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National Center for Health Research

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Health, Women, Womens Studies

Mission:

The mission of the National Center for Health Research (formerly called the National Research Center for Women & Families) is to improve the health and safety of adults and children, through the strategic use of objective, research-based health information to encourage new, more effective programs and policies. Our largest program, the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund, helps children and adults reduce their risk of getting all types of cancer, and assists them in choosing the safest and most effective treatments.


Our work is unique: we conduct and scrutinize research that can be used to prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases and to help everyone make the best possible treatment decisions. Too many medical and health decisions are influenced by sales pitches you may not even be aware of -- companies are convincing doctors to prescribe their products, and health providers are selling their services. Our Center is different: we don’t accept funding from companies that make medical products, so you can trust our advice to be unbiased. We examine the facts and help empower women and men to get the best possible medical care. We are also nonpartisan and fight for better programs and policies to help Americans stay safe and healthy.


Whether fighting against skyrocketing healthcare costs, misleading ads for medical products, or explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the latest experimental treatment, we fight for better programs and policies, give away health and safety information for free, and help reshape the public debate on important issues that affect all of our lives.


Programs:

We help children and adults reduce their risks of developing cancer or other illnesses, and assist them in choosing the safest and most effective treatments. We carefully analyze research by scientists around the world, and draw conclusions about the best strategies for preventing and treating illnesses and diseases. We work on an individual, state, and national level to improve health.


Here are just a few of the strategies we use to get information out to thousands of people across the United States and around the world:


  1. We offer a free online hotline about cancer treatment and prevention (info@stopcancerfund.org), and another for all other medical and safety questions (info@center4research.org). These hotlines are used by thousands of people in all walks of life to answer your specific questions about what treatments you are considering or ways to prevent yourself or loved ones from getting ill.
  2. We get toxic chemicals banned from homes and communities and off the shelves of your local stores. You shouldn’t have to be a scientist to figure out which products are safe for your family every time you go shopping.
  3. We develop free booklets and have thousands of articles on our websites for patients and their family members so they have the information they need to get the best possible treatment. Rather than just saying, “Ask your doctor,” we give them the information they need to talk to their doctor about their options.
  4. We provide free continuing medical education courses for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. Most continuing medical education courses are developed by pharmaceutical companies, and that can bias the content. Ours are developed without funding from any companies with a financial interest in the content.
  5. We fight for laws that will help improve the health and safety of all Americans, and testify before Congress, state governments, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to make sure that all medical products sold in the United States are safe and effective, and that products in our homes and communities will not harm us or our loved ones.
  6. We also have projects that enable us to focus on patient advocates that are trying to prevent others from the harm they have suffered due to specific medical products. Those products include, for example, antibiotics with terrible side effects, spinal implants that can cause rather than cure paralysis, breast implants that can cause lymphoma or other serious problems, or types of birth control that can harm young healthy women. At the same time, we also help patients advocate for better research and treatment options for serious diseases that have not received sufficient attention, such as autoimmune diseases, several types of cancer, and rare diseases.
  7. Once a year we celebrate the people who have inspired us and made our lives better! The Foremothers and Health Policy Heroes Program is an awards luncheon that honors famous women and unsung heroes over the age of 70 for their lifetime achievements on behalf of women and families. Our Health Policy Heroes are men or women who have made a major contribution to public health. Past honorees include LeAnne Walters and Marc Edwards for exposing toxic lead levels in the water in Flint, Michigan; investigative journalists that exposed doctors who harmed Medicare patients; and two doctors who exposed the deadly dangers of commonly used medical devices called power morcellators.

Tell us what you think! If you’ve had a personal experience with one of these or our many other programs, please take a few minutes and write us a review!

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Diana Zuckerman and the National Research Center for Women & Families is an incredible resource for evidence-based medical facts on a variety of topics from healthy living to hormone replacement therapy, from work and family issues and survival guides to smoking, drinking, violence and other risky behaviors.

In addition, The Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund is the new name for all the work the National Research Center for Women & Families does to help adults and children reduce their risk of getting cancer and to make sure that everyone gets the best possible treatment.

