ABOUT THE INSTITUTE
The Institute for Women’s Health was established in 1999 to promote standards of excellence in women’s health care, advance cutting-edge research, foster community outreach and collaboration, enhance women’s leadership, and provide training and education toward the goal of improving the health of women across the lifespan. The goal in establishing the institute was to bring together these diverse activities, generate synergy within VCU, and foster coordinated alliances with the greater community.
In 2003, the Institute was designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources Office on Women’s Health as one of 20 National Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health, which are academic medical centers serving as models to the nation in providing innovative, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and integrated health care systems for women. Centers of Excellence (CoE) provide for the special needs of women, including the underserved and minorities, by integrating: a comprehensive model for the delivery of clinical health services to women, with an emphasis on prevention and early detection of diseases; a multidisciplinary research agenda focused on emerging women’s health issues; educational resources for the general public and health care professionals; the study of women’s health and gender differences into the medical school and other university curricula; community engagement to build partnerships for women’s health services, research and programs; and efforts to foster the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in academic medical careers.
As a National Center of Excellence, the institute received dedicated federal funding from DHHS for the period of 2003- 2007. From 2007 to the present, the Institute has retained critical aspects of the CoE model while aligning itself more with the University’s goals, as well as with the health needs of the women in its community and across the Commonwealth. In particular, the Institute focuses its efforts around integrated core areas of research, community engagement, and education.
The Institute's Goals:
Develop, support and facilitate interdisciplinary research including basic, clinical, behavioral, translational and community engaged research in women’s health and gender differences.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT GOAL
Create sustained partnerships with communities to provide culturally-relevant health information, services and research opportunities.
Develop culturally competent professional and community education programs in women's health.