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Global Health


SMFM's Global Health Committee is committed to improving the health of women and children in underserved international communities.  As opportunities for clinicians arise, we will share them here.



Committee Members

Kelli Barbour, MD
Dr. Barbour is an assistant professor at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston where she works 60% domestically and 40% globally with her efforts focused in Lilongwe, Malawi. She received her MD and a Master's in Global Health Sciences at UC San Francisco and spent time working at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  She completed residency at Indiana University, which allowed her the opportunity to spend 5 months in Eldoret, Kenya, working at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. As a fellow at the University of Utah, she received the SMFM Queenan Fellowship where she worked at the World Health Organization for 6 months. SMFM members can learn more about Dr. Barbour's work in Special Delivery.

Robert Goldenberg, MD

Dr. Robert Goldenberg is a professor at Columbia University in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He previously was the chair of Ob/Gyn at the University of Alabama Birmingham. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and has published over 500 journal articles. He has had an extensive career in global health which includes leading the NIAID HIVNET 024 study (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Lilongwe and Blantyre, Malawi; and Lusaka, Zambia) of antibiotics to prevent chorioamnionitis, related maternal to child transmission of HIV. He was a co-founder of CIDRZ, the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia that, in addition to undertaking substantial research on maternal and neonatal health and HIV MTCT, has cared for more than 200,000 HIV infected people. He is currently chairing a NICHD Global Network multi-country study on Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care and has consulted on pregnancy outcomes in Armenia, Colombia, Egypt, India, and Zambia. SMFM members can learn more about Dr. Goldenberg's work in Special Delivery.

Alexis C. Gimovsky, MD

Home Institution: The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Brief description of prior Global Health work and countries: Guyana- Worked with the World Health Organization on providing ultrasound education and training; Ethiopia- Helped with development and continuation of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship program.

Research Interests: clinical obstetrics, normal and abnormal labor, fetal echocardiography, prenatal diagnosis, medical education, analytics and predictive modeling

Scott Petersen, MD, FACOG

Home Institution: The George Washington University

Brief description of prior Global Health work and countriesNiger, Africa (October 2013). Two week MEDRETE supporting USAFRICOM, providing Obstetrical and Gynecologic care to women in Niamey, Niger. Performed nearly 30 surgeries and provided high risk obstetrical consultation to the maternity hospital; Dhaka, Bangladesh and Lilongwe, Malawi (April 2014). Two week pilot project directed at teaching local providers about the use of Antenatal Corticosteroids to mitigate the morbidities and mortality associated with preterm birth. Served as an initial member of Survive & Thrive, a USAID funded collaborative group of obstetricians, pediatricians and midwives planning to expand these programs in the developing world over the next 5 years; Mbeya, Tanzania (May 2014). Provided quality assurance and feedback for the Tanzanian cervical cancer screening program HIV-positive and negative women. With the help of a WRNMMC OBGYN resident, implemented and educated local providers on the “See and Treat” treatment program to reduce the risk of invasive cervical cancer amongst HIV-positive women. This is an ongoing project with planned funding for a resident and staff physician to visit the region every 6 months as part of an ongoing process improvement and research collaboration project; Abuja, Nigeria (August/September 2015). One week pilot teaching project directed at teaching local providers about the treatment and mitigation strategies to reduce the morbidities and mortality associated with preterm birth. Continue to serve as an initial member of Survive & Thrive, a USAID funded collaborative group of obstetricians, pediatricians and midwives planning to expand these programs in the developing world over the next 4 years; Hue City, Vietnam (October 2016). Site director for ACOG initiative to increase global health volunteerism among its membership. I will be the country lead for ACOG members setting up teaching and clinical time at the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy (HUMP) in OBGYN and the subspecialty areas of MFM, REI, UROGYN, and Gynecologic Oncology as HUMP modernizes their post graduate medical training programs in OBGYN.

Research Interests: prenatal diagnosis, novel fetal therapies, medical student and resident education, and global health.

Elizabeth Stringer, MD

Dr. Stringer is the current chair of the global health committee. After finishing her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology  from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Stringer moved to Lusaka, Zambia with her family. She spent the next eleven years in Zambia engaged in clinical and operational research that focused on improving the lives of pregnant women infected with HIV. Specifically, she worked with local public health officials to implement a large scale prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV program funded by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. This PMTCT program went on to be funded by PEPFAR and has served more than 1.6 million women in over 350 sites in Zambia. In 2012, she and her family ultimately decided that it was necessary to relocate back to the United States where she undertook a Maternal Fetal Medicine fellowship at the University of North Carolina. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at UNC, but is spiritually bound to the UNC Global Health Division. She has ongoing research grants in Nicaragua for Zika and in Zambia for postpartum depression. Other interests include improving birth outcomes of Zambian women. 


