Reddy, Maternal Substance Use Disorder Clinic earn 2022 Culturally Responsive Health Care Award

Anesthesiologist Sundara Reddy, MBBS, and the Maternal Substance Use Disorder Clinic care team at UI Hospitals & Clinics have been named as recipients of the 2022 University of Iowa Health Care Culturally Responsive Health Care Award.  

Reddy and the Maternal Substance Use Disorder Clinic team were recently honored at the 2022 UI Health Care Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Lecture featuring Feranmi Okanlami, MD, MS, assistant professor of family medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and urology at the University of Michigan.  

The Culturally Responsive Health Care Award is presented to an individual or group for providing care that recognizes the social and cultural backgrounds and experiences of patients and their families and emphasizes a commitment to inclusion, empathy, and understanding in providing high-quality care and reducing health disparities. The award is administered by the UI Health Care Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  

Top to bottom | left to right: Sarah Hambright, BA, Sundara Reddy, MBBS, Abbey Hardy-Fairbanks, MD, Alison Lynch, MD, Meagan Thompson, DNP, CNM, CLC, ARNP

Reddy, a clinical assistant professor anesthesia, was awarded for developing a hospital-wide strategy for providing care to patients who are Jehovah’s Witnesses and whose faith prohibits them from receiving blood products. Working with the Hospital Liaison Committee and the local Jehovah’s Witness community, Reddy created a consent form and a process for offering blood product alternatives and cell-salvaging procedures that patients may find acceptable without compromising their belief system. The new strategy identifies a patient’s preference to not accept blood products in the electronic medical record, establishes a central resource and workflow for providers, and facilitates better communication and coordination among various care teams. Through Reddy’s leadership, the new approach was implemented at UI Hospitals and Clinics in June 2020.  

The Maternal Substance Use Disorder Clinic honorees are: 

  • Abbey Hardy-Fairbanks, MD, clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology 
  • Meagan Thompson, DNP, CNM, CLC, ARNP, certified nurse-midwife in obstetrics and gynecology 
  • Sarah Hambright, BA, social worker in obstetrics and gynecology 
  • Alison Lynch, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry and family medicine 

Established in August 2020, the clinic takes a multidisciplinary approach to provide safe, non-judgmental care to pregnant people who have a substance use disorder. The clinic’s providers are trained in trauma-informed care and work with patients to provide comprehensive prenatal care and substance use treatment while also serving as an information resource and support system. The team’s ability to provide continuity of care has earned the trust of patients, especially those who may have been stigmatized or marginalized in their past health care experiences.