Overview

Overview

The Center for Specialized Women's Health specializes in interdisciplinary mid-life women’s health.

Women can access specialized health care at the Center for Specialized Women's Health as well as referral to other areas of the Clinic if needed. In addition to routine wellness exams and health care screenings by our nurse practitioner, we offer CustomFit Physicals for women, menopause consults and evaluation and treatment of numerous medical problems of special concern to women including osteoporosis, hormone disorders, urinary leakage, sexual dysfunction, menstrual disorders, vulvar problems and weight concerns.

Center professionals are happy to accommodate patients who are seeking second opinions, as well as patients who prefer female providers.

The Center for Specialized Women’s Health is adjacent to the Clinic’s Breast Center.

A Special Blend of Care for Women

"While studying heart disease, I observed how women and men displayed different symptoms and responded differently to medications. Gender, life-cycle stage, and risk factor assessment are at the core of disease prevention," says Dr. Thacker, Professor and Director of the Center for Specialized Women's Health at the Clinic. "I found that heart disease in women was not well studied from a hormonal perspective, and that’s when I realized the value of interdisciplinary medicine, particularly for women."

That interest, coupled with her respect for Joseph P. Crowe, MD, who founded the Clinic’s multidisciplinary Breast Center, is what sparked Dr. Thacker’s vision for the Center for Specialized Women's Health, designed to provide comprehensive specialty care for women at one location. The center is located at the Flo and Stanley Gault Women’s Health and Breast Pavilion in the Crile building on the Clinic’s main campus, and last year alone served more than 20,000 women.

The center has drawn international attention, too, with physicians from Israel, Canada and Saudi Arabia visiting to find out how they could set up similar women’s health facilities in their countries.

An Interdisciplinary Approach

What sets the Center for Specialized Women's Health apart from many women’s clinics is its interdisciplinary approach, in which physicians with different medical specialties, nurses and other allied health professionals collaborate on patient care. Women can come to the center for menstrual, breast and hormonal concerns, and other conditions specific to women and receive a complete menu of services, from consultation to imaging, to outpatient surgical procedures – all custom-designed for the individual.

Physicians from the Clinic’s Breast Center, Gynecology, Medicine, Endocrinology and Psychiatry converge at the Center for Specialized Women's Health, some working only at the center, while others rotate in from other offices one to two days a week.

In addition to standard health screenings and consultations, the center handles cross-disciplinary issues and special concerns. Often these physical concerns can lead to psychological issues and the center is there to help with that, too.

"For those women who struggle with mood disorders related to their hormonal cycle, this is the place to get the best treatment," says psychiatrist Lilian Gonsalves, MD. "Common problems we see here include anxiety and mood disorders, and we use a combination of medications, psychotherapy and stress management to treat patients."

The center handles cross-disciplinary issues and special concerns such as:

  • Breast Cancer risk assessment
  • Hormonal and menstrual disorders
  • Use of bioidentical hormone therapy
  • Medical treatment urinary incontinence including pelvic stimulating devices
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Vulvar and vaginal disorders
  • Osteoporosis prevention and treatment
  • CustomFit Physicals for women

Shared Medical Appointments

In addition to interdisciplinary treatment, the Center for Specialized Women's Health offers shared medical appointments for 10 to 15 women with their physician and a women’s health nurse. Rather than the standard 10- to 15-minute one-on-one appointment scheduled weeks to months in advance, women can spend up to 90 minutes with their physician for follow-up care along with other women who have similar health issues.

Center for Specialized Women's Health physicians host their shared medical appointments at set times weekly. Analysis of patient satisfaction scores shows that many prefer shared medical appointments to individual appointments; in fact, women who shared appointments showed an 85 percent reschedule rate. “We are the premier interdisciplinary women’s health center in the region, state and country,” says Dr. Holly L. Thacker.

Questions?

Confused about hormone replacement therapy? Wondering if you really need a yearly mammogram? Need help with urinary incontinence? Want a CustomFit Physical designed for you?

Many women have questions about their health care. Please call 216.444.4437 for more information or to make an appointment.

The Flo & Stanley Gault Women’s Health & Breast Pavilion is made possible through the generous support of an Avon Foundation grant.

Be Strong...Be Healthy...Be In Charge with Speaking of Women's Health!

