Deborah E. Powell

Center for Women's Health

A National Center of Excellence


  • January 2014
    • On Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 Wendy Kohrt, PhD will be presenting at the Powell Center's Interdisciplinary Women's Health Lecture Series.  Dr. Kohrt is a professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Colorado.  Her presentation is titled Regulation of Physical Activity & Bioenergetics by Estrogens, and will be held in Moos Tower 2-690 from 12:15pm- 1:00pm.  The lecture is free and open to the public
    • Register today for Women's Health 2014: The 22nd Annual Congress! This event will take place April 4-6 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC.
    • Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Regents Professorship. Only full professors are eligible and awardees will receive a stipend of $50,000. Nominations must be submited by March 14, 2014.
    • Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation does not reduce risk of hip fracture or colorectal cancer says a new study published in the Journal of Women's Health. However, exploratory analyses did find lower vertebral fracture and in situ breast cancer incidence in supplement users. There was no effect on cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality.
    • Many individuals with disabilities face disparities in access to services and education about sex and reproductive health. One reason for this could be the misconception that individuals with disabilities- especially those with intellectual or cognitive disabilities- are "childlike" or "asexual" and thus do not require reproductive health services. Jessica Nelson, a U of MN MPH student and 2012-2013 MN LEND Fellow, developed a factsheet that addresses this misconception and identifies opportunities to provide appropriate sexuality education to individuals with disabilities.
    • Minority women tend to be less aware of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease they face by being overweight or obese. The results of a study that compared Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women based on their knowledge of heart disease risk factors and their perceptions of their own weight is published in the Journal of Women's Health.
  • February 2014
    • "Breast Cancer Superhero Project" celebrates the heroic nature of individuals affected by breast cancer. U of M staff member Barbara Porwit created honorary portraits of breast cancer survivors as their superhero of choice for the project. The exhibit is on display at Boynton Health Service through February 28th.
    • Registration is now open for Mini Medical School's winter 2014 programming, "Hot Topics in Health". U of M experts will answer questions such as "What do we know about how infectious diseases move around our increasingly interconnected world?", "How have cancer treatments changed over the years?", "What does it mean to give your heart a workout?", and "What do today's health professionals mean when they talk about One Health?". These educational sessions will take place Monday evenings February 10th- March 10th.
    • Women who view themselves as overweight and who are exposed to weight-stigmatizing news articles consume more calories than usual and report feeling less capable of controlling their eating says a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. This finding suggests that social messages targeted at combating obesity may have paradoxical and undesired effects.
    • Cervical cancer screening beyond age 50 saves lives and remains beneficial to women up to age 69, a new British study published in PLOS Medicine suggests. The results of the study showed that women who did not undergo cervical cancer screening after age 50 were six times more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than those who had regular screenings between ages 50 to 64 and had no abnormalities.
    • Elderly people who participate in "brain training" classes to keep their minds sharp continue to see positive benefits 10 years after the training, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Even if they took only an initial set of classes aimed at improving their ability to solve problems and react quickly, participants showed that the training stuck with them a decade later.
    • The University of MN Opportunity on Health Disparities & Cancer Research Summer Undergraduate Internship Program is currently accepting applications! This is an eight-week program designed to give undergraduate students from Minnesota's racial/ethnic minority or under-represented communities research experience in the health sciences. Applications are due by February 14, 2014 at 4pm. 
  • March 2014

    Powell Center News & Highlights

    • Congratulations to BIRCWH scholar Kristine Talley, PhD for receiving the CTSI K to RO1 Transition to Independence Award. This award gives Dr. Talley $50,000 in research funds to support K scholars to become competitive for R01 awards. Dr. Talley's project title is "Preventing Toileting Disability in Frail Older Women." Jean Wyman, PhD continues her role as Dr. Talley's primary mentor. Congratulations Dr. Talley!
    • SAVE THE DATE! The 11th Annual Women's Health Research Conference: Updates on Women's Cancer Research has been scheduled for Monday, September 29th at McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota. More information to come.

    University & Community News & Highlights

    • National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is March 10th. According to the CDC, 1.1 million people in the United States live with HIV and a 25 percent of them are female aged 13 or older. You can learn more about how you can join the fight to increase awareness by visiting or
    • CALL FOR REVIEWERS - The Birth Defects Monitoring and Analysis Program at the Minnesota Department of Health is soliciting grant reviewers for the Preconception Health in Minnesota grant program. The application to be a reviewer is due March 10, 2014. If you are interested in being a reviewer, please complete the application at Contact Erica Fishman, MSW, MPH, LISW at or 651-201-5141 if you have any questions.
    • Register today for Women's Health 2014: The 22nd Annual Congress! This event will take place April 4-6 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC.
    • Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Regents Professorship. Only full professors are eligible and awardees will receive a stipend of $50,000. Nominations must be submitted by March 14, 2014.
    • CALL FOR PROPOSALS - "What Went Wrong?": Reflecting and Learning from Community-Engaged Research conference is scheduled for July 11-12, 2014 in Minneapolis. The conference will provide a space for those working for social justice to come together to discuss what it means for communities and university to engage in research. Proposal submission deadline is March 29, 2014. For more information, visit
    • GRAND OPENING: Autism Day Treatment program for Somali families - St. David's Center is partnering with Children's Choice Center to pen an Autism Day Treatment program that will provide social interaction, sensory processing, self-regulation and family support services to 3- to 4-year-old Somali children with a primary diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. All treatment is done in a small-group, natural setting with a staff of culturally knowledgeable mental health professionals, occupational, speech and music therapists. Call 952.548.8700 or visit for more information.
    • Postdoctoral Research Education Fellowship Position Available - The University of Minnesota Schools of Public Health and Medicine are excited to announce the availability of a postdoctoral research education fellowship position in Cancer Disparities. This education and career development program is funded by the National Cancer Institute (Jean Forster, PhD and Kola Okuyemi, MD, MPH, Co-PIs). Eligible candidates should have a doctoral degree in any of the following disciplines: medicine, behavioral science, epidemiology, health education, health services research, sociology, anthropology, clinical, social or counseling psychology or a related discipline. Preferred candidates will have experience and peer-reviewed publications in above disciplines.Applications will be reviewed beginning in April 2014. However, the posting will stay open until filled. For more information, contact Lindsey Fabian at or click here.
    • Professional Education in Breastfeeding and Lactation 2014 - Educational opportunities for professionals helping women feed their babies.
    • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, released a report in February 2014 on the health of rural women. The ACOG outlines significant disparities for rural women in access to, and availability of a range of reproductive health services including gynecological and specialty women’s health services. The report includes current initiatives to reduce these disparities and recommendations for providers and professionals.
  • April 2014
    Powell Center News and Highlights
    • Reach the Decision Makers Fellowship - Are you a scientist, community member, public health professional or clinician with experience in environmental or reproductive health? You should consider joining the Reach the Decision Makers training program! Through Reach the Decision Makers you will learn to educate the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) on reproductive environmental health issues of importance to you and/or your community; develop the skills and tools necessary to effectively engage US EPA policy makers; begin to establish relationships and partnerships with US EPA staff; and become a powerful communicator on environmental and reproductive health science. Read here for more information.
    • CDC spreads the word about the #burningtruth - The Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at CDC has launched a one-month social media initiative around skin cancer prevention and the harmful effects of tanning. Specifically targeting teen girls and young women, the initiative, The Burning Truth, uses Twitter and other social media channels to disseminate skin cancer prevention messages. Watch for the hashtag #burningtruth.
    • Women's Health Initiative data to be used to new genomics-based studies - In 1993, the NHLBI’s Women's Health Initiative (WHI) began enrolling the first participants in what would become one of the most definitive, far-reaching clinical trials of post-menopausal women's health ever undertaken in the U.S. Recently, three teams of researchers received contracts from NHLBI to leverage the wealth of clinical and biomarker data collected by WHI and combine it with new -omics technologies in the hopes of gleaning new insights into the role that genomics, gene biology and regulation, and metabolmics may play in the risk for or development of coronary heart disease (CHD). Read more.
  • May 2014