The NRC does a fabulous public service as far as vetting information and providing evidence through which one can make an intelligent decision when it comes to health and family decisions. Their information is reliable and totally unbiased.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

My involvement with the National Resource Center began when I researched organizations that benefited working mothers and a variety of health care topics for newsletters I was writing. The NRC name kept appearing. Investigating the NRC further, I was especially impressed by its interest and involvement in work/family balance issues and on providing assistance to women in their multi-faceted lives, which often prove extremely stressful due to needing to balance multiple responsibilities. The amount of support and tools the NRC offers is incredible! Having been a single working mom myself, I was very impressed and found the information NRC provides personally very useful.

Irene L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The National Research Center for Women & Families is an invaluable resource for unbiased, science-based information to help women make better health decisions for themselves and their families.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been very impressed with the way the center uses scientific findings to inform policy and advocacy. Women depend on the Center's website for credible information about health issues affecting them and their children. The CEO has a voice that is heard in government agencies, the media, on the Hill!

Their dialogues and presentations are inspiring others to do good and do more.

Kathy N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 1968, at the age of 22, I received silicone implants after a bilateral mastectomy. For years I tried to tell doctors that I was ill from the implants, it seemed that no one would listen, nor really cared to listen.

Then National Research Center for Women worked hard to let us women have a voice and tell our stories before the FDA. Their efforts gave implanted women the opportunity to present our stories to the FDA.

And, The National Research Center for Women did this more than once.. and are still letting trying

Not only for the implanted to be heard, but so the young women who are considering getting implants will know the truth about implants, silicone and saline.

There is much information on NRC website on many subject of interest to women and is unbiased information.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've spent over twenty years of my life suffering. I had silicone/saline breast implants. I know of thousands of others that are searching for unbiased /truthful information & feeling that we are not being heard or helped by the people who are suposed to be protecting the public. I first came across NRC when I was searching for information about my second set of implants that were ruptured. There was no trauma that caused the implants to rupture. I just awoke & it was deflated. I found NRC site very helpful! I really like the fact that the site shows you what studies have been done, what the research shows, who did the studies & most of all that the TRUTH is being told. Such a valuable site!
I phoned NRC a few different times. After explaining my situation Dr. Diana Zuckerman got on the phone. She was very helpful & so informative each time. She helped make a dying womens wish come true. Someone very dear to me passed on & had silicone breast implants from the 1970'S. She & her husband wanted to leave their bodies to science. There are certain restrictions having a body donated. I knew the implants had to be of interest. I was going in circles at the time & reached out to NRC. Thanks to the information & help I recieved I was able to get her donated to UCSF. Her husband passed a few weeks later. He too was donated. Our family will be forever grateful for NRC. I guess the implants were good for something. I'm really grateful for NRC & all they do to help women & their families!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a donor and volunteer for the National Research Center for Women & Families ("NRC") since its inception. NRC fills an important gap between scientific research and the public's understanding of that research and how it affects their personal lives. NRC's newsletter and other publications are concise yet informative, easy to read, and really interesting. I also think it's really important to have an impartial voice in public policy and a watchdog over the FDA as it considers issues such as breast implants, cosmetics, food coloring, etc. NRC's president has many years of experience investigating Federal agencies as a Congressional staffer, so she is very knowledgeable about their inner workings; and now as president of NRC, she frequently testifies at agency and Congressional hearings. Competing lobbyists have a strong influence on public policy and it's often difficult to know whether to believe what they say. The NRC does not accept advertising, so its views on various issues of public policy are an important counterbalance to the powerful lobbying organizations.


Donor

Rating: 5

I first used National Research Center for Women and Children when I was having a great problem with ruptured silicone implants (one capsule had even collapsed). The NRC has a website with information that other sites did not have, and I was frantic, because of all the health [problems I was experiencing.. The site gave me a very good explanation of what had happened..

