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NIH Renews Funding for Center, Name Changed to Reflect Work on Gender Disparities

The nation's first National Institutes of Health-supported center to advance the understanding of women's health marked another milestone in its evolution this summer. The Center for Women's Health Research, founded in 1989 by School of Nursing Dean Nancy Woods, is now the Center for Women's Health and Gender Research and funding is extended for an additional five years, through May 2009. The National Institute for Nursing Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded the center $1.58 million over five years to both continue and broaden its research.

Since its inception, the center has funded more than 50 pilot and feasibility studies and many center investigators have successfully competed for extramural funding based on preliminary data. Center researchers and affiliates also participated in a variety of outreach activities aimed at providing health care information to women in rural and underserved communities.

In years 15-20, the center's scope will expand to include new partnerships with investigators who study women's health and gender disparities at Washington State University and We s t Virginia University, Morgantown, and it will continue partnerships with the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and the University of Hawaii, Manoa. In addition to expanding programs and facilitating basic and clinical research, center researchers will investigate the relationships between socio-cultural environments and women's health and gender, and will improve the ability to study diverse populations of women in culturally meaningful ways. Led by Director Margaret Heitkemper, the John and Marguerite Walker Corbally Professor in Public Service and chair of biobehavioral nursing and health systems (BNHS), the center will continue to communicate scientific information to broad audiences and promote scholarship in women's health and gender research. Core co-directors are:

  • Research Development and Partnership Core-Marcia Killien, professor of family and child nursing (FCN), and Martha Lentz, research associate professor of BNHS
  • Biobehavioral Core-Sybil Carrere, research assistant professor of FCN, and Carol Landis, professor of BNHS
  • Dissemination and Evaluation Core- Monica Jarrett, professor of BNHS oGender Disparities Core-Barbara McGrath, research associate professor of psychosocial and community health, and Woods, professor of FCN.