Amarillo TTUHSC researchers receive $1.47 million grant to address preeclampsia rates

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 10:49 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center researchers in Amarillo have received a grant to address preeclampsia rates in the Panhandle.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health awarded a two-year, $1.47 million grant to a local research coalition led by Dr. Christine Garner, assistant vice president for research and an assistant professor for the Department of Pediatrics, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the InfantRisk Center.

Garner says she and her team will use award to complete the first phase of the Verifying and Implementing Evidence-Based Programs Addressing Needed Transformations for Maternal Health Outcomes, Measures and Support, or “VIBRANT MOMS” project.

The VIBRANT MOMS project will seek to address the significant maternal health disparities that exist in Deaf Smith, Gray, Parmer, Potter, Randall and Swisher counties, according to a press release.

It will be managed by the Panhandle Maternal Health Disparities Research Coalition, which includes Garner’s team, Amarillo Public Health, the Wesley Community Center and others.

Preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure, protein in the urine and inflammation, is a major cause of maternal mortality, according to the release. The incidence of preeclampsia has increased by 37% in Texas since 2017.

“The key piece is that we have formed a community coalition of people who are interested and motivated and want to make a difference for moms,” said Garner. “It’s a variety of people from nonprofit sectors, the health care field and community members who are interested volunteers. All of those people and groups bring different sets of knowledge and experiences that we can combine to identify strategies that will work best and be feasible and sustainable in those communities.”

Garner says the first two years of the VIBRANT MOMS project will focus on collecting data to better assess health needs in the six counties covered by the grant.