Who We Are

The mission of the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (CEWH) is to improve the health of women by fostering multidisciplinary and action-oriented research on girls’ and women’s health and to introduce sex and gender into all health research. The CEWH pays particular attention to research and knowledge exchange that will improve the health status of girls and women who face health inequities due to socioeconomic status, race, culture, age, sexual orientation, geography, disability and/or addiction.

We specialize in bringing evidence to practice and policy in health and social services. We generate and synthesize knowledge about health and create innovative knowledge products to close the loop between research and action. We develop gender-transformative practice and policy in partnership with researchers, health and social service practitioners, health system planners and community-based health advocates.

CEWH is hosted by BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Our work

The CEWH is a virtual research and knowledge exchange centre, collaborating with researchers, service providers, policy makers and community-based advocates across Canada and internationally. The CEWH is known internationally for its sex- and gender-based analyses on a range of health and social issues, and its leadership in gender and health. The CEWH is well known for leading collaborative research on addiction and substance use (tobacco, opioids, alcohol and cannabis) and its strong record in applying sex and gender principles in health policy & health promotion.

We pursue the goal of “closing the loop” between research and practice in all of our projects in order to bring about social change and health improvement. Our dynamic training and knowledge exchange activities are delivered in person and virtually. We lead virtual collaborations through the creation of online research networks, virtual communities and web-based collaboratories.

Our knowledge products are aimed at integrating sex and gender and involve knowledge users at every stage of our work. We produce manuals, tools, frameworks, guidance, fact sheets, backgrounders, and training modules. We maintain practice and public based websites that contain these products and the evidence behind them, including our continuing work on gender-based analysis and gender transformative thinking. We work with numerous partners and communities on improving our response to a range of health and social issues that affect girls, women and their families and communities.

The CEWH ran a 12-year CIHR-funded training program (IMPART) in gender and addictions research for Canadian scholars and continues to create innovative and practical training and practice tools, frameworks and manuals with scholars, students, program designers and policy makers.

Our expertise

  • Alcohol and girls’ and women’s health, and prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Tobacco use, vaping, cannabis, and prevention and policy responses
  • Prescription drug use and misuse, and chronic pain
  • Trauma and violence prevention
  • Indigenous and Northern women’s health
  • Preconception care, pregnancy, and mothering issues
  • Health promotion and disease prevention

We catalyze practice change

  • Doing gender-based analyses of programs, policies, and measures
  • Creating equity frameworks for governments and hospitals
  • Training health professionals in motivational interviewing and harm reduction
  • Generating better practice guidelines in substance use and domestic violence

We develop innovative approaches

  • Gender-transformative health promotion frameworks and training
  • Critical social-research methods for including sex and gender
  • Forward-looking strategies for health-system planning
  • Trauma-informed practice, policy, and system design
  • Virtual knowledge translation

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