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Nancy Byatt receives John C. MacQueen Lecture Award

Perinatal depression expert honored for innovation by Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

January 30, 2020
Nancy Byatt, DO

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs has named UMass Medical School perinatal depression expert Nancy Byatt, DO, MS, MBA, the recipient of the 2020 John C. MacQueen Lecture Award. The award recognizes innovation by individuals who have made exemplary contributions to maternal and child health issues. Past recipients include former U.S. Surgeon General Everett C. Koop and child rights advocate Marian Wright Edelman.

Dr. Byatt, associate professor of psychiatry, obstetrics & gynecology, and population & quantitative health sciences, and director of the Division of Women’s Mental Health, has gained national recognition for initiatives that help front-line health care providers address maternal perinatal depression in obstetric and primary care settings.

The Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program for Moms (MCPAP for Moms), which Byatt created with UMMS colleague Tiffany Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd, promotes maternal and child health by providing rapid access to psychiatric expertise and mental health resources to pregnant and postpartum women’s front-line health care providers to effectively prevent, identify and manage depression. MCPAP for Moms has impacted state and national policies regarding perinatal mental health and increased access to mental health care for thousands of Massachusetts women since its 2014 launch.

MCPAP for Moms further serves as the model for the Lifeline4Moms center established in 2018 by Byatt and Dr. Moore Simas, professor of obstetrics & gynecology. Lifeline4Moms is a national resource for states and health care systems to develop similar training and support programs for obstetric providers and patients.

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs is a national resource, partner and advocate for state public health leaders and others working to improve the health of women, children, youth and families, including those with special health care needs. AMCHP established the annual John C. MacQueen lectureship in 1988 to honor the late Dr. MacQueen, who directed the Iowa state program for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

Byatt has previously been honored by the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Related stories on UMassMedNow:
NPR: Program developed at UMMS a ‘lifeline’ for mothers with postpartum depression
LISTEN: Perinatal experts discuss screening moms for postpartum depression
The Conversation: UMass Medical School perinatal depression program expands nationally to help women
Lifeline4Moms helps obstetricians support women with perinatal depression