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Date: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 1996
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: PHS Office on Women's Health (202)690-7650                                   

HHS Launches "Centers Of Excellence In Women's Health"


The Department of Health and Human Services today announced establishment of six National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health, to serve as national models for improving the health care of American women.

The six centers, located at academic institutions in different areas of the country, will serve as demonstrations and models which can be evaluated and duplicated throughout the nation. The centers will integrate health care services, research programs, public education and health care professional training, and will forge links with health care services in the community.

"Our nation can't afford to give anything less than its best efforts for women's health," said HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala. "These new Centers of Excellence are just one step in a broad cooperative effort to improve our health research and services for women, and to improve the career prospects for women in the health professions."

The national Centers of Excellence will be located at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Philadelphia; Magee-Womens Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio; University of California at San Francisco; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and Yale University, New Haven, Conn. They represent a public-private partnership between HHS and the academic institutions. The U.S. Public Health Service's Office on Women's Health developed the concept for the centers and is providing $1 million to support the centers.

"The National Centers of Excellence will be innovative models of one-stop shopping for women's health care, and at the same time they will provide an integrated research agenda and community and professional leadership for women's health," said Susan J. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health and Assistant Surgeon General.

Women served by the Centers of Excellence will have all their health care needs met in one place by having access to comprehensive services and resources. In addition, the centers will develop a multidisciplinary research agenda across medical specialties; focus medical education on gender differences in the causes, treatment and prevention of disease; and use new information to the public and health care providers. The centers will also develop leadership strategies to foster recruitment, retention and promotion of women in academic medicine.

"Until six years ago, women's health was seriously neglected in research, health care service delivery, and public and health care professional education," Dr. Blumenthal said. "Our new national focus on women's health, reflected in numerous initiatives in the public and private sectors, is brightening the prospects for a healthier future for American women. The purpose of the National Centers of Excellence is to facilitate this progress through increased knowledge, improved treatment and prevention of diseases in women."

The Centers of Excellence will provide the following women's health resources and services:

The PHS Office on Women's Health provides national leadership in advancing women's health in public policy, research, service delivery and education. The office acts as a catalyst for developing new national and regional initiatives to improve women's health.
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