Speaking of Women's Health (SWH) is a national health education program from Cleveland Clinic's Center for Specialized Women's Health. The programs mission is "to educate women to make informed decisions about health, well-being and personal safety for themselves and their families". Under the leadership of Holly L. Thacker, MD, SWH consists of a rich digital platform and exciting women's conferences with social media and an interactive website, www.speakingofwomenshealth.com, and a free e-Newsletter.

Sign up for the Speaking of Women's Health monthly e-newsletter to receive health and lifestyle tips, delicious recipes, free treatment guides, conference updates, and more- twice a month.

Watch videos and follow featured expert blog

Certified Menopause Practitioner Program

Several Cleveland Clinic staff members have participated in the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Certified Menopause Practitioner Program (NCMP), a competency examination program to set the standards for menopause practices, and to assist women in locating clinicians who could provide optimal menopause-related health care.

Additional Information

View previous chat transcripts

Pap Smears and Cervical Cancer Survival

Dr. Holly Thacker says smear tests can boost chances of surviving cervical cancer.

Holly L. Thacker, MD, Executive Director of Speaking of Women’s Health, Awarded Research Grant

Holly L. Thacker, MD, was awarded a $10,000 research grant as one of 10 winners of the Healthnetwork Foundation Service Excellence Awards. The Service Excellence Awards are given annually to 10 top physicians who have consistently gone above and beyond for members. Dr. Thacker also is being recognized for demonstrating a long-term commitment to premium-level patient care and medical research.

Healthnetwork Foundation is a Cleveland-based non-profit that networks presidents and CEOs into the top hospitals in the U.S. when their members have medical needs. Its mission is to improve medicine for all society through philanthropy.

Dr. Thacker is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Specialized Women’s Health and the Executive Director of Speaking of Women’s Health. She is an associate professor at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Thacker published her second women’s health book “Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause.”

Dr. Thacker was honored by the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) and the Journal of Women’s Health with the "Lila Wallis Women’s Health Award" in recognition of her lifetime achievements, accomplishments, motivation, mentorship, energy and enthusiasm for women’s health.

What We Treat

What We Treat

Women are notorious for putting their healthcare needs behind those of everyone else. Cleveland Clinic experts in the Center for Specialized Women’s Health encourage every woman to follow this guideline for their screenings and immunizations.

Download our guidelines

What We Treat

Services

In addition to wellness exams, professionals within the Center for Specialized Women's Health offer a variety of services, including evaluation and/or treatment of:

  • Breast cancer risk assessment and breast concerns
  • Cervical disease including HPV, colposcopy and LEEP
  • CustomFit Physicals for women
  • Female Sexual dysfunction
  • Hormonal concerns and menopausal hormone therapy including “bio-identical” hormones
  • Menopause
  • Obesity Management for Women
  • Osteoporosis including bone density and treatments which include yearly infusion therapy
  • Peri- and post- menopausal concerns
  • Sexually transmitted infections and vaginitis and vulvar disorders.
  • Urinary incontinence/urine leakage and medical treatment with pelvic stimulation devices
  • Urinary tract infections/bladder symptoms

Women can access routine cancer screenings and information on cardiovascular disease prevention. In addition, expert counseling is available with respect to:

  • Contraception
  • Preconception/pre-pregnancy concerns

For women wanting primary care for routine and repeated observation with doctors who can also perform regular pap smears, visit with one of our women’s health primary care providers

Watch videos and follow featured expert blog

CustomFit Physicals

CustomFit Physicals

Your CustomFit Concierge

Your CustomFit experience starts with a call to a women's health expert registered nurse. After discussing your medical history, health concerns and lifestyle, the nurse will consult with Center for Specialized Women's Health physicians to recommend a set of evaluations tailored to your needs. She will then schedule your exams in succession to optimize your visit.

Beyond Your CustomFit Physical

Before you leave, you’ll have a complete picture of your health and a personalized take-home plan to improve your wellness and reduce risks. Should you require additional screenings, consultations or follow-up visits based on your CustomFit Physical, the nurse will arrange access to top-ranked Cleveland Clinic specialists on your behalf.

Call 216.445.7600 to begin your CustomFit Physical experience.

