Launching Women's Health Collective Canada

2021-01-21 11:25:01 AM

Three of Canada’s Leading Women’s Health Foundations Launch the Women’s Health Collective Canada with National Survey 
WHCC’s mission is to provide equitable care for all women

CANADA, January 19th, 2021 – Three of Canada’s leading women’s health foundations – BC Women’s Health Foundation, Alberta Women’s Health Foundation, and Women’s College Hospital Foundation – have launched the Women’s Health Collective Canada (WHCC) with a national survey that underscores the need for more awareness around women’s health. Survey results show what those in the medical community have known for years: that lack of knowledge and public understanding of women’s health parallels a history of gender inequality in the research process.

“For so long, women’s specific health needs have been largely ignored, under researched, and underfunded. In fact, it takes 17 years for clinical research to filter down to medical practice, but women have only been included in trials for the past 20 years,” says Jennifer Bernard, President and CEO of Women’s College Hospital Foundation and Foundation Partner, WHCC. “Dedicated research and increased funding are both needed for women’s health to catch up, as the majority of our most common prescriptions and therapies today did not include the female experience in their development."

Canadian adults across the country were surveyed using a proportionate sampling method to ensure a representative sample was achieved. Results highlighting Canadians’ misinformation around women’s health include:
  • 89% of Canadians don’t know that women are more likely than men to experience an adverse reaction to prescription medications
  • 83% of Canadians don’t know that over 30% of women suffer from periods severe enough to interfere with daily activities
  • Only 20% of Canadians know that heart disease kills more women than men each year
“Our survey clearly demonstrates the need for increased awareness of women’s health issues,” explains Sharlene Rutherford, President and CEO of Alberta Women’s Health Foundation and Foundation Partner, WHCC. “It also illustrates the legacy of inequality in research that has led to women being misunderstood and misdiagnosed. There is still so much we don’t know about half of our populations’ health.”

In a plan to close this gender health gap, WHCC is united in funding medical research that addresses the unique needs of women, building awareness of how healthy women create a healthier Canada, broadening the scope and reach of world-class women’s health programs, and ultimately creating higher standards of care for every woman across the country.

“Now, more than ever we see the need for this type of national organization. Research studies on previous epidemics and pandemics have shown that women are disproportionately affected, and we know that when women are unhealthy, our economy and communities suffer in tandem,” says Genesa Greening, President and CEO of BC Women’s Health Foundation and Foundation Partner, WHCC. “The creation of the WHCC ensures that women’s health is kept at the forefront of the conversation around COVID-19 and beyond.”

Individuals and corporate sponsors can help make a difference in the lives of all Canadians by donating to the WHCC. Please visit for more information.

Full survey findings are available by request; please e-mail for more information.


Women’s Health Collective Canada (WHCC) is a strategic alliance founded by three of the country’s leading women’s health and hospital foundations to raise awareness and funds for equity in women’s health research through unified advocacy across Canada.

Through intentional collaboration, our foundations are bringing resources and fundraising together to address the wider gaps we can’t tackle on our own.


The BC Women’s Health Foundation is BC’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the full spectrum of women’s health. They ensure women have equitable access to the highest quality healthcare when, where, and how they need it.

As the funding arm for the BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, the organization works closely with hospital leadership and staff to support advances in healthcare for women and newborns in British Columbia. Through the Foundation’s partnership with the Women’s Health Research Institute, they are able to accelerate changes across the landscape of women’s health in BC and beyond.


The Alberta Women’s Health Foundation is a pan-provincial, healthcare charity supporting the advancement of care and research in women’s health.

As a provincial extension to the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation is proud to foster equity in women’s health; close gaps in research, connecting pathways from lab to life; and advance clinical care at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, Alberta’s only dedicated women’s hospital.


Women’s College Hospital is Canada’s leader in advancing health for women and a global leader in conducting ground-breaking women’s health research. As the first and only fully independent hospital focused on women, Women’s is building on its 100+ year history as a trailblazer in identifying and addressing women’s health gaps and delivering pioneering firsts for women, the vulnerable and the underserved.

Women’s is also the only fully ambulatory, academic healthcare institution in Canada, with a provincial mandate to lead the way in improving the health system for all people.  Women’s achieves this by addressing the most pressing health system challenges facing Canadians today and proactively confronting the gender and social inequities that threaten people’s health.
Women’s College Hospital Foundation fuels the hospital’s excellence in research and health care by connecting donors, partners, advocates and volunteers to its mission.  We work to bring healthcare equity to the diverse communities in which we live and serve and, together, we are creating a healthier and more equitable world for women and their loved ones.