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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Read the latest news about the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Bringing Gynecologic Cancer Care Closer to Patients

Penn LDI just published a blog by Dr. Katherine Hicks-Courant on a recent study looking at changes in access to gynecologic cancer care from 2015-2019.  Katherine and her colleagues found that gynecologic oncologists were working at more clinics and hospitals and covering a greater geographic, thus providing greater access to care and reducing rural disparities.  Click here to read the full post

Fighting COVID Vaccine Mistrust in the Black Community

Dr. Florencia Greer Polite, chief of the Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology, is on a mission to dispel skepticism around the safety and importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine by building trust between Black Americans and the medical community.  Dr. Polite spoke with NBC10's Tracy Davidson about potential solutions.  Click here to watch.

Maternal Child & Equity Summit

On January 12, Dr. Elizabeth Howell co-chaired the Maternal Child & Equity Summit alongside The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York Academy of Medicine which featured cutting-edge research and discussions on advancing maternal and child health equity.  Click here if you are interested in viewing the recording.

Another Ob/Gyn Elected to the Penn Medicine Academy of Master Clinicians

Mathew N. Beshara, MDCongratulations to Dr. Mathew Beshara on being elected to the Penn Medicine Academy of Master Clinicians.   This award recognizes clinicians who consistently exemplify the highest standards of clinical excellence, teaching, humanism and professionalism.  Election to the Academy is the highest clinical honor to be bestowed on a Penn physician.

Members of this Academy serve as ambassadors to Penn Medicine, providing feedback to leadership on how to promote the ideal patient experience.  Four other Ob/Gyn faculty, Drs. Mark Morgan, Steven Sondheimer, Wanda Ronner, and Robert Giuntoli II, are also members of this prestigious Academy.

Ashley Haggerty, MD Recognized with Trailblazer Award

Dr. Haggerty in pajamasCongratulations to Dr. Haggerty recipient of the 2020 Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation's Teal Trailblazer Award.  She was honored at the Party in Your PJ's virtual celebration in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation on December 5th. 

New Vice Chair for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity 

Dr. Abike James will become the inaugural Vice Chair for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.   In this role, she will work closely with the department chair to oversee, promote and facilitate excellence in diversity, inclusion, equity, and antiracism efforts across all aspects of the department.

Penn Awarded $4.5 Million NIH Grant to Create a Comprehensive Resource for Women's Health

Junhyong Kim, PhD, Chair and Patricia M. Williams Professor of Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences, and Kate O'Neill, MD MTR, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Perelman School of Medicine, have been awarded a Human BioMolecular Atlas Program grant supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development and the Common Fund of the National Institutes of Health.  Drs. Kim and O'Neill are leading a multi-disciplinary team to create a comprehensive resource for women's health by documenting the molecular characteristics of individual cells in the female reproductive system.  Read entire article here.

Physician Lead Named for the Women's Health Service Line

Congratulations to Dr. Sindhu Srinivas on her appointment as Physician Lead for the Women's Health Service Line.  In this role, Dr. Srinivas will provide leadership across the Health System in engaging critical stakeholders to develop and expand our programmatic and strategic footprint in the Women’s Health Service Line. 

Elizabeth A. Howell, MD, MPP, Named Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Elizabeth Howell headshotJoin us in welcoming Elizabeth A. Howell, MD, MPP as the new chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania effective September 1. Dr. Howell is a nationally recognized leader in quality of care and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal and child health and was a tenured professor and institutional leader at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Click here to learn more about Dr. Howell and what she's most looking forward to in her new role.

Dr. DaCarla Albright Named Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness

DaCarla M. Albright, MDCongratulations to Dr. DaCarla Albright on her new appointment as Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness in the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Albright will work closely with the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education leadership team to provide support and mentorship to medical students from enrollment through graduation to foster a positive learning environment and promote self-care and resiliency. Dr. Albright’s academic interests are strongly focused in medical education, serving as the Associate Clerkship Director for the Core Clinical Ob/Gyn Clerkship at the Perelman School of Medicine. As a result of her excellence in teaching and empathetic approach to medical care, Dr. Albright was awarded the Perelman School of Medicine Penn Pearls Teaching Award in 2017 and the Gold Humanism Honor Society Faculty Induction. In 2019, Dr. Albright was appointed to the role of the Assistant Dean for Wellness, in the Program for Diversity and Inclusion. 

