Initiative for Women with Disabilities Moves to New Location


Bigger Space Offers Broader Health, Wellness and Education Programs and Services for Women with Significant Musculoskeletal Conditions

December 12, 2011 - 9:39am

The Initiative for Women with Disabilities Elly and Steve Hammerman Health & Wellness Center (IWD) at NYU Langone Medical Center opened the doors to a new 4,200-square-foot facility located at 359 Second Avenue in Manhattan.  IWD was established in 1997 in a single medical office within the Hospital for Joint Diseases as one of the only comprehensive, multi-disciplinary health centers in the region specifically designed to provide accessible gynecology, primary care, physical therapy and wellness services for women with physical disabilities. To date, IWD has provided high-quality care for more than 7,000 women and adolescent girls with physical disabilities.

“This is the only facility of its kind to offer women with disabilities medical, health and wellness services under a single roof – and this new space will provide greater access to these programs and specialized gynecological equipment that is not available in most physician offices,” said Judith Goldberg, MA, NCC, and director of IWD. “Today we have more than 400 women who regularly participate in our programs and this larger, stand-alone facility will allow us to provide health and wellness services to more women and adolescent girls that need them – in an environment that respects their unique physical and emotional needs.”

The new, three-story facility includes a 500-square-foot activity room for programs and exercise classes; two clinical exam rooms with specialized gynecological equipment designed for women with significant mobility conditions; and a dedicated space for nutritional counseling, social work and meetings.  Currently, the IWD offers more than 20 medical, health and wellness services and programs, including gynecology, primary care, acupuncture, Zumba dance and the Young Women’s Program.

The IWD Young Women’s Program is an afterschool program for girls between the ages of 14 and 21 with physical disabilities. The program teaches the concepts of health and wellness to help the young women develop a better sense of themselves as individuals, to respect and honor their bodies and take charge of their own healthy lifestyle.

“Studies show that once physical barriers are addressed and minimized, women with disabilities lead active and productive lives and learn they have much to contribute to society,” adds Goldberg. “The Young Women’s Program increases opportunities for socializing with peers and mentors and teaches them about community resources, helping these young women develop self-care skills, set goals for healthy lifestyles – and lead more independent lives.”

You can learn more about IWD at NYU Langone at