Amro claims HHS Hypertension Innovator Award

By Roman Petrowski, Office of Communications

Farah Amro, MD, HHS Hypertension Innovator Award
Farah Amro, MD

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Women’s Health announced Farah Amro, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, as a winner of Phase 1 of the Hypertension Innovator Award Competition.

The competition was created to identify effective, pre-existing programs that care for people with hypertension where the programs could be or are already applied to women with hypertension who are pregnant and/or postpartum. The goal of the competition is to demonstrate sustainability to replicate and/or expand programs that provide effective monitoring and follow-up of hypertension for women who are pregnant and/or postpartum.

Hypertension is a serious health condition that affects 1 in 10 women during pregnancy. If not controlled, hypertension puts women at higher risk of experiencing serious pregnancy complications and at higher risk of lifelong cardiovascular disease.

Amro’s study “A Multidisciplinary Postpartum Evaluation Opportunity – Newborn Visits” collaborates with the Department of Pediatrics and its clinics to evaluate maternal blood pressure and symptomatology to decrease maternal morbidity and mortality (both acute and long term) related to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

The program serves a racially and ethnically diverse population with 75 percent of their patient base being Black and Hispanic women from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. Through the program’s efforts, the detection rate of postpartum preeclampsia with severe features increased from 1.8 to 3.0 percent among patients.

“I am very honored to have received this award from HHS, seeing that this was a national competition with many submissions,” Amro said. “Furthermore, this particular timeframe of the ‘fourth trimester’ represents one of the most dangers times in a women’s life, with the majority of morbidity and mortality occurring then. Therefore, I am happy that we are able to provide that intervention that may improve maternal outcomes in this critical time.”

The award comes with a $50,000 prize and presents the opportunity for another $75,000 award in Phase 2 in 2022 and $100,000 in Phase 3 in 2023.

Amro received her medical degree from American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine in Lebanon before completing her residency with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology before ultimately joining the faculty as an assistant professor.