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Jacobs Institute of Women's Health
Milken Institute School of Public Health
The George Washington University
950 New Hampshire Ave., NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC  20052
Liz Borkowski, MPH
Managing Director
202.994-0034

 

News > News Releases & Content Alerts

Recent news:

July 27, 2015: New Study in Women's Health Issues: Alcohol Use and Unintended Sexual Consequences

June 16, 2015: Women's Health Issues Awards 2014 Gibbs Leadership Prize to Study on Sexual Behaviors and Bullying in High School Students

May 6, 2015: New Study in Women's Health Issues: Trauma-Informed Primary Care

April 15, 2015: New Study in Women's Health Issues: Sex Differences in Home-Based Care

January 28, 2015: Women's Health Issues Launches Special Collection on Women's Heart Health

You can also read about featured Editor's Choice articles on our Free Featured Articles page.


July 27, 2015

New Study in Women's Health Issues: Alcohol Use and Unintended Sexual Consequences

Research has demonstrated the link between alcohol and unintended sexual consequences, but a better understanding of alcohol’s role in such events can improve efforts to reduce emotional and physical harms among women who experience these consequences. In a study published today in the journal Women’s Health Issues, Dinah Lewis and colleagues from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report results from their study involving in-depth interviews with 20 women who attended a sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic in Baltimore and reported recent binge drinking or engaging in intercourse while under the influence of alcohol. Study participants reported binge drinking in clubs increased their vulnerability to male targeting, often resulting in unintended sexual consequences.

Women’s Health Issues is the official journal of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, which is based at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.  The article, "Alcohol Use and Unintended Sexual Consequences among Women Attending an Urban Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinic," has been published online ahead of print and will appear in the September/October edition of Women’s Health Issues.

The authors’ analysis of the interviews identified five major unintended sexual events occurring while under the influence of alcohol: sex with new partners, often strangers; engaging in types of sexual activity that they would not engage in while sober; “blacked-out sex,” or alcohol-related amnesia about sexual activities; unprotected sex; and rape. Interventions to reduce harm should involve both women and men, the authors suggest. They highlight particularly promising interventions that address the discrepancy between what women expect to occur when they drink and what may actually happen.
 


June 16, 2015

Women's Health Issues Awards 2014 Gibbs Leadership Prize to Study on Sexual Behaviors and Bullying in High School Students

The Editorial Board of Women’s Health Issues is pleased to announce that the Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize for the best paper published in Women's Health Issues in 2014 (Volume 24) has been awarded to Hailee K. Dunn, MPH, a PhD student in clinical psychology at the University of Rhode Island.  Dunn's manuscript, “Association between Sexual Behaviors, Bullying Victimization and Suicidal Ideation in a National Sample of High School Students: Implications of a Sexual Double Standard,” was co-authored by Annie Gjelsvik, PhD; Deborah N. Pearlman, PhD; and Melissa A. Clark, PhD. The manuscript was published in Women's Health Issues Volume 24, Issue 5 (September/October 2014), pages 567-574.

In the study, Dunn and her colleagues analyzed data on 13,065 high school students from the nationally representative 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. They found that students who reported having engaged in sexual intercourse were more likely to report having been bullied (at school or electronically) over the past 12 months than students who did not report intercourse experience. They also found that girls who engaged in sexual intercourse were more likely to be bullied than were boys who engaged in sexual intercourse. Students of both genders who reported both engaging in intercourse and being bullied had more than five times the adjusted odds of depression and three times the adjusted odds of suicidal ideation when compared to students who reported neither of these experiences.

The authors explain that their finding of a stronger association between sexual intercourse and bullying victimization in girls than in boys provides “some evidence that girls are held to different sexual standards than boys." They recommend that "school-based bullying interventions should address peer norms regarding sexual behaviors, attitudes toward the sexual double standard and more broadly, attitudes and norms regarding traditional gender roles held in U.S. culture."

The Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize is awarded annually to recognize excellence in research on women’s health care or policy. Priority is given to manuscripts that report the results of original research and that improve understanding of an important women’s health issue. Members of the staff and Editorial Board of Women’s Health Issues are not eligible. The prize includes a $1,000 award.

“The Editorial Board congratulates Hailee Dunn and her colleagues for producing a study that is methodologically strong and has clear policy implications,” said Chloe Bird, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Health Issues. “It is an important contribution to the ongoing discussions about how best to prevent and address bullying in school.” Bird presented the prize to Dunn at the Gender & Health Interest Group session at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting on June 13th.