OBGYN Faculty Member Receives Perelman School of Medicine Teaching Award

Divya Kelath Shah, MD, MMECongratulations to Dr. Divya Kelath Shah recipient of the 2020 Leonard Berwick Memorial Teaching Award! This Award was established in 1980-1981 as a memorial to Leonard Berwick by his family and the department of pathology to recognize “a member of the medical faculty who in his or her teaching effectively fuses basic science and clinical medicine.” It is intended that this award recognize persons who are outstanding teachers, particularly among our younger faculty.

17th Annual John Rock Lecture & Resident Research Day

Head shot of Courtney Schreiber

The 17th Annual Resident Research Day took place virtually on May 29th.  Our very own Dr. Courtney A. Schreiber, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of the Family Planning Division, delivered the John Rock Lecturer entitled "Academic Medicine as an Instrument of Change." 

New Possibilities for Parenthood

The University of Pennsylvania is one of three centers in the United States actively conducting a research study in which uterus transplants are performed on women with absolute uterine factor infertility (AUFI) in order to help them achieve parenthood (UNTIL trial). AUFI occurs when individuals are born without a uterus or have their uterus surgically removed and affects one in 500 women. Currently if these women and couples wish to have families, another woman must carry the pregnancy (through adoption or use of a gestational carrier). Uterus transplant has the potential to help these women carry their children. 13 children have been born around the world to women who have had uterus transplants.

Over 150 women with AUFI from >25 states have applied to Penn's UNTIL trial to be uterus transplant recipients. The uterus being transplanted may come from a deceased organ donor or from a healthy woman who has completed her childbearing.

For more information about being a uterus transplant donor or recipient, go to or contact Dan Zhao at 215-615-5162.

Women's Health Publication Nominated Top 10

The Clinical Research Forum has selected Dr. Courtney A. Schreiber's study "Mifepristone Pretreatment for the Medical Management of Early Pregnancy Loss" published in the New England Journal of Medicine one of the top 10 clinical research publications of the year. Congratulations to Dr. Shreiber and her co-authors Drs. Kurt T. Barnhart and Sarita R. Sonalkar.

Text Messaging Proves Successful in Monitoring Postpartum Hypertension

Heart Safe Motherhood, a text-based intervention for hypertension, received the Clinical Innovation Award from Vizient. This award recognizes innovative solutions from health care organizations that have implemented digital health technology solutions that improved clinical efficiency or care delivery resulting in improved patient experience.

Learn more about Heart Safe Motherhood

2020 Awards & Honors

  • Dr. Denise Johnson received the Sharon Youcha Compassionate Patient Care Award for excellent patient care with compassion, empathy and respect, and listens and treats the patient as a whole person.
  • Dr. Sarah M. Gutman received the Robert R. Rascoe, MD Award for Excellence in Ambulatory Patient Care. This award recognizes a chief resident who has demonstrated compassionate care and concern for our patients. The recipient was selected by the attendings and nursing staff in the Helen O. Dickens Center for Women's Health.
  • Dr. Rosa Speranza – Midwife's Intern Award
  • Dr. Sarah M. Gutman – Midwife's Golden Mitt Award

2020 Teaching Awards

  • Dr. Stefan M. Gysler – Fellow Teaching Award for Excellence in Resident Education
  • Dr. Jessica Peterson – Resident Research Award for Excellence in Research
  • Dr. Elizabeth Rubin – Resident Teaching Award for Excellence in Medical Student Education
  • Dr. Celeste Durnwald – Faculty Award for Excellence in Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maggie Power - Collaborative Award for Resident Teaching Excellence

New Faculty

  • Dr Hayley S. Quant joined Maternal Fetal Medicine in January 2021
  • Dr. P. Kaitlyn Edelson joined Maternal Fetal Medicine in October 2020
  • Dr. Elizabeth Howell joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in September 2020.
  • Dr. Caroline Cox joined Penn Urogynecology in August 2020
  • Dr. Rebecca F. Hamm joined Maternal Fetal Medicine in August 2020
  • Dr. Monique Farrow joined Penn Ob/Gyn Associates in February 2020
  • Dr. Ryan Offer joined Penn Ob/Gyn Associates in January 2020
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