Former First Lady Laura Bush Honors Mother by Promoting Women's Health

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On Tuesday, Aug. 10, former first lady Laura W. Bush and her mother Jenna Welch attended the official dedication of the Jenna Welch Women’s Center of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Laura W. Bush Institute of Women's Health. The Jenna Welch Women’s Center delivers expert medical care for women and their families. The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health serves as a catalyst and connector to improve the lives of women and girls through research, education and outreach.

Laura Bush and Jenna Welch View Center's Front Lobby

I believe that life-long good health, begins with awareness, by educating women, who are too busy taking care of their children, taking care of their jobs, and taking care of everyone else to take care of themselves.

On Tuesday, Aug. 10, former first lady Laura W. Bush and her mother Jenna Welch attended the official dedication of the Jenna Welch Women’s Center of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, 301 N. Ave. N in Midland.

Bush and her mother began their visit with a tour of the facility whose staff provides expert medical care for women and their families. In partnership with the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, the center strives for excellence in research, education and community outreach.

In a ceremony to honor Bush and her mother, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., talked about rural and “frontier” populations of West Texas and how the Jenna Welch Women’s Center plays an important part in meeting the area’s unique health care needs.

Bush spoke enthusiastically about the partnership between the Jenna Welch Women’s Center and the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health:

"I believe that life-long good health begins with awareness by educating women who are too busy taking care of their children, taking care of their jobs and taking care of everyone else to take care of themselves,” Bush said.

Bush also discussed the history of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health.

“It began as a community-wide effort to improve women’s health through research and education,” Bush said. “Since then, the institute has taken on some of the most pressing health problems we face as women, including early diagnosis of ovarian cancer, finding better drugs to treat breast cancer, and an issue that’s becoming more and more important to me, women and the aging process.”

Mitchell expressed high hopes for the center.

“We are extremely honored to expand our program under the designation of two leaders whose names represent such support and advocacy for women," Mitchell said. "This center has the potential to make an impact on women’s health, not only in West Texas, but throughout our state.”

In 2007, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Midland Memorial Hospital and Medical Center Hospital united to create the Permian Basin presence of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health. The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents approved the designation of the Jenna Welch Women’s Center of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health in October 2008. In April 2010, Texas Tech Physicians of Midland opened its doors and now houses the Jenna Welch Women’s Center.

Today, under the direction of Leslie Chupp, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Odessa, the Jenna Welch Women’s Center provides patient care in the areas of women’s wellness, adolescent health, first trimester pregnancy loss, chronic pelvic pain and minimally invasive total hysterectomies.

The regional Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, in collaboration with the Jenna Welch Women’s Center, will continue to partner with other Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine campuses for research opportunities and community health events. Several local areas of women’s health will be targeted to provide health literacy, risk prevention and specialty care that will enhance and broaden medical training and services already in existence.

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