SLU Professors Honored for Making Families Healthier
ST. LOUIS – The Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition (MCHFC) honored two Saint
Louis University professors for their leadership in improving the health of babies
and families in the St. Louis region.
The awards were handed out at the 2016 Standing Up for Mothers and Babies Awards dinner
on Oct. 20, at the Chase Park Plaza.
Pamela K. Xaverius, Ph.D., MBA, is an associate professor of epidemiology and director of the Maternal and Child
Health concentration of the Master of Public Health program in the College for Public
Health and Social Justice.
Jaye Shyken, M.D., FACOG, is an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s
Health and a SLUCare Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist.
The MCFHC is the leading convener of stakeholders that take action around priority
health issues for women and children. The mission of the MCFHC is to improve birth
outcomes, promote healthy families and build healthy communities by uniting and mobilizing
the St. Louis Region.
“We are thrilled to honor these awardees who work hard in our community to improve
the health of women and their babies,” Kendra Copanas, executive director of MCHFC
said in a release. “Our collective work accelerates progress so that every baby is
born healthy and our community thrives – one of the most important investments we
as a region can make.”
Two of the five Standing Up for Mothers and Babies Awards went to SLU faculty members.
Xaverius received the Dr. Terry Leet Researcher Award for her research on preconception
health, fetal-infant mortality, immigrant health and Centering Pregnancy. Her work
has been funded by the CDC, NIH, the March of Dimes, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,
presented at national conferences, and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Terry Leet, Ph.D., MPH, was a professor at SLU and MCFHC board member prior to his death in 2009. He joined
the university in 1998 as an assistant professor of community health. During his time
at SLU he held appointments in the departments of pediatrics and obstetrics, gynecology
and women's health and served as director of the division of epidemiology and chair
of community health.
Shyken received the Dr. Corinne Walentik Provider Award for her work with substance
abuse and pregnancy. She founded the WISED Clinic (Women and Infants Safe Escape from
Drugs) at St. Louis Regional Medical Center, which ran from 1991-96.
Her clinical activities take place at the St. Louis Region SSM Health sites, providing
MFM and genetic consultations, and ultrasound services. In 2014, the WISH (Women and Infants Substance Help) Center opened as a half-day clinic that operated within SLUCare's maternal and fetal medicine
group. A formal center opened at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital on Oct. 13. She currently
serves as the founding medical director.
WISH is a multidisciplinary clinic providing coordination of chemical dependency treatment,
maternal-fetal medicine subspecialty care, social services, lactation counseling,
neonatology counseling, and patient education.
Corinne Walentik, M.D., MPH, was a passionate advocate for babies and families in the St. Louis area. Walentik
was a professor of pediatrics in the division of neonatology at SLU and saw patients
at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. She also served on many boards
and received local, regional and national recognition for her work on improving children's
health care. She was a founding member of the St Louis Maternal, Child and Family
Health Coalition and a past president of the Missouri chapter of the American Academy
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction
of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates
physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health
care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new
cures and treatments in five key areas: infectious disease, liver disease, cancer,
heart/lung disease, and aging and brain disorders.
College for Public Health and Social Justice
The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only
academic unit of its kind among the nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education
in the United States.
With a focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex global
health problems, the College offers nationally recognized programs in global public
health, social work, health management and health policy, epidemiology, biostatistics,
environmental and occupational health, behavioral science and health education, emergency
management, biosecurity and disaster preparedness, and criminology and criminal justice.