Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine

A special committee of the Woman's Medical College/Medical College of Pennsylvania Special Trust Fund was convened in 1998 to protect the Archives and Special Collections on Women in Medicine, a nationally recognized archival collection, during bankruptcy proceedings at The Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University Medical School. The Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine (FHWIM) was founded as a recommendation of that special committee and played a significant role in shepherding the Archives and Special Collections through the bankruptcy process.

In 2001, with the most urgent part of its original mission fulfilled, the FHWIM turned its focus to its larger mission to promote the history of women in medicine and the medical sciences on a national and international level. At this point in history, it became clear that the Foundation's greatest impact would be made by providing funding, resources, and expertise through partnerships with other organizations in effecting programs and projects that facilitate the preservation of the unique perspectives and contributions of women in medicine so that the knowledge of their work will continue to shape the future of medicine.

FHWIM was founded with the belief that knowing the historical past is a powerful force in shaping the future. FHWIM takes pride in “preserving our past to influence the future”, and focuses on its mission,

To promote and to preserve the history of women in medicine and the medical sciences.

The Foundation's Board of Trustees believes strongly in furthering their mission by partnering with organizations that share the same passion for and commitment to the history of women in medicine and the medical sciences, and integrating this history into the medical community.

The Archives for Women in Medicine first partnered with the Foundation in 2007 to establish the Women in Medicine research fellowship – the first of many collaborative endeavors between the two organizations. Fellowships are offered annually to support research related to the history of women utilizing collections held in the Center for the History of Medicine here at the Countway. The fellowship enables scholars, who might not otherwise have the opportunity, to access the rich holdings of the Center for the History of Medicine. Since 2007, The Archives for Women in Medicine and the Foundation have hosted 10 Fellows.

Sections adapted from the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine website, here and here.

Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine