National Center of Excellence in Women's Health, Indiana University School of Medicine
In 1997, the Indiana University School of Medicine was awarded support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to become a National Center of Excellence in Women's Health. The Centers were located in academic medical centers where they brought together the work of their schools and departments addressing women's health.
The initial goal of the center was to assess women's health needs and current efforts in the state to address those needs, and to develop a coordinated national resource center consisting of programs to provide comprehensive women's health care. In addition, the Center focused on developing educational programs for both the public and for health care professionals, and researching women's health issues.
Dr. Rose Fife, Professor of Medicine, and Associate Dean for Research, IU School of Medicine was the founding director of the National Center.
The CoE at IU subsequently received support to be one of 11 national CoE Ambassadors for Change and to aspire toward the following goals:
1. Develop and/or strengthen a framework to bring together a comprehensive array of services for women.
2. Train a cadre of diverse health care providers that include allied health professionals and community health worker.
3. Promote leadership/career development for diverse women in the health professions, including allied health professions and community health workers, and women/girls in the community.
4. Enhance public education and outreach activities in women's health with an emphasis on gender-specific and age-appropriate prevention and/or reduction of illness or injuries that appear controllable through increased knowledge that leads to a modification of behavior.
5. Participate in any national evaluation of the CoE program.
6. Conduct basic, clinical and/or community-based research in women's health.
7. Provide advice and guidance to other organizations interested in learning more about the CoE program.
Although federal funding for the program has ended, IU and the other CoE's retain their designation of National Centers of Excellence in Women's health and depend upon other sources of support to continue their work.
At IUSM, the Dean's office and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology are supporting the CoE's ongoing mission through this transition.
In 2007, Professor Lee Learman, the Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology became the director of the Center. In March of 2010, Deborah Stiffler, PhD, RN, CNM became the Executive Director. Other staff include: Tina Darling, Associate Director and Mechele Hodge, Project and Volunteer Coordinator.
For more information, please visit www.womenshealth.medicine.iu.edu
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