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Jill Biden is announcing $100 million in funding for research and development into women’s health

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press
Published: February 21, 2024, 10:44am

WASHINGTON — Jill Biden on Wednesday was announcing $100 million in federal funding for research and development into women’s health as part of a new White House initiative that she is heading up.

The funding is the first major deliverable of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, which was announced late last year. The money comes from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA-H, which is under the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

The first lady was set to announce the ARPA-H Sprint for Women’s Health during an appearance Wednesday in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Biden has said women don’t know enough about their health because the research historically has been underfunded and lacking. The White House initiative aims to change the approach to and increase funding for women’s health research.

“We will close the gaps, we will accelerate new ideas, and change women’s lives,” the first lady will say, according to excerpts of her prepared remarks that were shared with The Associated Press.

“We will build a health care system that puts women and their lived experiences at its center, one where no woman or girl has to hear that ‘it’s all in your head,’ or, ‘it’s just stress;’ where women aren’t just an after-thought, but a first-thought; and where women don’t just survive, they lead long, healthy, and happy lives,” she says.

President Joe Biden created the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health in 2022 to work on advancing solutions to health issues. The agency is part of what he called his “ unity agenda.”

In the coming weeks, the agency will solicit ideas for groundbreaking research and development to address women’s health, according to the White House.

The first lady said last year when the White House initiative was announced that it grew out of meeting she had had with Maria Shriver, a women’s health advocate and former California first lady. Shriver, Biden said, spoke of the need for a public-private effort to close the gaps in women’s health research.

The White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research is led by Jill Biden and the White House Gender Policy Council.

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