Background

Mission

The mission of the British Columbia Excellence for Women’s Health (BCCEWH) is to improve the health of women by fostering collaboration on multidisciplinary and action-oriented research on girls’ and women’s health and to introduce gender into health research. The BCCEWH pays particular attention to research 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 achieve this mission through generating new knowledge about women’s health, and facilitating knowledge exchange to close the loop between research and action on women-centred programs, practice and policy. We develop women-centred programs, and gender transformative practice and policy, in partnership with researchers, health and social service practitioners, health system planners and community-based health advocates. We specialize in bringing evidence to practice and policy.

History

The British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (BCCEWH) began in 1995 when a consortium of women’s organizations, universities, and health care providers, led by BC Women’s Hospital, presented a plan for an integrated health and research centre to Health Canada’s Women’s Health Contribution Program. The vision of the BCCEWH was that of “Closing the Loop” between research, policy, and care.

After receiving funding from Health Canada’s Women’s Health Contribution Program, the BCCEWH opened in late 1996 at BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver, BC, with a second office at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George.  The Northern Secretariat focused on remote and rural women’s health. In March 2001, the Northern Secretariat became Northern FIRE: The Centre for Women’s Health Research at UNBC.

Since our inception, we have completed over 300 research and knowledge translation projects with funding from local, national and international research funding agencies, as well as numerous government departments and agencies. Organizationally we have evolved from a special project of BC Women’s to an independent, non-profit organization hosted by BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. Our history is covered in detail in 2 reports, prepared at the 5 year and 10 year points:

Today the BCCEWH collaborates with women’s health researchers, service providers, policy makers and community-based advocates across British Columbia, across Canada and around the world. The BCCEWH is known internationally for its work on sex- and gender-based analyses, addiction, trauma, violence, tobacco use, health promotion and our dynamic training and knowledge exchange activities.

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