Melissa I. March, MD
Home Institution: University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University
Brief description of prior Global Health work and countries: WONDOOR global healthOb/Gyn residency program in Georgetown, Guyana (2014-current).  Research and clinical care at Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles, Haiti (2012-2014).  Research at Kintampo Health Research Center in Kintampo, Ghana, 2012 .  
Research Interests: umbilical cord milking, delayed cord clamping, global maternal health


Member Highlights

Dr. D'Angela Pitts is currently a second year MFM fellow at the University of Michigan. She is the 2018 recipient of the Foundation for SMFM's Queenan Fellowship.  As a resident, she worked in Forte Liberté, Haiti and currently has worked for 2 months in Ghana during her fellowship.  Her work focuses on providing lectures on high-risk obstetrics, perinatal laceration simulations, fetal strip rounds, and ultrasound education. She also assists on creation of protocols and policies. She will return in six months to evaluate the programs and challenges of starting a new fellowship in a low-income country.  SMFM members can read more about Dr. Pitts's work in Special Delivery.


Opportunities in Global Health

Queenan Fellowships for Global Health

The Foundation for SMFM is now accepting applications for the next cycle of the Queenan Fellowships for Global Health. This program offers SMFM members opportunities for research or educational experiences related to maternal and child health in low/middle income countries. Detailed information about each program, eligibility criteria and the application can be found by following the links below:

For general information or to read reports from previous Queenan Fellows, visit the Foundation's websiteApply by July 1, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact Michele Prince at the Foundation office (202-517-7068 or mprince@smfm.org). 


The Addis Clinic - Telemedicine

The Addis Clinic is a growing non-profit organization that utilizes technology to connect volunteer specialist physicians with frontline health workers in rural & underserved communities across the globe. We are a remote organization and our volunteers and staff are located across the globe. We use asynchronous, or store-and-forward technology, to provide tele-consultations that support these health workers as they care for their patients. The telemedicine platform we use, Collegium Telemedicus, is made for use in low connectivity settings.  Additionally, our more than 100 physician volunteers span 25 medical specialties, and these physicians love our volunteer opportunities because they are low demand but high in impact.  Consultation requests are text-based and answered by our volunteers at a time and place that is convenient for them.

Attached is an introduction letter and FAQ sheet.  If you are interested in more information, please email Meghan Moretti, RN, FNP-BC (Director of Operations) at mmoretti@addisclinic.org.

YouTube video showing the online platform: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mRGfmGnitA


Fellows of ACOG needed for WASH advocacy in Ethiopia and Uganda: Oct, Dec, Feb 

This past year, ACOG has received a $25,000 grant from the Wallace Genetic Foundation. ACOG will be facilitating two (2) trips to Ethiopia and Uganda to support advocacy for increased investment in Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities (HCF). As part of our objective, we are seeking ACOG Fellows to strengthen the capacity of the target Professional Associations (PA) through in-person advocacy workshops.     

The Office of Global Women's Health at ACOG is seeking Fellows to provide guidance and technical assistance to the Professional OB-GYN Associations in Ethiopia and Uganda for the following 2019-2020 dates:   

  • October 10-11, 2019 (AOGU Stakeholder meeting Kampala, Uganda) ; one FACOG needed  
  • December 4-6, 2019 (COSECSA + AOGU in Kampala, Uganda) ; one FACOG needed 
  • February TBD, 2020 (ESOG Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) ; one FACOG needed     

    For this project, the following criteria is highly valued and prioritized: 
  • Experience as faculty or delivering lectures and hands-on training, (content for advocacy tool kits will be prepared in advance)
  • International experience in East Africa, preferred 
  • Expertise of WASH-HCF, preferred 
  • Willing to work with PA colleagues to develop and implement WASH-HCF guidelines 
  • Willing to travel to Ethiopia or Uganda in Economy accommodations. 
ACOG will handle travel arrangements, expenses, and other logistics, and provide an honorarium.

If you are interested in participating, please send a note of interest and a copy of your updated CV to the program specialist, Cindy Nguyen at cnguyen@acog.org as soon as convenient. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out directly.

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