In 1994, the Women’s Health Committee at the Indiana Department of Health was founded. This committee was comprised of women throughout Indiana representing a variety of women’s health concerns. In 1994, the Women's Health Committee conducted town meetings and produced two reports: a summary of the town meetings and a fact book on Indiana’s women’s health.
On Mother’s Day, 1998, Governor Frank O’Bannon announced the establishment of the Office of Women’s Health at the Indiana Department of Health. An Advisory Board of 38 members was formed, bringing diverse representation of women’s health issues throughout the state to the office. The members bring expertise in the following areas: legislative, medical issues, rape and violence prevention, women in prison, cardiology, osteoporosis, oncology, radiology, perinatal care, minority health and mental health.
During the 1999 legislative session, several legislators introduced and passed House Bill 1356, providing the office permanence through statutory language.
- Mission and Vision
The Office of Women's Health provides statewide leadership and coordination to ensure that the health of women in Indiana is acknowledged, valued and supported. The Office champions inter-professional and inter-departmental collaboration, data collection and sharing, community engagement and mobilization and programmatic inclusion of women's health issues as means by which to focus prevention efforts on the specific needs of women in Indiana.
Each woman in Indiana will be aware of her own health status, risks and goals, and will achieve optimal health through access, education and advocacy.
- To identify, coordinate, and set statewide priorities for women's health programs, services, and resources;
- To educate and advocate for women's health, providing statewide leadership for better access to and financing for health services, preventive screening, treatment services, and health education efforts;
- To seek funding and partnerships from private or governmental entities for programs and initiatives;
- To promote programs that are especially sensitive to the needs of underserved and disadvantaged women, and those with special needs;
- To serve as a clearinghouse for information, current research and data and to assist policy-makers;
- To provide leadership and mentoring opportunities for young women.
The Office of Women's Health works cooperatively with all of the divisions in the Indiana Department of Health, encouraging a gender focus on health issues that impact all Hoosier women.
- House Bill 1356
HOUSE BILL No. 1356
DIGEST OF HB 1356 (Updated March 23, 1999 2:16 pm - DI 88)
Citations Affected: IC 16-18; IC 16-19.
Synopsis: Office of women's health. Establishes the office of women's health within the state department of health. Describes the purposes of the office. Requires the state health commissioner to appoint a director of the office and any other necessary employees to staff the office. Requires the state health commissioner to appoint an advisory committee on women's health to advise the director of the office regarding duties relating to the office. Prohibits the director or employees of the office from advocating, promoting, referring to, or otherwise advancing abortion or the use of abortifacients.
Effective: July 1, 1999.
Crosby, Becker, Kruzan, Welch, Summers, Dickinson, Budak, Duncan, Goeglein, Klinker, Lawson L, Leuck, Richardson, Pond, Scholer, Whetstone, Brown C, Cheney, Mellinger
SENATE SPONSORS _ SIMPSON, GARD, BREAUX, MILLER, LAWSON C)
January 12, 1999, read first time and referred to Committee on Ways and Means.
February 10, 1999, amended, reported _ Do Pass.
February 18, 1999, read second time, amended, ordered engrossed.
February 19, 1999, engrossed.
February 22, 1999, read third time, passed. Yeas 92, nays 5.
February 25, 1999, read first time and referred to Committee on Health and Provider Services.
March 18, 1999, amended, reported favorably _ Do Pass.
March 23, 1999, read second time, amended, ordered engrossed.
First Regular Session 111th General Assembly (1999)
PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in
this style type.
Additions: Whenever a new statutory provision is being enacted (or a new constitutional provision adopted), the text of the new provision will appear in this style type. Also, the word NEW will appear in that style type in the introductory clause of each SECTION that adds a new provision to the Indiana Code or the Indiana Constitution.
Conflict reconciliation: Text in a statute in this style type or
this style typereconciles conflicts between statutes enacted by the 1998 General Assembly.
HOUSE BILL No. 1356
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning health.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:
SECTION 1. IC 16-18-2-96 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1999]: Sec. 96. (a) "Director", for purposes of IC 16-19-13, refers to the director of the office of women's health established by IC 16-19-13.
