Women have very specific health care needs. Aside from the reproductive aspect, women are more susceptible to certain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and other immune system disorders. Even when men and women have the same condition – such as heart disease – women may have different symptoms or respond to treatment differently compared to men.
With these considerations in mind, here are the best women’s health clinic facilities in the US, as rated by US News and World Report and Becker’s Hospital Review. All the organizations on this list have been recognized for excellence by multiple sources such as professional medical and nursing associations, with decisions based on evidence of quality care, as well as clinical accolades and awards.
The 10 Best Women’s Health Clinic Facilities
1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
n addition to being ranked the best hospital in the US by the US News and World Report, Mayo Clinic is also a top-rated facility for gynecology services. Mayo’s department of obstetrics and gynecology has some of the most advanced gynecological specialty and pregnancy services in the entire country.
Mayo also leads in research on women’s health issues and established the Women’s Health Research Center in 2011. The research focuses on a variety of women’s health issues including cancer, breast services, heart disease, and more.
2. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a top health clinic and it has been so for over 175 years. According to World Report and US News, the programs offered by this women’s health clinic are the second best in the country in gynecology services.
The facility offers specialized programs in women’s heart disease, maternal-fetal medicine, lupus, women’s sports medicine, and other areas. Brigham and Women’s Hospital also launched the Nurses’ Health Study in 1976. This is one of the largest and longest-running women’s health studies, which has led to ground-breaking findings in all areas of women’s health. The studies are now in their third generation and count more than 280,000 participants.
3. Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Clinic ranks third nationally in terms of gynecologic services. Its nationally recognized women’s health program has one of the only special delivery units in the nation, with a team including maternal-fetal specialists, neonatologists and other professionals who offer coordinated care to women who are pregnant and for the critically ill. Cleveland Clinic also has an active research program, which developed a prototype vaccine that may prevent breast cancer.
4. Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut
One of the highest-ranked gynecology institutions in the country, the hospital developed the world’s first newborn special care unit. It also has a dedicated women’s heart health program, a urogynecological surgery program and a unique precancerous treatment program for lesions in the cervix, Fallopian tubes, vagina, and vulva.
5. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
Johns Hopkins offers specific care centers for cardiovascular health, fertility treatment, gynecologic oncology, maternity services, mood disorders, and pelvic health. The hospital has hosted an annual women’s health conference since 1995, open to the public.
6. New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, New York
This is the New York City’s first medical clinic devoted to women’s health and it dates back to 1887. The facility also hired the first woman professor of clinical medicine in the United States back in 1946. It is nationally recognized for gynecology, obstetrical care, reproductive medicine and other women’s health services.
7. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, California
UCSF Medical Center is known as one of the premier academic medical centers in the US and is an HHS-designated National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. It also boasts the UCSF Women’s Health Clinical Research Center, created in 2001 to strengthen clinical and teaching programs in women’s health.
8. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
In addition to comprehensive gynecologic and pregnancy care, Northwestern offers programs in aging disorders such as Alzheimer’s, female-specific cancers, movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease and women’s heart health. It also boasts one of the premier women’s cancer programs, with more than 100 active clinical trials.
9. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
HUP is noted for behavioral health, breast health, cardiac care, cancer care, OB/GYN services and orthopedic care specifically for women. It also has the only reproductive research laboratory in the Philadelphia region.
10. NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City, New York
The obstetrics and gynecology divisions at Langone have eight specialty subdivisions: epidemiology, family planning, global women’s health, gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, obstetric and gynecologic ultrasound, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, and urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery. The division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility pioneered preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
Factors to Consider When Researching Women’s Health Clinic Facilities
When it comes to healthcare needs, everyone is different. That being said, quality facilities are known to come with certain features that help them stand out from the crowd.
First of all, they should pride themselves in offering care for every age, so that they will be able to meet your needs at every stage of life. This means that they should offer care when it comes to everything from contraceptives, fertility, pregnancy, menopause, chronic illness, and so on.
On the same note, they should give patients the option of seeing a woman as a healthcare provider, since the provider’s gender is often an important factor for women seeking medical attention.
Additionally, top-rated women’s clinics are known to provide reliable resources for patients that are easily available between appointments. In other words, the facility should be easily accessible either online or via phone, with someone always there to answer additional questions.
Finally, the facility needs to be clear when communicating what patients should expect from any given appointment. That means that you need to know in advance which documents to bring and which questions you will likely be asked. This doesn’t only boost efficiency, but also makes the patient feel more comfortable and prepared.
Which Women’s Health Clinic Should You Choose?
Although you can find a women’s health clinic almost anywhere in the US, the top centers tend to be located in large metropolitan areas and on the coasts. Women who are facing certain health issues, such as rare malignancies, may need to travel in order to have access to top-notch care. In addition to these major medical centers, many communities offer good basic women’s health care and some even offer specialized women’s health clinics.
Your choice will likely be determined by your medical care needs, your geographic location, your ability to travel and your insurance coverage. There are so many factors that go into choosing a women’s health clinic that it is impossible to make a specific recommendation.
Discuss your options with your family doctor and gynecologist and research different organizations by reviewing their websites. At the same time, you can look up information from reputable organizations like the American Nurses Credentialing Center, Becker’s Hospital Review, Delta Group CareChex, HealthGrades, HHS and its National Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health model, US News and World Report, and the World Health Organization’s and UNICEF’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
Women’s health care is a complex issue and there simply is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, there are a number of resources to help you make a decision. If you have experience with any of the organizations listed or suggestions to offer other readers, please feel free to share your comments.