National Center for Health Research - The Voice for Prevention, Treatment, and Policy

The National Center for Health Research conducts, analyzes, and explains the latest research and works with patients, consumers, and opinion leaders to use that information to improve their own health and to develop better programs, policies, and services.

  • We conduct research that has the potential to improve health care.
  • We translate research findings into free information and training that can be used to improve health and safety to individuals and communities nationwide.
  • We work with the media to help get the word out to those who will most benefit from it.
  • We educate policy makers, policy analysts, and opinion leaders through briefings, hearings, meetings, and written materials based on the information.
  • We share our publications and information with other organizations, researchers, and advocates.
  • We coordinate and strategize with them, working together to inform the public and be part of the public debate on policy issues.
  • We use that information effectively to improve the health of adults and children.


Starting Tuesday, September 1st, 2020, The National Center for Health Research’s Insurance Coverage Assistance program for breast implant removal will no longer accept new requests for assistance. For more info, visit our breast implant information website here.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020: We hosted a live online press teleconference on the scientific issues you need to understand to report on the benefits and risks of Covid-19 vaccines. What is known about the studies and data already available about the COVID vaccines most likely to go on the market in the next few weeks or months? This free monthly series is for journalists and medical writers only. Speakers explain new research, provide training, and answer your questions. For more info, click here.

Postponed: Free Health Research Training Workshop for Journalists originally scheduled for March 19 and 20, 2020 has been postponed indefinitely because of COVID-19.

Coronavirus Questions?

Are you worried you might have the coronavirus?  Many people who are infected don’t have any symptoms, but if you have symptoms they are likely to appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The CDC says that people with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Confused about the conflicting info on coronavirus face masks, testing, risks to children, and what you should and should not do? Here’s what you need to know.

Remember: washing your hands with any type of soap is a better strategy than hand sanitizer if you have that option.

News You Can Use

Breast Implant Patient Informed Consent Checklist and Black Box Warnings

This checklist and black box warning were developed by the Breast Implant Working Group, which consists of Dr. Diana Zuckerman (National Center for Health Research), Dr. Scot Glasberg (American Society of Plastic Surgeons), Dr. Alan Matarasso (also ASPS), Karuna Jaggar (Breast Cancer Action), Judy Norsigian (Our Bodies Ourselves) and breast implant patient advocates.  The checklist has been endorsed by their organizations, as a requirement to be read and signed by all potential breast implant patients.  As individuals, we are also urging the FDA to include a black box warning about the risks of cancer and other serious health problems for women considering breast implants.

NCHR Report: The Health Risks of MRIs with Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a common diagnostic procedure that can improve the quality of medical care and save lives. Gadolinium-based contrast agents are used with MRIs to improve diagnostic accuracy. However, in 2006, it was determined that patients with severe kidney dysfunction who underwent MRIs with contrast could develop a serious condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF).  In recent years, there is increasing concern that gadolinium can be harmful even for patients whose kidneys are not impaired.  Read this report to learn more.

NCHR Report:  Is TMS Proven Effective for Depression?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) devices have stimulated the brains of tens of thousands of patients in the U.S., often as a treatment for depression.  TMS treatment typically costs $300 per session, usually 5 days/week for 4 to 6 weeks.  And yet, there is no clear evidence that it works at all, or is more beneficial than the much less expensive and more convenient antidepressant medications.  This report examines the questionable effectiveness of TMS, and could save you thousands of dollars and a very frustrating experience.

NCHR Report:  Breast Implant Illnesses: What’s the Evidence?

Debate swirls over the risks of breast implants, and physicians and patients are justifiably confused by the conflicting information available.  Despite surgeons’ claims that implants are proven safe, more than 70,000 women with breast implants have reported that they have serious symptoms that they refer to as “breast implant illness.”  Our new report finds clear evidence that implants increase the chances of those symptoms and removing implants usually improves’ their health.  Women considering breast implants after mastectomy or for cosmetic reasons will want to know about this report and send her a copy of this Patient Informed Consent check list!