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Amy Houtrow, MD, PhD, MPH, Awarded 3 Grants to Help Advance Health Equity for People with Disabilities

August 26, 2021

Dr. Amy HoutrowAmy Houtrow, MD, PhD, MPH, was recently appointed to the Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council (PA SILC) board of directors. Dr. Houtrow, professor and vice chair of the UPMC Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, was appointed to this position by Governor Tom Wolf. 

“I am honored to join the board of the Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council because people with disabilities deserve the autonomy and supports for self-determination and independent living. I am excited to add my voice and expertise to our advocacy efforts to ensure the civil rights of people with disability,” she says. 

In addition to her impactful role on the PA SILC board, she was recently awarded three grants that will help advance health equity for people with disabilities. Dr. Houtrow took over directorship of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND-Pitt) training program. Renewed this year with 3.1 million dollars in funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Dr. Houtrow will lead the training of hundreds of students to become leaders in childhood disability.

Dr. Houtrow was also awarded a grant from the FISA Foundation to create a course on disability equity for the medical school. She is collaborating with other leaders in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation to develop the Disability JEDI (Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion) training curriculum. In addition, Dr. Houtrow was awarded a contract with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials to conduct disability health equity training for their emergency preparedness specialists. 

“I am delighted to be in the position to help advance health equity for people with disabilities in a multitude of ways,” says Dr. Houtrow. “My research has long focused on health disparities and inequities for children with disabilities. These grants complement my research focus and will hopefully help health care professionals better understand and address ableism and other barriers to health for people with disabilities.” 

Dr. Houtrow is professor and vice chair in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is also vice chair for Quality and Outcomes. She is chief of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Services at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP). Complementing her clinical focus, Dr. Houtrow’s research focus is recognizing the impact raising children with disabilities has on families and developing channels to improve service delivery. She works closely with leaders in health services research around the country.