- Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana State Department of Health

Office of Women's Health Office of Women's Health

Welcome to the Indiana State Department of Health’s Office of Women’s Health webpage.  The Office of Women’s Health (OWH) is so pleased that you have chosen to learn about how our state is working to help improve the health of women.  We believe that every woman should have access to free, up-to-date and reliable resources to find out information about her health.  The Office of Women’s Health wants to ensure that each woman and girl in Indiana is aware of her own health status, risks and goals, and can achieve optimal health through access, education and advocacy.  Our website is inclusive of all OWH’s programs, and has a page of resources to help guide you in improving your health.  If you have any questions or need information that is not included on our website, please feel free to call 317-233-9156 or email  Thank you so much for visiting our site, and we wish you good health!

Warmest regards,
Laura Chavez, MPH, CLC
Director, Office of Women’s Health

Updates and Current News

  • Click here to check out the OWH's printable educational materials, free to you!
  • Moms and families can click here to learn basic facts, get resources and find out how the Indiana State Department of Health is supporting breastfeeding and nursing moms.  Resources are also availble for community professionals ready and willing to help make breastfeeding the norm in Indiana.
  • Check out OWH's newly updated Resources page to find local and national resources for common women's health topics!

News to Use

There are many people and organizations in our state working toward improving the health of Hoosier women and families.  Join them for the events listed below!

2/10 - Lupus Foundation of Indiana:  Living with Lupus seminar (Greenfield, IN)

2/19 - HANDS in Autism: HANDS on: Crafting your Curriculum

2/25 - HANDS in Autism: Next Stop Workshops for Families, Providers and Individuals with ASD (multiple dates and locations)

Spotlight on Women's Health


January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. The Cancer Section at the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) reminds Indiana residents that cancer prevention is crucial – especially for cervical cancer.

During 2013, 254 new cases of cervical cancer and 82 cervical cancer-related deaths occurred among Indiana women. Luckily, cervical cancer is almost completely preventable. Hoosiers can reduce their cervical cancer risk by getting routine screenings, getting recommended vaccines that can help prevent cancer and avoiding controllable risk factors.

Exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the single, greatest risk factor for cervical cancer. Two high-risk HPV strains (HPV 16 and HPV 18) account for more than 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases, according to the National Cancer Institute. Two vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, have been shown to protect against most cervical cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccination for females and males ages 11 through 26.

In addition, there are two screening tests than can help prevent cervical cancer or find it at an early stage, when treatment is most successful. The Pap test looks for cell changes on the cervix that might become cancerous if they aren’t treated appropriately. The HPV test looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for cervical cancer in women ages 21 to 65 years with a Pap test every three years; or, women 30 and older can lengthen the time between pap tests to five years if they have an HPV test at the same time as their Pap test. Some women – because of their history – may need to have a different screening schedule for cervical cancer. It is important to talk to your doctor to see what is right for you in regard to screening.

To learn more about cervical cancer, including information on signs and symptoms, benefits of early detection and behaviors that can help decrease risk, please refer to the Indiana Cancer Facts and Figures 2015 report, a comprehensive report on the burden of cancer in Indiana, by visiting  The Indiana Cancer Consortium also provides a helpful Cervical Cancer Toolkit.

For additional resources, support and education, visit the Cervical Cancer-Free Coalition, Indiana; the ISDH Indiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) or the National Cervical Cancer Coalition

Movers and Shakers in Women's Health

Nancy Hines, CRS, GRI has been awarded the 2015 Good Neighbor Award from the National Association of Realtors.  Nancy's tireless work as the co-founder of Ovar'Coming Together, a volunteer organization powered primarily by ovarian cancer survivors, has led to increased awareness about ovarian cancer and its symptoms.  Her organization also provides peer support to Hoosier women and their caregivers and helps fund research into early detection and finding a cure.  Read more about Nancy's amazing journey as a four-time cancer survivor and how her resilience has led to a strong support network for ovarian cancer survivors in Indiana. Nancy's dedication to awareness and advocacy led to her selection for this award, and to a generous grant for the Ovar'Coming Together organization from the National Association of Realtors.  Congratulations, Nancy!

The Office of Women’s Health recognizes that advancements in women’s health do not happen on their own.  There are many amazing women and men behind the scenes working to improve the health of our Indiana communities through tireless efforts and advocacy for women’s health.  If you know an individual or group whose creativity, innovative work or diligent efforts have made a real difference in your community, and would like this individual or group highlighted in the “Movers and Shakers” section of the OWH webpage, please email Laura Chavez, Director of the Office of Women’s Health, at

Keep up with OWH!

  • Visit the Office of Women’s Health webpage for regular updates on women’s health-related issues and community services and programs that help promote women’s health and wellness across the state.
  • Follow OWH on Twitter @inwomenshealth for daily updates on women’s health facts and resources.
  • Subscribe below to receive the OWH Wellness Watch newsletter, a monthly e-newsletter with information on many women's health issues and upcoming health-related events in Indiana.  Click here to view past newsletters.

Email Updates

Please enter your e-mail address to sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences.