The IWCH Network was founded by Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese in 1998 and was originally aimed at promoting global health education among students, faculty, and community members at McMaster. The key product of the Network was a one-day symposium featuring different talks on issues related to women and children’s health around the world. Jean, with the assistance of Dr. Lynda Redwood-Campbell and Mary Harvey (among other faculty members) coordinated the conference each year. Students from various faculties (particularly medicine, nursing, and midwifery) were very involved in organizing the conference. Since 2007, students have exclusively chaired the IWCH Conference.
The IWCH Network is committed to improving the health of women and children in disadvantaged places of the world through leadership development, clinical outreach and research.
Traditional research and education has neglected women’s health issues. This is particularly evident in the developing world, where the majority of science and research is not relevant to major causes of morbidity and mortality. McMaster University has a tremendous potential to change this and improve the health of many people around the world. It can do so through newly-focused participation in international health care delivery, education and research.
The vision of the IWCH Network is to improve the health of needy women and children. It does this by mobilizing professionals, and equipping dedicated students in leadership development, research and education, both at home and abroad.
Leadership and Development
IWCH is first and foremost designed to empower health care professionals, students, and the general public to be in positions for education and mentorship around the issues of international women’s and children’s health. We provide lecture series and small-group workshops that help our participants develop the skills necessary to navigate and communicate these issues.
Clinical Programs and Outreach to Women and Children
Members are involved in a variety of projects and countries, including Haiti, Angola, Yemen, Mongolia, and Uganda as well as refugee and aboriginal health in Canada. Our conference also showcases local community organizations that work to improve health outcomes and health equity for women and children within our own neighbourhoods.
At IWCH, our research fair highlights the work of students that engage in demographic and interventional studies, both locally and internationally. We emphasize an evidence-based approach to identifying core problems that affect women and children around the globe as well as any tangible solutions. Our aim is to allow conference participants to think critically and provide academic methodologies to answering questions concerning these important issues.