    • Call for Poster Abstracts - The Powell Center of Women's Health cordially invites you to submit a poster abstract on any topic related to women's health for their 11th Annual Women's Health Research Conference on Monday, September 29, 2014. Read more.
    • Is Preventive Health Screening for Low-Income Women Under New Health Care Reform Better or Worse? - When Massachusetts enacted its own statewide health insurance reform in 2006, low-income women transitioned from receiving free, federally subsidized screening for breast and cervical cancer and cardiovascular disease risk to an insurance-based payment system. To learn more about the effects of this health insurance reform, visit the Journal of Women's Health website. Read more.
    • Breast Cancer in Young Women - Do you have close relatives who have been diagnosed with breast cancer over the age of 50? Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age. Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website to learn more about how to reduce the risks of breast cancer. Read more.

  • June 2014
    • Call for Poster Abstracts - The Powell Center of Women's Health cordially invites you to submit a poster abstract on any topic related to women's health for their 11th Annual Women's Health Research Conference on Monday, September 29, 2014. Read more.
    • Healthy Generations - The HRSA-funded Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health just released a 24 page volume of its publication, Healthy Generations. It includes articles about public health appproaches to reproductive and sexual health. Other articles include information on long acting reversible contraception, incarceration, and parenthood, and preconception health promotion. To Read more.
    • People of Color still Drastically Underrepresented in NIH Clinical Trials - New members fromthe Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials (EMPaCT) consortium show less than five percent of National Institutes of Health clinical trial participants are non-white and less than two percent of clinical cancer research trials focus on non-white ethnic or racial groups. To Read More.
    • Pregnant and Imprisoned: U Researcher Rebecca Shlafer evaluates a doula program at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee - The doula program, founded in 2007, had its first doula-supported birth in the fall of 2011. Doulas coach the mothers through childhood, their primary goal is providing the mother with emotional support before, during, and after the birth and preparing them to give the child up within 48-72 hours of birth. To Read More.
    • Gender Stereotypes Keep Women in the Out-Group and Out of Leadership in Academic Medicine - Women have accounted for half of the students in U.S. medical schools for nearly two decades, but as Professors, Deans, and Department Chairs, their numbers still lag far behind those of men. Anna Kaatz, PhD, MPH, and Molly Carnes, MD, MS, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, present examples of three women at different stages of their careers to illustrate how gender stereotypes are affecting women in opportunities for professional advancement. To Read More.
  • July 2014
    • Powell Center News - After nearly 3 years with the Powell Center, Jennifer O'Brien has left her position as Administrative Director for a new and exciting position at Hennepin County Medical Center. We would like to thank Jen for her leadership and commitment to women's health while at the Powell Center. As HCMC's Teen Coordinator, Jen will work on improving their services, systems, protocols, and work flows to better serve adolescents and their families. We are sorry to see Jen leave but wish her the best of luck on her new journey! The Powell Center would also like to introduce our new Executive Officer and Administrative Specialist, Kallie O'Hara. Kallie is a University of Minnesota Alum and comes to us from the Learning Abroad Center, where she was the Office and Events Coordinator. She will be taking on the responsibilities of the Annual Women's Health Research Conference and the Interdisciplinary Lecture Series. On behalf of the Powell Center, we would like to give a warm welcome to Kallie!
    • Virus Kills Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells and Tumor Cells in Mice - A virus not known to cause disease kills triple-negative breast cancer cells and killed tumors grown from these cells in mice, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Understanding how the virus kills cancer may lead to new treatments for breast cancer. To Read More.
    • The 4 Percent Want To Keep Their Figure: Early Elective Deliveries Of US Babies Up Sharply - Elective early deliveries have become the latest craze for wealthy people - it isn't just the 1 percent, it is the 4 percent. Labor induction or cesarean delivery without medical reason before a baby is considered full-term at 39 weeks is associated with health problems for mothers and babies. But it's still become common, at 37 weeks and even sooner. To Read More.
    • Restoring Bone Density in Women with Ovarian Disorder - Hormone replacement therapy restored bone mineral density to normal in young women with primary ovarian insufficiency (POI). The findings provide important treatment information for women with POI and their physicians. To Read More.
    • Attitudes Toward LGBT Patients Among Students in the Health Professions: Influence of Demographics and Discipline - Health providers' personal and professional experiences may predict attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and can therefore serve as key targets for health professions training aimed at decreasing barriers to high-quality patient care. This study explored the relationship between professional, demographic, and training characteristics and health professions student attitudes toward LGBT patients. Students from a health sciences university and applied mental health programs in Georgia (N=475) completed a survey that included a modified version of the Attitudes Toward LGBT Patients Scale (ATLPS). Profession, sexual orientation, current financial status, religion, religiosity, spirituality, and self-reported familiarity with various religious perspectives on sex were associated with ATLPS scores. To Read More.
  • August 2014
    • Health Equity Leadership and Mentoring Program - Effective mentoring is one of the most critical components of a successful academic career. The University of Minnesota Medical School's Program in Health Disparities Research is organizing a mentoring program, Health Equity Leadership & Mentoring (HELM), that aims to enhance the academic excellence and leadership capacity of diverse faculty and health disparities researchers at the University of Minnesota and ultimately reduce health inequities. HELM will focus on some of the challenges that trainees from minority and underserved groups and other faculty whose research is addressing health equity may face.
    • Fiction or Not? Fifty Shades is Associated with Health Risks in Adolescent Young Adult Females - Amy Bonomi and coauthors from Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI), Group Health Research Institute (Seattle, WA), and Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) compared young women ages 18-24, readers versus non-readers of at least the first novel in the Fifty Shades series based on self-reports of intimate partner violence victimization (including shouting, swearing, delivering unwanted calls or text messages, and other forms of verbal/emotional abuse, stalking, as well as physical and sexual abuse), binge drinking, disordered eating (use of diet aids and fasting for more than 24 hours), and sexual practices such as number of intercourse partners during their lifetime. The findings point to a substantially greater risk for certain adverse health behaviors among the group that read Fifty Shades, which hyper-sexualizes women and may reaffirm and create the context for those behaviors. To Read More.
    • Increase seen in use of Double Mastectomy, although not associated with Reduced Death - Among women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in California, the percentage undergoing a double mastectomy increased substantially between 1998 and 2011, although this procedure was not associated with a lower risk of death than breast-conserving surgery plus radiation, according to a study. The authors did find that surgery for the removal of one breast was associated with a higher risk of death than the other options examined in the study. To Read More.
