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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.

Phillip Greig, MD

Dr. Phillip Greig currently works for Bon Secours Mercy Health System in Greenville, South Carolina.  He has been involved with Global Health work since 2001 when he first went to Hanoi, Vietnam where he was part of the first American team into Hanoi since the Vietnam War.  He is currently working with the OB/Gyn Department at Tenwek Hospital in rural western Kenya by teaching, helping start an Ob/Gyn Residency Program, and developing a patient database.  He believes the global maternal death rate is unacceptably high and with just a little training and resources, most can be prevented. SMFM members can learn more about Dr. Greig'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 modelingScott Petersen, MD, FACOG

Home Institution: The George Washington University

Brief description of prior Global Health work and countries: Niger, 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

Professor James Walker
Home Institution: University of Leeds
My main areas of interests is high risk pregnancy, particularly Pre-eclampsia, and patient safety. I was the Senior Vice-President of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology with a rem it for Global Health. I have research programs. I have lectured, ran training programs and set up audit and research programs. I have developed clinical fellowships both for trainees to visit low income countries and those from low-income countries to travel for training in high resource settings. I have visited/collaborated in the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Romania, Albania, Kosovo, Ugandas, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Jordan and other parts of the middle East.  Research Interests: Pre-eclampsia, early pregnancy loss, labour difficulties and patient safety. 

Homa K. Ahmadzia, MD/MPH is a board certified Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Ahmadzia completed her undergraduate, medical school education, and Masters of Public Health at The George Washington University. She then completed her residency at Yale University where she was awarded the Outstanding Resident Teaching Award in both her second and third year of residency and also served as Administrative Chief resident. She completed her fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Duke University.

Dr. Ahmadzia has presented her research at numerous national and regional conferences including the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine and The American Congress for Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She received the Charles B. Hammond Fund research award to fund her fellowship thesis project. She also attended the Excellence in Clinical Research course and NICHD Young Investigators Conference. During fellowship, she served on the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine Global Health Committee. She has previously received the Clinical and Translational Science Institute KL2 Mentored Career Development Award through the GW-CNMC partnership with NIH and currently on a K23 Career Mentored Development Award from NHLBI. Her areas of research interests include prevention of postpartum hemorrhage using tranexamic acid, ultrasound and the ability to predict birth weight, public health epidemiology and global maternal health. She has international health experiences in Kashmir and Uganda; her family is originally from Afghanistan.

Dr. Ahmadzia’s clinical areas of interest include prenatal diagnosis, ultrasonography, management of high risk pregnancies, bleeding disorders and thrombophilias, preconception counseling and infectious diseases. She enjoys taking care of women during pregnancy and hopes to improve perinatal outcomes for women in the US and abroad through her clinical and research interests.

Her publications can be found at the following link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1hQnxGNV3IvQt/bibliography/public/

Michael G Gravett, MD
Home Institution: University of Washington Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Department of Global Health 
Brief description of prior Global Health work and countries:  Facilitating pregnancy biobank development  in Bangladesh and Zambia.  Collaborative biomarker Development for preeclampsia and preterm birth In Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan,  North American site PI for Intergrowth-21st study to establish international optimal fetal growth curves .
Research Interests:  Preterm birth, Infection and Inflammation in Pregnancy, Perinatal Infectious Diseases.
BioSketch:  Dr. Gravett is Professor of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Adjunct Professor of the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where he specializes in prevention of preterm birth, global health, and perinatal infectious diseases.  Dr. Gravett received his medical degree at UCLA and completed post-graduate training in Obstetrics & Gynecology and in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Washington.   He has been active in research for more than 20 years, with an emphasis on prevention of preterm birth and global health and has authored more than 150 scientific publications and textbook chapters.  He has received numerous national and international awards for his research on causes and prevention of preterm birth.  Dr. Gravett is a past President of the Infectious Disease Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a member of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the Society for Reproductive Investigation, and the Preterm Birth International Collaboration.  In addition, he has served on multiple committees for the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prematurity, and the National Children's Study.  He has served as the Scientific Director for the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, and a consultant for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Reem S. Abu-Rustum, MD, FACOG, FACS, FAIUM
Home Institution: University of Florida
Brief description of prior Global Health work and countries: Lebanon with SANA Medical NGO; Sudan with ISUOG Outreach
Research Interests: The fetus in the first trimester, global outreach and ultrasound education.
Dr. Abu-Rustum currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Florida. She is ISUOG’s Ambassador to Lebanon and Outreach in the  Middle East, the Chair of ISUOG’s Basic Training Task Force and Co-Chair of the AIUM Annual Convention Committee. She is a member of the SMFM Education and Global Health Committees. She was Co-Founder and President of SANA Medical NGO dedicated to obstetrical care within an outreach setting in Lebanon. She has served on two outreach missions with ISUOG to Sudan. She has authored the text “A Practical Guide to 3D Ultrasound”. Her primary areas of interest are the fetus in the first trimester, global outreach and ultrasound education.


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 website. 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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