Happy 2016! The new year has been here for a few weeks now, and we at OWH are excited about what's in store. We're especially excited because 2016 marks OWH's 25th anniversary!
25 years. I can hardly believe it.
Since OWH was established, and with much effort across many sectors, we have made great strides in women's health. Women are now living longer, with better access to health information and resources. Women are surviving breast and lung cancer, HIV/AIDS, and heart disease more than ever before. More than 50% of participants in clinical trials funded by the government are women — a big increase from where we were 25 years ago. Women have more and better choices of effective methods of birth control. The Violence Against Women Act (PDF, 33 KB) presented the first coordinated effort on state and local levels against intimate partner violence and sexual assault. And the Affordable Care Act increased insurance access, improved preventive care, and made it illegal to charge a woman more for health insurance just because she's a woman or has preexisting medical conditions.
Over the coming months we'll be bringing you first-person accounts from OWH staff members who were there. People who championed women's heart health by encouraging those who experience heart attack symptoms to "Make the Call. Don't Miss a Beat." Or who spearheaded OWH's efforts to raise breastfeeding rates in African-American communities. Or who established the first National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health and convened the national Action Plan on Breast Cancer. They are just a few of the examples of the many doctors, health scientists, health communicators, policy analysts, and public health advisors who have endeavored to better women's and girls' health by lending their vast expertise, talents, and skills to the work of OWH. To them, I am eternally grateful.
For me, this anniversary is special. I've been focused on the health of women for my entire professional career, first as an epidemiologist and scientist, and then as a public health practitioner. I am so pleased to work in an organization that for 25 years has provided national leadership in women's health.
I hope you return to this blog over the course of the year to read the stories, celebrate the achievements, and contemplate with me what the future might hold. It's been an impressive 25 years in women's health. Here's to many, many more!