Partnerships in Women’s Health – NPWH and PCORI

As a professional membership organization for women’s health nurse practitioners (WHNPs), the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) is a leading voice for courageous conversations about women’s health. NPWH champions state-of-the-science health care that holistically addresses the unique needs of women across their lifetimes. We elevate the health issues others overlook and compel attention to women’s health from providers, policymakers, and researchers.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is a nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to fund comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). The studies PCORI funds are designed to produce reliable, useful information that will help patients, family caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers, policy makers, and others make better-informed health and healthcare decisions.

CER compares two or more available healthcare options to determine what works best for which patients, under what circumstances. PCORI supports patient-centered outcomes research, which is CER that focuses not only on traditional clinical outcomes but also on the needs, preferences, and outcomes most important to patients and those who care for them.

NPWH is pleased to have ongoing opportunities to partner with PCORI as we work toward meeting shared goals regarding women’s health. NPWH and PCORI recognize that women have unique and sometimes complex healthcare needs that have not been fully addressed in the clinical and research arenas. PCORI has funded 61 comparative effectiveness research (CER) studies targeting conditions that specifically or more often affect women. A few examples illustrate the wide array of topics addressed in these studies: personalizing breast cancer screening, improving outcomes for low-income mothers with depression, treatment options for fibroids. The findings of these CER studies provide clinicians and patients with reliable information for shared decision making about treatment options.

A study recently funded by PCORI, Moms in Recovery (MORE): Defining Optimal Care for Pregnant Women and Infants, will be closely followed by NPWH as it focuses on the comparison of outcomes for women receiving prenatal care in practices providing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with those receiving care in practices that refer MAT to specialty care. NPWH recognizes the immense significance of opioid use disorder (OUD) for pregnant and postpartum women and their infants. WHNPs are on the forefront to identify, support, and provide appropriate referrals and collaborative care for pregnant and postpartum women with OUD. At our 22nd Annual NPWH Premier Women’s Healthcare Conference in October, we are partnering with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to provide the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Treatment of OUDs Course as a four-hour workshop, along with a four-hour online education component specifically designed for women’s healthcare providers. As well, previous NPWH conferences, journal articles and our 2016 position statement: Prevention and Management of Opioid Misuse and Opioid Use Disorder Among Women Across the Lifespan demonstrate our dedication to preparing WHNPs to meet the challenges of the opioid epidemic.

This June we represented NPWH at the PCORI-AHRQ Stakeholder Workshop on Improving Care for Women with Urinary Incontinence (UI) held in Washington DC. This one-day workshop brought together healthcare providers and organizations to explore the feasibility of developing a dissemination and implementation project aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of UI among women. The key findings from the systematic review on nonsurgical interventions for UI for women published by PCORI and AHRQ provided an evidence-based focus.

PCORI is a valued member of the NPWH-led BOlder Women’s Health Coalition (see below) with a goal to bring together leaders in policy, research, healthcare, and public and clinical education to promote healthy aging for women.

NPWH, through its broad educational strategies and ability to engage nurse practitioners providing women’s healthcare, disseminates and promotes implementation in practice of best evidence. NPWH has significant potential as a membership organization of nurse practitioners providing women’s healthcare to participate with PCORI and other partners in the study of outcomes from dissemination and implementation strategies as relates to improving women’s health.

To learn more about the NPWH activities and initiatives, visit our website at www.npwh.org,where you will find information on upcoming meetings, collaborative initiatives, educational opportunities, and a Well Woman Visit App.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: BOlder Women’s Health Coalition

NPWH believes this generation of aging women deserves our most innovative vision and actions to address their healthcare needs, advance their quality of life, and support their ongoing contributions to a better society. NPWH is the lead organization for the BOlder Women’s Health Coalition bringing together cross-sector leaders in health, aging, and clinical arenas to identify opportunities for collaboration and synergy. The goal is to work with healthcare, public policy, research, business, and nonprofit service to secure high-quality health for older women. We are focusing on the needs and unique challenges of aging women and innovating solutions to promote healthy aging.

The coalition’s four supporting pillars are:  

  • Policy:Advocating for legislative and regulatory policies that benefit older women
  • Clinical Education:Strengthening the knowledge of health care providers on prevention, diagnostics, and holistic treatments of older women
  • Public Education:Providing aging women and their families with the information they need to be healthy as they age and to remove the undermining stigma and stereotypes of aging
  • Research:Promoting approaches to research that will improve older women’s health and wellness

More than 25 coalition partners, including PCORI, are working to unite diverse sectors, share resources, and create strategies that advance the health and well-being of older American women for decades to come.

About the Authors
Beth Kelsey, EdD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP

Beth Kelsey is a certified WHNP. She teaches the women’s health course for family nurse practitioner students at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Kelsey is the director of publications for NPWH and the editor-in-chief of Women’s Healthcare: A Clinical Journal for NPs, the official journal of NPWH. She is the co-editor of Midwifery & Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Certification Review Guide, 4th ed.

Susan Rawlins, MS, APRN, WHNP-BC

A women’s health nurse practitioner, Rawlins received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Texas Women’s University and her certificate as a women’s health nurse practitioner from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She is currently the director of professional development at the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health; serves on the editorial advisory board of Women’s Healthcare: A Clinical Journal for NPs, the official journal of NPWH; and is the co-director of the 2018 WHNP Certification Exam Review Course & Women’s Health Update. During her career, Rawlins has had the opportunity to combine the roles of educator, researcher, and clinician.

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