The Women’s Health Issues Editorial Board also designated two excellent manuscripts in 2014 to receive “Honorable Mention" recognition:


Previous winners of the Gibbs Prize include:

  • Cynthia LeardMann, MPH (2013)
  • Nathan L. Hale, PhD (2012)
  • Jacqueline L. Angel, PhD (2011)
  • Diana Greene Foster, PhD (2010)
  • Paula Lantz, PhD (2009)
  • Sherry Glied, PhD (2008)
  • Richard C. Lindrooth, PhD (2007)
  • Joan S. Tucker, PhD (2006)
  • JiWon R. Lee, MS, RD, MPH (2005)
  • Dawn M. Upchurch, PhD (2004)
  • Sherry L. Grace, PhD (2003)
  • Sarah Hudson Scholle, DrPH (2002)
  • Sandra K. Pope, PhD (2001)
  • Ilene Hyman, PhD (2000)
  • Usha Sambamaoorthi, PhD (1999)
  • Claire Murphy, MD (1997)
  • Barbara A. Bartman, MD, MPH (1996)


The Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize was established to honor the founding President of the Board of Governors of the Jacobs Institute of Women Health. Charles E. Gibbs, MD (1923–2000) was a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and past chair of ACOG’s Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, the Task Force on the Voluntary Review of Quality of Care, the Health Care Commission, and the Task Force on Maternal Health Policy. Dr. Gibbs served on the Jacobs Institute of Women Health Board of Governors from 1990–1999 and was instrumental in shaping the Institute’s mission and structure.
 


May 6, 2015

New Commentary in Women's Health Issues: Trauma-Informed Primary Care

Media Contact: Kathy Fackelmann, kfackelmann@gwu.edu, 202-994-8354

WASHINGTON, DC (May 6, 2015) — Patients with a history of trauma can benefit from working with healthcare providers who understand trauma’s role in health and can offer resources to assist with healing. A commentary published today in the journal Women's Health Issues proposes an approach to providing such trauma-informed primary care (TIPC).  Edward L. Machtinger, MD, director of the Women’s HIV Program (WHP) at the University of California, San Francisco, and his co-authors identify four core components of a TIPC approach: environment, screening, response, and a robust organizational foundation.

Women’s Health Issues is the official journal of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, which is based at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.  The commentary, "From Treatment to Healing: The Promise of Trauma-Informed Primary Care," appears in the May/June edition of Women’s Health Issues. To develop the proposed framework, Machtinger and his colleagues drew on the work of the National Strategy Group to Develop a Model of Trauma-informed Primary Care, which WHP and the Positive Women’s Network—USA convened in 2013.

Trauma is an especially important factor in women’s health. The landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study found that women were more likely than men to report a high number of adverse childhood experiences (including physical or sexual abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction). As adults, many women experience physical violence and/or rape from an intimate partner.

For primary-care practices seeking to become trauma-informed, Machtinger and his colleagues recommend getting training on trauma and health for all staff members and creating a physical space that provides opportunities for privacy, confidentiality, and community. They suggest that practices routinely screen patients for trauma and, when patients disclose trauma, be prepared to respond supportively and offer specific steps such as safety assessments and referrals for community resources.  A strong organizational foundation that includes respect for patient choices, support for staff, and local partnerships is essential, the authors explain. Practices adopting this kind of trauma-informed approach can partner effectively with trauma survivors for better health outcomes and quality of life, the authors say.

 
About Women’s Health Issues:
Women's Health Issues is the official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, and the only journal devoted exclusively to women's health care and policy issues. The journal has a particular focus on women's issues in the context of the U.S. health care delivery system and policymaking processes, although it invites submissions addressing women's health care issues in global context if relevant to North American readers. It is a journal for health professionals, social scientists, policymakers, and others concerned with the complex and diverse facets of health care delivery and policy for women. For more information about the journal, please visit http://www.whijournal.com.

About Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University:
Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, Milken Institute School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation’s capital. Today, more than 1,700 students from almost every U.S. state and 39 countries pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, MPH@GW, and an online Executive Master of Health Administration, MHA@GW, which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.

 


April 15, 2015

New Study in Women's Health Issues: Sex Differences in Home-Based Care

Media Contact: Kathy Fackelmann, kfackelmann@gwu.edu, 202-994-8354

WASHINGTON, DC (April 15, 2015)—Are there differences in the quality of care provided to men and women receiving publicly funded home care services in Ontario, Canada? An article published today in the journal Women's Health Issues investigates this question, as well as differences between patient outcomes in the Canadian province's 14 health planning regions.  In the study, Amanda T. Lo, of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and her colleagues found while there were sizable differences in outcomes before adjustment, no important differences in outcomes between men and women remained after risk adjustment. This indicates that sex-specific strategies will be needed to improve the quality and outcomes of home care services.

Women’s Health Issues is the official journal of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, which is based at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.  The article, "Sex Differences in Home Care Performance: A Population-Based Study," was published online April 15, 2015 and will appear in the May/June edition of Women’s Health Issues.

