WHY is made possible through University of Kentucky's Center for Clinical & Translational Science

Since 2006, we have enrolled over 17,000 women in the WHY study. By providing members with educational opportunities to volunteer for medical research, we are helping bridge the gender gap within science research.


Our story

In 2006 we created a statewide registry to investigate issues in women’s health. The study was initiated by the University of Kentucky’s Center for the Advancement of Women’s Health to improve the understanding of diseases or illnesses affecting women in Kentucky. With the success of the Kentucky Women’s Health Registry (KWHR), we decided to expand the registry nationwide.

A decade after our initial launch, we renamed KWHR to be more inclusive of women across the United States, hence Women's Health & You (WHY). We created WHY to help meet the growing needs of both the science community and those who identify as women. 

In keeping with our original goal of understanding women's health and representing women in science, WHY conducts a yearly survey of self-reported symptoms, health behaviors, prevention practices, and access to care. Following this baseline survey, we offer members additional surveys depending on their answers to the initial survey. We then partner with scientists and investigators to help ensure our member's (confidential and secure) data can be used to understand all aspects of women's health.

It’s not just about physical health, but how life experiences influence our well-being across our life-span. Our health changes over time and by domains including physical, emotional, social, sexual and intellectual health. WHY is unique in measuring changes in health over time and across this range of health domains.
— Heather Bush, PhD, University of Kentucky, College of Public Health

primary objectives

  • Provide women with accurate information and educational opportunities about volunteering for medical research
  • Identify women who are interested in being contacted for participation in health research
  • Facilitate comfortable, convenient initial contact between the investigator and interested research participants
  • Understand the relationships between different exposures and health problems