Gibbs Leadership Prize: Best Manuscript of 2022 in Women's Health Issues

December 21, 2022

Sara Redd holds Gibbs Prize plaque

The Editorial Board of Women’s Health Issues is pleased to announce that the Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize for the best paper published in Women’s Health Issues in 2022 (Volume 32) has been awarded to Sara K. Redd, PhD, MSPH, a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and the Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast. Her article, “Variation in Restrictive Abortion Policies and Adverse Birth Outcomes in the United States from 2005 to 2015,” was co-authored by Kelli Stidham Hall, PhD, MS; Monica S. Aswani, DrPH, MSPH; Bisakha Sen, PhD, MA; Martha Wingate, DrPH, MPH; and Whitney S. Rice, DrPH, MPH. It was published in Women’s Health Issues Volume 32, Issue 2 (March/April 2022).

The authors created a state-level abortion restrictiveness index that encompassed 18 policies that limit access to abortion. With 2005-2015 data, they used multivariable logistic regression models (adjusted for both individual- and state-level factors) to examine the association between abortion restrictiveness and individual-level probabilities of preterm birth and low birthweight. They examined the relationships within the United States as a whole and by Census Region (Midwest, Northeast, South, and West).

Redd and her colleagues did not find significant relationships between state restrictiveness indices and the two adverse birth outcomes at the national level, but they did find some significant relationships within Census Regions: a 1 standard deviation increase in a state’s restrictiveness index was associated with a 2% increase in preterm birth in the Midwest, a 15% increase in low birthweight in the Northeast, and a 2% low birthweight increase in the West. The authors suggest that negative implications of restrictive policies might be more apparent in more advantaged regions with fewer structural barriers to care — in contrast to the South, where few states have expanded Medicaid and rates of many poor health outcomes are high.

“The Editorial Board congratulates Sara Redd and her colleagues for conducting a rigorous study on such an important policy topic,” said Karen McDonnell, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Health Issues. “As states continue to adopt increasingly restrictive abortion laws, it is essential that researchers continue to find ways to answer important research questions even when data are limited.” 

The Editorial Board also designated two 2022 articles to receive “Honorable Mention” recognition:

The Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize is awarded annually to recognize excellence in research on women’s health care or policy. Priority is given to manuscripts that report the results of original research and that improve understanding of an important women’s health issue. Members of the staff and Editorial Board of Women’s Health Issues are not eligible.

Previous winners of the Gibbs Prize include:

Anu Manchikanti Gomez, PhD, MSc (2021)
Willi Horner-Johnson, PhD (2021)
Erica L. Eliason, MPH (2020)
Sarah C.M. Roberts, DrPH (2019)
Emily M. Johnston, PhD (2018)
Soumitra S. Bhuyan, PhD, MPH (2017)
Maeve Ellen Wallace, PhD (2017)
Aimee Kroll-Desrosiers, MS (2016)
Miao Jiang, PhD (2015)
Hailee K. Dunn, MPH (2014)
Cynthia LeardMann, MPH (2013)
Nathan L. Hale, PhD (2012)
Jacqueline L. Angel, PhD (2011)
Diana Greene Foster, PhD (2010)
Paula Lantz, PhD (2009)
Sherry Glied, PhD (2008)
Richard C. Lindrooth, PhD (2007)
Joan S. Tucker, PhD (2006)
JiWon R. Lee, MS, RD, MPH (2005)
Dawn M. Upchurch, PhD (2004)
Sherry L. Grace, PhD (2003)
Sarah Hudson Scholle, DrPH (2002)
Sandra K. Pope, PhD (2001)
Ilene Hyman, PhD (2000)
Usha Sambamaoorthi, PhD (1999)
Claire Murphy, MD (1997)
Barbara A. Bartman, MD, MPH (1996)

The Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize was established to honor the founding President of the Board of Governors of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health. Charles E. Gibbs, MD (1923–2000) was a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and past chair of ACOG’s Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, the Task Force on the Voluntary Review of Quality of Care, the Health Care Commission, and the Task Force on Maternal Health Policy. Dr. Gibbs served on the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health Board of Governors from 1990–1999 and was instrumental in shaping the Institute’s mission and structure.