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VA Health Systems Research

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Women's Health Research Network (WHRN)

Women's Health Research Network (WHRN) logo VA’s Health Systems Research (HSR) is a leader in increasing attention to women’s inclusion in VA research and building capacity to increase the conduct of women’s health research to address critical knowledge gaps. Funded since 2010, the VA Women’s Health Research Network (WHRN) is among HSR’s special initiatives to systematically transform VA’s capacity to examine and reduce gender disparities in health and health care and use research to increase the delivery of evidence-based care tailored to women Veterans’ needs.

Objectives of the VA Women’s Health Research Network (WHRN)

WHRN was initially funded by HSR in 2010, following several years of systematically developing the VA’s Women’s Health Research Agenda that spanned all four Services of the VA’s Office of Research & Development. WHRN’s initial objectives (2010-2013) were to (1) build capacity in VA women’s health research by developing a national Consortium of VA researchers and arming them with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to design and conduct women Veterans’ health research successfully, and (2) develop, implement and test a VA Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN) to facilitate recruitment of women Veterans in VA research by establishing a ready-to-use infrastructure of partnered VA healthcare facilities enabling investigators to access enough women Veterans, their providers, and their care settings. Together, the Consortium and Women’s Health PBRN enable high-priority research on gender differences and women Veteran-specific issues.

Extension of WHRN to Accelerate Interventions, Implementation, and High-Impact Research

As WHRN continued to support the achievement of VA’s women’s health research agenda, HSR has extended funding through 2026 to continue key functions (e.g., cyberseminars, researcher training, technical support for collaborative research development, and building WH-PBRN Site Leads skills). WHRN also began pilot testing strategies for supporting the VA as a learning healthcare system and increasing employee engagement in sustainable research-clinical partnerships capable of generating and acting on research evidence to improve care and respond to high-priority needs. For example, WHRN launched a women Veterans’ suicide prevention work group to consolidate efforts to generate high-quality research and educate researchers on risks and resiliency factors, developed a research agenda and provided technical support to increase funding rates, and is spearheading a new VA journal supplement on suicide research among women Veterans, active-duty servicewomen, and civilian women. WH-PBRN continues to serve as a testing ground for implementing and spreading evidence-based practice.

WHRN Research Workgroups

The WHRN has launched several Research Work Groups across topical areas to bring national attention and resources to bear on accelerating research evidence on women Veterans’ unique risks and resiliencies and gender differences. The work groups are national in scope, given the importance of collaborative research development that builds on wide-ranging expertise across the country. Workgroup members include researchers, program office leadership, and clinicians or providers. Activities and workgroup objectives vary in scope but may include collaborating on grant opportunities, publications, and projects, providing technical assistance on project ideas, increasing communication and dissemination of research findings, and working closely with relevant program office leadership to inform practice and policy. Are you interested in learning more about or joining a workgroup? Email

  • Women Veterans Suicide Prevention Research Work Group
  • Harassment Research Work Group
  • Reproductive Health Research Work Group
  • Menopause Research Work Group
  • Trauma Research Work Group
  • Women and Aging Research Workgroup

Stay Connected!

Complete the WHRN Consortium Membership Survey to join the VA Women's Health Research Consortium e-mail group and stay up-to-date on WHRN activities.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.