Designation as an Academic Center of Excellence
The Deborah E. Powell Center for Women’s Health was designated as an Academic Center of Excellence in Women’s Health by the Office of Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in September 2003 after a competitive application process. The University of Minnesota is one of 19 academic centers at universities across the country, including Harvard, Boston University, UCLA and Brown. The University of Minnesota was chosen because of the breadth and depth in clinical care for women, research, education and community outreach. Furthermore, because the University of Minnesota is the only research-intensive medical school with a woman dean, we are uniquely positioned to mentor women faculty and future leaders.
The National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health serve as national models to provide innovative, comprehensive and multidisciplinary health care for women. The Centers strive to improve the health of all women, including women in underserved and minority communities. This is accomplished by striving for excellence in clinical care, education of healthcare professionals, research, and outreach to communities. The University already has many excellent women's health programs in place. The Center's organizational structure facilitates collaboration, integration, and coordination of these programs to initiate significant changes in women's health care for women throughout the State of Minnesota.
Strategic Planning for the Future
While federal funding for the Centers of Excellence ended in 2007, with support from the Academic Health Center and the Medical School, the Powell Center continues to provide leadership in women’s health for the state of Minnesota. The Center disseminates the best of the University health system research, clinical trial opportunities and superbly trained professionals to metro, rural, immigrant and underserved communities statewide. By doing so, we improve the physical, mental and social well-being of Minnesota women. Since women generally manage the health of the family, providing education to and for women, and promoting research on women’s health results in healthier families and healthier Minnesota communities.
The Powell Center has recently undergone an extensive strategic planning process to plan for the future of women’s health. Our new approach is more tightly focused on promoting, facilitating and disseminating research on women’s health.
Powell Center Ideology
To ensure that the academic resources at the University of Minnesota are used to advance knowledge that impacts the health of women and their communities.
To catalyze partnerships and research that improves the health of women.
1. Develop sustainable academic/community partnerships with those working in the area of women’s health
2. Expand interprofessional women’s health research at the University of Minnesota.
3. Support community-based research that meets the identified health needs of women
4. Translate research findings into useful and health-enhancing measures for women in the community
a. Award seed grants in the priority areas of the Powell Center – mental health, infectious disease, and heart disease, obesity and diabetes prevention.
b. Support the training of junior faculty in women’s health research through a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health grant.
c. Connect community needs with the technical, clinical and academic resources of the Powell Center and the University of Minnesota.
d. Disseminate research findings and best practices and knowledge to providers of women’s health care in the community.
e. Advocate for health policy measures to improve women’s health, based on evidence-based research findings.