women's center

Center for Women's Health Research

The Center for Women's Health Research (CWHR) is one of the nation's first research centers devoted exclusively to understanding why women of color are at greater risk of certain diseases and how biology, race, and economics contribute to women's health disparities. The CWHR was created to share insights and methods to deepen the understanding of scientific and behavioral aspects of women's health in a culturally sensitive holistic manner.

 The 10,000-square-foot facility includes:

  • Endocrine Assays Core
  • Monitored Fitness and Aerobic Areas
  • Radiological Core
  • Behavioral Core
  • Nutrition Core
  • Cellular Lab
  • Tissue Culture Lab
  • Seminar Room
  • Examination Rooms

Current and future research studies at the CWHR are in the areas of reproductive health, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, and social and environmental factors in women's health, as well as health care access and quality.

The CWHR is open to all women; however, research conducted at the Center will focus on diseases that disproportionately impact women of color. The medical field has made some advances in the overall health of the nation in the past two decades. Yet in spite of these advances, striking disparities remain in the rates of diseases that affect the livelihood and health of racial and ethnic minorities – particularly women:

  • Of all population groups, African American woman suffer the highest mortality rate from breast cancer, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer.
  • African American women in 2000 had a maternal mortality rate 3 times higher than the rate among white women.
  • Minority women are 2-3 times more likely than white, non-Hispanic women to have Type II diabetes.
  • The AIDS rate for African American women is almost 4 times the rate for Hispanic women and almost 20 times the rate for white, non-Hispanic women.

Sources: US Department of Health and Human Services, Report on Health of Minority Women, July 2003; National Women's Law Center, Making the Grade on Women's Health, 2004