Volume 95, Issue 77

Tuesday, February 19, 2002
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Dean: don't expect Toronto-like tuition

The Spoke no longer "The Smoke"

Presidential race ends with a whimper

Les femmes rural benefit from new Western chair

Nerdlinger laments lack of geeks

Trophy bandits and 500 crickets

New eateries slip through loophole

Les femmes rural benefit from new Western chair

By Kelly Bennett
Gazette Writer

Thanks to a large cash donation, Western's faculty of medicine announced a new initiative yesterday which will improve women's access to health care and focus on issues concerning women in Southern Ontario.

The Ontario Women's Health Council awarded Western $1 million – a contribution that was matched by the university – to establish a chair in rural women's health.

The chair is a joint appointment between Western's faculties of health sciences and medicine and dentistry.

Roma Harris, Western's vice-provost and registrar, said the appointment of a women's rural health chair reflects Western's strength in medical research.

The new chair will give a voice to rural women and their special issues, said Jane Pepino, chair of the OWHC. Western will also strengthen the establishment of women's health scholars and foster a strong academic environment for women's health, she said.

Established in 1998 by the Ontario government, the council is comprised of 13 volunteer members from across the province and has a mandate to improve women's health by providing them with improved access to the unique health care and information they require.

"[OWHC] is committed to supporting research and scholarship in women's health and creating a legacy of lasting systemic change to improve women's health and health care," Pepino said.

Associate Health Minister Helen Johns and MPP (London-North Centre) Dianne Cunningham were both present at the announcement and said they were elated to be part of the new initiative.

Johns said she is optimistic about the future of health care in Ontario. "No question, we can explore and introduce new approaches and treatment for each woman in the province," she said.

Western is already home to the Southwestern Ontario Rural Medicine program, providing medical students with the opportunity to work in communities outside of London.

The establishment of the OWHC at Western will help to enhance an understanding of the issues affecting women in rural areas, Pepino said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002