    • Sexual Orientation and Health Among US Adults: National Health Interview Survey - Based on the 2013 NHIS data, 96.6% of adults identified as straight, 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual. Significant differences were found in health-related behaviors, health status, health care service utilization, and health care access among U.S. adults aged 18–64 who identified as straight, gay or lesbian, or bisexual. To Read More.
    • Why are many Women at risk of Ovarian Cancer not aware of it? - The statistics for ovarian cancer are frightening. Whereas early detection tests for breast cancer are relatively commonplace, 75-85% of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed only at a late stage, when the cancer has spread and prognosis is poor. About 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year and more than 14,000 die annually from this disease. A woman has a 1 in 70 risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in her lifetime. As there is no effective surveillance technique for detecting early stage ovarian cancer, physicians are focused instead on identifying women at risk and finding effective preventive methods. To Read More.
  • September 2014
    • Job Position Opening! - The University of Minnesota Schools of Public Health and Medicine are excited to announce the availability of a postdoctoral research education fellowship position in Cancer Disparities. This education and career development program is funded by the National Cancer Institute (Jean Forster, PhD and Kola Okuyemi, MD, MPH, Co-PIs). This program is focused on training researchers to develop and evaluate interventions and policies to reduce cancer-related inequities among disadvantaged populations in both clinical and population settings, using a Community Based Participatory Research framework. The program also intends to enhance the diversity of the research workforce in this area by recruiting individuals from underrepresented/disadvantaged populations. 
    • Exploring Sex and Gender Differences in Sleep Health: A Society for Women's Health Research Report - Previous attempts have been made to address sleep disorders in women; however, significant knowledge gaps in research and a lack of awareness among the research community continue to exist. There is a great need for scientists and clinicians to consider sex and gender differences in their sleep research to account for the unique biology of women. Differences in sleep behavior and sleep disorders may not only be driven by biological factors but also by gender differences in the way women and men report symptoms. Progress has been made in identifying sex and gender differences in many areas of sleep, but major research gaps in the areas of epidemiology, sleep regulation, sleep quality, diagnosis, and treatment need to be addressed. Identifying the underlying nature of sex and gender differences in sleep research has potential to accelerate improved care for both men and women facilitating better diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately prevention of sleep disorders and related comorbid conditions. To Read More.
    • Drug Improves Birth Rates for Women with Ovary Disorder - Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a leading cause of female infertility. It affects 5-10% of reproductive-age women. Women with PCOS have unusually high levels of male hormones, infrequent or irregular menstruation cycles, and oftentimes enlarged ovaries packed with fluid-filled cysts. The current treatment for PCOS infertility is the drug clomiphene. It works by blocking estrogen action, which stimulates hormones that induce ovulation. However, clomiphene has multiple side effects, including hot flashes and mood changes. The drug’s 22% success rate for live births is relatively low, and it tends to lead to a high number of twin or multiple pregnancies. To Read More.
    • Genetic Cause of Common Breast Cancer Tumors Found - A major breakthrough in understanding the molecular basis of fibroadenoma, one of the most common breast tumors diagnosed in women, has been made by a multidisciplinary team of scientists. The team used advanced DNA sequencing technologies to identify a critical gene called MED12 that was repeatedly disrupted in nearly 60 percent of fibroadenoma cases. To Read More.
  • October 2014
    • Thank you to all the speakers, poster presenters, and attendees of the 11th Annual Women's Health Research Conference. You helped make this event a great success. We look forward to your continued support and participation in the coming year!
    • Carolyn Torkelson, MD, will be leaving her position as Associate Director of the Powell Center. We are so grateful for her ten years of service to the Powell Center and for her lifetime commitment to women's health. She will be greatly missed!
    • The Powell Center would like Congratulate, BIRCWH Scholar, Alicia Allen for receiving the 2014 Outstanding Junior Mentor Award - At the CTSI Poster Session and Reception, on September 16th, CTSI recognized Alicia Allen, PhD, with the Outstanding Junior Mentor Award, a new award that recognizes mentors with the rank of assistant professor. Both awards recognize outstanding research mentors, using nominations provided by the mentees themselves and faculty colleagues.
    • New Study Identifies Opportunities to Reduce Patient Burden Associated with Breast Cancer Screening - New technology and better screening strategies can lower the rate of false-positive results, which impose a substantial financial and psychological burden on women. The many misperceptions about breast cancer screening options and risks, the benefits and costs of screening, and the need for new approaches and better education are discussed in a series of articles in a supplement to Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
    • Damaging Legacy: Mothers who Smoke affect the Fertility of their Sons - Mothers who smoke while they are pregnant or breast feeding may be damaging the future fertility of their sons, according to new findings. The study is the first comprehensive animal model to show the mechanism by which smoking can affect the fertility of male offspring. Until now, the effects on the fertility of male offspring and the mechanisms involved have been unclear -- a problem that has been confounded by the lack of animal studies in which the environment and exposure to toxic chemicals can be carefully controlled.
    • World First: Baby born after womb transplantation - "Absolute uterine factor infertility" is the only type of female infertility still considered to be untreatable. This condition is often a consequence of Rokitansky syndrome, which is when a woman is born without a womb. Adoption and surrogacy have so far been the only options for women with absolute uterine factor infertility to acquire motherhood. However, the news of the first baby to be born from a woman with Rokitansky syndrome who received a womb transplant brings hope to women with forms of absolute uterine factor infertility.
    • Robotic Surgery: More Complications, Higher Expense for Some Conditions - Robot-assisted surgery was first widely used for radical prostatectomy. For procedures such as prostatectomy, where there were previously no minimally invasive options, robot-assisted laparoscopy often offered a dramatic improvement. But in the two gynecologic surgeries looked at in this study -- oophorectomy (removal of one or both ovaries) and cystectomy (removal of an ovarian cyst) -- surgeons already had laparoscopic options. The rate of robot-assisted surgery increased from 3.5 percent in 2009 to 15.0 percent in 2012 for oophorectomy and from 2.4 percent in 2009 to 12.9 percent in 2012 for cystectomy. The study showed a small but statistically significant overall increase in intraoperative (during surgery) complications, mainly ureteral and bladder injuries, with the robot-assisted procedures -- 3.4 percent for robot-assisted oophorectomy vs. 2.1 percent for conventional laparoscopic oophorectomy; 2.0 percent for a robot-assisted cystectomy vs. 0.9 percent for a conventional laparoscopic cystectomy.
  • January 2013

