Category: News-CoE

CRWG Collaborates on Needs Assessment to Prevent Maternal Mortality in Tanzania

CRWG director Stacie Geller and collaborator Crystal Patil, associate professor of medical anthropology in the College of Nursing, are recipients of the inaugural Global Health and Wellbeing Seed Grant Program, established by the Chancellor’s Global Excellence Task Force and the College of Medicine’s Center for Global Health. The seed grant program was created to support projects that improve the lives of people around the world. The program provided start-up funding for three multidisciplinary research projects, to assist researchers in seeking external funding in the future.

Drs. Patil and Geller will work together to conduct a needs assessment in urban Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with a focus on reducing maternal mortality. Based on the needs assessment, they will adapt a continuum-of-care approach for city residents. The continuum of care approach has successfully reduced maternal deaths from postpartum hemorrhage in rural areas of the developing world. The goal of the research is to identify factors that put urban women at risk of dying from postpartum bleeding.

For more information, visit:

Former BIRCWH Scholar Julienne Rutherford Interviewed on WBEZ’s Morning Shift

Julienne Rutherford, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and former BIRCWH scholar, was interviewed by WBEZ’s Morning Shift about her new study concerning harassment and assault of female researchers in field settings. Listen to the story at:

CRWG Director Receives Chancellor’s Discovery Fund Award

Congratulations to CRWG Director Stacie Geller and colleagues, recipients of the Chancellor’s Discovery Fund for Multidisciplinary Research! Their project is titled, “Testing of a Prototype Obstetrical Medical Device for Auto Transfusion in Life Threatening Postpartum Hemorrhage.” The multidisciplinary team includes collaborators from the Emergency Medicine, the Center for Global Health, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Cardiothoracic Surgery in the College of Medicine, as well as the Bioengineering Department in the College of Engineering.

Congratulations to Abstract and Poster Winners from Women’s Health Research Day!

Abstract Winners
Student:  Nanci Alanis, Department of Psychology and Honors College, for “How do different stressors relate to body mass index among U.S.-born and immigrant Latinas?”

Faculty:  Heather Sipsma, Assistant Professor of Women, Children and Family Health Science, College of Nursing, for “Mental health of young parents from pregnancy through 1 year postpartum”

Poster Winners
Undergraduate Student:  Beelet Dawood, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, for “The association between vasomotor symptoms and sleep disturbance among menopausal women: a comparison of physiological and self-reported measures”

Graduate Student:  Hitisha Patel, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmocognosy, College of Pharmacy, for “Estrogen receptor partial agonists as therapeutics for tamoxifen resistant breast cancer”

Faculty/Fellow/Staff:  Susan Magasi, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, for “Screen-ABLE: A mixed methods study examining disparities in breast and cervical cancer screening among women with disabilities in Illinois”

CRWG Director Discusses Postpartum Hemorrhage Prevention

In a recent talk at Northwestern University, CRWG Director Stacie Geller used her research on international prevention of postpartum hemorrhage as an example of translating research into policy in the developing world.

Policy change is necessary to improve global women’s health

CRWG director Stacie Geller’s work to reduce global maternal mortality is described in the Women’s Health Research Institute blog. Visit the article at

CRWG Research Director Interviewed on Today Show!

Pauline Maki, professor of psychiatry and psychology and CRWG research director, was interviewed for a segment on the Today show about her recent study that found menopausal women with more severe, frequent hot flashes performed poorly on memory and thinking tests. The segment is available at:

CRWG Director Honored for Work in Ghana

In a ceremony held on January 24, CRWG Director Stacie Geller was installed as Development Queen Mother of the Manso Nkwanta Traditional Area in Ghana by the Queen Mother and King of Manso Nkwanta. She is now known in the area as Nana Akosua Kannin I. The King asked Stacie to contribute to the area by helping to improve education and decrease teenage pregnancy. Congratulations, Stacie!


CoE Receives NIH BIRCWH Award

In September, the UIC Center of Excellence in Women’s Health received the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Award. This K12 grant from NIH provides funding for junior faculty to pursue research interests in women’s health. This award is highly competitive and the first K12 ever received by UIC.

The program is led by Dr. Stacie Geller, Principal Investigator, CRWG/CoE and College of Medicine; Dr. Sarah Kilpatrick, Program Director and Co-Investigator, College of Medicine; and Dr. Tonda Hughes, Co-Investigator, College of Nursing. This leadership team will oversee the program with the goal of attracting innovative women’s health scholars to UIC. The program plans to train eight junior faculty scholars over the five year grant period.

The main objectives of the BIRCWH program are to: (1) increase the number of investigators, particularly women and underrepresented minorities, in women’s health research at UIC; (2) increase the breadth of institutional support for interdisciplinary women’s health research and the resources available to scholars by building on existing strong institutional linkages with other research, training, and academic units on campus; (3) create a strong faculty mentoring and peer networking infrastructure, to enhance the success of junior scholars in developing women’s health research programs; and (4) prepare scholars through training and mentoring to successfully compete for research funding and to become national leaders in interdisciplinary women’s health research.

BIRCWH scholars are chosen from junior faculty at UIC who have shown a past track record of interest and excellence in women’s health research. For more information about the BIRCWH program, please contact Lynn Modla at or 312-413-7817, or visit theBIRCWH website.

CoE Receives DHHS ASIST2010 Award

The UIC CoE was recently awarded a 3-year grant from the Office on Women’s Health, Department of Health and Human Services entitled, “Advancing System Improvements to Support Targets for Healthy People 2010” (ASIST2010). This grant program supports partnerships that are working to address cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes using a gender-specific, population-based approach.

In collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Women’s Health (IDPH OWH), the Southern Seven Health Department, and The Cooper Institute, the CoE developed the “Southern Seven Women’s Initiative for Cardiovascular Health”, or SSWICH. The goal of SSWICH is to improve the cardiovascular risk provide of adult women using multiple strategies, including a free 12-week class for women, a peer education program, and a mass media campaign.

The Southern Seven Health Department serves the counties of Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, and Union, located in the southernmost part of Illinois. The region is very rural, with a population of approximately 71,000 residents living over 2,003 square miles. Heart disease mortality, morbidity, and risk factors are among the highest in Illinois in the southern seven counties.

SSWICH involves a multi-faceted evaluation to understand the effectiveness of this innovative program and its potential for dissemination to other areas of the state. The CoE is excited about this collaborative initiative, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to address a critical health problem for women in Illinois. For more information about SSWICH, please contact Kris Zimmermann at