Dr. Kimberly Gregory (Courtesy photo)

A professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has been honored with a lifetime achievement award for her dedication to women’s health, including maternal health and maternal-fetal care.

Dr. Kimberly Gregory, a physician and professor in the Fielding School’s Department of Community Health Sciences, received the Luella Klein Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or ACOG, at the organization’s annual conference in San Diego.

“I’ve always felt it was my calling. I wanted to be a doctor since I was 5 years old,” Gregory said. “I was drawn to maternal-fetal medicine because whether our patients are having a challenging pregnancy and need care–or are very healthy–they are all so motivated to do what’s best for their pregnancy, what’s best for their child.”

Along with teaching at UCLA, Gregory serves as director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and vice chair of Women’s Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles. Her research focuses on health services, obstetrical health care resource utilization, cesarean section rates, and maternal quality care.

“Dr. Gregory’s commitment to guiding the practice of medicine, improving patient safety, and growing patient satisfaction is an inspiration to many,” said Dr. Stella M. Dantas, chair of ACOG’s Council of District Chairs, which grants the award. “Her expertise has always been marked by her dedication to patients, and her impact has been felt across the country.”

Gregory received her medical degree from UCLA (MD, ’85) through the Charles Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She earned a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University before completing a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at LAC-USC Medical Center, and joined Cedars-Sinai in 1992. She has taught at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health since 1996.

“This is great, and I am very pleased to see the research of faculty like Dr. Gregory recognized; maternal mortality, infant mortality, and healthcare delivery are key issues for public health researchers and policy makers, in the United States and globally,” said Dr. Michael Prelip, professor and chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences.

“The ability to bring the work of clinicians with a public health research focus, like Dr. Gregory, forward to the medical and public health disciplines, is a tremendously important element of the work we do at FSPH, including our focus on health equity and effective healthcare delivery.”

Anika Washington, a 2022 graduate of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, has been recognized for her work in health policy at the school, ranked as among the Top 10 public health graduate schools in the United States.

Anika Washington (Courtesy photo)

Washington, who graduated this month with her MPH from in the Fielding School’s Department of Health Policy and Management (HPM), was named a Public Health Impact Fellow at the school’s 2022 Student Academic Honors and Awards Ceremony at UCLA. The award, which includes a stipend, stems from her achievements in the MPH program, including her work studying the healthcare needs of formerly incarcerated individuals, or FIIs.

“Prison inmates have access to medical, dental, and mental health services while incarcerated, but services stop upon their release, which can be harmful to those who rely on medication and other treatments,” Washington said. “They face a disproportionately high risk of mortality within the first two weeks of release, with the leading health-related causes of death being heart disease, cancer, and suicide.”

Washington, whose hometown is Los Angeles, graduated from Frederick K. C. Price III High School in South Los Angeles and earned her BS in Global Health in 2018 from the University of Southern California. At UCLA, she has served as an admissions student ambassador and member of the Public Health Student Association, HPM Student Association, and Students of Color for Public Health, and is an inductee into the Upsilon Phi Delta National Honor Society. She also served the department as a student representative in the Health Policy and Management Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.

“Her achievements in the program are many, including being part of the team to win first place in the UCLA Center for Healthcare Management Case Competition,” said Dr. Julienne Jose-Chen, the Fielding School’s assistant dean for student services.

“It’s this sort of commitment to excellence, while being able to communicate why and how public health is a field which can have real impacts on seemingly intractable problems, that led the evaluators to name Anika a public health impact fellow.”

The public health impact fellows are among several student honors presented by the Fielding School to honor Dr. Lester Breslow, a former dean of the Fielding School and among the first public health experts to quantify the health benefits, risks, and associations with life expectancy of exercise, diet, sleep, and smoking. Breslow’s achievement are honored by the Distinguished Lecture series and the Lester Breslow Student Fellowship Fund; his widow, Devra Breslow, attended this year’s event.