Gibbs Leadership Prize: Best Manuscript of 2016 in Women's Health Issues

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 2016 (Volume 26) has been awarded to Aimee Kroll-Desrosiers, MS, a doctoral candidate in Clinical and Population Health Research and a biostatistician in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kroll-Desrosiers's manuscript, “Receipt of Prescription Opioids in a National Sample of Pregnant Veterans Receiving Veterans Health Administration Care,” was co-authored by Melissa Skanderson, MS; Lori A. Bastian, MD, MPH; Cynthia A. Brandt, MD, MPH; Sally Haskell, MD; Robert D. Kerns, PhD; and Kristin M. Mattocks, PhD, MPH. The manuscript was published in Women's Health Issues Volume 26, Issue 2 (March/April 2016).

The study examined the characteristics of women veterans who filled opioid prescriptions while pregnant. Kroll-Desrosiers and her colleagues used data from the Women Veterans Cohort Study, which includes data on veterans who received Veterans Health Administration (VHA) care at any time from 2001 to 2010. They identified 2,331 women who had a VHA-paid delivery during that time period and then searched for any filled prescriptions for opioid medications during the 280 days preceding each of these women’s deliveries. Ten percent of the women veterans filled a prescription for an opioid at least once during pregnancy, the authors found.

Women veterans were more likely to have filled an opioid prescription during pregnancy if they had a psychiatric diagnosis or were diagnosed with back problems, headaches, migraines, sprains and strains, and other nontraumatic joint disorders during their pregnancies, Kroll-Desrosiers and her colleagues found. The authors call for “successful coordination of mental, physical, and maternal medical care” for women veterans and note that clinicians “can play a crucial role in determining the needs of patients on a case-by-case basis and to identify alternative sources of pain management when possible.”

“The Editorial Board congratulates Aimee Kroll-Desrosiers and her colleagues for conducting a methodologically strong study that addresses the important public health topic of opioid prescribing,” said Chloe Bird, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Health Issues

The Editorial Board also designated another 2016 manuscript to receive “Honorable Mention" recognition: “Access to Workplace Accommodations to Support Breastfeeding after Passage of the Affordable Care Act” by Katy B. Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA; Judy Jou, MA; Dwenda K. Gjerdingen, MD, MS; and Patricia M. McGovern, PhD, MPH. This study was published in Volume 26, Issue 1 (January/February).

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. The prize includes a $1,000 award.

Previous winners of the Gibbs Prize include:

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 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 Health Board of Governors from 1990–1999 and was instrumental in shaping the Institute’s mission and structure.

About Women’s Health Issues:
Women's Health Issues is the official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, and the only journal devoted exclusively to women's health care and policy issues. The journal has a particular focus on women's issues in the context of the U.S. health care delivery system and policymaking processes, although it invites submissions addressing women's health care issues in global context if relevant to North American readers. It is a journal for health professionals, social scientists, policymakers, and others concerned with the complex and diverse facets of health care delivery and policy for women. For more information about the journal, please visit