(b) "Director", for purposes of IC 16-28, IC 16-29, and IC 16-30, means the individual acting under the authority of and assigned the responsibility by the state health commissioner to implement IC 16-28, IC 16-29, and IC 16-30.
(b)(c) "Director", for purposes of IC 16-31, refers to the director of the state emergency management agency established under IC 10-8-2-1.
(c)(d) "Director", for purposes of IC 16-35-2, refers to the director of the program for children with special health care needs.
SECTION 2. IC 16-18-2-254.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1999]: Sec. 254.5. "Office", for purposes of IC 16-19-13, refers to the office of women's health established by IC 16-19-13.
SECTION 3. IC 16-19-13 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1999]:
Chapter 13. Office of Women's Health
Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, "office" refers to the office of women's health established by this chapter.
Sec. 2. The office of women's health is established within the state department.
Sec. 3. The office is established for the following purposes:
(1) To educate and advocate for women's health by requesting that the state department, either on its own or in partnership with other entities, establish appropriate forums, programs, or initiatives designed to educate the public regarding women's health, with an emphasis on preventive health and healthy lifestyles.
(2) To assist the state health commissioner in identifying, coordinating, and establishing priorities for programs, services, and resources the state should provide for women's health issues and concerns relating to the reproductive, menopausal, and postmenopausal phases of a woman's life, with an emphasis on postmenopausal health.
(3) To serve as a clearinghouse and resource for information regarding women's health data, strategies, services, and programs that address women's health issues, including the following:
(A) Diseases that significantly impact women, including heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.
(C) Mental health.
(D) Substance abuse.
(E) Sexually transmitted diseases.
(F) Sexual assault and domestic violence.
(4) To collect, classify, and analyze relevant research information and data conducted or compiled by:
(A) the state department; or
(B) other entities in collaboration with the state department;
and to provide interested persons with information regarding the research results, except as prohibited by law.
(5) To develop and recommend funding and program activities for educating the public on women's health
initiatives, including the following:
(A) Health needs throughout the woman's life.
(B) Diseases that significantly affect women, including heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.
(C) Access to health care for women.
(D) Poverty and women's health.
(E) The leading causes of morbidity and mortality for women.
(F) Special health concerns of minority women.
(6) To make recommendations to the state heath commissioner regarding programs that address women's health issues for inclusion in the state department's biennial budget and strategic planning.
(7) To seek funding from private or governmental entities to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(8) To prepare materials for publication and dissemination to the public on women's health.
(9) To conduct public educational forums in Indiana to raise public awareness and to educate citizens about women's health programs, issues, and services.
(10) To coordinate the activities and programs of the office with other entities that focus on women's health or women's issues, including the Indiana commission for women (IC 4-23-25-3).
(11) Represent the state health commissioner, upon request, before the general assembly and the Indiana commission for women established by IC 4-23-25-3.
(12) Provide an annual report to the governor, the legislative council, and the Indiana commission for women regarding the successes of the programs of the office, priorities and services needed for women's health in Indiana, and areas for improvement.
(13) This section does not allow the director or any employees of the office to advocate, promote, refer to, or otherwise advance abortion or abortifacients.
Sec. 4. (a) The state health commissioner shall appoint persons to staff the office, including:
(1) the director of the office; and
(2) any other employees that the state health commissioner determines are necessary.
(b) The employees appointed under subsection (a)(2) shall report to the director. The director shall report to the state health
(c) The director shall supervise the employees assigned to the office.
(d) The director shall oversee the administrative functions of the office.
Sec. 5. (a) The state health commissioner shall appoint an advisory committee on women's health to assist in advising the director regarding the duties required under this chapter.
The advisory committee is comprised of persons with an expertise in and a knowledge of women's health issues in Indiana.
(c) The state health commissioner shall:
(1) determine the number of persons to serve on the advisory committee;
(2) appoint a chairperson or co-chairpersons for the advisory committee; and
(3) establish the policies and procedures under which the advisory committee operates.
Women's Health Resources
The Office of Women's Health has compiled a list of local and national resources that address common health topics that many women face. The list is not all-inclusive but is updated regularly to include new resources and information.
