42 USC 237a: Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health
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42 USC 237a: Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health Text contains those laws in effect on June 22, 2024
From Title 42-THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 6A-PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICESUBCHAPTER I-ADMINISTRATION AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONSPart A-Administration

§237a. Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

(a) Establishment of Office

There is established within the Office of the Secretary, an Office on Women's Health (referred to in this section as the "Office"). The Office shall be headed by a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health who may report to the Secretary.

(b) Duties

The Secretary, acting through the Office, with respect to the health concerns of women, shall-

(1) establish short-range and long-range goals and objectives within the Department of Health and Human Services and, as relevant and appropriate, coordinate with other appropriate offices on activities within the Department that relate to disease prevention, health promotion, service delivery, research, and public and health care professional education, for issues of particular concern to women throughout their lifespan; 1

(2) provide expert advice and consultation to the Secretary concerning scientific, legal, ethical, and policy issues relating to women's health;

(3) monitor the Department of Health and Human Services' offices, agencies, and regional activities regarding women's health and identify needs regarding the coordination of activities, including intramural and extramural multidisciplinary activities;

(4) establish a Department of Health and Human Services Coordinating Committee on Women's Health, which shall be chaired by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health and composed of senior level representatives from each of the agencies and offices of the Department of Health and Human Services;

(5) establish a National Women's Health Information Center to-

(A) facilitate the exchange of information regarding matters relating to health information, health promotion, preventive health services, research advances, and education in the appropriate use of health care;

(B) facilitate access to such information;

(C) assist in the analysis of issues and problems relating to the matters described in this paragraph; and

(D) provide technical assistance with respect to the exchange of information (including facilitating the development of materials for such technical assistance);


(6) coordinate efforts to promote women's health programs and policies with the private sector; and

(7) through publications and any other means appropriate, provide for the exchange of information between the Office and recipients of grants, contracts, and agreements under subsection (c), and between the Office and health professionals and the general public.

(c) Grants and contracts regarding duties

(1) Authority

In carrying out subsection (b), the Secretary may make grants to, and enter into cooperative agreements, contracts, and interagency agreements with, public and private entities, agencies, and organizations.

(2) Evaluation and dissemination

The Secretary shall directly or through contracts with public and private entities, agencies, and organizations, provide for evaluations of projects carried out with financial assistance provided under paragraph (1) and for the dissemination of information developed as a result of such projects.

(d) Reports

Not later than 1 year after March 23, 2010, and every second year thereafter, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report describing the activities carried out under this section during the period for which the report is being prepared.

(e) Authorization of appropriations

For the purpose of carrying out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title II, §229, as added Pub. L. 111–148, title III, §3509(a)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 531 .)


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Construction

Pub. L. 111–148, title III, §3509(j), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 537 , provided that: "Nothing in this section [enacting this section, sections 242s, 299b–24a, and 914 of this title and section 399b of Title 21, Food and Drugs, amending sections 287d, 290aa, 299b–25, and 299b–26 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section] (or the amendments made by this section) shall be construed to limit the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to women's health, or with respect to activities carried out through the Department of Health and Human Services on the date of enactment of this section [Mar. 23, 2010]."

Transfer of Functions

Pub. L. 111–148, title III, §3509(a)(2), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 533 , provided that: "There are transferred to the Office on Women's Health (established under section 229 of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 237a], as added by this section), all functions exercised by the Office on Women's Health of the Public Health Service prior to the date of enactment of this section [Mar. 23, 2010], including all personnel and compensation authority, all delegation and assignment authority, and all remaining appropriations. All orders, determinations, rules, regulations, permits, agreements, grants, contracts, certificates, licenses, registrations, privileges, and other administrative actions that-

"(A) have been issued, made, granted, or allowed to become effective by the President, any Federal agency or official thereof, or by a court of competent jurisdiction, in the performance of functions transferred under this paragraph; and

"(B) are in effect at the time this section takes effect, or were final before the date of enactment of this section and are to become effective on or after such date,

shall continue in effect according to their terms until modified, terminated, superseded, set aside, or revoked in accordance with law by the President, the Secretary, or other authorized official, a court of competent jurisdiction, or by operation of law."

