The ACRWH provides guidance to the director of the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH). ORWH resides in the NIH Office of the Director and works with the 27 NIH institutes and centers to ensure that women's health and sex differences research is part of the NIH scientific framework. ORWH also works to ensure that women and minorities are included in clinical research.
Janine Austin Clayton, MD, ORWH acting director, pointed to Dr. Nelson's contributions to women's health globally, nationally, and locally as a reflection of her "deep and accomplished commitment to women's health research."
Dr. Nelson is a research professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology and of medicine. Since 1998, she has been an investigator in the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) leading systematic evidence reviews and analyses for the U.S Preventive Services Task Force, National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Effective Healthcare Program, and Drug Effectiveness Review Project, among others. Her work has contributed to the development of national practice guidelines and standards, as well as medication and health insurance coverage decisions. Her many publications have informed clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and patients of the state of evidence for a variety of clinical questions primarily related to women's health.
In 2011, she served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Preventive Services for Women. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services accepted the report's recommendations for inclusion under the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Nelson's research focus includes many areas of women's health including hormone therapy, cancer screening and prevention, genetic risk assessment and testing, domestic violence, osteoporosis, and others.