NIH/ORWH National Conference

NIH/ORWH National Conference at Washington University in St. Louis hosted by cWIDR:  Moving Into the Future – New Dimensions and Strategies for Women’s Health Research for the National Institutes of Health

NIHconf1On March 4 – 6, 2009, the cWIDR and Washington University in St. Louis hosted the first in a series of four conferences to help set the research agenda for the NIH around women’s health. This conference was developed in collaboration with the NIH Office for Research on Women’s Health (ORWH).

As the first group to plan this meeting, the cWIDR played a large role in developing the format and design of the series to aid the NIH in formulating its research agenda on women’s health for the next decade. The ORWH has told us that our highly successful St. Louis conference set the bar for the other three conferences. Consequently, we were called upon to assist the other host institutions— University of California San Francisco, Brown University, and Northwestern University— in planning their respective “Moving Into the Future…” meetings.

NIHconf2Our three-day conference highlighted research being done at Washington University and gave our scientific community the opportunity to directly impact future initiatives and funding opportunities supported by the NIH. A public forum gave clinicians, scientists, advocates, and individual members of the public the opportunity to speak on the need for research and support for career development directly to officers of seven NIH Institutes, the ORWH, and the Office of Extramural Research. Interactive workgoup and panel discussions involving leading scientists from across the nation, women’s health advocates, and public policy experts helped to ensure that research on women’s health continues to be on the cutting edge of science and based upon the most advanced techniques and methodologies.

Overall, the focused recommendations to the NIH coming out of the St. Louis “Moving Into the Future…” meeting identified specific scientific areas that remain in need of research attention and how current and future technologies can be utilized to address these gaps.

All ideas and recommendations gathered during the four “Moving Into the Future…” conferences are currently being used to develop a strategic plan and recommendations for funding priorities for women’s health across the NIH to be unveiled at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the ORWH at the NIH in Bethesda, MD on September 27, 2010.