Subscribe to Illnesses and Disabilities email updates.
Project leader: Barbara James, M.P.H.
Advancing System Improvements to Support Targets for Healthy People 2010 (ASIST2010) is a three-year cooperative agreement program funded by the DHHS Office on Women's Health. ASIST2010 uses a public health systems approach to improve performance on two or more Healthy People 2010 (HP 2010) objectives that target women and/or men in the following Focus Areas:
The goals of the ASIST2010 program are to:
The sites participating in the ASIST2010 program represent four academic medical centers, three community-based organizations, two hospitals, two state health departments, one county health department, and one foundation. These include:
Project leader: Ann Abercrombie, M.L.S.
Eating disorders are disabling illnesses that affect between 1-3 percent of young women in the United States. Congress, in the report language of Health and Human Services (HHS ) Appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 1998, directed the Office on Women's Health (OWH) to "develop a national media campaign targeting, but not limited to adolescent girls and women, to educate the public about healthy eating behavior." OWH is sponsoring the BodyWise Eating Disorder Educational Campaign (archive) targeting middle school educators and providers. The goal of the program is to increase awareness and knowledge of eating disorders, including their signs and symptoms, steps to take when concerned about students, and ways to promote healthy eating and reduce preoccupation with weight and size. An information packet is available that includes materials emphasizing the links among healthy eating, positive body image, and favorable learning outcomes, with some materials targeted to specific racial and ethnic groups.
Project leader: Ann Abercrombie, M.L.S.
BodyWorks is a program designed to help parents and caregivers of young adolescent girls (ages 9 to 13) improve family eating and activity habits. Using the BodyWorks Toolkit, the program focuses on parents as role models and provides them with hands-on tools to make small, specific behavior changes to prevent obesity and help maintain a healthy weight.
The BodyWorks program uses a train-the-trainer model to distribute the Toolkit through community-based organizations, state health agencies, non-profit organizations, health clinics, hospitals and health care systems. The program includes one six-hour training module for trainers and ten 90-minute weekly sessions for parents and caregivers. The Office on Women's Health, developed BodyWorks following two years of formative research.
Project leader: Wanda K. Jones, Dr.P.H
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC) provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services via the Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on issues related to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). These include:
Project leader: Ann Abercrombie, M.L.S.
Girlshealth.gov was created in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office on Women's Health (OWH) to help girls (ages 10-16) learn about health, growing up, and issues they may face. Girlshealth.gov promotes healthy and positive behaviors in girls, giving them reliable and useful health information in a fun, easy-to-understand way. The website also provides information to parents and educators to help them teach girls about healthy living.
The girlshealth.gov tagline is "Be Happy. Be Healthy. Be You. Beautiful." It focuses on the idea that being yourself — finding what makes you smile and how to live well — is what makes you "you." And that is beautiful!
The Coalition for a Healthier Community (CHC) national initiative is now in Phase II. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office on Women's Health (OWH) awarded grants in Phase I and II to improve community health policies and programs for women and girls. The communities selected in Phase II will address health disparities that affect women and girls, with the goal of producing community-wide behavior change. The program's ultimate goal is to improve the health and safety of women and girls living in these communities.
Phase I of CHC was launched in 2010. In Phase I, OWH awarded a total of $1.6 million in grants to 16 coalitions, made up of local, regional, and national organizations, academic institutions, and public health departments. Each team identified the health condition with the most adverse effect on the health and well-being of women and girls in their specific community. Most of the health issues identified by the coalitions were related to domestic violence, physical activity, and obesity. During Phase I, each grantee also developed five-year strategic plans to address the particular health condition known in the community they served.
In Phase II, 16 coalitions competed for funding and ten were selected. They will implement their strategic plans, which have goals and objectives linked to Healthy People 2020, a set of 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. The coalitions were each awarded approximately $300,000 a year over a period of five years to support their science-based health interventions targeting women, girls, or both. Wellness programs are one such intervention. They educate consumers on how to improve specific health behaviors such as diet and level of physical activity. The programs and services provided by each coalition will be carefully evaluated so successes can be shared, adapted, or replicated by other communities.
"We know that communities have the knowledge and skills to solve their own challenges. By providing them with the resources to build strong coalitions, develop innovative programs, and then effectively implement and sustain them, we can help them improve the health of their populations. This program supports their efforts to do just that by reducing health disparities among women and girls," said Nancy Lee, M.D., HHS deputy assistant secretary for health (Women's Health).
