Women's College Hospital has always been an innovator in women's health care. From the development of the first Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer in the late 1940s to the opening of the first Sexual Assault Care Centre in Ontario in 1984, Women's College Hospital has contributed to our knowledge of women's health and health care.
In 1995, Women's College Hospital demonstrated its commitment to women's health research by partnering with the University of Toronto to form the Centre for Research in Women's Health (CRWH). CRWH recruited additional research faculty to the hospital and helped build many of the research programs that are part of Women's College Research Institute today. It also established funding for a number of academic chairs, drawing a core of pre-eminent leaders to our research programs.
The CRWH led Women's College Hospital to become a more active part of the University of Toronto research community. The CRWH became a catalyst for women's health research at the university, helping to bring researchers and students from different departments together to share their insights and to find new research partners. The CRWH created and hosted multidisciplinary women's health events like Graduate Student Research Day and established scholarships to foster the next generation of women's health researchers. The CRWH attracted a diverse membership of more than 100 researchers at the University of Toronto and its affiliated institutions.
On April 1, 2006, Women's College Hospital once again became an independently governed hospital after nine years as part of Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre. This new hospital offers new possibilities to support the development of research capacity at Women's College Hospital through a dedicated research institute.
Women's College Research Institute formally launched in October 2006 bringing academic and clinical researchers together to conduct research to improve women's lives. As a hospital-based research institute, Women's College Research Institute has additional opportunities to develop and test gender-sensitive models of ambulatory care.
Women's College Research Institute will continue to provide resources to promote women's health research and collaboration at the University of Toronto including student scholarships (for students affiliated with WCRI and WCH), and the Directory of Women’s Health Researchers, a collaborative project between Women's College Research Institute and ECHO.