    The Powell Center for Women’s Health Women’s Advisory Board
    Late last year, the Powell Center formed a Women’s Advisory Board to provide advice and support to the Powell Center for Women’s Health Leadership Team (Nancy Raymond, MD Director, Jean Wyman PhD Co-Director and Carolyn Torkelson, MD Associate Director). Additionally, the Advisory Board will provide guidance in creating a vision for the future of the Center including future initiatives, and how to make the center a more meaningful part of the University and the community, including guidance on fundraising for the Endowed Chair in Women’s Health. For more information, please contact Jen O’Brien, Administrative Director of the Powell Center,


    The Sexual Violence Center (SVC) is Seeking Volunteers
    The Sexual Violence Center (SVC) is an independent non-profit organization working throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Each year, they provide more than 2,000 youth and adults with 24 hour crisis phone service, individual counseling and support groups, advocacy and legal clinics at no cost. SVC works with community systems, such as hospitals, law enforcement agencies, courts, schools, and other social services organizations to assist sexual assault victims and prevent sexual violence. SVC is seeking crisis line counselors, medical advocates, support group facilitators, and one to one counselors- no prior experience or training necessary! If you are interested in volunteering call 612-871-5100 or email Daniela Chavez at


    Student Research Internships for Summer 2013
    The University of Minnesota’s Medical School is seeking five interns to participate in our summer internship program supported by the recently funded Specialized Centers on Research on Sex Differences (P50) grant. Each intern will take the lead in a mini-research project, participate in weekly journal club meetings, assist with ongoing data collection efforts, and prepare/present research findings. These projects may satisfy academic program requirements such as master’s projects and/or research credits (to be verified with each academic program). The time commitment is flexible but should be in the range of ten to thirty hours per week for the ten-week program (starting in June, 2013). For more information contact Alicia Allen, PhD, MPH, at A notice of interest must be received by March 1, 2013.


    Minnesota Obesity Prevention Training
    This fellowship program aims to provide interdisciplinary training for future biologic, behavioral, and clinical obesity prevention scientists. Training will be provided for 4-5 years predoctoral appointment or 2-3 years for postdoctoral candidates. Tuition benefits, a generous stipend, and support for travel and other training experiences are available. Individual’s goals will be accomplished through work with a faculty mentor, of which there are 35 potential faculty to choose from. For further information, please visit Questions can be directed to the program director, Robert W. Jeffrey at or the program coordinator Kerrin Brelje at or 612-626-8570.


    New Nursing Graduate Course - Mixed Methods in the Social, Behavioral and Applied Health Sciences
    A new course titled “Mixed Methods in the Social, Behavioral and Applied Health Sciences” will be available to nursing graduate students in Spring 2013 on Tuesdays from 9:05am- 12:05pm. It is worth 3 credits and will be taken A-F. The location has not yet been determined. The goal of this course is for students to integrate qualitative research strategies with quantitative approaches in their own study designs. If you have questions regarding registration you may contact Joseph E. Gaugler, PhD at or 612-626-2485.


    New Liberal Studies Seminar - Art, Health and Society
    A new course titled “Art, Health and Society” will be available Spring 2013 from 6:00- 8:30pm. This class will explore the intersections of art, medicine, psychology and history. Investigate and discuss the developmental, psychological, and neurological theories of the arts in medical and mental health contexts. You will learn to use art as a problem-solving tool to begin a dialogue about medical and mental health diagnoses. Arts programming in healthcare environments will be analyzed and critiqued. Learn to think deeply and practically about the roles of arts as related to health across developmental life stages. Outcomes of the class could include developing a lesson plan to use in your practice or community outreach program, and developing a personal vision for how creativity relates to health. To register visit


    External Grant Review Program Available
    The University of Minnesota Center for Health Equity provides an external grant review program, available immediately, to support a select number of meritorious applications for external peer review prior to submission to a funding agency. This program is open to full-time University of Minnesota post-doctoral fellows, research associates, and faculty with an appointment at the Assistant Professor level or above from any UM campus. To be eligible, a grant must be focused on one of the following topics: health equity; minority health; health of underserved populations; health disparities. Any proposal being submitted to an external funding agency and which has a minimum budget of $100,000 in direct costs for the proposed project period can be submitted for consideration. To be considered for this program, applicants should submit their proposal and a cover letter to at least 6 weeks prior to the funding agency deadline.


    Volunteers Needed for the Multicultural Research Awards Review Committee
    The Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA) is seeking UMN faculty to volunteer as a member of the 2013 IDEA Multicultural Research Award application review committee. Serving on this committee requires that you read and evaluate all applications (appx. 4 pages and sent via email or hard copy to you) and submit your evaluations no later than Monday, Feb. 4. As a member you will meet only once as a committee in early February for approximately 2 hours to share your evaluations and select this year's recipients. For more information email or call 612-625-7439.


    Progress Continues in Setting up Health Insurance Marketplaces
    Ten months from today, Americans in every state can begin to choose health insurance in new state marketplaces where they will have access to affordable coverage. Many will have never had health insurance, or had been forced to make the decision to go without insurance after losing a job or becoming sick. It is a groundbreaking time for health care in our country. To read more visit


    Women Often Lose Health Insurance Coverage Following Divorce
    About 115,000 women lose their private health insurance every year in the wake of divorce, according to a University of Michigan study. And this loss is not temporary: women's overall rates of health insurance coverage remain depressed for more than two years after divorce. To read the rest of the article visit

  • February 2013

    February is American Heart Month
    When you hear the term “heart disease,” you may think, “Not my problem.” But The Heart Truth® is that 1 in 4 women in the United States dies of heart disease making it the number one killer of women. Taking good care of your heart means controlling your risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity, and being overweight. Having just one risk factor increases your risk of developing heart disease and your risk skyrockets with each added risk factor. Join the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to celebrate American Heart Month in your local community. For more information visit


    Pregnancy & Infant Loss and Miscarriage & Recurrent Miscarriage Support Groups
    The pregnancy and infant loss support group meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month. The miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage support group meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. Both groups are ongoing and you may attend or join at any time. The groups run from 5:30- 7:00pm on their respective days. Individuals and/or couples may attend. The group facilitator is Lacey Johnson, MA, LICSW. The groups will take place at the Sheehan Corporate Center Building, 1st Floor Conference Room. For more information or to register please call 612-201-9004 or email


    Development of Burnout in Middle-Aged Working Women: A Longitudinal Study
    Researchers Annika Evolahti, PhD, Daniel Hultell, PhD, and Aila Collins, PhD, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, found that in contrast to previous research findings that showed burnout to be stable over time, they were able to cluster the women in the study into groups characterized by different developmental patterns of burnout. Some middle-aged women had high levels of burnout followed by recovery, whereas others had increasing, decreasing, or stable levels over a 9-year period. The authors explored how these patterns related to changes in work-related and other types of stress in the women's lives and individual personality factors. To read the entire article visit


