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Release Date: 01/09/2019

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, has awarded two approximately $25,000 grants from the Constance A. Howes Women’s Health Innovation Research Fund. The research fund, which has raised more than $500,000, was established in 2014 with contributions from more than 150 donors to honor former hospital president Constance A. Howes and to support research studies that advance women’s health and gender-based research.

The two awardees are E. Christine Brousseau, MD, MPH, of the Women & Infants’ Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Division of Research; and Jennifer Ribeiro, PhD, of Women & Infants’ Program in Women’s Oncology.

Dr. Brousseau’s clinical project is entitled “A Pilot Study to Improve Contraceptive Access to an Underserved Population of Women.” This project focuses on access to preventive health care for women who have been previously incarcerated.

Dr. Ribeiro’s basic science project is entitled “Identification of relevant immune regulators in epithelial ovarian cancer.” This project seeks to identify genes and immune cell populations specifically relevant to epithelial ovarian cancer that help a tumor escape elimination by the immune system.

These investigators, selected from an impressive pool of applicants, presented their projects in December to a panel of scientific advisors and donors to the Constance A. Howes Fund. The fund honors the vision and leadership of Connie Howes, and provides seed funding for pilot studies that propel research ideas to the next level of funding. The fund has supported seven highly innovative projects so far, and leveraged multiple publications and additional grant awards including a large-scale Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant.

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About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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Amy Blustein
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800 Butler Drive
Providence, RI 02906
P: (401) 681-2822 
F: (401) 455-6676
E: ablustein@carene.org