The Italian Woman Health Studies Institute (Istituto Salute Donna) was organized in the march of 2009 as an extension of the Health Woman Association, HWA,(Associazione Salute Donna) (Bylaws Art 2A- l).
The HWA is a scientific non profit association finalised to improve information, education, clinical research, networking, prevention and promotion, practical experience in the field of gender medicine and Women's Health.
The HWA is part of The International Society for Gender Medicine (IGM)
The Italian Woman Health Studies Institute firstly hosted and successively included the working group on" "Tailored Health for Women"(THW) formally constituted in September 1999 at the Italian Ministry of Equal Opportunities with the purpose to develop a research programme specific for the health of women. The original working group – coordinated by the psychologist Elvira Reale– was composed of ten women from different medical, health and social professions with clinical and research experience in women's health.
This working group is today the board of the Institute THW:
- Giuseppina Boidi, Psychiatrist, past-Director of DPT of Mental Health, Genova
- Adriana Ceci, Professor of Paediatric and expert on Clinical Pharmacology University of Bari, Member of PDCO- EMA (European Medicines Agency- Paediatric Committee)
- Laura Corradi, Ph. D. in Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz; presently researcher and professor in Gender Studies, Health and Environment at University of Calabria.
- Margherita De Marchi, general practitioner, working on "violence against women"
- Irene Figà Talamanca, Professor of Occupational Health at University of Roma " La Sapienza", She is an epidemiologist with research experience in the epidemiology of reproduction
- Paola Martucci, pulmonologist, at Hospital "Cardarelli", Naples
- Maria Grazia Modena, Cardiologist, Professor at Univeristy of Modena, Representative of IGM Board
- Nadia Pallotta, MD PhD, Researcher at University of Rome "Sapienza", Rome, Italy. Gastroenterologist, Fields of interest: Neurogastroenterology, IBD, Violence and Health
- Elvira Reale, Psycologist, Director of the Service of Women Mental Health in Naples, and Director of Italian Women Health Association
- Patrizia Romito, Professor of Psychology at the University of Trieste, main field of interest "Violence Against Women".
- Silvia Savastano, endocrinologist, researcher at the University of Naples (Federico II)
- Silvana Salerno, expert of occupational Health, researcher at ENEA Casaccia, Division of Biomedicine, Rome, Italy
Main aims of the research-group are to create a common method for observing and analyzing of the most frequent diseases affecting women; to identify biases against women in biomedical research; and to propose guidelines for interventions in favor of a health care system tailored for women and sensitive to women's needs.
The group has introduced officially in Italy the issue of gender medicine publishing, with the Italian Ministry of Equal Opportunity, the first two national reports on women' health and gender medicine: : " Tailored Health for Women" (Una salute a misura di donna) October 2001, and "A handbook of women's health " (Guida alla salute delle donne), September 2003. The working group highlighted a number of relevant problems and prejudices that limit research and clinical work on women's health. The most relevant themes are: the "new "risk factors, as environment, violence,paid and unpaid work; and the pathologies as Cardiovascular Diseases, mental illness (depression and schizophrenia), Tumours of the Uterus and Breast Cancer, Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, Osteoporosis, Thyroid Disorders, Pathologies stressed related, HIV, healt impact of violence, etc.