    Health Internship Communications Program
    The HCIP gives highly qualified graduate students and recent graduate degree recipients the opportunity to participate in vital health and science communications projects in one of the many offices that make up the NCI. Interns will select an area of emphasis: health communications or science writing. Six-month and one-year internship terms are offered. The NIH main campus is located in Bethesda, Maryland. HCIP interns are placed in offices located in Bethesda or Rockville, Maryland. For more information please visit or email


    “Through the Ages” Mini Medical School
    Registration is open for Mini Medical School’s winter programming, "Through the Ages," about health issues throughout life, from pregnancy and infancy to regenerative medicine and long-term care. Mini Medical School takes place Mondays, Feb. 4–March 4. Cost: $65 for faculty, staff, and students. For more information please visit


    Minneapolis VA Receives Grant for Women’s Health
    The Minneapolis VA has received $217,000 in women's health grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA officials say they will use the money to establish a new women's health telepharmacy for women veterans in rural Minnesota. To read the rest of the article please visit


    Many Women Victims of ‘Contraceptive Sabotage,’ Experts Say
    Obstetricians and gynecologists should screen women and teens for signs that their partner is sabotaging their birth control, forcing them to have unprotected sex or otherwise trying to control their reproductive choices, says a leading group of U.S. doctors. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) lays out guidelines for detecting sexual and reproductive "coercion" -- which it calls an under-recognized form of violence against women -- in the February issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. To read more visit


    Weight Gain: Inevitable as You Age?
    Is weight gain with age inevitable? It can seem that way when your weight climbs despite dieting and even exercising. Indeed, a recent study suggests that a range of lifestyle choices — not just the number of calories in your diet — influence your weight as you age. To read the article visit


    Exercise for Your Bone Health
    Vital at every age for healthy bones, exercise is important for treating and preventing osteoporosis. Not only does exercise improve your bone health, it also increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance, and it leads to better overall health. To learn more visit


    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a devastating and complex disorder. People with CFS have overwhelming fatigue and a host of other symptoms that are not improved by bed rest and that can get worse after physical activity or mental exertion. They often function at a substantially lower level of activity than they were capable of before they became ill. To read more visit

  • March 2013

    Birth Doula Care Found to Benefit Medicaid Patients
    A study published online February 14, 2013 by the American Journal of Public Health from BIRCWH scholar Katy Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA, Assistant Professor, Division on Health Policy and Management, found lower cesarean birth rates among Medicaid beneficiaries with access to a birth doula than among Medicaid patients nationwide. Doulas provide support, information, and physical assistance during birth, which may be even more significant for women with low health literacy, whose first language is not English, or who may not understand all of the clinical options available during birth. Nearly half of all US births are funded by Medicaid programs, and many of those women are at increased risk for poor birth outcomes. Researchers found a 40% reduction in cesarean births among women with the support of a trained doula. This decreases costs to states, as cesarean births are much more expensive than vaginal births, and has the potential to reduce the significant disparities in birth outcomes experienced by low-income women. To read the article:


    Is Military Deployment a Risk Factor for Maternal Depression?
    Maternal depression is a common condition among new mothers that can be associated with poor maternal health and negative consequences on infant health. Little research has been conducted to examine maternal depression, especially among military mothers, where unique conditions often exist. Using data from a large military cohort, this study prospectively examined the relationship between deployment experience before and after childbirth and maternal depression among U.S. servicewomen. To read more visit


    Minnesota Department of Health Flu Update
    It’s important for all Minnesotans to do what we can to protect ourselves from influenza (“the flu”) and limit the spread of the disease. If you haven’t yet been vaccinated, get vaccinated for influenza. It’s not too late. Influenza vaccination is now recommended for everyone six months and older unless they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. It is especially important that those at high risk for serious complications from influenza be vaccinated. These include pregnant women, seniors, young children and those with chronic medical conditions. For more information on how to protect yourself visit


    Researchers Detect an Anti-Autism Advantage in Females
    A protective effect in females may help explain one of the biggest mysteries of autism: Why boys are five times more likely to develop the developmental brain disorder than girls. A new, preliminary study suggests that developing females are much better able than males to fight off genetic pressure to develop symptoms of autism.
    The findings aren't definitive and don't point to a treatment or cure. Still, "first steps like this are important" and could lead to greater understanding of autism, said study lead author Elise Robinson, an instructor in the department of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. To read more visit


    Use of Morning-After Pill on the Rise: CDC
    The number of U.S. women using the "morning-after" contraception pill has risen dramatically in the last decade, federal health officials report. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.2 percent of women in 2002 said they had used the pill, but between 2006 and 2010 that figure had jumped to 11 percent, which translates to 5.8 million women who were between 15 and 44 years old. Dr. Jill Rabin, chief of ambulatory care obstetrics and gynecology and head of urogynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., believes the increased use of the morning-after pill has to do with its longevity and because it has been proven safe and effective. "It's safer than aspirin," she said. She also disputes the claim by some conservative groups who see the pill as an abortion pill. "It is definitely not an abortion pill. Once an egg is fertilized, the pill has no power," she said. For more information visit:


    A Growing Trend: Childhood Obesity
    There are a variety of environmental factors that determine whether or not the healthy choice is the easy choice for children and their parents. American society has become characterized by environments that promote increased consumption of less healthy food and physical inactivity. It can be difficult for children to make healthy food choices and get enough physical activity when they are exposed to unhealthy environments in their home, child care center, school, or community. To learn more visit


    Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign
    CDC's multiyear, multimedia Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign informs men and women aged 50 years and older about the importance of having regular colorectal cancer screening tests. Screening tests help find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they have a chance to turn into cancer, thus preventing the disease. Screening also can find this cancer at an early stage, when treatment is most effective. However, about one-third of adults aged 50 or older (about 22 million people)—the age group at greatest risk of developing colorectal cancer—have not been screened appropriately. For more information visit


    University of Minnesota Program in Health Disparities Research Call for Advisory Board Applications
    The University of Minnesota Program in Health Disparities Research (PHDR) is seeking nominations for its newly restructured Advisory Board. PHDR is driven to improve health for all through research, education and community engagement. We understand that improving health for all is a true team effort. The Advisory Board will consist of University of Minnesota members and community partners that will help PHDR achieve its mission of eliminating health inequities. The nomination form deadline is Friday, March 1, 2013 by 4:30 p.m. For more information email or call 612-626-9192.

  • April 2013

    Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Awardees
    The Powell Center Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Seed Grants are awarded to UMN junior faculty conducting interdisciplinary women’s health and sex/gender difference research. The purpose of this program is to support faculty by providing mentorship, oversight, and pilot funds to develop an interdisciplinary research program in women’s health research. This year’s recipients are Alicia Allen, PhD, MD, and Emil Lou, MD, PhD.

    Dr. Allen is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Her interdisciplinary mentoring team includes Drs. Sharon Allen, Lynn Eberly, Mustafa al’Absi, Marilyn Carroll, John Grabowski, and Shelia Specker. Her research project, Allopregnanolone in Smoking and Cocaine Cessation, will collect preliminary evidence for the possible positive role of allopregnanolone in cessation of drugs abuse. The results may have implications for both prevention and treatment of substance abuse behaviors, especially in women who are, compared to men, at greater risk for relapse.

