Campaign for Women's Health Awards First Round of Grants

12/09/99    Portland, Ore.

Women suffering from chronic health problems received a boost today when the Campaign for Women's Health Council awarded $75,000 to advance women's health care, research and education.

The council, a group of community volunteers dedicated to advancing the cause of women's health, raised these funds from the proceeds of the 1999 Women's Health Gala, which was held May 6 at the Portland Hilton.

The volunteers, working in collaboration with faculty from Oregon Health Sciences University, chose three proposals from a group of 32 that demonstrated the wide variety of women's health initiatives being investigated in the region. The award recipients, investigators from OHSU, will each receive a $25,000 grant. The studies include:

1) "Vulvar Pain Disorders: Characteristics and Follow-Up of Patients Presenting for Specialty Care," presented by Jeffrey T. Jensen, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology in OHSU's School of Medicine. Vulvar pain disorders can dramatically decrease a woman's quality of life, yet little is known about the efficacy of different treatments in this under-studied area. This $25,000 grant will allow Jensen and his colleagues to track outcomes and develop a database that will allow for better patient outcomes in the future.

2) "A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Urinary Incontinence," presented by Sandra Emmons, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology. Urinary incontinence, though rarely discussed publicly, is estimated to affect 30 percent of women. The problem is particularly acute for women who have given birth. Emmons aims to test a common pharmaceutical treatment against a promising acupuncture technique, following participants' experience up to 12 months after the treatment.

3) "Women's Pain Initiative," presented by David Nelson, Ph.D. Nelson's research aims to address two emerging issues in medicine: more aggressive treatment of pain, and recognition of the different ways that men and women experience pain. By conducting a systematic review of the available data, Nelson aims to produce a comprehensive and user-friendly reference guide, which will allow for proper diagnosis and treatment of pain conditions experienced by women for use by the medical community and the general public.

The Campaign for Women's Health is a grass roots, community-based volunteer effort to support the Center for Women's Health at OHSU. The Center for Women's Health is a multi-disciplinary center dedicated to advancing the cause of women's health by supporting advanced clinical care, cutting-edge research and consumer and professional education.