Baseline Physicals* include:

  • Detailed physical exam
  • Basic laboratory tests
  • Pelvic exam
  • Breast exam
  • Breast cancer risk assessment
  • Hormone assessment

Additional exam options* that may also be recommended for you include:

  • Mammogram and breast cancer risk assessment
  • Thyroid (TSH) test and hormonal assessment
  • Cervical pap smear with HPV test, if indicated
  • Cholesterol screening and complete lipid profile
  • Bone density test, if indicated
  • Personalized genetic assessment
  • Body fat, nutritional analysis and counseling
  • Body scan, if indicated
  • Physical therapy and/or exercise consultation
  • Echo cardiac stress test
  • Aesthetic skin care services (not covered by insurance)
  • Female sexual dysfunction evaluation and discussion of treatment options
  • Urine leakage evaluation and nonsurgical treatment options including InTone, APEX, InToneMV, APEXM and Intensity devices

* All medical treatments and services listed above will be billed to your insurance. Patients may be responsible for co-pays and deductibles, or out-of-pocket expenses based on the terms and conditions of their insurance plans.

Watch videos and follow featured expert blog

Watch patient education videos on variety of women’s health topics.

Follow Dr. Holly L. Thacker’s featured expert section on Cleveland Clinic’s health essentials blog.

Sign up for our free Speaking of Women’s Health eNewsletter to receive health and lifestyle tips, delicious recipes, free treatment guides, conference updates and more!

Our Doctors

Our Doctors

Appointments

Appointments

If you like to schedule an appointment at the Center for Specialized Women's Health, call  Cleveland Clinic ObGyn & Women’s Health Institute at 216.444.6601, or toll-free, 800.223.2273, ext 46601.

The Center for Specialized Women's Health is located on the main floor of the Crile Building, the “A” building (on East 100th Street between Euclid and Carnegie avenues) on the Clinic’s main campus.

Shared Medical Appointments

Interested in a Shared Medical Appointment (SMA)? This is an opportunity to get convenient women’s health follow up  with women who have similar health problems and concerns. They often provide patients with new insight and valuable information about their own health. Patients also enjoy the additional time they spend with their physician and appreciate the support of other healthcare professionals.

To learn more about shared medical appointments, call Rhonda Jackson, Patient  Service Representative  at 216.445.2720.

Watch videos and follow featured expert blog

Watch patient education videos on variety of women’s health topics.

Follow Dr. Holly L. Thacker’s featured expert section on Cleveland Clinic’s health essentials blog.

Sign up for our free Speaking of Women’s Health eNewsletter to receive health and lifestyle tips, delicious recipes, free treatment guides, conference updates and more!

Speaking of Women's Health

Speaking of Women's Health

Be Strong...Be Healthy...Be In Charge with Speaking of Women's Health!

Speaking of Women's Health (SWH) is a national health education program from Cleveland Clinic's Center for Specialized Women's Health. The program’s mission is "to educate women to make informed decisions about health, well-being and personal safety for themselves and their families."

Under the leadership of Holly L. Thacker, MD, SWH consists of exciting women's conferences, and an interactive website with health information from women’s health experts, recipes, tips and more.

Special events in Ohio and at cities around the United States provide women with the opportunity to speak with Cleveland Clinic experts about prominent women’s health issues during a physician question and answer session. The popular events are hosted by local medical professions in such areas as women’s health, obstetrics, cardiovascular health, dermatology, nutrition, and more.

Stay Connected!

Resources

Resources

The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause

If you're careening through midlife in crisis mode, this book will help you feel more confident about the changes that are occurring. The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause is a compassionate, practical guide that gently reminds women that midlife is not only a time of change but also a time of great freedom.

Full of insightful information, The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause provides peace of mind and helps women regain control of their personal health during midlife. Here's the truth about hormone therapy as well as other safe and effective methods for finding wellness. You'll learn about:

  • How to stop hot flashes and get a good night's sleep
  • The facts about vitamins, supplements, and antidepressants
  • Using diet and exercise to boost energy
  • The basics of good bone health
  • Preventing cancer and heart disease
  • How to recharge your sex life

Dr. Thacker's new book is a compassionate, practical guide that gently reminds women that midlife is not only a time of change but also a time of great freedom.