically outline abortion access as a key focus of the initiative.
“I have always believed in the power of research to save lives and to ensure that Americans get the high-quality health care they need. To achieve scientific breakthroughs and strengthen our ability to prevent, detect, and treat diseases, we have to be bold,” Biden said in a statement.