Toluhi, Angelina A. MD, MPH; Richardson, Molly R. MPH, PhD; Julian, Zoe I. MD, MPH; Sinkey, Rachel G. MD; Knight, Candace C. PhD; Budhwani, Henna MPH, PhD; Szychowski, Jeff M. PhD; Wingate, Martha S. DrPH, MPH; Tita, Alan T. MD, PhD; Baskin, Monica L. MS, PhD; Turan, Janet M. MPH, PhD
Obstetrics & Gynecology 142(4):p 873-885, October 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000005326
The authors attempt to uncover the factors related to practitioners and health care services that lead to inequities in maternal health in Alabama.
Heersink School Medicine News, Mary Ashley Canevaro, September 26, 2023
Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, senior associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Heersink School of Medicine and director of the Minority Health and Health Equity Research Center, has been elected to the National Institutes of Health’s Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) Working Group on Diversity.
The ACD Working Group on Diversity seeks to develop effective diversity-related strategies for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on research. Some of their priorities include enhancing access and opportunities for the biomedical research workforce to nurture a diverse community, identifying strategies to address underfunding of minority health and health disparities research, and advancing programs that enhance recruitment and retention of individuals from wide-ranging backgrounds. The group also advises on policy and procedural changes relating to addressing disparities in research, training, and professional development.
Fouad sits among a small, selected group of experts from nationally renowned institutions, including Yale University, Hopkins Medicine, University of Michigan, and New York University, among others.
Congratulations to Dr. Carlo & Dr. Chomba & colleagues on the competitive renewal of the Global Network for Women’s & Children’s Health Research!
Read more about the ongoing research partnership, supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD of the NIH ➡️https://bit.ly/3qlwWJI
The funding for UAB’s site of the ongoing program, Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Health Research, has been competitively renewed for a seven-year term by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health.
Alan T. N. Tita, M.D., Ph.D., director for the Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health (MHIGH) and associate dean for Global and Women’s Health, recently visited South Africa to attend the International Maternal Newborn Health Conference (IMNHC) 2023 and visit the facilities of the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI).
“I attended IMNHC 2023 in Cape Town to present our RCT (A-PLUS) of azithromycin to prevent maternal sepsis in low/middle-income countries (LMICs) and used the opportunity to visit UAB faculty, Drs. Emily Wong and Adrie Steyn, and host organization, AHRI,” said Tita. “I also met leaders of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. There is a lot to follow up on as we continue building important partnerships in South Africa.”
At IMNHC 2023 in Cape Town, Tita witnessed the release of “Improving maternal and newborn health and survival and reducing stillbirth – Progress report 2023,” among other important updates on priorities for maternal and newborn health. The report, released by the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), highlights global progress on maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, and stillbirths as well as efforts to meet targets for these challenges. Besides networking on future opportunities, Tita met Albert Manasyan, M.D., associate professor in the UAB Department of Pediatrics, located in Zambia, who also attended the conference.
The Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy trial, led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, received the David Sackett Trial of the Year award from the Society for Clinical Trials. The prestigious award is given to a clinical trial that improves the lot of humankind and provides substantial and beneficial change to health care.
The CHAP trial evaluated the effects of prescribing blood pressure medication to pregnant women with mild chronic hypertension. Results published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2022 showed treatment improved pregnancy outcomes without compromising the baby’s growth and overall health, which was a primary concern for physicians for years. CHAP results have since led to changes in national guidelines.
“Chronic hypertension causes serious and life-threatening complications for pregnant women and their babies,” said Alan Tita, M.D., Ph.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, principal investigator for the CHAP trial, and lead author of the NEJM paper. “Between 70 percent and 80 percent of pregnant women with chronic hypertension fall into the ‘mild’ category, where there was not a medical consensus for treatment.”
The CHAP consortium — including over 60 collaborating clinical sites across the United States, with clinical and data coordinating centers in the UAB departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Center for Women’s Reproductive Health and the department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health — launched the CHAP program in 2014 with funding from the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. From September 2015 to March 2021, CHAP enrolled more than 2,400 pregnant women with mild chronic hypertension whose blood pressure was greater than 140/90 mmHg but less than 160/105 mmHg.
Brian M. Casey, M.D., has been named as the holder of the John C. Hauth Endowed Professorship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UAB Marnix E Heersink School of Medicine. The appointment was approved by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees during the April meeting.
The creation of the endowed position was approved by trustees in November 2015 to honor emeritus professor John Hauth, M.D., who directed the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine for more than 10 years.
“It is an extreme honor to hold Dr. Hauth’s Endowed Professorship here at UAB,” said Casey. “Dr. Hauth helped build and bring our division to national prominence and, to me, serves as an outstanding example that I aspire to every day.”
Casey is the director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the vice chair for obstetrics. He is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine. Before coming to UAB, Casey spent 23 years on faculty at Parkland Hospital and UT Southwestern.
Congratulations to Alan Tita, whose CHAP study was selected as the top and most impactful study at TS23 Clinical Research Forum, and earning the prestigious Herbert Pardes Clinical Research Excellence Award! Tita’s work joins studies from IH, University of Chicago, MGH, Hopkins, Yale, UC Davis, and Cleveland Clinic selected as the top 10 studies this year.
UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.