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Now Is the Time: Seizing the Opportunity for Positive Action through Funding Science

December 18, 2020

When I joined Women’s Health Research at Yale’s Advisory Council, I committed to an organization intent on changing the landscape of health research, health education, and public policy. It turned out that those objectives and my early understanding of them did not begin to take in the breadth, depth, and significance of WHRY.

More recently, as the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the necessity of timely and focused research, as chronic inequities in research and treatment came to the fore, and as the importance of rebuilding public confidence in science emerged, WHRY’s mission — and its effectiveness — struck me again.

But, this message is about you.

Your support enabled WHRY to move rapidly in enlisting one of the world’s leading immunobiologists to complete the first study identifying how sex differences in the body’s immune response lead to more deadly cases of COVID-19 for men. It was your contributions that made possible the development of a new study on the psychological resilience of COVID-19 health care providers.

And it has been your generosity that has made possible our work with Elevate, WHRY’s partner in community-based health research and policy, which has provided mental health interventions remotely to pregnant and parenting women. All this, even as your involvement funded new research in endometrial cancer, stroke, and opioid addiction.

You continue to give because WHRY establishes the collaborations that start with a single project and grow into essential programs of research focused on the health of women and sex-and-gender differences. You understand the need to train new generations of researchers and health care providers through WHRY’s educational initiatives.

You know that now is a time when you can make a real difference in responding to the health threats that we face and that now is the time to seize the opportunity for positive action. Science matters, and so does your gift.

Thank you. Your support of our work at Women’s Health Research at Yale instills in me a sense of possibility and hope.

With sincere appreciation for your thoughtful generosity,

Barbara M. Riley

Philanthropy Chair

Submitted by Rick Harrison on December 17, 2020