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 Payne is a co-executive director for IAWH and leads the Institute's efforts promoting and cultivating strategic partnerships to advance women's health. Janine believes that the Institute has a distinctive role in enhancing a women's health and wellness by focusing on relationship building, research, listening, and leadership. She says that "The Institute aims to make a difference in how health information is provided to women and their families, and make calls to action clear, and achievable.

Distinct from her role at IAWH, Janine provides strategic guidance on stakeholder engagement of primary care quality improvement initiatives and manages health care public relations over major communications contractors assigned to research initiatives for the U.S. HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 


Across her professional career experience, Janine has monitored the general scope of contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements from project initiation, planning, execution, control, evaluation, and closing. Example projects include leading a U.S. Stroke Belt Region multimedia initiative that partnered with over 2,500 primary care offices to support the distribution of evidence-based chronic disease management materials to providers and patients. She led a women's health project that empowered 80 young women at eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to become agents of change in a comprehensive cervical health education program. 


Janine holds a Master of Public Health from Walden University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Strayer University. She has traveled Europe and Africa, enjoys singing, vegetable gardening (striving as an intern to fulfill a volunteer role as a Prince William County Master Gardener), and creative virtual brunches with friends. 

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.