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New Biden Executive Order Emphasizes Women’s Health

Following an initial funding announcement last month, the Biden administration has kept its foot on the gas to build out the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research. Last month, we wrote about ARPA-H’s $100 million Sprint for Women’s Health. During the president’s State of the Union speech, he called on Congress to invest $12 billion in new funding for women’s health research, which would be used to create a Fund for Women’s Health Research at the National Institutes for Health (NIH).

Last week, President Biden signed an executive order (EO) that contributes to the administration’s objective to create solutions to long-lasting women’s health issues that have been historically understudied and under-evaluated.

Specifically, the EO directs agencies participating in the White House’s Initiative on Women’s Health Research to:

  • Set robust data and research standards pertaining to women’s health in relevant funding opportunities.
  • Encourage innovation in women’s health through ARPA-H and multi-agency initiatives like the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR).

The EO also includes direct actions for certain agencies to take:

  • Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will examine how artificial intelligence can contribute to advancements in women’s health research.
  • HHS will prioritize women’s midlife health by expanding its data collection efforts and providing ways for women to better navigate prevention and treatment options relating to menopause.
  • The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the White House’s Gender Policy Council will assess gaps in federal funding for women’s health research.

In addition to the EO, several agencies announced efforts they are taking to contribute to the initiative. Some of the highlights include:

  • NSF announced a funding opportunity to support science and engineering research related to women’s health.
  • NSF’s Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA) will convene top researchers from June 5-6, 2024 to evaluate near- and long-term strategies for the formation of new applications concerning women’s health. You can nominate participants to attend this convening through this link.
  • NIH will solicit new proposals for small businesses engaged in research and development on women’s health through their SBIR and STTR programs.
  • NIH will also launch its first Pathways to Prevention series on the management of menopausal symptoms.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will issue guidance for the industry concerning the inclusion of women in clinical trials.
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will publicize its intent to release a research-based funding opportunity to make improvements around the science of primary care, with a focus on women’s health.

ML Strategies welcomes the opportunity to assist you in approaching participating agencies regarding their public and upcoming federal policy and funding opportunities related to women’s health.


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Pamela Mejia

Senior Manager of Government Relations

Pamela Mejia, a Manager of Government Relations at ML Strategies in Washington, DC, draws on her experience as a legislative affairs manager for a nonprofit organization and working for members of Congress to help clients achieve their legislative goals.

Anthony M. DeMaio

Senior Vice President

Anthony M. DeMaio, Senior Vice President of ML Strategies, draws on over a decade of experience in government affairs and communications - working with members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation - to lobby on behalf of a variety of clients and assist them with congressional investigations and media messaging.