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VA HSR&D Represented at Symposium on Integrating Sex and Gender into Research

May 13, 2021


An HSR&D Senior Research Career Scientist, Elizabeth Yano, PhD, MSPH, served on a panel titled “Government Agencies Call to Action” at the 5th Annual Vivian W. Pinn Symposium, which was held virtually on May 11 and 12, 2021. The Symposium brought together illustrious speakers and panelists to discuss the scientific, societal, and economic opportunities for integrating sex and gender into biomedical research – and the synergistic power of working together. Dr. Yano discussed the importance of implementing research into practice and policy as it relates to integrating sex and gender considerations. Many countries and institutions have now issued guidelines or mandates calling for consideration of sex and gender in scientific endeavors and as a matter of public policy. However, widespread dissemination and implementation of these guidelines has been slow, yielding incomplete integration into medicine and science as currently practiced. (Regensteiner, et al. Lancet, 2019.)

Along with Drs. Susan Frayne and Alison Hamilton, Dr. Yano leads the VA Women’s Health Research Network (WHRN). Comprised of a national consortium of VA researchers and clinician educators, WHRN also includes a VA Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network of 73 VA medical centers, and multilevel stakeholder engagement activities to foster bringing research into evidence-based practice and policy.  Dr. Yano co-leads the Evidence-Based Quality Improvement (EBQI) Training Hub – a QUERI Implementation Strategy Learning Site. Dr. Yano also is Director of HSR&D’s Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation and Policy (CSHIIP) in Los Angeles, CA, which focuses on women Veterans’ health in addition to primary care, high-risk/high-need Veterans, and emerging areas in healthcare research such as complementary health, whole health, specialty care, and emergency management/disaster preparedness.

In addition to Dr. Yano, other speakers on the “Government Agencies Call to Action” panel included Michael Lauer, MD, Deputy Director for Extramural Research, NIH; Rachel Levine, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health for the US Department of Health and Human Services; Alondra Nelson, PhD, Deputy Director for Science and Society for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Susan F. Wood, PhD, Director of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health Services. The panel was moderated by Jenny Luray, Senior Advisor for Research!America.

Presented by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the Annual Vivian W. Pinn Symposium is held during National Women’s Health Week – and honors the first full-time Director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), Vivian W. Pinn, MD, a position she has held since November 1991.


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