Gibbs Leadership Prize: Best Manuscripts of 2021 in Women's Health Issues

December 15, 2021

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WASHINGTON, DC (December 15, 2021)—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 2021 (Volume 31) has been awarded to two authors: Anu Manchikanti Gomez, PhD, MSc, Associate Professor and Director of the Sexual Health and Reproductive Equity (SHARE) Program in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley, and Willi Horner-Johnson, PhD, Associate Professor in the Institute on Development and Disability at Oregon Health & Science University.

Gomez’s manuscript, “‘It’s Being Compassionate, Not Making Assumptions’: Transmasculine and Nonbinary Young Adults’ Experiences of ‘Women’s’ Health Care Settings,” was co-authored by Noah Hooker, MSW, Robin Olip-Booth, MSW, Phoebe Woerner, MSW, and G. Allen Ratliff, MSW. It was published in Women’s Health Issues Volume 31, Issue 4 (July/August 2021).

In this study, Gomez and colleagues interviewed 20 transgender and nonbinary (TNB) young adults assigned female sex at birth to understand their experiences in accessing “women’s” health care services such as pelvic examinations, Pap smears, contraception, and bladder, breast, and gynecological care. Participants described negative experiences with gendered language, forced disclosure of identity, and provider assumptions, and the resulting distress deterred some from seeking care. Positive experiences that helped participants feel safe and interested in engaging with care included clinician competence and humility. “When health care structures, practices, and settings are intentionally adjusted to provide services for the people who need them, without assuming who those people might be, TNB people can have the opportunity to receive high-quality care that acknowledges their identities and meets their needs,” the authors conclude.

Horner-Johnson’s manuscript, “Preconception Health Risks Among U.S. Women: Disparities at the Intersection of Disability and Race or Ethnicity,” was co-authored by Ilhom Akobirshoev, PhD, Ndidiamaka N. Amutah-Onukagha, PhD, Jaime C. Slaughter-Acey, PhD, and Monika Mitra, PhD. It was published in Women’s Health Issues Volume 31, Issue 1 (January/February 2021).

This study used Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to examine health behaviors, health status indicators, and preventive health care receipt among nonpregnant women 18–44 years of age by both disability and race/ethnicity. Horner-Johnson and colleagues found a higher prevalence of most preconception health risk in women with disabilities, compared to those without disabilities, in every racial and ethnic group. After adjustment, they found that the disparity in obesity for Black women with disabilities was additive, with the adjusted prevalence ratio equal to the sum of the prevalence ratios for disability alone and Black race alone. The authors call for improved preconception care for women with disabilities and for policies to address structural inequities in distributions of wealth and other social determinants of health. 

“The Gibbs Prize ordinarily goes to just one author each year, but the Editorial Board found both these manuscripts to exemplify the kind of work we seek to publish,” said Amita Vyas, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Health Issues. “Both are methodologically strong and indicate improvements that are necessary for equity.”

The Editorial Board also designated four 2021 manuscripts 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:

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.