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Mayo Clinic receives $5M gift to create Center for Women's Health

A $5M gift to establish a Center for Women’s Health is being called “ a significant investment in shifting the ways women interact with health care at Mayo Clinic.”

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 1:43 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2019 6:40 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Every day, millions of people from around the world come to Mayo Clinic for world-class healthcare. But women we speak to say they still don't feel heard or listened to in patient rooms. One of them is Judy Magy who had thyroid disease and also had gallbladder problems.

"I have had doctors that have not taken me seriously," Magy said. "With my symptoms, and actually, I had something wrong with me and had to see another doctor."

Magy says gender plays a part when it comes to feeling mistreated in hospital rooms.

"Sometimes doctors look at patients in a certain light," Magy said. "Maybe they'll look at a wealthier man with more prestige, different than a woman coming in without the finances."

Now Mayo Clinic is taking action with a Center for Women's Health. Dr. Stephanie Faubion says this will be innovative for women because multiple specialties will be offered in the Center. These range from gynecology to bone health.

"They don't feel like they are an integrated part of their own health care and they feel like they are going from one office to another office to another office," Faubion said. "They are not getting that integrated picture so hopefully this fills that void."

Penny and Bill George of the George Family Foundation say they chose to make this donation so women get taken more seriously - because for too long - it has been dominated by men.

"Medical science is not done well by women," Penny George said. "That's one reason why that's important right now."

Bill George agrees.

"I think again it gets back to looking to a woman's journey through her lifetime to good health as opposed to healthcare in individual incidents and no one's really doing that."

Now action is being taken to help women like Magy who says women need to be seen and heard more in doctor's offices.

"I just wish this would be the model throughout the United States where women can go and be taken seriously."

The goal is to get this integrated center up and running in the next 1-2 years.

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