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Friends of Prentice Awards More Than $350,000 to 2021 Grant Recipients

Friends of Prentice Awards More Than $350,000 to 2021 Grant Recipients

Four Projects will Receive Funding to Conduct Leading-Edge Research in the Areas of Postpartum Pain, Perinatal Death, Reproductive Health and Mental Health Support for Grieving Mothers

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, June 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Friends of Prentice (FOP), a non-profit organization that works in partnership with Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women's Hospital to fund the future for women's healthcare, announced today they will be funding four critical research projects impacting the lives of women across the country. The exceptional physicians were selected as grant recipients of FOP's annual grant cycle based on their commitment to improving healthcare for all who self-identify as women in our immediate community and across the globe.

"We face a critical and vast knowledge gap in the areas of health, wellness and disease progression for women. We are committed to closing that gap through important research that will have a long-lasting and vital impact on women's health," said Kristen Field, Executive Director, Friends of Prentice. "These four projects were chosen for their demonstrated alignment and focus areas that ladder up to the mission of the organization – to improve the health of women across the entire arc of their lives." 

The four projects chosen represent a variety of disciplines and groups of women they serve. 2021 recipients include:

  • Post-partum pain experience and attitudes about opioid prescribing: Opioid medication misuse is a national emergency and efforts to reduce opioid prescribing is essential to addressing this crisis. Opioid medication are commonly prescribed after birth for pain management, however, there it is not fully aligned with a patients' level of pain. For example, after giving birth, women of minority race/ethnicity are prescribed less opioids than women who are non-Hispanic White. This project will focus on examining factors which influence obstetric providers' approach to opioid prescribing, evaluate biases which may contribute to differential prescribing and explore interventions to make opioid prescribing more equitable and improve the management of postpartum pain. Principal investigators include Nevert Badreldin, MD and Lynn M. Yee, MD, MPH.

  • Supporting Women and Families after a Perinatal Death. 150 women each year experience perinatal death at Prentice. This project will provide information to women upon discharge from Prentice about resource options to manage their grief. The study will follow women who have experienced loss through the next 12 months to better understand this particular grief and uncover better ways to ensure women get the support they need. Principal investigators include Kelly Michelson MD, MPH and Susan Rizzato, MSW, LCSW and Kristin James, LCPC.

  • Searching for Pharmacologic Options to Preserve Fertility and Improve Women's Reproductive Health. This project will build on a project previously funded by FOP. Specifically, the project will use mice to study the mTOR pathway, a pathway that regulates metabolism and physiology and plays a role in ovarian aging; i.e., losing both quantity and quality of egg follicles as a woman ages. Researchers will further explore the relationship between mTOR inhibition and reproductive longevity and in turn the relationship between reproductive longevity and overall systemic health. The principal investigator is Kara N. Goldman, MD.

  • How can we improve mental health, and what's involved in the grieving process following the end of pregnancy due to fetal anomaly? 1 in 20 women experience a pregnancy complicated by a fetal abnormality, such as a birth defect or abnormal development. This project will use a well-established perinatal grief scale and a questionnaire process to understand the particular grief associated with navigating this traumatic loss with the goal of providing better postpartum care for these women. The principal investigator is Isa Ryan, MD, along with mentors Jessica Kiley, MD, MPH, and Emily Miller, MD, MPH. 

Since 1983, Friends of Prentice has raised over $20M and awarded grants to more than 80 researchers and clinical programs. FOP's annual grants initiative has funded projects in the areas of gynecologic oncology, mental health, heart disease, disparities in access to care, diabetes, HIV, uterine and pelvic medicine, genetic biomarker research, home health care outreach and more. The research uncovered via the grant process is intended to improve women's healthcare across all socio-economic, racial and gender identity backgrounds.  Funds raised by FOP go directly to research, education, and patient care programs at Prentice.

"I am absolutely blown away by the generosity of Friends of Prentice, and I couldn't be more grateful. This grant gives me a renewed sense of optimism and confidence that I can continue building my research program, training graduate students, and advancing this exciting corner of science and medicine," said Dr. Kara Goldman, Medical Director, Fertility Preservation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

For more information on each of the grants, including full proposal abstracts, please reach out to the press contact below. For more information about Friends of Prentice or how to get involved or support the organization, please visit

About Friends of Prentice

Friends of Prentice is committed to superior healthcare spanning the full spectrum of a woman's life at all ages and stages. The 501c3 nonprofit organization funds leading edge research initiatives at Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women's Hospital that improve the quality of health for all who self-identify as women in our immediate community and across the globe. The organization is comprised of a completely volunteer board, who all share a common passion for women's health. Friends of Prentice is committed to researching and improving women's healthcare across all socio-economic, racial and gender identity backgrounds including funding research in basic science, patient care, education and community service. To date, Friends of Prentice has raised over $20 million to support research, education and patient care programs at Prentice Women's Hospital.

Media Contacts:  

Megan Richards Martin


Natalie Stanichuk


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SOURCE Friends of Prentice

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