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Arthritis Foundation
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion – Arthritis
- Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center – Arthritis education
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
- National Institutes of Health - Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network - Resources, education and advocacy
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
- Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) – Multiple Sclerosis resources and information
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- American Academy of Dermatology – Psoriasis information
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases – Psoriasis information
- National Psoriasis Foundation
- Blind and Visually Impaired
Blind and Visually Impaired
- Bosma Industries for the Blind
- Easter Seals Crossroads Rehabilitation Center
- Evansville Association for the Blind
- Indiana Family and Social Services Administration – Blind and Visually Impaired Resources
- Indiana Optometric Association
- Indiana School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
- League for the Blind & Disabled, Inc.
- American Action Fund (AAF) for Blind Children and Adults
- American Council of the Blind
- American Foundation for the Blind
- American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. (APH)
- Association for Education and Rehabilitation (AER) of the Blind and Visually Impaired
- Library of Congress National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
- Lighthouse Guild International
- National Braille Association
- National Federation of the Blind
- U.S. Department of Education: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)
- Breastfeeding USA
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Breastfeeding
- International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE)
- International Lactation Consultant Association
- La Leche League International
- United States Breastfeeding Committee
- Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health - Breastfeeding
- All Cancers
- Colon and Rectal
- Leukemia and Lymphoma
- CICOA – Central Indiana (Area 8)
- Indiana Association of Areas on Aging
- Indiana Department of Child Services – Kinship/Relative Caregivers
- Disabilities and Special Needs
Disabilities and Special Needs
- About Special Kids (ASK)
- The Arc, Indiana
- Area Agencies on Aging - Indiana
- Indiana Institute on Disability and Community – Indiana University, Bloomington
- Easter Seals Crossroads
- Family and Social Services Administration – Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS)
- INSource – Special Education Parent Support
- IDOH Children’s Special Health Care Services
- Domestic Violence
*If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.
*Call 1-800-332-7385 (TTY – 1-800-787-3224) for a 24-hour statewide Domestic Violence Hotline.
- American Bar Association – Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence
- Institute on Domestic Violence in the African America Community
- Futures Without Violence
- National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health
- National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233 / TTY 1-800-787-3224
- National Latin@ Network – Casa de Esperanza
- National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)
- National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women
- National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
- Healthcare Options
- Hearing Loss
- American Academy of Audiology
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- Center for Hearing and Communication
- Coalition for Global Hearing Health
- Hearing Loss Association of America
- International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH)
- National Association of the Deaf
- National Black Deaf Advocates
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
- Heart Disease / Stroke
Heart Disease / Stroke
- Human Trafficking
- Infant Mortality
- Mental Health
*If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.
*If you or a loved one are in crisis and need to speak with someone immediately, call 1-800-273-TALK or 317-251-7575 for free, confidential and 24-hour assistance.
- Oral / Dental Health
Oral / Dental Health
- Physical Activity
- Baby and Me Tobacco Free
- FSSA Indiana Medicaid - pregnancy
- Healthy Families
- Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0
- Indianapolis Healthy Start
- IDOH Maternal Child Health (MCH) Division
- Moms Helpline - 1-844-MCH-MOMS (624-6667)
- Nurse Family Partnership
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
- Preventative Health
- Sexual Violence Prevention and Resources
Sexual Violence Prevention and Resources
*If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.
*If you or a loved one needs to speak with someone about sexual assault or abuse, call the free and confidential National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
- For information about Indiana’s efforts to prevent sexual assault, click here.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's)
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's)
- Tobacco Cessation
- Urinary Incontinence
- Veterans' Health
- Women's Health
- Connect2help – Call 2-1-1 for -resources available 24-hours day for Central Indiana residents
- Indiana Department of Health Division of Maternal and Child Health
- Indiana Department of Health Office of Women’s Health
- Indiana University National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health
- Indiana Maternal Child Helpline
The Office of Women's Health (OWH) is dedicated to providing accurate and helpful resources for women, families and community professionals. Because our mission is to empower women to take control of their own health, we want to ensure that the resources we produce are readily available and free. Please provide any feedback or questions to the OWH by emailing OWH@health.in.gov.