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Department receives $200,000 grant for new women's health program

In December 2005 the University of Minnesota Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health became one step closer to completing its goal of developing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary women’s health program.

The department received a $200,000 grant from the University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP) Interdisciplinary Program Development Committee to fund a comprehensive planning effort. This includes hiring a consultant to formalize the concept for the new program, develop a business plan, and identify outcomes measures for assessing progress toward goals.

“I am excited about being able to provide expanded state-of-the-art innovative care for women, not only for those in the Twin Cities but also for those living throughout the state of Minnesota,” says department chair Linda Carson, M.D.

Carson spearheaded the idea for the comprehensive women’s health program after attending the Philadelphia-based Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women, a unique national program that helps prepare senior female faculty at schools of medicine and dentistry to promote positive change within their positions of institutional leadership. One of the program’s requirements was to complete a project that helped enhance systems organization skills. Carson chose to focus on a program that improved clinical services for women by providing an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to patient care.

Carson hopes the program will leverage the depth of expertise in medical subspecialties available at the University. Services will include customized and integrated patient intake; evaluation and triage; and treatment and monitoring, as well as promotion and teaching of healthy lifestyle modifications such as stress management, physical activity, and nutrition counseling. Subspecialties involved in the plan for interdisciplinary care include obstetrics and gynecology, family and internal medicine, cardiology, psychiatry, psychology, imaging services, urology, colorectal surgery, nursing, and dermatology.

The three primary clinical goals of the program are to define and implement clinical goals into the electronic medical record, to exceed current UMP performance measures for preventive services, and to integrate medical student, resident, and fellow teaching into the program.