In 1998, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) was designated as one of 21 National Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. In 2006, UIC was named a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Ambassador for Change. The UIC Center of Excellence in Women’s Health was built on an established collaboration among researchers from the Colleges of Nursing, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Social Work, Pharmacy, the University Library, and the School of Public Health.
The Center was designed to integrate biomedical and behavioral expertise with the grass roots women’s health vision, and emphasizes partnerships across disciplines and professions, between the academy and the community, and between health care providers and patients. The efforts of the Center are focused on comprehensive health care and innovative research across the life span, with particular emphases on underserved populations and global women’s health. Major goals for the Center include implementing a strategic multidisciplinary research agenda relevant to informing health care delivery and training researchers for proficiency in multidisciplinary women’s health research.
Additional goals include reducing barriers to wellness for underserved women, conducting ongoing evaluation of services and programs, developing women’s health curricula through collaboration across disciplines, and developing leadership qualities in women in the health professions. Further goals involve educating and training community women for health advocate roles, promoting dialogue with women from diverse communities, disseminating health information, and participating in policy discussions at all levels.