University of Virginia School of Nursing
Sharon Veith will work with Adrienne Griffen from Postpartum Support Virginia to educate and amplify resources for area women experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety.

Postpartum depression and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting one in five mothers. At least 700 women in the greater Charlottesville area will experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders each year, affecting an additional 2,400 family members. Untreated perinatal mood and anxiety disorders can have long-term impact on the mother, baby and society.

The project team, led by Adrienne Griffen from Postpartum Support Virginia and Sharon Veith from UVA’s School of Nursing, seeks to educate local stakeholders about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, establish additional resources for recovery and ensure that all childbearing women are educated about, screened for and receive treatment for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders from conception through one year after giving birth.

Veith and Griffin are spearheading one of four biomedical research projects to improve the health of Virginians will be funded by the integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia, or iTHRIV, a Clinical Translational Science Award Hub.

“iTHRIV is excited to partner with the National Institutes of Health in supporting our community nonprofit and governmental organizations, who are collaborating with academic researchers to address important health needs across Virginia,” said iTHRIV Director Karen Johnston, the University of Virginia’s associate vice president for clinical and translational research. “It is our hope that these pilot grant projects will benefit underserved communities and improve research partnerships.”The projects address autism spectrum disorder, improved access to colorectal cancer screening, postpartum depression, and the benefits of walking in cities. Community organizations will be involved in the efforts, working with teams of physicians and researchers from UVA and Virginia Tech.

“Our unique approach to community engagement through regional iTHRIV advisory boards in Northern, Central and Southwest/Southside Virginia ensures that we foster collaborative research among community, clinical and academic organizations and institutions to serve diverse communities across the majority of the commonwealth,” said associate professor Kathy Hosig, director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Health Practice and Research. “The opportunity to involve our community partners in research that is a priority for them is extremely rewarding.”

The four teams will be awarded a total of $80,000 in funding.

About iTHRIV

iTHRIV is a cross-state translational research institute supported by a five-year, $23 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Partnering institutions include Virginia Tech, Carilion Clinic, the University of Virginia and Inova Health System. The mission of the iTHRIV partnership and the national Clinical Translational Science Award programs is to promote interdisciplinary research that translates basic research findings into clinical applications, clinical research into community practice, and improves the process of research. A major goal of iTHRIV is to implement research that will benefit underserved populations.

This content was supported in part by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award No. UL1TR003015.