The study analyzed data from the Home Care Reporting System database collected on nearly 120,000 residents of Ontario 65 and older who received publicly funded home care service for 60 days or more between April 2009 and March 2010. It used four quality indicators to determine whether men and women were receiving the same quality of service: decline or failure to improve in the activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and eating, cognitive functioning, symptoms of depression and pain control.

The authors found there were important differences between men and women receiving home care in the health outcomes that matter to patients, such as pain and ability to care for themselves. But those differences disappeared when the quality indicators were risk-adjusted for clinical conditions such as mobility or dementia, or for caregiver stress. After risk adjustment there were geographic differences in quality of home care across Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Network health-planning regions.  The authors note that the differences indicate the potential to improve home care services for both men and women.

The full text of the article, "Sex Differences in Home Care Performance: A Population-Based Study," is available on the Women’s Health Issues website.
 


January 28, 2015

Women's Health Issues Launches Special Collection on Women’s Heart Health

Media Contact: Kathy Fackelmann, kfackelmann@gwu.edu, 202-994-8354

WASHINGTON, DC (January 28, 2015)—Today the peer-reviewed journal Women's Health Issues (WHI) released a new Special Collection on Women’s Heart Health, with a focus on improving healthcare services to women at risk for cardiovascular disease. The special collection also highlights recent studies addressing social determinants of health and physical activity in women of different backgrounds.

"Many people still don't realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women," said Chloe Bird, editor-in-chief of Women’s Health Issues and a senior sociologist at RAND. “Women should be getting treated for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other conditions that pose risks to their long-term cardiovascular health – but research is finding that education and healthcare still need to improve so women get the necessary preventive care.”

Women’s Health Issues is the official journal of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, which is based at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. This Special Collection includes 20 articles published between mid-2011 and early 2015.

Several of the studies in the collection demonstrate the need to improve healthcare services to assure that both women and men receive appropriate care to control risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Two of the studies in the special collection analyzed data on veterans' health and found higher LDL cholesterol levels among women veterans than their male counterparts. A third found a greater proportion of women veterans with elevated LDL cholesterol levels, and concluded that individual patient-level factors could only explain one-third of the difference.

Researchers are working to identify reasons why women’s cholesterol might be more poorly controlled than men’s. A study involving veterans found that providers were less likely to order or adjust cholesterol medications for women veterans than for male veterans, while women were more likely than men to be unwilling to take such medications.  And a study in the general population involving patients from seven outpatient clinics found that women and men received comparable care for diabetes and lipid management. However, more of the women reported that due to side effects or costs, they were not taking the lipid-lowering medications they were prescribed.

Such findings fit with a previous report that concluded that gaps persist in our understanding of how cardiovascular disease affects women. That report noted that many questions still remain about gender differences in this arena, including how best to treat women with heart disease. The report authors, including Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health Executive Director Susan Wood as well as colleagues at the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women's Health & Gender Biology and the Kaiser Family Foundation, called for researchers to push forward with investigations of women and heart disease. Studies in this collection help address that need, Wood says.

At the same time, additional education on what we do know about treating women with heart disease may be necessary to assure that healthcare providers are fully equipped to help female patients reduce their risk--and two studies in the collection address this. One study involved focus groups with obstetrician/gynecologist (OBGYN) residents and practicing physicians, and concluded, “Additional training, development of referral networks, and access to local and practice specific data are needed to support an increased role for the OBGYN in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in women.” A second report, one that evaluated the “Heart Truth” education campaign for healthcare providers, found that doctors and other health professionals who attended Heart Truth educational lectures improved their knowledge on cardiovascular disease prevention in women.

“There is a growing understanding of the need to address heart disease in women,” said Bird. “As the studies in this collection show, though, we still need more research and education to assure that healthcare providers can provide the best care to both men and women, and for women to be able to work together with their healthcare teams to keep their hearts healthy.”

The Women’s Health Issues Special Collection on Women’s Heart Health is available online, and all articles can be accessed for free during February 2015. A previous special collection addressed Women Veterans' Health.

 
About Women’s Health Issues:
Women's Health Issues is the official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, and the only journal devoted exclusively to women's health care and policy issues. The journal has a particular focus on women's issues in the context of the U.S. health care delivery system and policymaking processes, although it invites submissions addressing women's health care issues in global context if relevant to North American readers. It is a journal for health professionals, social scientists, policymakers, and others concerned with the complex and diverse facets of health care delivery and policy for women. For more information about the journal, please visit http://www.whijournal.com.

About Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University:
Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, Milken Institute School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation’s capital. Today, nearly 1,534 students from almost every U.S. state and more than 45 countries pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, MPH@GW, and an online Executive Master of Health Administration, MHA@GW, which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.


 
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