NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Aspen Institute and Trustee Anne Welsh McNulty today announced Dr. Amy Crockett as the recipient of the ninth annual John P. McNulty Prize for her work expanding CenteringPregnancy™ and institutionalizing it across South Carolina's healthcare system. The $100,000 prize recognizes leaders who harness the innovation and excellence that characterized their career success to create replicable and sustainable models for addressing seemingly intractable problems around the world. Dr. Crockett is being honored for her transformative work to expand a group model of prenatal care that is drastically improving birth outcomes in South Carolina, and influencing the way healthcare is delivered across the nation.
"When we think of complications at birth or infant mortality, we often think about developing countries dealing with abject poverty, weak infrastructure or broken human services," said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a member of the McNulty Prize jury. "Yet, this is occurring right here in the United States. With CenteringPregnancy, South Carolina & Dr. Crockett are pioneering a model of change that has global applications for women and children everywhere."
Anne Welsh McNulty added, "CenteringPregnancy is a paradigm shift in healthcare delivery–– a true innovation that is not only socially positive, but in fact profitable and more affordable for patients, taxpayers and the country."
A Value-Based Care Approach Over 500,000 babies are born preterm every year in the U.S., resulting in lifelong neurosensory and cognitive disabilities; disparities in education, health and employment; and an estimated combined lifetime medical cost of over $26 billion. In South Carolina, preterm birth rates are higher than in Sudan, Iran and Bangladesh, and minority mothers face even worse prospects.
It was in this context that Dr. Amy Crockett, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist and a Liberty Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, led her effort to expand CenteringPregnancy. Through Dr. Crockett's pioneering research and evaluation, the group model of prenatal care has been proven to decrease rates of preterm birth by almost 50 percent, reduce admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit, eliminate racial disparities, and improve family planning outcomes.
Preliminary research shows that the social support that comes from women connecting with each other can reduce stress and potentially impact gene expression in the placenta in such a way that leads to radically improved health outcomes for women and babies over the course of their lives.
Once she found that it was significantly improving the lives of her own at-risk patients, Dr. Crockett sought to increase access to the model for patients across the state. She successfully lobbied Medicaid and private insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield to provide enhanced reimbursement for the coverage. The program has resulted in over $7 million in medical savings, and over 25 states and countries like Mexico are working to adopt the model.
"This is an example of where healthcare is headed," said Dr. Amy Crockett. "Moving from volume based to value based care, where we measure impact based on transformative outcomes for our patients––fewer preterm births, lower rates of diabetes and racial disparities––instead of the number of ultrasounds I do. It is a profound change in the way healthcare is delivered."
About The John P. McNulty Prize Founded by Anne Welsh McNulty, the John P. McNulty Prize celebrates the boldness and impact of individuals using their exceptional leadership abilities, entrepreneurial spirit and private sector talents to address the world's toughest challenges.
A distinguished international jury, including Secretary Madeleine Albright, Ugandan statesman Olara Otunnu, and international development expert Brizio Biondi-Morra, selected the 2016 winner. Previous juries have included Mary Robinson, Bill Gates, Sr., and Sir Richard Branson.
Liberty Fellow Amy Crockett, along with her venture CenteringPregnancy South Carolina, was one of four laureates selected from the Aspen Global Leadership Network. The 2016 Laureates include KC Hardin for Esperanza in Panama, Andrew Zaloumisfor the iSimangaliso Rural Enterprise Accelerator Program in South Africa, and Mukti Datta for Mandakini Women Weavers in India. Each laureate receives $10,000. The 2016 Winner and Laureates will be honored at the annual McNulty Prize reception in New York on November 2.
Learn more about this year's laureates through a short documentary series: http://bit.ly/2f9T6IH Follow @McNultyPrize on Twitter and join the conversation using #McNultyPrize
The Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of high-integrity, entrepreneurial leaders from business, government, and the nonprofit sector, with over 2,300 Fellows from 50 countries who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy, and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our time. All share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the many Aspen Institute leadership initiatives it has inspired in the U.S., Africa, Central America, India, China, and the Middle East. For more information, visit agln.aspeninstitute.org.
The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.