VCU Institute for Women's Health


The Institute's Education goal is to develop culturally competent health care professional and community education programs in women’s health that improves the quality of health care and promotes evidence-based decision-making.  

Education Committee Co-Directors:

Nan G. O'Connell, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Valerie Coleman, RN, MSN, IBCLC, FACCE, Nurse Educator, Women's Health Administration, VCU Health


Education Highlights

  • Women’s Health 2015: The Annual Congress was held April 16-19 in Washington, D.C. Program highlights include: Pre-Congress Workshop presented by NIH ORWH on " The Health of Women of Color: A Critical Intersection at the Corner of Sex/Gender and Race/Ethnicity”; Vivian Pinn Women’s Health Research Keynote given by Nanette Santoro MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine; Trudy Bush Keynote Lecture given by Michael Policar MD MPH, University of California at San Francisco.

  • IWH held its 11th Annual Women’s Health Research Day at VCU on April 2, 2015.

  • A four-session educational program on menopause taught by a multidisciplinary faculty titled “Centering Yourself through Menopause”, was developed by the IWH Education Committee and held twice in 2015.

  • A study abroad experience was offered for VCU students to gain real world experience in reducing maternal and infant mortality in Haiti by training Haitian women to deliver prenatal care and life-saving skills during childbirth. This project, developed in partnership with Midwives for Haiti, creates a regular rotation site for VCU OB/GYN residents and a two-week delegation of cross-disciplinary VCU medical, nursing, social work and other students to work alongside Haitian doctors, students, midwives, matrons and U.S. based volunteers.

  • IWH established a week-long service exchange program in Guatemala in partnership with the Highland Support Project in Richmond and the Association of Highland Women. The “Midwifery & Health in the Americas: Marrying Mayan & Western Medicine” service-exchange program has been held for the past 5 years. The group in August 2015 consisted of a multi-disciplinary team of 10 faculty, staff and students from VCU and two community members.

  • IWH co-sponsored the first “Women, War & Peace in Africa” conference highlighting Virginia‘s links to West Africa. Community partners were Virginia Friends of Mali, Richmond Peace Education Center, the Richmond Sister Cities Commission, the MERLOT African Network, West Africa Research Association, and the Virginia Consortium of Social Studies Specialists and College Educators (VCSSE). This conference received a humanitarian award from Sister Cities International.

  • IWH was instrumental in establishing the first medical school chapter of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine in the US at VCU and is promoting an online training, “Breastfeeding Training: The Goal Standard in Infant Nutrition,” to medical students interested in women’s health.


May 2015 Directory of Residency & Fellowship Programs in Interdisciplinary Women's Health

We are pleased to announce the publication of the 2015 Directory
click here for directory

(The Directory is published in the May 2015 issue of the Journal for Women's Health.)

To learn more about this journal or to subscribe, please visit:



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730 E. Broad Street
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Richmond, VA


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