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Pitt's School of Medicine, UPMC launch center for women's health - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Pitt’s School of Medicine, UPMC launch center for women’s health

By Chidi Nwakpuda / Staff Writer

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In an effort to promote women’s health, Pitt and UPMC have launched a new think tank for women’s health research.

Pitt’s School of Medicine and UPMC launched The Center for Women’s Health Research and Innovation (CWHRI) in June. Sonya Borrero, the director of the CWHRI, said this new group is a way to formalize research efforts for women’s health care and cater to their health needs. Borrero oversees the center, a section within the Division of General Internal Medicine, which is a part of Pitt’s School of Medicine. The group will also host forums and seminars for researchers. These meetings are held in several locations on Pitt’s campus, including McKee Place and the Parkvale Building.

Melissa McNeil, associate chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and educator at the Center, said these forums function as think tanks for women’s health issues.

While other research groups focus on one aspect, Mcneil said, the CWHRI will focus on women’s health as a whole.

“[The Center] is not an institute dedicated to prevent stroke or heart disease. It is a lot more [multifaceted],” McNeil said.

According to Borrero, gender-specific care is nothing new to the hospital.

In her research and experience as a women’s health clinician, Borrero has found that, across their lifespan, women face health challenges unique to their gender.

“Barriers to health care can be as varied as the patients we treat,” Borrero said.

Holly Thomas, associate professor of medicine within the Division of General Internal Medicine, will be among the researchers contributing their ideas and projects in the Institute. She is also a primary care doctor who does research in women’s sexual function and midlife.

Thomas said her involvement in this forum has allowed her to get into contact with researchers she otherwise never would have met.

“If the Center didn’t exist, [researchers] would never have the opportunity to meet each other and form a collaboration,” Thomas said.

 

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Pitt’s School of Medicine, UPMC launch center for women’s health