Due to budget changes in fiscal year 2012/2013, the Office of Women's Health has now become part of the newly established Office of Health Equity with the California Department of Public Health as of July 1, 2012.
Office of Women's Health (OWH) Background Information
The Office of Women's Health (OWH) was established within the Director's Office of the California Department of Health Services in 1993 by Governor's Executive Order W-57-93. In 1994, the office was permanently established in statute, Chapter 760, 1994 (Health & Safety Code section 135-138.5). Subsequent legislation places the Office of Women's Health in two departments, the Department of Health Care Services and the California Department of Public Health. Due to budget changes in fiscal year 2012/2013, the Office of Women's Health has been now become part of the newly established Office of Health Equity with the California Department of Public Health as of July 1, 2012.
The mission of the office was to guide women's health policy in an effective and comprehensive fashion to promote health and reduce the burden of preventable disease and injury among the women and girls of California.
Office of Women's Health Background Information
Activities of the office included coordination of the research analyses of data from the California Women's Health Survey and publishing the Data Points fact sheets series. The office published numerous publications, including a Directory of Health Programs Serving Women in both the Department of Health Care Services and the California Department of Public Health and the California Women's Health Report 2007. Most recently, the OWH published the California Adolescent Report 2009, and Data Points: Results from the California Women's Health Survey.
In addition, the office participated in outreach activities such as tabling at events throughout the state and staffed the prestigious Women's Health Council, an advisory council appointed by the Directors that advises both departments on women's health issues.
The Women's Health Council - 1995 to 2012
"The California Women’s Health Council is a body of experts and community representatives that provide advice and support to both the California Department of Public Health and the Department of Health Care Services, through the Office of Women’s Health. The Council was formed in 1995 to address the specific needs of women and indirectly, their families to improve the health of the entire population. In collaboration with the Office of Women’s Health, the Council recognizes the importance of addressing all stages of women’s development from childhood through maturity. Members are committed to elevating the concerns of women, both as individuals and as a group. Attention to and concerted efforts in the areas of health promotion, disease prevention and treatment provide the Council with a far-reaching perspective."
The Helen Rodriguez-Trias Award
In 2002, the OWH established the Helen Rodriguez-Trias award to honor the memory of Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, a founding member of the Women’s Health Council and an internationally known advocate for women’s health. The award recognized an organization or individual who demonstrated leadership in promoting women’s health services at the community level.
This award was made in conjunction with OWH’s celebration of Women’s Health Month every year in May.
HRT Award Recipients, from 2002 to 2012.
Women's Health Month
In 2002, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Concurrent resolution 174 which established May as Women's Health Month in California. Each year since 2002, the California Office of Women's Health (OWH) sponsered Women's Health Month statewide.
The purpose of Women's Health Month 2010 was threefold:
- To increase public awareness of significant women's health issues.
- To educate and empower women to act as their own health advocates.
- To promote and improve the health and wellbeing of women in California.
Women's Health Month was a statewide annual public awareness campaign that coordinated health fairs, health check-ups and other local activities that were anchored by the women's health month theme and promotional materials provided by the Office of Women's Health. Each year there were over 50-100 clinics, providers, CBOs, universities, colleges, the Mexican Consulate, and others that hosted women's health month events throughout the state. These activities reached over 32,000 women each year during the Month of May. The awareness campaign continued year round, and was highly effective at reaching women and girls of all ages.
Other events included:
- Governor and First Lady's Annual Women's Health Conference
- Business and Professional Women's Conferences
- Public Health Week
- Violence Awareness Month
- Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month