Background: The IU National Cancer of Excellence (CoE) in Women's Health was funded by the Office on Women's Health, Department of Health and Human Services, in 1997 as part of the "second generation" of CoEs. The purpose of this paper is to describe the changes that the existence of this Center have wrought within the IU School of Medicine. Methods: This paper describes the creation, mission, and function of the IU CoE, as well as some of its accomplishments to date. Results: Through its missions targeting clinical care, research, education, community outreach, and leadership development, the IU CoE has significantly changed the delivery of care to and by women at this institution. Conclusions: The IU CoE has been responsible for major changes in the concepts of women's health from a clinical, research, education, and leadership perspective at the IU School of Medicine. Similar cases can be made for most of the other CoEs around the country. The challenges being faced continue to be sustained and sufficient funding for these valuable Centers.
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