Each day women face distinctive health challenges that are unique to them, and they respond to many therapies and treatments differently from how men respond.
“That’s why at Women’s College we like to say that when it comes to health care for women, you need to start by recognizing they’re not men,” says Jane Pepino, board chair, Women’s College Hospital (WCH).
This was the theme at the POWER Study Forum, hosted by WCH and sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart, on Oct. 22. The goal? To highlight the importance of conducting gender-based health research.
Thought-provoking presentations by Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) scientists Dr. Janice Du Mont, Dr. Gillian Hawker, Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, Dr. Sheila Dunn, Dr. Paula Rochon and Dr. Andrea Gruneir sparked lively discussion and debate about advancing the health of women in our community.
The panelists spoke passionately about the results of the POWER Study chapters they spearheaded.
The POWER Study (Project for an Ontario Women’s Health Evidence-Based Report) is a multi-year comprehensive research study on women’s health, funded through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The study examined gender differences among women of different ethnicities, socioeconomic status and geography. The results can be viewed online at www.powerstudy.ca.
“Through the POWER Study, researchers and scientists are offered useful, strong data that can be used as a baseline to measure against potential future data,” says Dr. Rochon, vice-president, research, WCH. “It sets us up to make a difference and to provide women with wonderfully valuable information.”
Topics at the forum included implications of older women’s health, improving reproductive and gynecological health, the impact of diabetes in women and health status and disability among women with osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Guest moderator Carol Goar, columnist for the Toronto Star, fielded questions from an audience eager to learn from the WCRI scientists and gain new knowledge. The event also featured live-tweeting with individuals participating interactively by posting twitter questions and comments throughout the night.
“We must share the responsibility of addressing women’s health issues and disseminating this knowledge so that all women, everywhere, can receive the care and treatment they need,” adds Pepino. “I encourage you all to share what you have learned with your colleagues and friends. I hope you will continue these conversations and will inspire others to advance the health of women.”
If you missed the event, the webcast is available online at www.womenscollegehospital.ca/powerstudyforum