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Indiana State Department of Health

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

Welcome to 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, CHPE
Director, Office of Women’s Health

News to Use

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body.  Each year, there are more than 16,000 new cases of lupus diagnosed, but the number of individuals impacted by this condition is likely much higher.  Lupus can be very difficult to identify, and many women suffer for years before finding a diagnosis and proper treatment.  Lupus primarily affects women of childbearing age (15 – 44) and impacts women of color at rates 2 – 3 times that of Caucasian women.  While not as common, lupus can also occur in men, children and teenagers. 

Symptoms of lupus are broad and can include extreme tiredness, headaches, painful or swollen joints, anemia, a butterfly-shaped rash across the face, hair loss and even abnormal blood clotting or chest pain.  If you have symptoms of lupus, it is important that you gather information about your health, your medical records and similar experiences of family members to share with your doctor.  The Lupus Foundation, Indiana Chapter, has many resources to help you learn about the symptoms and treatments for lupus.  They also provide support groups and many outreach events through the year.  If you have questions or want to learn more information, visit the Lupus Foundation, Indiana Chapter webpage at

The Office of Women's Health, Office of Minority Health and Lupus Foundation, Indiana Chapter created a helpful tool to educate and help those who feel they may have lupus navigate the journey.  Check it out below!

Spotlight on Women's Health

Diabetes, the most common disorder of the endrocrine (hormone) system, occurs when blood sugar levels in the body consistently stay above normal.  Diabetes can lead to very serious complications for women and can lead to disability or premature death.  There are many risk factors for diabetes, including, but not limited to:

  • A parent or sibling with diabetes;
  • Physical inactivity;
  • Being overweight or obese;
  • Women who have a history of Gestational Diabetes or had a baby weighing more than nine pounds;
  • Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome;
  • History of low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides or high blood pressure;
  • Carrying excessive weight around the abdominal area;
  • Smoking; and
  • Certain medications.

There are many ways to prevent or take steps to manage your diabetes.  The Indiana State Department of Health has many resources to help you determine your risk and help you find ways to get healthier.  Some steps to take include:

  • See your doctor.  Your doctor is your best partner in determining your risk for developing diabetes, or helping you manage your symptoms.  If you do not have health insurance, visit the HIP 2.0 website to learn about affordable options available to help.
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  This might mean taking steps to eat healthier foods and exercise more.  For great tips and support to live a healthier life, visit the INShape Indiana webpage.
  • Quit smoking.  Smoking is the single most preventable cause of disease and disability for women and men worldwide.  Quitting tobacco is an important step to reduce your risk for diabetes and many other conditions.  Call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for help 24/7.
  • Take a class.  If you are looking to change your lifestyle and are living with chronic disease, consider the "Living a Healthy Life" program.  This is a community-based education course to help you take charge of your health and lead a more productive and satisfying life.
  • Determine your risk.  Take the Diabetes Risk Test below, provided by the American Diabetes Association.  You can use the results to talk to your doctor about your individual health needs and options. 

Visit to find a Diabetes Prevention Program near you.

Movers and Shakers: Hoosiers Making an Impact on Women's Health

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 whose creativity, innovative work or diligent efforts have made a real difference in your community, and would like this individual considered to be 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.

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