    Dr. Emil Lou is an assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation at the Department of Medicine. His mentoring team includes Drs. Subbaya Subramanian, Melissa Geller, Elizabeth Dickson, Venugopal Thayanithy, Clifford Steer, and Richard King, and Rachel Vogel Isaksson. Dr. Lou’s research, Role of Intercellular Communication via Tunneling Nanotubes in Developing Chemoresistant Ovarian Cancer, will investigate tunneling nanotubes (TnTs) as a previously unrecognized form of cell-to-cell communication in recurrent ovarian tumors, and to assess these unique structures as potentially novel targets for effective therapy.

    Congratulations to Dr’s. Allen and Lou!


    Birth Doula Care Found to Benefit Medicaid Patients
    A study published online February 14, 2013 by the American Journal of Public Health from BIRCWH scholar Katy Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA, Assistant Professor, Division on Health Policy and Management, found lower cesarean birth rates among Medicaid beneficiaries with access to a birth doula than among Medicaid patients nationwide. Doulas provide support, information, and physical assistance during birth, which may be even more significant for women with low health literacy, whose first language is not English, or who may not understand all of the clinical options available during birth. Nearly half of all US births are funded by Medicaid programs, and many of those women are at increased risk for poor birth outcomes. Researchers found a 40% reduction in cesarean births among women with the support of a trained doula. This decreases costs to states, as cesarean births are much more expensive than vaginal births, and has the potential to reduce the significant disparities in birth outcomes experienced by low-income women. To read the article:


    U Women Awards, Grants and Scholarships
    You are invited to submit nominations for University of Minnesota, system-wide awards that honor the contributions, research and/or leadership of University women, grants that further equity for women, or scholarships that support women students. For more information call 612-625-9837 or visit .


    Report from the CDC- Contraceptive Availability During an Emergency Response in the United States
    This article provides the evidence for contraceptive need to prevent unintended pregnancy during an emergency response, discusses the most appropriate types of contraceptives for disaster situations, and details the current provisions in place to provide contraceptives during an emergency response. For access to this article please visit


    Surveillance of Preconception Health Indicators In Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: Emerging Trends in the 21st Century
    This article addresses emerging trends in the 21st century in preconception health indicators among women of reproductive age. Significant improvements were found for alcohol use, smoking, social and emotional support, physical activity. In contrast, binge drinking, having a medical condition and self-reported health significantly worsened. No change was found for mental distress, HIV testing, and having routine checkups. To read the entire article visit


    Effects of Diabetes on a Female
    Diabetes can affect any part on your body. The good news is that you can prevent most of these problems by keeping your blood glucose (blood sugar) under control, eating healthy, being more physically active, and working with your health care provider to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control and getting necessary screening tests. For more information visit

  • May 2013

    New Powell Center Newsletter to Debut in June 2013

    The Powell Center will be releasing a new and improved newsletter in June 2013. We believe this new format will allow us to better serve you and provide you with information regarding women’s health research, events, and opportunities. You can let us know your thoughts about the new newsletter format by emailing or call us at 612-626-1125.


    May is Maternal Mental Health Month

    Perinatal mental health encompasses a range of mood disorders that affect many women during pregnancy and postpartum. As many as two out of every ten women experience depression or anxiety during their pregnancy or within the first year after birth. Pregnant women and new mothers experiencing depression often do not get the treatment they need due to fear of discussing mental health concerns with their health care providers or lack of knowledge about perinatal depression and anxiety. Barriers to seeking help include social stigma, cost of treatment, concern that insurance will not cover care, lack of knowledge about the impact of depression on personal health and the health of infants, and a lack of knowledge about where to seek treatment. For more information visit

  • June 2013


    2013 Cancer Disparities Summit: Working Together to Find Solutions

    Date: June 19-20 at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest

    Keynote Speaker:

    • Otis Webb Brawley, MD,FACP, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Executive Vice President, American Cancer Society

    Other Speakers:

    Patrick Tschida, Minnesota Cancer Surviellance System, Erika Vetta, Minnesota Communtity Medicine, Dr. Kate Wolin, Associate Professor, Dept of Public Health Sciences, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and Lea M. Johnson, LMJ Solutions.

    For more information or to register visit the Minnesota Center for Cancer Collaborations.

    The Powell Center for Women's Health is a co-sponsor of this event.


    PSI June 2013 Annual Conference

    Date: June 19-22 at the Minneapolis Conference Center

    Keynote Speakers:

    • Cheryl Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN
    • Penny Simkin, PT
    • Sharon Storton, MA, CHT, LMFT
    • Laura Miller, MD
    • Kathryn Hall-Trujillo, MPH
    • Martha Farrell Erickson, PhD
    • Mary Jo Codey, Former First Lady of New Jersey.

    For more information or to register visit Postpartum Support International.

    The Powell Center for Women's Health is a co-sponsor of this event.

    Powell Center BIRCWH Scholar, Katy Kozhimannil, Plays Role in Passing Doula Bill

    The Minnesota Senate recently passed legislature that requires medical assistance to cover doula services provided by a certified doula of the mothers choice.  One of the Powell Center's BIRCWH scholars, Katy Kozhimannil, research played a huge role in helping this bill to pass.

    Read Bill Text: MN SF699
    Read Star Tribune Article


    National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports

    For the 10th year in a row, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has produced the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR).  These reports measure trends in effectiveness of care, patient safety, timeliness of care, patient centeredness, and efficiancy of care.  The reports present, in chart form, the latest available findings on quality of and access to health care.

    Read 2012 NHQR (PDF)
    Read 2012 NHDR (PDF)


    Revival of a Core Public Health Function: State and Urban Based Maternal Death Review Processes

    This article reviews some of the current challenges for maternal death review in the United States, describes key findings from an assessment of U.S. capacity for conducting maternal death reviews, and introduces a new Maternal Mortality Initiative that aims to develop standardized guidelines for state or city based maternal death review processes.

    Read the Journal of Women's Health Article


    Couples' Birth Trauma Workshop: Another Birth/Another Story

    In this workshop Susan Lane, doula and childbirth educator, and Suzanne Swanson, licensed psychologist, offer "Another Birth/Another Strory" for couples who's last birth was traumatic or difficult.  In this 3-session class, pregnant couples will release trauma, rebuild confidence, reclaim their birth, and restore intimate partnership.  The class will be held at Enlightened Mama, 970 Raymond Ave. Suite G-40, St. Paul, MN 55114 on June 5th and 12th at 6:45pm and on June 9th at 4:30pm.  The cost is $150 per couple.  

    For more information email or call 651-221-9709.


    Osteoporosis Healthcare Disparities in Postmenopausal Women

    New research suggests that not enough eligible women are being screened and treated for osteoporosis in primary care. Despite guidelines for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) screening that do not differentiate by race, this study underscores the continuing presence of racial disparities, with African American women from the same clinics being significantly less likely to be referred for a screening DXA scan than their Caucasian counterparts.