Information and Awareness on Eating Disorders

Pub. L. 114–255, div. B, title XIII, §13005, Dec. 13, 2016, 130 Stat. 1286 , provided that:

"(a) Information.-The Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Office on Women's Health, may-

"(1) update information, related fact sheets, and resource lists related to eating disorders that are available on the public Internet website of the National Women's Health Information Center sponsored by the Office on Women's Health, to include-

"(A) updated findings and current research related to eating disorders, as appropriate; and

"(B) information about eating disorders, including information related to males and females;

"(2) incorporate, as appropriate, and in coordination with the Secretary of Education, information from publicly available resources into appropriate obesity prevention programs developed by the Office on Women's Health; and

"(3) make publicly available (through a public Internet website or other method) information, related fact sheets, and resource lists, as updated under paragraph (1), and the information incorporated into appropriate obesity prevention programs under paragraph (2).

"(b) Awareness.-The Secretary of Health and Human Services may advance public awareness on-

"(1) the types of eating disorders;

"(2) the seriousness of eating disorders, including prevalence, comorbidities, and physical and mental health consequences;

"(3) methods to identify, intervene, refer for treatment, and prevent behaviors that may lead to the development of eating disorders;

"(4) discrimination and bullying based on body size;

"(5) the effects of media on self-esteem and body image; and

"(6) the signs and symptoms of eating disorders."

No New Regulatory Authority

Pub. L. 111–148, title III, §3509(h), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 537 , provided that: "Nothing in this section [enacting this section, sections 242s, 299b–24a, and 914 of this title and section 399b of Title 21, Food and Drugs, amending sections 287d, 290aa, 299b–25, and 299b–26 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section] and the amendments made by this section may be construed as establishing regulatory authority or modifying any existing regulatory authority."

Limitation on Termination

Pub. L. 111–148, title III, §3509(i), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 537 , provided that: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a Federal office of women's health (including the Office of Research on Women's Health of the National Institutes of Health) or Federal appointive position with primary responsibility over women's health issues (including the Associate Administrator for Women's Services under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) that is in existence on the date of enactment of this section [Mar. 23, 2010] shall not be terminated, reorganized, or have any of it's [sic] powers or duties transferred unless such termination, reorganization, or transfer is approved by Congress through the adoption of a concurrent resolution of approval."


Executive Documents

White House Initiative on Women's Health Research

Memorandum of President of the United States, Nov. 13, 2023, 88 F.R. 80085, provided:

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Women make up half of the United States population, but for too long, a lack of timely research and data on women's health has left health care providers without important tools to diagnose and treat millions of women with debilitating conditions, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, autoimmune disorders, mental health conditions, and conditions specific to women such as endometriosis and fibroids.

Beyond the immediate health consequences, underinvesting in women's health research can decrease women's well-being and quality of life, hold women back in the workplace, and affect their families' economic security. By contrast, increasing investments in women's health research can yield broad societal gains, including lower health care costs and a more productive and inclusive workforce.

To address pervasive gaps in our knowledge of women's health, we must accelerate research on the unique health needs of women across their lifespans. Research gaps are especially acute for diseases and conditions that are more prevalent among women and for health conditions associated with women's midlife and later years, including perimenopause and menopause. Gaps are often even more significant for those who have been historically underrepresented in, or excluded from, research.

We can-and must-increase our efforts to invest in research that maximizes our ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat health conditions in women across the United States. Meaningful progress requires robust, dedicated research infrastructure-including a strong, diverse research workforce-and investment within and beyond the Federal Government. We all have a part to play in galvanizing women's health research, developing innovative and cutting-edge interventions that promote women's health, and ensuring that women across the United States have access to high-quality health care.

