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PHR Feature of the Week: Women’s Health: 30 Years of Progress in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

In the latest issue of Public Health Reports, March/April 2015, on behalf of theU.S. Department of Health and Human Services Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health, Dr. Caira Woods, Ms. Bethany Applebaum, Ms. Yvonne Grene, Ms. Deborah Kallgren, and Ms. Evelyn Kappeller, highlight the work done by HHS agencies and offices over the past 30 years in the advancement of women’s health.

In 1983, the assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) convened the first-ever U.S. Public Health Service Task Force on Women’s Health Issues to identify important women’s health issues and develop a blueprint for enmeshing those issues with the priorities of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS). The landmark Report of the Public Health Service Task Force on Women’s Health Issues published in Public Health Reports in 1985, outlined recommendations to accomplish this goal. One recommendation supported the creation of a standing committee comprising HHS agency representatives who would report regularly to the PHS and HHS leadership. To fulfill this recommendation, HHS established the Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health (CCWH) in 1984 to advise the assistant secretary for health on activities to safeguard and improve the physical and mental health of women in the United States. This deliberate focus on women’s health, which continues today, has led to substantial advances in the field. This commentary highlights the work done by HHS agencies and offices, through collaborations and partnerships, to address the categorized recommendations of the 30-year-old report.

This week’s PHR feature article, Women’s Health: 30 Years of Progress in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be open access through March 20.

The official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Surgeon General since 1878, PHR serves as an informative and accessible resource for practitioners, professors, scholars, and students of public health. Published in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal provides important research and presents key discussions on the major issues confronting the public health community. For full access to current content, visit the Public Health Reports website to subscribe.