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Welcome to The Juliet Viola Kniffen Foundation

To support the work of dedicated researchers and organizations seeking to address gender inequities in healthcare and improve health outcomes for women affected by chronic conditions.

At the JVK Foundation, we strive to raise awareness about the impact of chronic conditions that disproportionately affect women and the challenges women face in accessing the care they need and deserve. We also believe in shining a light on the pervasive role gender bias plays in creating barriers to care, with the needs of women affected by chronic conditions too often overlooked and dismissed in research, policy, and clinical practice settings.


Through grant partnerships, we are proud to support advocates as they work to amplify patient voices and take action to create a more equitable and informed healthcare system.  Please visit our Grants section for more information about our funding process and priority areas. 

About Us

The JVK Foundation was established in 2023 by Philadelphia-based philanthropist Sharon Yoh...

"Medical invalidation, whereby health care professionals dismiss, minimize or otherwise do not take patient concerns seriously, is a well-documented phenomenon in the literature on chronic illnesses — particularly expressed by women, people with poorly understood or contested conditions, or those from other groups who face marginalization in health care." [1]
"Women who seek help are less likely than men to be taken seriously when they report pain and are less likely to have their pain adequately treated."  [2]
"Many female-specific conditions remain underdiagnosed with an insufficient evidence-base for diagnosis and treatment." [3]

[1]: Sebring JCH, Kelly C, McPhail D, Woodgate RL. Medical invalidation in the clinical encounter: a qualitative study of the health care experiences of young women and nonbinary people living with chronic illnesses. CMAJ Open. 2023 Oct 10;11(5):E915-E921. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20220212. PMID: 37816547; PMCID: PMC105


[2]: Hoffmann, Diane E. and Tarzian, Anita J., "The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain" (2001). Faculty Scholarship. 145.

[3]: Temkin SM, Barr E, Moore H, Caviston JP, Regensteiner JG, Clayton JA. Chronic conditions in women: the development of a National Institutes of health framework. BMC Womens Health. 2023 Apr 6;23(1):162. doi: 10.1186/s12905-023-02319-x. PMID: 37024841; PMCID: PMC10077654.

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