President Biden Signs Executive Order Expanding Women’s Health Research

President Joe Biden hinted at a women’s health initiative during his third State of the Union (SOTU) address in early March and, on March 18, 2024, signed an executive order promoting women’s health research. This announcement comes as many Americans celebrate Women’s History Month.

The president called on Congress to make a $12 billion investment to create a Fund for Women’s Health Research at the National Institutes of Health. The directives will ensure that women’s health is integrated and prioritized across the federal research portfolio and spur new research on various topics, including women’s midlife health. The executive order outlined the following actions that various federal agencies will carry out:

  • Prioritize and increase investments in women’s health research to close gaps in such research across the lifespan, including the impact of perimenopause and menopause on heart, brain and bone health.
  • Foster innovation and discovery in women’s health by seeking opportunities to accelerate and scale tools, products and platforms that have the potential to improve women’s health outcomes.
  • Expand and leverage data collection and analysis related to women’s health, helping close health care access gaps and identifying high-impact research opportunities.
  • Strengthen coordination, infrastructure and training to support women’s health research, specifically for service members and veterans.
  • Improve women’s health across their lifespans by focusing on preventive and primary care, maternal health outcomes and menopause.

Biden’s executive order will require agencies to report their investments in women’s health research annually. Moreover, this executive order comes after the announcement of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research in November 2023and the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health committed a $100 million investment into women’s research.

“Women are more than half of our population but research on women’s health has always been underfunded.”
– President Biden in the SOTU address

Employer Takeaway

More employers are addressing women’s health and family-building benefits to meet the needs of today’s diverse and multigenerational workforce. Furthermore, more employers and employees are discussing menopause and midlife health, once-taboo topics for women’s reproductive health. We’ll keep you apprised of additional government updates and other pertinent matters. For now, contact us for additional workplace guidance.

This Bulletin is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. Design ©2024 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.


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