The 10 awardees are as follows:
|Awarded organization||Location||Target population(s)||Catchment area||Focus area(s)||Region||Geographic area(s)|
|Philadelphia Health and Education Corporation d/b/a Drexel University College||Philadelphia, PA|
|National Kidney Foundation||Ann Arbor, MI|
|Brandywine Counseling & Community Services, Inc.||Wilmington, DE|
|Yale University||New Haven, CT|
|Domestic Violence Action Center||Honolulu, HI|
|The Family League of Baltimore City, Inc.||Baltimore, MD|
|St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation||Billings, MT|
|University of Utah||Salt Lake City, UT|
|The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois||Chicago, IL|
|Thurston County Public Health & Social Services||Olympia, WA|
Project leader: Susan Russell Sanders, M.S.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease mainly affecting women. It is estimated that between 161,000 and 322,000 adults in the U.S. have lupus. Nine out of 10 people who have lupus are women. Most people with lupus develop symptoms during the childbearing years (ages 15-44). Lupus also is two to three times more common among African American, Latino, Asian, and Native American women. In addition, a CDC report revealed a 60 percent increase in deaths attributed to lupus over a 20-year period. Among older African-American women, the increase was nearly 70 percent. But it's unclear whether the rise is due to an actual increase in lupus mortality or due to improved diagnosis and reporting or lupus deaths (CDC, 2002).
Although lupus is widespread, public knowledge of lupus is low, and its symptoms often are not recognized or misdiagnosed. Like many autoimmune diseases, lupus causes the immune system to attack parts of the body that "it is designed to protect" (NIH, SLE, 2003). The symptoms of lupus "can range from mild to severe and may come and go over time" (NIH, SLE, 2003). The symptoms of each patient are different but may include: pain in the joints and muscle pain, unexplained fever, red rashes commonly seen on the face, chest pain, unusual hair loss, pale or purple fingers, sensitivity to the sun, swelling in the legs or around the eyes, mouth ulcer, swollen glands, extreme fatigue, compromised kidney function, and cardiovascular complications (NIH, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, 2003).
Project leader: Frances E. Ashe-Goins, R.N., M.P.H.
The U.S. DHHS Office on Women's Health (OWH) recognizes the impact of this disease in the lives of young women. OWH has sponsored many community based lupus awareness programs and has received an overwhelming response from the community that highlighted a significant need for comprehensive, widespread, information about Lupus.
OWH is currently working with the Advertising Council to develop a National Lupus Awareness Campaign. This campaign is designed to increase awareness and understanding of Lupus, recognizing that ignorance contributes to late diagnosis and increased complications. The campaign will alert the public to the symptoms of lupus, grabbing the attention of a woman's family, friends, and employers; helping them to better understand the physical, economic, and social effects of lupus. In addition, it will also help individuals who may have symptoms of Lupus, to seek medical evaluation for early diagnosis and treatment. This campaign will potentially save millions of lives and alleviate some of the more severe complications resulting from late diagnosis of lupus.
This program was launched in October 2009.
The Office on Women's Health (OWH) launched Best Bones Forever! in 2009 with the long-term goal of reducing the number of women who develop osteoporosis. The campaign encouraged adolescent girls (age 9–14) — a time when bone mass growth is at its peak and girls are beginning to make their own behavior choices and develop habits — to eat plenty of foods with calcium and vitamin D and get regular physical activity. To make the campaign appealing to girls, OWH wove themes of friendship and fun throughout campaign messages, materials, and activities. This was captured in the tagline: “Grow strong together, stay strong forever!”
OWH used several methods to ensure the campaign reached girls where they live, learn, and play. Attractive, interactive campaign materials were created and distributed to communities nationwide at no cost. Best Bones Forever! engaged a large and diverse network of partners who created products branded with the campaign logo, promoted campaign messages and activities through their publications, distributed materials, and featured the campaign at their events.
Over the 2009–2010 school year, Best Bones Forever! worked with community coalitions in North Las Vegas, NV; Pinal County, AZ; and Ulster County, NY, to pilot a community-level behavior change intervention. In addition to testing the intervention, which was a 10-session program focused on physical activity and nutrition for girls age 9 to 14 and their parents, the coalitions conducted community activities to raise bone health awareness. An evaluation of the program revealed increased bone health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in the pilot site communities.
Additionally, Best Bones Forever! coordinated a series of contests to get girls moving and thinking about their bone health. In 2010 the campaign held an Atlanta-based dance competition. In 2011, OWH expanded the dance contest to a national level. The Best Bones Forever! Let's Dance Contest invited girls around the country to create dance teams with their friends and compete. OWH also worked with community youth groups to organize two writing contests (Dallas in 2010, Atlanta in 2011), in which girls submitted stories about the activities they and their friends do to strengthen their bones.
Content last updated: October 29, 2013.