VCU Institute for Women's Health



Create sustained partnerships with communities to provide culturally-relevant health information, services and research opportunities.

Since its inception, IWH has cultivated collaboration between VCU and the surrounding community and served as catalyst for enhancing access and improving outcomes for women’s health by bringing clinical expertise to community settings; by forming partnerships for community-based research opportunities; and by providing opportunities for service learning and bidirectional education for health-care professionals. IWH’s reach into the community is substantial — over the years almost 100 community organizations have partnered with IWH on women’s health related activities, events and initiatives.


  • Healthy Baby Project — Partnership with VCU School of Arts in which VCU Art students were paired with young mothers form the Richmond community to develop universal branding images that artistically convey what it takes to have a healthy baby. This was the first step toward developing a community-driven campaign to promote healthy behaviors and positive maternal and child health outcomes.
  • Lullaby Project — Partnership with VCU School of the Arts and Carnegie Hallin which local musicians are paired with pregnant mothers to compose lullabies that are meaningful to them. The primary goals of the Lullaby Project are to reduce anxiety in pregnant women who are in challenging social or emotional circumstances, bolster self-confidence, promote communication between parents and baby, and promote parenting self-efficacy. The first lullaby session will be conducted in Spring 2016.
  • Coalition for Healthier Communities — Provided grant development and implementation support for Coalition for Healthier Communities, funded by HHS, Office of Public Health and Science. Key activities included development of community engagement work plan, development of community needs assessment surveys for East End, survey data collection in the community, data analysis, strategic planning and intervention development.
  • Centering Pregnancy — Partnered with OB/GYN Centering Pregnancy program staff to develop collaboration for services and two grant submissions
  • Breastfeeding Initiatives — Partnership with VCUHS women’s health lactation specialist and director of Healthy Start in Richmond to identify opportunities for research and education focused collaboration around the development of a four- pronged approach to increase breast-feeding in Richmond and surrounding areas.
  • Intimate Partner Violence Prevention — Partnered with Virginia Department of Health through participation on “Project Connect: A Coordinated Public Health Initiative to Prevent Violence Against Women” grant. Working with the Injury and Violence Prevention Program, the Institute for Women’s Health helped established a crisis fund that provides monetary assistance and community resources for persons who are experiencing a domestic or sexual violence related crisis. IWH also organizes an annual education series on IPV with the YWCA of Richmond.


A few of our current community partnerships include work with:

  • Healthy Hearts Plus II
  • Highland Support Project
  • Midwives for Haiti
  • Nurture
  • Richmond City Health Department
  • Richmond Healthy Start
  • Virginia Department of Health
  • Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence
  • Action Alliance
  • YWCA of Richmond



Domestic/Sexual Violence

Global Women's Health

Global Service Trips

Virginia Commonwealth University  |  Institute for Women's Health  |  Contact Us
Theater Row Building
730 E. Broad Street
4th Floor, Suite 4200
Richmond, VA


PO Box 980319
Richmond, VA 23298-0319
updated: March 29, 2016