Date:  July 25, 2011




Melissa Simon Selected as Gant/IOM Fellow


WASHINGTON — The Institute of Medicine has selected Melissa Simon as the 2011-2013 Norman F. Gant/American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology/IOM Anniversary Fellow in recognition of her work toward health equity for uninsured and publicly insured women.  An obstetrician and gynecologist, Simon is director of patient navigation at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago.


As a fellow, Simon will work with eminent researchers, policy experts, and clinicians from across the country as they collaborate on initiatives convened by IOM to provide nonpartisan, evidence-based guidance to national, state, and local policymakers, academic leaders, health care administrators, and the public.  She will also receive a research stipend of $25,000.  Named in honor of Norman F. Gant, M.D., a member of the Institute of Medicine and a former executive director of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the fellowship program provides an exceptional learning and professional development opportunity to obstetricians and gynecologists early in their academic careers.


Simon has a strong interest in leveraging research to empower, improve the health, and advocate for low-income, medically underserved women of all ages.  Her research aims to merge social epidemiology principles with health services research to reduce health disparities through a community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework.  She is the principal investigator on several federal and foundation grants on barriers low-income women face in obtaining cancer treatment.  Through her research, Simon also seeks to mitigate the health-related poverty trap experienced by family caregivers.


Simon received her B.A. at the University of Chicago and a master's degree in public health in epidemiology at the University of Illinois, Chicago.  She attended medical school at Rush Medical College and completed an obstetrics and gynecology residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital and geriatrics training at Johns Hopkins University.  She also completed a fellowship in family planning and reproductive health and is a former Women’s Reproductive Health Research Scholar at Northwestern University.


IOM Anniversary Fellows continue their main academic responsibilities while engaging part time over a two-year period in IOM's health and science policy work.  A committee appointed by the president of IOM selects fellows based on their professional qualifications, reputation as scholars, professional accomplishments, and relevance of current field expertise to the work of IOM.


Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine provides independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public.  The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.



Lorin Hancock, Media Relations Associate

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; e-mail


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