Columbia University Irving Medical Center selected as a Maternal Health Research Center of Excellence

The NIH-funded initiative will support research to reduce pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality while promoting equity

As part of the National Institutes of Health’s Implementing a Maternal Health and Pregnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) initiative, Columbia University Irving Medical Center has been selected as a Maternal Health Research Center of Excellence. The NIH announced $24 million in funding for the first year to ten research centers across the country with the grants expected to last seven years for a total of $168 million. The research centers will develop and evaluate innovative approaches to reduce pregnancy-related complications and deaths with a focus on addressing disparities in outcomes.

Dr. Uma Reddy, Vice Chair of Research and a maternal-fetal medicine specialist in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at CUIMC, coordinated the application to the NIH entitled, NY Community-Hospital-Academic Maternal Health Equity Partnerships (NY-CHAMP), and will serve as the Contact Principal Investigator. “This initiative is a transformative opportunity to harness the power of New York community, academia, public health, and medicine to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity and promote health equity for all birthing people in our state,” said Reddy, “made possible only through bringing together the expertise of multiple principal investigators.”

NY-CHAMP’s Principal Investigators include:

Kelli Stidham Hall, PhD (CUIMC, Mailman School of Public Health)

Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PHD (CUIMC, School of Nursing)

Lauren M. Osborne, MD (Weill Cornell Medicine)

Monika M. Safford, MD (Weill Cornell Medicine)

Sevonna Brown (Black Women’s Blueprint)

Madeleine Dorval Moller (Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership)

Emilie Rodriguez (The Bridge Directory)

Victoria St. Clair (Caribbean Women’s Health Association)

Partnering with a multitude of organizations and institutions across New York, NY-CHAMP seeks to build lasting partnerships between organizations that serve maternal care deserts within New York City and rural areas of New York State, including Weill Cornell Medicine, NYC Health + Hospitals, Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, Black Women’s Blueprint, the Bridge Directory, Caribbean Women’s Health Association, NYS Department of Health, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, University of Rochester Medical Center, Nurse Family Partnership program, Perinatal and Infant Community Health program, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) District II Safe Motherhood Initiative. NY-CHAMP will include two synergistic clinical-community projects focusing on a doula-delivered postpartum support intervention and policy solutions to address structural racism as a driver of maternal health disparities.

“Funding to support and evaluate enhanced collaboration between everyone that serves pregnant people is critical to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in New York State, and we are honored to have been chosen by the NIH to build upon our work,” said Dr. Mary D’Alton, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Obstetrician-and-Gynecologist in Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Columbia received $2.3 million in funding for the first year, and NY-CHAMP was the only project in the Northeast to receive funding.

Together with Weill Cornell Medicine, Columbia is part of the NewYork-Presbyterian healthcare system.

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