Skip to main content

Johns Hopkins Receives NIH Award to Strengthen Maternal Health in the U.S.

Researchers will develop and evaluate innovative approaches to reduce pregnancy-related complications and promote maternal health equity


Johns Hopkins has been awarded a grant from the NIH to establish a Maternal Health Data Innovation and Coordination Hub with the aim of advancing knowledge of effective interventions to improve outcomes for mothers in the U.S. The Data Hub is a component of the newly established Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence, part of NIH’s Implementing a Maternal Health and PRegnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) initiative. In addition to the Data Hub, the Centers of Excellence include 10 Research Centers and an Implementation Science Hub. IMPROVE is led by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, and the National Institute of Nursing Research.

The Data Hub will receive $2 million in funding in the first year and will support the Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence for a period of seven years. Andreea Creanga, MD, PhD ’09, associate professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will lead the Johns Hopkins team, along with Paul Nagy, PhD, associate professor of radiology and radiological science at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Key activities of the Data Hub include:

  • Establishing and maintaining a secure coordination platform for the Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence and a public-facing website
  • Providing support for standardized data collection and analyses using both traditional and artificial intelligence/machine learning techniques
  • Preparing and sharing data with NIH repositories

The Johns Hopkins team’s work on the Data Hub will also include capacity-building activities, such as offering skills coaching, training, and mentoring to clinicians and scientists affiliated with the Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence, giving priority to underrepresented minorities in research.

“Through this grant, we hope to strengthen the data science and innovation capabilities of the Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence and contribute to their developing and testing of new interventions to improve maternal health in the country,” says Creanga.

The grant is a multidisciplinary, collaborative effort across Johns Hopkins, bringing together experts in maternal health from the International Center for Maternal and Newborn Health, based in the Department of International Health, and the Johns Hopkins Biostatistics Center in the Department of Biostatistics at the Bloomberg School, as well as experts in informatics and data science from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Technology Innovation Center.