UVA Project Providing $80K in Research Grants to Help Women
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - One-in-five mothers suffer from postpartum depression. Now a University of Virginia health biomedical research project is giving an $80,000 grant to research teams to help women across Virginia.
Integrated Translational Research Institute of Virginia (iTHRIV) works to build relationships between community nonprofits and researchers to help everyone access better health care. The program is funded by the National Institute of Health.
Addressing postpartum depression and other mood and anxiety disorders in pregnant women and mothers is one of four pilot grant projects by iTHRIV.
"There’s a stigma involved in it, and so teaching mothers, future mothers, and recent mothers about postpartum depression and then teaching the providers about postpartum depression and the resources that are available to them both is great," said Kristin Miller, partnership manager.
Experts say at least 700 women in the greater-Charlottesville area will experience postpartum depression in some form or another. If left untreated, it can have a long-term impact on the mother, baby, and society.
Doctor Karen Johnston says preliminary research shows this needs to prioritized: "One of the things our community has shared with us is that their concerned that it is more common than what we necessarily as clinicians are paying attention to so we are grateful for the community for telling us this is a priority."
Community organizations work with teams of physicians and researchers from the University of Virginia to create solutions to help women. The goal is to make sure they are screened and receive treatment for postpartum from conception through one year after giving birth.
"They are the community members and researchers coming together and starting a program of educating pregnant women, educating their providers that this may be something to look for so that we can all be prepared to provide resources if and when they are needed," Johnson said.
There will be another round of grants in the fall to fund additional project to address more health needs for Virginians.
The other projects address autism spectrum disorder, improved access to colorectal cancer screening, and the benefits of walking in cities.