WASHINGTON, DC (December 22, 2020)—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 2020 (Volume 30) has been awarded to Erica L. Eliason, MPH, a Social Policy Analysis and Economics PhD candidate at Columbia University School of Social Work. Her manuscript, “Adoption of Medicaid Expansion is Associated with Lower Maternal Mortality,” was published in Women’s Health Issues Volume 30, Issue 3 (May/June 2020).
The study calculated maternal mortality ratios—the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births—for each state in each year from 2006 through 2017, and used a difference-in-difference approach to compare ratios in the 31 states and the District of Columbia that had expanded Medicaid by 2017 to the 19 states that had not done so. Because one of the problems the U.S. faces is racial disparities in maternal mortality, Eliason calculated separate ratios for non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic White, and Hispanic women.
Eliason found that Medicaid expansion states saw seven fewer maternal deaths per 100,000 live births when compared to non-expansion states, but the gap for Black women was substantially larger, at 16 maternal deaths. In other words, the beneficial effect of Medicaid expansion on maternal mortality was particularly pronounced for non-Hispanic Black mothers.
“The Editorial Board congratulates Erica Eliason for conducting a methodologically strong study on one of the most important public health issues in the United States—the shameful racial disparity in maternal death rates,” said Amita Vyas, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Health Issues. “This kind of research can guide policy responses to improve maternal health and advance equity.”
The Editorial Board also designated another 2020 manuscript to receive “Honorable Mention" recognition: “Extending Delivery Coverage to Include Prenatal Care for Low-Income, Immigrant Women Is a Cost-Effective Strategy” by Maria I. Rodriguez, MD, MPH; Jonas J. Swartz, MD, MPH; Duncan Lawrence, PhD, MA; and Aaron B. Caughey, MD, MPP, MPH, PhD, published in Volume 30, Issue 4 (July/August).
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:
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.