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was told by a friend that the National Research Center for Women & Families might be able to help me with a needs assessment I was doing for my nonprofit organization. The goal of my needs assessment was to find out what the unmet needs were of adult survivors of child abuse and neglect. They provided free technical assistance for my national survey. Their expertise and willingness to provide helpful insights and suggestions will be invaluable as I prepare a more local version of my needs assessment.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to volunteer with the National Research Center for Women & Families this past Fall, which was a wonderful, and certainly eye-opening, experience. I am currently in the process of applying to medical school, and I found my internship to give me a valuable perspective on health and patient safety. Throughout my time at NRC, I saw how the small team there works passionately and tirelessly in their efforts to advocate on behalf of patient safety, be it through testifying, writing op-eds, publishing research, etc. I had the opportunity to write health articles for the website, which revealed to me the strong emphasis NRC places on providing the public with research-based and objective information. The organization works with pivotal issues that often fall under the radar of many organizations. I was fortunate to help prepare for a conference on ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS), which revealed to me the thorough process through which NRC develops patient informational guides (taking into account a vast array of considerations, including cultural and socioeconomic factors). As both a patient, and someone who aspires to be a physician, I was certainly inspired by my experience at NRC, and I look forward to seeing the work they do in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of serving as a policy & research volunteer in the summer of 2010. While at the NRC, I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful staff and many outside coalitions who were very much dedicated to bettering the health of women and families. They did this by (1) conducting research to provide accessible, easy-to-understand, accurate information on a variety of health issues, (2) advocating for fair, unbiased health-related policies to serve the best interests of women, and (3) collaborating with other organizations and agencies to ensure the health and safety of women, children, and families in policies and practices.
It is a great organization with a great mission and great, dedicated staff!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

In the summer of 2009, I was fortunate enough to be accepted as an intern at the National Research Center for Women and Families. At NRC I had the opportunity to conduct research on women's health policy, health research, and health communications. It was such an exciting opportunity to be surrounded by a team of professionals dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of women's health policy. Seeing first-hand what it really meant to prepare sign-on letters, observe testimony, and assist in the preparation of grant proposals is an experience I will take with me throughout my career.

Sheyndl

Donor

Rating: 5

I first used the health information provided by the National Research Center for Women & Families (NRC) in 2005 when I started having trouble with a breast implant, which had been implanted in 1990 immediately after my mastectomy. My oncologist, plastic surgeon, and surgeon told me the implant was fine (when in fact it had ruptured) but I could see that the size of the implant had diminished.

The NRC website was a great source of information for me. I also called and e-mailed the organization with specific questions, which were always answered to my complete satisfaction. I have also used NRC's information in researching articles I wrote about the leaking and rupture of breast cancer implants

Lexi S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization offers a valuable service to Americans. They provide real, evidence-based information about health risks to Americans every day. Finding reliable and accurate information about current health risks can be difficult. The NRC offers a one-stop shop for a large variety of reliable health information on a huge list of topics!

Donor

Rating: 5

I saw NRC’s book “Survival Guide for Working Moms (and Other Stressed Out Adults”) and found it very helpful as the father of 2 daughters. It was reassuring to see that my thoughts on parenting paralled experts in the field.

Their web is very helpful, and they are also great on federal policy issues, such as reducing exposures to dangerous chemicals in our homes. That’s why I became a donor.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a forner board member. I continue to be impressed by the great work that the National Research Center for Women and Families does to advance health, safety and wellbeing for us all. NRC is also an effective policy voice because their research is unbiased and not paid for through corporations/industries with an agenda. NRC has a presence in the media, provides a health hotline and gives information to a wide group of stakeholders so that best deciscions can be made.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This center does an amazing job on behalf of women as consumers of health care and exists on a shoestring. They could be better funded if they were willing to accept money from drug and device manufacturers, but they are not.

When I was in Congress as a Robert Wood Johnson fellow in 2006, I observed the leadership of this great non-profit in action. They visited members of Congress with suggestions to strengthen the FDA reauthorization legislation in ways that enhance consumer protections. I observed many of their suggestions working their way into the legislation.

No matter what your line of work is, no matter what your party affiliation is, at some point in time you will be a consumer of drugs and medical devices. The National Research Center for Women and Families is looking out for your best interests. You may never see them in action, but their work will touch your life.