Women's Health Policy & Advocacy Program Recent News

2016

Precision Medicine: How Sex and Gender Drive Innovation

The Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) released a report, "Precision Medicine: How Sex and Gender Drive Innovation," that calls for the inclusion of women in medical research and the analysis of sex differences to be a priority for the Precision Medicine Initiative. Launched by the White House and NIH, the Precision Medicine Initiative is a new approach to studying the differences in people's genes, environments, and lifestyle to develop targeted, more individualized treatments for a host of diseases. By not examining health and outcomes by sex/gender, important findings that benefit both men and women are missed.

To learn more, read the report.

Increasing Access to LARCs in Primary Care

The Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology received funding from the National Institute of Reproductive Health to conduct a study exploring challenges to the LARC referral process. Public health officials and advocates alike have increasingly recognized the importance of improving the delivery of family planning services in primary care. Although training primary care providers in LARC provision is one important aspect of these efforts, for a range of reasons, not all primary care providers will be able to provide LARCs directly. Recognizing this, the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital will identify challenges in the referral system for LARCs within the hospital's network, and develop an efficient and effective referral process to ensure a timely, patient-centered access to LARCs for those patients who request them. Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s extensive network of affiliated community health centers, private clinics, and hospital-based primary care practices provides an opportunity to work with a variety of governance structures, insurance provider systems, and care delivery models. By identifying and addressing barriers to high-quality LARC referrals within this large and diverse group of primary care providers, this partner will define the elements of high-quality LARC referrals and determine how to create and implement such a system.  

Original Research on Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Privately Insured Post-ACA by Sex and Race Presented at Academy of Women's Health Conference

Original research conducted by Connors Center staff, Dr. Therese Fitzgerald, Amy Glynn, and Ivy Franco, our Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health intern in collaboration with Brigham and Women's Center for Community Health and Health Equity, Mark Ommerborn and Cheryl Clark, was presented at the Women's Health 2016: The 24th Annual Congress of the Academy of Women's Health conference in DC this April. The project used national survey data to understand predictors for colorectal cancer screening testing in privately insured subgroups of the population by sex and race, after the health care reform's removal of cost sharing for preventive services. Conclusions of the study found that 1) disparities by socioeconomic status and patterns of care seeking persist post-health reform in privately insured individuals by sex and race/ethnicity, 2) stratifying predictors of colorectal cancer screening testing by race/ethnicity and sex is key in determining factors that can lead to disparities in subgroups, and 3) oversampling underserved populations in surveys will be essential to fully understanding predictors of colorectal cancer screening testing and post-reform outcomes.

To learn more, view the poster.

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