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Women's Fund for Health Education and Resiliency (HER) Records

Identifier: 2000-002

The Women's Fund for Health Education and Resiliency Records collection consists of 34 boxes of material, including fundraising and educational outreach events documentation, administrative materials, committee meeting minutes and files, correspondence, membership rosters, income tallies, research grant applications, photographs, newsletters, and publications. Arriving in two installments, the processed records date from 1979-2014 and were not interfiled. As a result, materials within each series are often housed in multiple locations throughout the collection.

The collection is organized topically into 12 series: Administration, Board of Trustees, Special Events, Granting Process, Gifts and Donations, Printing Samples, Publications, Photographs, Guest Books, Austin Office, and VHS Programs Library. The Special Events series is the largest and includes materials pertaining to annual benefit luncheons, McGovern fall seminars, spring seminars, and membership coffee/lectures. A few artifacts such as two guest books are also included. 5 1/4 inch floppy disks with newsletter files are also included -- please contact curator Vince Lee ( with questions about accessing these files.


  • 1979-2014


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


40.00 linear feet

Historical Note:

The Women's Fund for Health Education and Resiliency was founded in February 1979 by Jacqueline and Wayne Goettsche with a seed endowment as the Women's Fund for Health Education and Research (HER). Concerned that women's health issues lacked appropriate funding and that research findings using only male subjects was applied indiscriminately to women, the Goettsches established the Women's Fund to support research on women's health issues and to disseminate women's health information through educational programs. The Goettsches organized a fundraising initiation barbeque in May 1979 that drew nearly 100 attendees from Houston's social and medical elite. With this event, the Women's Fund commemorated the signing of the Bylaws and officially launched the new organization.

As a non-profit foundation, the Women's Fund for HER has been dedicated to understanding, improving, and promoting women's health by providing support for research and educational programs. Fundraising through membership solicitation, special events, and corporate support is a primary goal of the Women's Fund. In 1979, the Women's Fund began with about 200 charter members; by 2001 membership had increased to 605, 203 of which are lifetime members. Membership categories include individual annual members, lifetime members, medical members, and corporate members.

The Women's Fund for HER hosts a variety of events each year; central among them is the Annual Benefit Luncheon held each fall. In 1983 the Women's Fund held its First Annual Benefit Luncheon with Erma Bombeck as the guest speaker. Featured speakers have included David Eisenhower, John Bradshaw, Suzanne Somers, and Liz Carpenter. Since 1991, the Women's Fund has presented the John P. McGovern Fall Seminar, which offers specialized information on topics such as allergies, chemical dependency, depression, and over-the-counter medicines. An Annual Spring Seminar provides another venue for similar kinds of information. The Program Committee organizes smaller and more frequent lecture/seminars throughout the year, often in collaboration with volunteers representing local medical institutions, and so many of the seminars are free. Membership coffees, held three to four times a year in a member's home, feature presentations on women's health concerns such as heart disease or alcoholism. Both Michael DeBakey and Ann Richards have spoken to attendees at these membership coffees.

As part of their educational outreach, the Women's Fund publishes A Primer on Women's Health, which is circulated to groups, agencies, and corporations without charge. To reach a wider audience, the Women's Fund translated the Primer into Spanish. Local philanthropic foundations and individuals support publication of the Primer. Another publication, Health Notes, helps women track their medical histories and maintain records of tests and diagnoses.

In addition to special events and the Primer, the Women's Fund has supported basic and clinical research related to women's health concerns. Between 1980 and 1992 the Women's Fund awarded 73 grants for medical research and services geared toward women's needs.

For more information, see:

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

In addition to paper records, this collection contains digital archival materials. These can be accessed in the Special Collections Reading Room by advance request. Because portions of this collection are unprocessed, these materials may require up to two weeks to access. Some files may be restricted and not available for access at all. Contact curator Vince Lee ( for more information.

Acquisition Information:

The Women's Fund for Health Education and Research (HER) donated twelve record cartons in July 2000. Another contribution of four record cartons arrived in March 2002. An additional 23 boxes arrived on November 11, 2015. These included a signficant collection of digital material on CDs and floppy discs.

Guide to the Women's Fund for Health Education and Resiliency (HER) Records
Teresa Tomkins-Walsh, August 2002; Amanda R. Martinez, October 2005; Gayatri Joshi, Nicole Sanchez and Polina Kharmats, March 2019.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA