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Over 30 years of


Yes. We Know Something About Women's Health

Co-Executive Directors

Janine Payne, MPH

Janine image jpeg.jpg

Cheryl Thompson, MSPH


Janine E. Payne, MPH


Janine is the co-founder and co-executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of Women’s Health, located in Prince William County, VA, part of the Washington DC metropolitan area. She leads the Institute’s efforts in promoting and cultivating strategic partnerships to advance women’s health and design public health campaigns that educate women on significant research findings to help power their decision-making about health. She says, “IAWH is changing the face of women’s health.”


I am incredibly fortunate to have led a women’s health project that empowered over 80 young women at eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to become change agents in promoting comprehensive cervical health education. This program was the seed for wanting to invest time in supporting women’s health research and education programs during this season of my life. "IAWH provides education, personal awareness, the "why" change is needed, and training on how to make the change, which allows them to honor themselves, other women in their lives, and those who came before them."


I am a member of the International Menopause Society, the American Public Health Association, and the Virginia Public Health Association. I received my Master of Public Health from Walden University and my Bachelor of Business Administration from Strayer University. I love to travel and have lived abroad in England and traveled to other parts of Europe and Africa. Vegetable and flower gardening and singing are hobbies that I enjoy, as spending time with my adult son and daughter is always a gift of my day. I’m in harmony when walking outdoors in fall and spring when the weather is exceptionally refreshing. 

Cheryl J. Thompson, M.S.P.H.

Cheryl J. Thompson is currently a Senior Public Health Analyst at the U.S. HHS Health Resource Services Administration. Prior to her current position she served as a Public Health Advisor in the U.S. HHS Office on Women’s Health working on health topics as varied as Opioid misuse and addiction, overweight and obesity, intimate partner violence, trauma-informed care, heart health, HIV/AIDS, and female genital cutting. 

Cheryl worked for nearly 10 years for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes research. In an earlier iteration of her life, Cheryl served as Communications Director and Press Secretary to a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Her public health interests and experience extends as far as sub Saharan Africa, where in the early 2000’s she studied the early impact of HIV/AIDS on the nuclear family and the responsibility of faith-based institutions and organizations for developing networks of support to Haiti, where she participated in a mission to teach and reinforce women’s health and wellness following an earthquake and hurricane.

Cheryl sits on the WAMU Community Council (WAMU is the Washington, DC region's NPR station at American University). She enjoys learning about Civil War history, reading, the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, cycling and is a three time century athlete. Right now she enjoys riding via Peloton during COVID-19. She is an observational blogger and  always has an idea for a podcast.

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