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    Celebrating 20 Years of Advancing Women’s Health & Transforming Women’s Lives

    This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. Some of the Center’s key accomplishments over the past two decades include:

    establishment of the UCSF Mission Bay campus’ Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital, which provides cutting edge treatment and services concerning reproductive health and fertility, gynecological conditions, cancer and more

    creation of a Women’s Health Clinical Research Center, whose research findings on topics such as incontinence and menopause are being incorporated into clinical practices

    founding a groundbreaking program on women’s health and the environment, studying the effects of environmental contaminants on reproductive health and fertility

    forging a national model of academic community partnerships that has provided support and technical assistance to programs advancing women’s health at the community level in multiple states

    filling the training pipeline with future clinical providers, researchers and educators with a passion for women’s health through the Center’s community outreach and multiple educational and mentoring programs

    implementing a co-management model that integrates mental health specialists and clinical pharmacists into the primary care clinic in order to improve diagnosis and care of depression

    expanding options for women’s care with less invasive treatments requiring less surgery for continence, fibroids, and breast and ovarian cancers

    These and so many of the Center’s other achievements were merely dreams in 1996, when Dr. Nancy Milliken led a multidisciplinary team of women and like-minded men at UCSF in successfully competing for one of the first National Center of Excellence designations awarded by our country for Women’s Health. With this initiative, Dr. Milliken and her team were able to widen their focus on women’s health beyond reproduction to across a woman’s entire lifespan.

    Since then, the Center has galvanized support for initiatives with impact locally, nationally and globally. Advances in women’s health research have overturned decades of bias and filled the gaps in our knowledge on prevention, screening, and treatment of common and chronic conditions for women.

    “Historically, women’s healthcare has suffered from a lack of evidence on which to base treatments that meet women’s unique needs,” Dr. Milliken said. “As a result, women have been at risk of harm from both under and over treatment. That paradigm has shifted with research that generates new insight into women’s health and yields ever more precise treatments.”

    New innovative clinical models are now providing care for women of all ages in healing environments. In 2002, the UCSF Women’s Health Center was opened. In this 8-story building at 2356 Sutter St (at Divisadero), women can receive lifetime primary care along with comprehensive gynecological care and women’s imaging. The Center is known for its welcoming and peaceful environment. Adjacent to a beautiful and tranquil garden is an inspirational wall of handmade tiles made by patients, their loved ones and their providers. Each tile has a botanical impression and a human story.

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    The Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital, opened at UCSF Mission Bay in 2014, provides outstanding care for women at every stage of life–from puberty to menopause and beyond. The state-of-the-art facility features rooms with natural light to promote healing, meditation rooms, and personalized multimedia systems. But the real heart of the hospital stems from its women-centered approach to caring for its patients.

    Dr. Milliken, the Center’s Director, has helped to forge a strong team that includes Executive Director Dixie Horning, Assistant Director Judy Young, Program Evaluator Annemarie Charlesworth, Program Coordinator Anna Christie, Women’s Health Resource Center Manager Joanne DeLeon, and numerous members of the Center’s Clinical, Research and Education teams. Special thanks to Horning and to Christie for their help in preparing this content.

    You will soon get a chance to thank them in person as well for their numerous accomplishments. That is because a free street fair will be held this Saturday in celebration of the Center’s 20th anniversary. It will include multiple health booths, sports instruction, massages, live music, healthy food and drinks, a flash mob, and even San Francisco’s first all-female intergenerational poetry slam! Honorees are Laura Esserman, Rita Redburg, Patty Robertson and Villy Wang. The event happens on May 7 from 10 am to 3 pm at 2356 Sutter Street. For more information, please visit