Hadassah

Pollin Center Forges Ahead with Gender-Based Research and Advocacy

Thursday, Jan 22 2015

The Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness (LJPCW) Center for Women at the Hadassah Medical Organization is actively engaged in basic science and clinical research concerning gender health issues, as well as advocacy for gender health equity in research and treatment.

Basic Science Research.
The LJPCW Center has partnered with Dr. Rivka Pollak of the Endocrinology Department at Hadassah to investigate the female heart’s response to menopause. The study is identifying the differences in heart anatomy and function in mice once the ovaries are removed.

Clinical Research.
Two clinical cardiovascular studies are awaiting approvals and should begin shortly. One deals with the differences in the way men and women perceive chest pain as it relates to the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. The other will look at differences in the effects of anticoagulant drugs on women and men.

“We need consciousness raising regarding gender issues in medical research in Israel,” comments Dr. Donna Zfat-Zwas, Director of the LJPCW Center. “We have to put this issue on the radar screen of our medical and scientific colleagues.”

Dr. Zfat-Zwas notes that last October, the Pollin Center submitted a Policy Recommendation to Israel’s Knesset, advocating for gender equity in health care and research and greater awareness about gender issues. Dr. Zfat-Zwas and her colleagues at the Pollin Center are working with the Knesset Committee on the Advancement of Women and Gender Equity to educate medical professionals, legislators, and the general public as to the differential health needs of women throughout their lifecycle.

As the policy recommendation explains: “While in fields other than health, gender equality implies gender justice, this is not the case in health, as biological differences between the sexes give rise to differential health needs.” The recommendation continues by explaining that “gender equity refers to the different needs, preferences and interests of women and men” and advocates for policies and programs that aim to achieve gender equity in health through appropriate design and funding.”

The policy recommendation calls for initiatives in 4 areas: government policy, health services, research, and education. It also brings out that there are significant gaps in the knowledge and practice of physicians regarding gender health issues--particularly in cardiovascular health--and that gender medicine and women’s health are not routinely taught in medical school or during residencies. While professional organization guidelines address the issue, there are discrepancies between these guidelines and common medical practices.

The recommendation urges the Ministry of Health to make gender equity in health a national priority, whereby more sensitive indicators will be used to collect data that reflect the health differences between women and men. This data collection would then lead to a plan of action, as well as ongoing monitoring of progress achieved.

The recommendation also calls specifically for a mandate regarding gender equity in medical research, where researchers will be trained in gender issues. In addition, peer review for funding would take into consideration whether gender sensitivity is part of the study design—

whether the design considers, for example, gender differences in the effectiveness of a medication or treatment, as well as its potential toxicity in men and women.

All education in medical and paramedical fields, the policy proposes, should include gender training and a comprehensive gender medicine curriculum, which encompasses both basic sciences, such as genetics and anatomy, along with clinical medical specialties.

The goal is to provide quality health care to women throughout their lifecycle by remaining sensitive to the biological differences between men and women that lead to different health needs and outcomes.

Comments

No comments yet.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Wednesday, Sep 28 2016

Hadassah Medical Organization Goes on High Alert for Peres Funeral

Thousands of visitors, including high profile dignitaries, are expected to arrive in Jerusalem for the funeral of past Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres, who will be laid to rest on Friday, September 30.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Friday, Sep 23 2016

2016 Graduates from 19 Countries Celebrate Hadassah’s IMPH Program

Singing "It's a Wonderful Country" in Hebrew, wearing their native dress, the members of the 41st International Master of Public Health (IMPH) program of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine celebrated their graduation.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Monday, Sep 19 2016

Hadassah Hospital Treats Terror Victims After Stabbing Attacks

This last week has brought a burst of terror attacks.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Sep 15 2016

2012 Hadassah Stage-Four Melanoma Patient Thankfully Healthy

"Doctors in Florida who pronounced me ‘soon-dead’ can't believe that I'm healthy today,” said Hadassah melanoma patient Stewart Greenberg.

READ MORE ›

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Show More