Produced by the American Heart Association, this four-minute video explains the Heart Safe Motherhood system that won the 2024 Edward S. Cooper Award.

Penn Medicine obstetrical physicians and researchers Sindhu Srinivas, MD, MSCE, and Adi Hirshberg, MD, were awarded the 2024 American Heart Association’s Edward S. Cooper Award at the 2024 Philadelphia Heart Ball on March 23. They were honored for the Heart Safe Motherhood digital system they developed to improve care for pregnancy patients at high risk for stroke and complications in the first 10 days after delivery.

“We were so thrilled to recognize the work of Dr. Srinivas and Dr. Hirshberg through Heart Safe Motherhood with the Edward S. Cooper Award,” said Jennifer Litchman-Green, Executive Director of the American Heart Association in Philadelphia. “They join the ranks of other impactful physicians, researchers and medical professionals whose many outstanding contributions to the Greater Philadelphia community exemplify the best of humankind and the American Heart Association’s mission.”

Sindhu Srinivas, MD, MSCE

Srinivas is an LDI Senior Fellow, Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine, and Vice-chair for Quality and Safety and Physician Lead for the Women’s Health Service Line for Penn Medicine. Hirshberg is an Associate Professor at the Perelman School and Director of Obstetrical Services at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP).

Hypertension and Preeclampsia

Adi Hirshberg, MD

Developed 10 years ago, the Heart Safe Motherhood program is an algorithmically driven system that maintains twice daily two-way text-message communications related to hypertension and potential preeclampsia with post-delivery patients after they’ve gone home. Both conditions are leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity.

With Heart Safe Motherhood, new mothers are supplied with a blood pressure cuff and prompted by the messaging system to report their blood pressure readings twice daily for 10 days. Incoming readings are automatically analyzed based on a pre-programmed algorithm, and clinicians are immediately flagged when potentially dangerous increases in pressure are detected. The system eliminated the blood pressure check disparity between white women and Black women at the same time it reduced seven-day hospital readmissions from 5% to 1%.

The Edward S. Cooper Award is named in honor of Dr. Edward S. Cooper, a pioneer in hypertension and stroke care and the first African American to serve as national president of the American Heart Association.

Philadelphia Heart Ball

The Philadelphia Heart Ball is an annual celebration of the Heart Association’s Heart of Philadelphia campaign, a year-round movement to drive equitable health in Greater Philadelphia. The initiative raises funds to improve hypertension control, increase nutrition security, and remove barriers to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) education..

This year, the event also celebrated the American Heart Association’s 100th anniversary.

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