Launching the Centre for Mature Women’s Health

Illustration of a group of women going on a hike.

Women have always been at the core of Mount Sinai Hospital ever since its inception nearly 100 years ago. Establishing a world-leading Centre for Mature Women’s Health is our next big step in improving care and reducing stigma around women’s health care.

Perimenopause and menopause is a natural transition for many women, often accompanied by a number of health issues associated with declining hormones. In response, Sinai Health has launched an unprecedented $50-million campaign to establish a world-leading Centre for Mature Women’s Health. The Centre will unite and expand Sinai Health’s clinical specialties into a single, one-stop shop at Mount Sinai Hospital, improving access to care and breaking down silos.

Grace Tong knows first-hand how access to care that prioritizes the needs of mature women can change everything. “Around age 45, I started noticing some dramatic shifts in my mood. I’d come home constantly upset and exhausted. I felt it affecting my family, and I felt it start to affect my work relationships as well. It just didn’t get better.”

Grace’s general practitioner prescribed her antidepressants, but not only did they fail to improve her mood, they made her feel unwell. That’s when she was referred to Mount Sinai’s Menopause Clinic.

Grace finally felt heard. “This was a clinic focused on women that understood women.”

Her physician, Dr. Wendy Wolfman, a trailblazer in mature women’s health and holder of the Carol Mitchell Chair in Menopause, assessed her symptoms and found Grace a treatment that worked for her.

“If I’d not gotten the support I needed, I think I would not have been able to continue with my career,” says Grace.

This is unfortunately still commonplace. Of those women in menopause, 70–80 per cent will have symptoms, and 20 per cent will have severe symptoms. Yet, one in three women over 40 are not aware that treatment for symptoms of perimenopause and menopause even exist. Why? Because stigma around mature women’s health still runs deep, and so do outdated notions about care.

The campaign for the Centre for Mature Women’s Health aims to spark a global shift in the narrative around mature women’s health, starting at Sinai Health. To date, it has raised $12 million towards the first of three phases of fundraising. It’s a reflection of the Sinai Health community’s continued commitment to health equity and deep understanding of the need to ensure that future generations are able to thrive throughout their entire lifespans.

In the words of philanthropist and Mount Sinai patient Robin Turack, “This will be more than a centre for mature women. It will be a community.”

1.2 billion 
women worldwide will reach menopause by 2030

47 million
more women around the world will enter menopause every year

of women’s lifetimes are spent after menopause; 80% of them will be symptomatic; 20% will have severe symptoms

$3 billion 
in lost revenue annually due to menopause, during the peak of women’s professional lives

1 in 3
women 40 years of age and older are not aware that treatment options for menopause and perimenopause exist

$12 million
raised for the Centre to date

A full-circle moment

Robin Turack gave birth to both her daughters at Mount Sinai Hospital. Twenty years later, she was referred to the hospital’s Menopause Clinic after other physicians had dismissed her symptoms.

When she heard about the campaign for the Centre for Mature Women’s Health, she knew she wanted to help. Robin joined the campaign committee, chaired by Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, Sinai Health Foundation Board Co-Chair. The committee is responsible for driving fundraising initiatives to reach the ambitious $50-million goal.

“There is a great need for women over 40 to have access to specialized medical care, but an absence of funding for it,” says Robin. “Mature women in perimenopause and menopause are often at the height of their careers and family life. Having a place to address symptoms will bring access to so many women suffering in silence.”

Infographic listing the various programs the Centre for Mature Women’s Health offers. Core programs include: Sexual Medicine, Vulvar Disease, Menopause, Premature Ovarian Insufficiency, Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, Urogynaecology & Female Pelvic Medicine. Supporting programs include: Cardiology & Heart Disease, Nutritional Sciences/Metabolic Conditions, Sleep Disorders. Future programs include: Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis & Joint Function, Psychiatry & Mental Health, Breast Disorders & Cancer Survivorship.

Illustration by Jeannie Phan