Newswise — Laura W. Bush will visit the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) regional campuses in Amarillo and the Permian Basin Wed. (Nov. 7). Mrs. Bush addressed local community members and Texas Tech faculty and students about her commitment to women's health issues.

Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance announced on Aug. 7 the renaming of its Women's Health Research Institute in honor of Laura W. Bush. The institute's new name is now the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health.

"This is a tremendous honor for the Texas Tech University System," Hance said. "Mrs. Bush's dedication and advocacy for women's health issues was evident even before she was the First Lady of Texas. Her support of education campaigns for breast cancer and heart disease continues to highlight women's health issues in this country and abroad."

Chancellor Hance added that as a West Texan, daughter of a Red Raider, and advocate of women's health, Mrs. Bush is a natural choice for the namesake of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Institute for Women's Health.

"The Institute makes a positive difference in the lives of Texans through their innovative research programs and efforts to educate women about health risks," said Mrs. Bush. "I am grateful for their good work and honored by their tribute."

John C. Baldwin, M.D., president of TTUHSC, said it is a privilege to rename the institute in honor of Mrs. Bush and also knows the institute will impact women from West Texas and across the nation.

"Nationally, the institute has the opportunity to set a standard for women's health educational outreach, health care literacy and integrated research programs as well as community partnerships," Baldwin said. "Our institution's faculty, staff and students will honor her name daily with our commitment to women's health issues." Modern-day research proves that some diseases react differently in men and women " challenging health care professionals to design special approaches to providing women's health information, disease diagnosis and treatment. Marjorie Jenkins, M.D., executive director of the institute, said nationally, women's health research and women's knowledge of health issues are underdeveloped.

"Gaps in knowledge about women's health are particularly striking for women with the highest risk factors for poor health " the elderly, minorities and those living in poverty," Jenkins said. "As an academic health institution, we must lead in finding answers for all women in areas of major causes of death such as heart disease, stroke and cancers of the lung and colon."

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Women's Health Research Institute was established in Amarillo in 2000 and expanded institution-wide in 2006 to include campuses in Amarillo, El Paso, Lubbock, the Permian Basin and Abilene. The expansion of the women's institute brings together the strengths of TTUHSC's five schools " Medicine, Nursing, Allied Health Sciences, Pharmacy and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

"This institute is dedicated to the pursuit of a healthier future for all women, by filling the gaps in knowledge that are necessary to provide the optimal health care for women," Jenkins said. "The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health will have an enduring impact on our host communities and the nation at large."

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