    Read the Women's Health Journal article


    Recent Decline in Infant Mortality in the United States, 2005-2011

    A study done by the CDC has found that there was a 12% decline in the infant mortality rate in the United States from 2005 to 2011. Declines in neonatal and postneonatal mortality rates were similar. Furthermore, 4 of the 5 leading causes of infant death have also declined. Despite these declines states in the South still had some of the highest infant mortality rates in 2010.

    Read the Center for Disease Control's data brief 


    Hepatitis Statistics for 2012 from the Minnesota Department of Health

    Visit the Minnesota Department of Health's website to find out what you need to know about Hepatitis.  Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver and can be caused by alcohol, drugs, chemicals, and viruses that attack the liver.  MDH's website has information about the different strains, vaccines, precautions you should take when traveling abroad, laws, and the infection statistics for 2012. 

    To learn more visit the Minnesota State Department of Health


    Recording of the 2012 STD Surveillance Statistics Webinar Now Available

    In Minnesota, STDs are the most commonly reported communicable diseases and account for nearly 70% of all notifiable diseases reported to the Minnesota Department of Health.  In 2012 the number of reported bacterial STDs increased 10% from the previous year.  This report provides a comprehensive review of STD trends and current mobility in Minnesota. 

    Read the report



    Measuring Your Blood Pressure at Home: A Review of the Research for Adults

    A review of 49 research studies was done for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a Federal research agency, to understand the benefits of self-measuring blood pressure.  The report was reviewed by clinicians, researchers, experts, and the public.  This summary was created to help individuals and their doctors decided if checking their blood pressure at home is a good idea for them.  This summary will also tell you about the research on blood pressure monitors and will give you questions to ask your doctor.

    Read the full report (PDF)

  • July 2013

    Do Women Know that a Health Diet & Exercise Can Help Prevent Cancer- and Do They Follow the Recommendations?

    The lifetime risk for cancer is greater than 1 in 3 for women in the U.S., but most women do not make the lifestyle choices recommended by the American Cancer Society to reduce that risk and prevent cancer. A multifaceted new survey determined how women view diet and exercise in relationship to cancer and whether they believe they are engaging in healthy behaviors, and whether their diet and exercise choices really meet the minimum recommendations.

    Read the Journal of Women's Health Article



    More Evidence Shows Breast-Feeding Helps Babies' Brains

    Breast-feeding is good for a baby's brain, a new study says. Researchers used MRI scans to examine brain growth in 133 children ranging in age from 10 months to 4 years. By age 2, babies who were breast-fed exclusively for at least three months had greater levels of development in key parts of the brain than those who were fed formula only or a combination of formula and breast milk.

    Read the article


    WHO Report Highlights Violence Against Women as a 'Global Health Problem of Epidemic Proportions'

    Physical or sexual violence is a public health problem that affects more than one third of all women globally, according to a new report released by WHO in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council. The report, Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence, represents the first systematic study of global data on the prevalence of violence against women – both by partners and non-partners.

    Read the WHO Article


    Did Men's Yen for Younger Women Cause Menopause?

    Can women blame men for menopause? They may have a case, according to new research that suggests it was men's interest in mating with younger females that gave evolutionary rise to menopause by sidelining older women from reproduction. Menopause -- when a woman stops getting menstrual periods and can't become pregnant -- is unique to humans and its cause is still unknown, explained study author and evolutionary biologist Rama Singh. "We accept as a given the idea that older women tend to be unable to reproduce," but Singh said this is actually an "evolutionary puzzle."

    Read the article


    Which Women Should Be Screened for High Cholesterol?

    National guidelines recommend that at-risk women be screened for elevated cholesterol levels to reduce their chances of developing cardiovascular disease. But who is ‘at risk?’ The results of a new study by investigators at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate the proportion of women young and old who have cholesterol levels that meet the definition of being at-risk.

    Read the Journal of Women's Health Article


    Do Insomnia & Disrupted Sleep During Menopause Increase a Woman's Risk of Heart Disease?

    Insomnia and other sleep disturbances are common among perimenopausal and postmenopausal women and may increase their risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). A new study presents evidence that a combination of altered sleep duration and insomnia among women ages 50–79 doubled their risk of both CHD and CVD over a period of more than 10 years

    Read the Journal of Women's Health Article


    Why are Gender Diagnoses So Controversial? New LGBT Health Journal Highlights Diagnostic Revisions

    This summer the American Psychiatric Association will publish the 5th version of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). DSM-5 includes important revisions to the controversial diagnosis formerly known as Gender Identity Disorder (GID), in which an individual's physical make-up does not align with his or her inner experience of gender. Some had argued that this diagnosis was not only stigmatizing but that it did not meet criteria for classifying it as a mental disorder. The DSM-5 Workgroup chose to retain the disorder classification but to change the name of the disorder to Gender Dysphoria to reduce the stigma associated with the diagnosis.

    Read the LGBT Health Article


    Global Access to Care for LGBT Individuals is an Urgent Priority

    In many regions of the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals face barriers to appropriate healthcare due to stigma, discrimination, and legal sanctions against same sex relations. A Perspective written by Nils Daulaire, MD, MPH, Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, draws attention to the recent progress being made in the U.S. to remove barriers to LGBT healthcare and emphasizes the need to expand these efforts globally.

    Read the LGBT Health Article

  • August 2013

    2013 BIRCWH & Masonic Cancer Center Women's Health Scholars

    The Deborah E. Powell Center for Women’s Health is pleased to announce the awardees for the 2013 Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) and Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholar- Anne Blaes, MD, Susan Mason, PhD and Rebekah H. Nagler, PhD, and Masonic Cancer Center Women's Health Scholar Alicia Allen, PhD, MPH. Read more about their research.


    WANTED- Volunteers for the Women's Health Research Conference

    These individuals would help with registration in the morning and then have free admission to the conference for the rest of the day. For more information call 612-626-1125 or email


    Should a Woman's Ovaries Be Removed During a Hysterectomy for Noncancerous Disease?

    While ovary removal during hysterectomy protects against future risk of ovarian cancer, the decision to conserve the ovaries and the hormones they produce may have advantages for preventing heart disease, hip fracture, sexual dysfunction, and cognitive decline. Other than a woman’s cancer risk, the most important factor that should determine ovarian conservation vs. removal is her age—whether she is older or younger than 50—according to a Review article published in Journal of Women’s Health.


    Disparities in Women's Health Across a Generation: A Mother-Daughter Comparison

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Conftrol and Prevention has set national goals to eliminate health disparities by race, sex, and socioeconomic status. Progress in meeting these goals has been mixed. A new article published by the Journal of Women's Health provides a different view on the evolving health of U.S. women by examining a sample of daughters and their mothers.


    Exercise in Obese Pregnant Women: Positive Impacts and Current Perceptions

    A new article published in the International Journal of Women's Health provides a comprehensive overview of the effect of physical activity on pregnancy outcomes, the change of physical activity during pregnancy, and women's perception of being physically active during pregnancy, with a particular focus on women who are overweight or obese.