Accordingly, I hereby direct the following actions:

Sec. 2. Establishment. There is established, within the Office of the First Lady, a White House Initiative on Women's Health Research (Initiative).

Sec. 3. Membership. (a) The Initiative shall be led by a Chair designated by the President who shall hold a dual role in the Office of the First Lady and on the staff of the White House Gender Policy Council.

(b) In addition to the Chair, the members of the Initiative shall consist of the heads of the following executive departments and agencies (agencies) and offices, or their designees:

(i) the Office of the Vice President;

(ii) the Department of Defense;

(iii) the Department of Agriculture;

(iv) the Department of Health and Human Services;

(v) the Department of Veterans Affairs;

(vi) the Environmental Protection Agency;

(vii) the Office of Management and Budget;

(viii) the Domestic Policy Council;

(ix) the Office of Science and Technology Policy;

(x) the National Science Foundation;

(xi) the National Institutes of Health;

(xii) the Food and Drug Administration;

(xiii) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

(xiv) the Indian Health Service;

(xv) the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services;

(xvi) the Health Resources and Services Administration;

(xvii) the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration;

(xviii) the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality;

(xix) the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health;

(xx) the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health; and

(xxi) the heads of such other agencies and offices as the Chair may, from time to time, designate.

(c) The Department of Health and Human Services shall provide funding and administrative support as may be necessary for the performance and functions of the Initiative, to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations.

(d) At the direction of the Chair, the Initiative may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Initiative members or their designees, as appropriate, including to coordinate across agency offices dedicated to women's health.

Sec. 4. Mission and Functions. (a) The mission of the Initiative is to advance women's health research in the United States. The functions of the Initiative are advisory only and shall include, consistent with applicable law, the following actions with the goal of advancing women's health research:

(i) assessing the Federal research landscape to identify opportunities for additional investments that could catalyze significant progress in addressing women's health needs;

(ii) setting Initiative-wide priorities to help guide strategic Federal research investments;

(iii) improving coordination among agencies and offices pursuing women's health research, including by better integrating research efforts and facilitating interdisciplinary research;

(iv) developing policy recommendations to better ensure that the health needs of women are considered, assessed, and reported for Federal research and data collection efforts, where feasible and in accordance with current research and data collection and analysis guidelines;

(v) forming targeted recommendations to address health disparities and inequities affecting women, including those related to race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, disability, and exposure to environmental factors and contaminants that can directly affect health;

(vi) developing recommendations to support the translation of research advancements into practical benefits for patients and providers;

(vii) identifying opportunities to develop public-private partnerships and to increase coordination of Federal efforts with the private and philanthropic sectors in order to drive innovation;

(viii) engaging the scientific and research communities, including by helping promote the publication and dissemination of actionable research and data on women's health and by making Federal datasets available to support research;

(ix) assessing opportunities to recruit, train, and support women pursuing health and biomedical research careers to help strengthen and diversify the research workforce; and

(x) identifying ways to increase public awareness of the need for greater investment in and attention to women's health research, as well as women's health outcomes.

(b) Consistent with the objectives of this memorandum and applicable law, the Initiative may gather relevant information from external stakeholders, including Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial government officials; researchers and academics; women's health organizations; philanthropic leaders; industry stakeholders; and other entities and persons that may assist the Initiative in accomplishing the objectives of this memorandum.

Sec. 5. Recommendations to the President. (a) Within 45 days of the date of this memorandum [Nov. 13, 2023], the members of the Initiative or their designees shall provide recommendations to the President, through the Chair, on concrete actions that agencies and offices can take to advance women's health research.

(b) The heads of agencies and offices participating in the Initiative shall assist and provide information to the Chair, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Initiative. Each participating agency and office shall bear its own expense for participating in the Initiative.

(c) The heads of agencies and offices participating in the Initiative, or their designees, shall inform the President, through the Chair, on progress implementing this memorandum at least twice each year.

Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

v(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(d) The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

J.R. Biden, Jr.      

1 So in original. Probably should be "lifespans;".