The field of women’s health has grown dramatically in the past 40 years, expanding from a focus almost solely on reproductive care to a new, comprehensive life span approach.

This important, new perspective has been driven by the findings of research revealing that women and men often differ in their experience of both health and disease. UCSF has been a leader in the effort to correct the historical deficiencies in knowledge of women’s health, and continues to define the field through groundbreaking research, the development of innovative clinical delivery models, a commitment to educating and training future health care providers, and community engagement and partnerships to advance women’s health.

Nancy Milliken, MD, director, UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health

Today, UCSF is improving prevention strategies, diagnostic testing and treatments for women. 

Because of its pioneering role in women’s health, UCSF received prestigious designation as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (CoE) from the US Department of Health and Human Services in 1996. UCSF was one of the first centers in the country to receive this honor, and is the only one in Northern California.

“Our success in advancing women’s health derives not only from the innovation and dedication of faculty, staff and students at UCSF, but from our partnerships with the extraordinary Bay Area community of women’s health advocates and organizations,” says Nancy Milliken, MD, vice dean of the UCSF School of Medicine and director of the UCSF CoE. “Together, we are transforming women’s lives.” 

UCSF’s excellence and impact in women’s health are recognized by many metrics of success. The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences is No. 1 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health for the fourth straight year, and patient care in gynecology is ranked as the best in California and among the top 10 programs in the country in the 2010-2011 survey of America’s best hospitals by US News & World Report. 

“In our pursuit of excellence, innovation and leadership, we strive to touch the lives of women in as many ways as possible,” emphasizes Linda C. Giudice, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. “Our overall goal is to promote and protect women’s health and well-being.”