HRSA Programs Related to Women's Health
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. HRSA's goal to “Build Healthy Communities,” includes a focus on health promotion and disease prevention through community-led strategies, including community health workers, peer-to-peer engagement, and public-private collaborations.
- HRSA’s Office of Women’s Health (OWH) is the agency lead for women's health policy and programming. OWH leads collaborations to strengthen HRSA programs focusing on reducing sex and gender-based disparities and supporting comprehensive, culturally competent, and quality health care. Priorities include violence prevention activities coordination; mobile health utilized as a health education strategy for underserved women; and the HRSA-supported Women's Preventive Health Service Guidelines under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) supports access to comprehensive women's health care to improve their health across the life course through the Title V MCH Block Grant, Home Visitation, and Healthy Start Programs. MCHB is focused on the integration of strategies to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality, and supporting the provisions under the ACA to promote primary preventive health services for women.
- The HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) provides resources and services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS through the Ryan White Program; Part D, in particular, which addresses the needs of women, infants, children and youth, and their families. HAB funds two Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) which include Enhancing Access to and Retention in Quality HIV/AIDS Care for Women of Color and Enhancing Engagement and Retention in Quality HIV Care for Transgender Women of Color.
- The Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) funds the Health Center Program, which provides comprehensive primary health care to low income, uninsured, and other vulnerable populations. In 2011, Community Health Centers served more than 9 million women aged 15 and older, representing 62.1 percent of all patients aged 15 and older. In 2012, BPHC provided supplemental funding to 810 community health centers to improve care quality and ensure more women are screened for cervical cancer.
- The Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service (BCRS) administers the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) program, which consists of a cadre of nearly 10,000 clinicians who are frontline health care workers. Seventy-four percent of current NHSC members are female. NHSC supports female providers by offering various resources and webinars related to women's health and up to 35 days of maternity leave without incurring any extension of their service.
- The Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr) provides policy leadership and health professions training grants to produce a workforce that can provide high-quality, culturally appropriate care, particularly in medically underserved areas. Initiatives include boosting the primary care workforce, promoting interprofessional teams, and integrating population health into training programs. BHPr supports women's health continuing education programs to address early detection and prevention across the life span, on topics such as prenatal health, breastfeeding, and breast and cervical cancer.
- HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) seeks to support and address the needs of rural populations. One such community-level resource is the Rural Health Care Services Outreach program. ORHP also funds Rural Research Centers, several of which focus on the social determinants of health in rural communities. An example of a current research project addressing women’s health-related issues is the “Quality of Women’s Care in Rural Health Clinics: A National Analysis.”