    The University of Minnesota has Announced the Opening of a Youth with Disabilites Study Coordinator Position

    The University of Minnesota has announced the opening of a Youth with Disabilities Study Coordinator position. The project coordinator works with investigators, study staff, consultants, and study subjects to complete the project objectives. This position demands a creative individual who will work hard, take initiative to problem solve, and who is devoted to the well-being of adolescents and young adults, particularily those with special health care needs. Apply for this position by visiting and entering job code 185493.


    MNSure Outreach Community Liaisons Needed

    MNSure has announced the opening of a Outreach Community Liaison position. This individual will coordinate on-the-ground education and outreach to partnership activities aimed at targeted population groups, leading to successfully established and operation Targeted Area Networks located in strategically divided areas across MN. They will also work to leverage existing relationships with local community partners to coordinate dissemination of MNSure public materials and build new partnership channels for outreach.


    The Community Research Institute has Been Launched for a Second Year

    The Community Research Institute (CRI) is a 6-week series of workshops that include lecture-style instruction, small group activities, and networking opportunities. In addition to the workshops Institute participants will have the chance to meet with university and community-based research consultants to discuss specific issues in community-engaged research. All participating organizations will also receive a $1000 mini-grant for their participation in the program.


  • September 2013

    Powell Center's Scholar in Mature Women's Health

    The Powell Center for Women's Health is pleased to announce the inaugural competition for the Powell Center's Scholar in Mature Women's Health. The Powell Center's Scholar in Mature Women's Health is a two year appointment awarded to a faculty member that will enhance and develop his or her career in mature women's health research and further the overall goals of the Powell Center's mature women's health initiative. Letters of Intent are not required but are strongly recommended. They are due by September 18, 2013 by 5:00pm. Complete applications are due by October 21, 2013 by 5:00 pm. Please direct questions to Jennifer O'Brien at or 612-626-1125.


    Does the novel Fifty Shades of Grey normalize the abuse of women?

    A new article published in the Journal of Women's Health argues that the best seller, characterized by the relationship between mega-millionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele, creates a context that supports intimate partner violence.


    Alcohol Use Patterns in Adolescence May be Linked to Risky Sexual Behaviors

    Alcohol use patterns in adolescence may be useful markers for programs that aim to prevent risky sexual behaviors, researchers in a new study say. That article, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, examined alcohol use frequency in adolescence as a predictor of sexual risk behavior in adulthood.


    Did you know: Up to 14% of Women Screen Positive for Perinatal Depression

    Yet approximately one-half of these women are not diagnosed, and this oversight could be fatal for mothers and their children. Postpartum depression and anxiety historically have been under diagnosed, partly because of the stigma associated with psychiatric illness and partly because of the cultural expectation that a new baby is a cause for joy.


    What do Pediatricians offer to adolescents for contraception?

    Over 50% of pediatricians consider abstinence their favored method of contraception for adolescents and fewer than 25% of pediatricians would offer an IUC to a teen unless she had a history of vaginal delivery or abortion say researchers in a study published by the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.


    Improved Classification Methods to Calculate Cancer Incidence Rates

    A new article published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute make use of these improved classification methods to calculate cancer incidence rates from 1990-2008 in specific Asian and Pacific Islander populations in the United States. Cancer Prevention Institute of California scientist Scarlett Lin Gomez led the analysis of data from 13 Surveillance, Epidemiology, End Results (SEER) registries for eight Asian American ethnic populations.

  • October 2013
    Barriers to Cervical Cancer Screening
    Many barriers to cervical cancer screening for Hispanic women have been documented, but few effective interventions exist. A new article in the Journal of Women's Health describes the development process of the AMIGAS intervention, highlights the integration of scientific evidence and community-based participatory research principles, and identifies opportunities for dissemination, adaptation, and implementation of this intervention.
    Gestational Diabetes Mellitus & Pregnancy
    Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as carbohydrate intolerance leading to hyperglycemia with onset or fist recognition during pregnancy and is associated with increased maternal and infant complications. A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health has concluded that elevated prepregnancy body mass index contributed to GDM in all racial/ethnic groups, which suggests that decreasing overweight and obesity among women of reproductive age could reduce GDM.
    Worksite Lactation Policies
    Since the Affordable Care Act of 2010 amendment of the Fair Labor Standards Act the issue of workplace lactation support has intensified. The objective of a new study published in the Journal of Women's Health was to examine organizational policies on worksite lactation support as they relate to the new federal standards in state employers and within large state public and private universities.
    National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
    In observance of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), a free public event will be held offering free HIV testing, educational materials and resources, shirts, delicious snacks, and more from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tues., Oct. 15, at the Wellstone Center, 179 Robie St. E., Room 123, St. Paul. For those who take an HIV test, they will be eligible to participate with a raffle for a $50 gift card. For more information, call Maria Elena Escoto, 651-789-2504, or by email at:, or contact Hoang Bui by email at:
  • November 2013
    • On Wednesday, November 13th, 2013, Dr. Kristine Talley, Assistant Professor, Adult & Gerontology Cooperative, UMN School of Nursing, will be presenting at the Powell Center's Interdisciplinary Women's Health Lecture Series. Her presentation is titled, Feasibility of the Defeating Urinary Incontinence with Exercise Training (DUET) Research Study, and will be held in Moos Tower 2-690. The lecture is free and open to the public.
    • The Powell Center for Women's Health is pleased to announce the inaugural competition for the Powell Center's Scholar in Mature Women's Health. The Powell Center's Scholar in Mature Women's Health is a two year appointment awarded to a faculty member that will enhance and develop his or her career in mature women's health research and further the overall goals of the Powell Center's mature women's health initiative. The application deadline has been extended to Monday, November 11, 2013 by 5:00 pm. Please direct questions to Jennifer O'Brien at or 612-626-1125.
    • The McNair Scholars Program is recruiting faculty mentors for its summer 2014 cohort. The program recruits first-generation and low-income or underrepresented student to conduct research with faculty and prepare for graduate school.
    • What are the goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? What are the primary mechanisms through which the ACA will meet its goals? What is the potential impact of the ACA on women, children, adolescents, and immigrant families? The HRSA-funded Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health at the University of Minnesota just released a 36-page publication that addresses these questions.
    • The perinatal period provides unique opportunities to identify and intervene with the co-occurence of perinatal depression, intimate partner violence, and substance use problems. However, current psychological screening recommended for women seen in these settings tends to target single rather than multiple risk factors. A new study published in the Journal of Women's Health suggests that this may not be enough.
    • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently published two new, evidence-based Effective Health Care (EHC) Program resources on childhood obesity prevention. For clinicians there is Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs: Comparative Effectiveness and for parents there is Keeping Children at a Healthy Weight.
    • Call for Abstracts! The Academy of Women's Health has issued a call for poster abstracts for the Women's Health and Sex Differences Research Scientific Poster Session happening at the 22nd Annual Women's Health Congress. The deadline for abstract submissions is November 15, 2013. Researchers at all levels are encouraged to submit abstracts on current and emerging issues in women's health and sex differences
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  • Last modified on November 13, 2014