ORWH Hosts 4th Pinn Symposium
The NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health hosted the 4th annual Vivian W. Pinn Symposium on May 15 as part of the observation of the 20th anniversary of National Women’s Health Week. This year’s topic, “Improving Maternal Health: Behind the Numbers,” addressed the lasting medical complications that can result from pregnancy as well as U.S. maternal morbidity and mortality rates, which are the highest among peer nations.
Leading clinicians and researchers discussed relevant statistics, research and federal programs and described approaches to improving women’s health before, during and after pregnancy and throughout a woman’s life.
Dr. Vivian Pinn, the first full-time director of ORWH, introduced the symposium and Dr. Lisa Hollier, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, delivered the keynote address. Lamenting the increasing problem of maternal mortality in the United States, Hollier said, “We have the most exceptional infrastructure. We have a strong commitment to research. We have some of the most brilliant minds in the world, and yet we fail our mothers.”
Following the keynote, ORWH associate director for science policy, planning and analysis Dr. Samia Noursi characterized further some of the troubling statistics surrounding U.S. maternal morbidity and mortality.
A panel discussion, “Framing a Research Agenda to Advance Maternal Health Equity: From Bedside to Curbside,” featured Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell of Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing; Dr. Joia Adele Crear-Perry, president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative; Dr. Michael Lu of George Washington University; and Hollier.
Several federal health professionals then shared updates on maternal health activities from throughout HHS, including Sarah Foster of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr. Lynne P. Yao of the Food and Drug Administration; Dr. Michael D. Warren of the Health Resources and Services Administration; Dr. Sung Sug Yoon of the National Institute of Nursing Research; and Megan Mitchell of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
ORWH director Dr. Janine Clayton and Stacey D. Stewart, president of the March of Dimes, concluded the event.