A collaboration among the Bloomberg School of Public Health,
the School of Medicine, and the School of Nursing.
The Women’s Health Research Group (WHRG) is an interdisciplinary collaborative research group, among the Schools of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing at The Johns Hopkins University. It started in 2007 with a monthly research seminar, through the efforts of Dr. Fred Brancati, Chair of the Division of General Internal Medicine, who wanted to foster more women’s health collaborative research and mentorship for fellows in general internal medicine.
As the group gained momentum, we hosted our first Women’s Health Research Symposium in May 2008, showcasing research by prominent senior faculty members in our collaborative group. The 2009 symposium featured Hopkins faculty from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, and we invited speakers who may not have considered themselves women’s health researchers, but whose work was innovative and relevant to the WHRG’s goals.
In 2010 the WHRG successfully competed for funding from the JHU Provost Office's Mosaic Initiative to host Dr. Camara Jones from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the symposium, which drew more than 100 attendees, she discussed racial and ethnic disparities in women’s health. The 2011 symposium featured Dr. Laura Herrera from the Veteran’s Health Administration, who discussed female veterans’ health. In 2012 the WHRG was awarded a conference grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to host a full-day symposium focused on intimate partner violence and strategies to bring effective interventions to scale. This symposium, which was shown on a webcast, received high attendance with more than 100 attendees from within and external to Johns Hopkins. In addition to showcasing faculty and invited presenters, the symposium provides an opportunity for doctoral students, fellows and junior faculty to present their research as both poster and oral abstracts.
In addition to annual symposia, since its inception the WHRG holds quarterly “networking sessions” with topics ranging from “Using Networking to Build Interdisciplinary Collaborations” to “The History of Women’s Health Movements.” It also provides women’s health and sex-difference research updates in, for example, mental health, pelvic floor dysfunction and sex differences in addiction.
In July 2011, the WHRG conducted a survey of attendees of its events, showing that 44% were faculty, 46% were affiliated with the SOM, 12% with the SON, and 40% with the JHSPH. Twenty- five percent of respondents reported developing collaborations within their home school and 35% within a different school.