By Julie Kiefer, Associate Director, Science Communications
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has selected Michelle Debbink, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine as a Norman F. Gant/American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) fellow.
“I hope that at the completion of the fellowship, I will have a broader understanding of the ways that we can move from science and evidence to health policy actions that improve lives."
The fellowship enables early-career health science scholars to participate in health- and medicine-related work of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) and to further their careers as future leaders in the field.
“The Gant/ABOG fellowship offers an incredible opportunity to tie together so much of what brought me to medicine in the first place, weaving knowledge and advocacy to build a healthier nation,” Debbink says. “I hope that at the completion of the fellowship, I will have a broader understanding of the ways that we can move from science and evidence to health policy actions that improve lives.”
Debbink received an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan where she researched health disparities in child and maternal health. As faculty in Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Utah, she maintains this focus in her clinical work and as an investigator on National Institutes of Health sponsored projects aimed at understanding and reducing disparities in maternal and perinatal outcomes in Utah and the Mountain West.
Debbink serves as the Vice Chair for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and on the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Committee on Indigenous Health, the Society for Reproductive Investigation’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and Utah’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee.
“I can think of no one who is better suited to use the skills and connections provided from this fellowship than Dr. Debbink,” says Robert Silver, chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the U.
Debbink will continue in her primary academic post while engaging in health and science policy work at the NAM and National Academies for two years. She will also have the opportunity to work with an expert study committee or roundtable related to her professional interests. The experience will introduce Debbink to a variety of experts and perspectives, including legislators, government officials, industry leaders, executives of voluntary health organizations, scientists, and other health professionals.