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Pediatric research center improves health outcomes

In August 2022, the Perinatal, Pediatrics, & Family Research Center (PPFRC) was formed after a group of multidisciplinary faculty and perinatal, pediatric, and family health researchers facilitated collaboration at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing and nationwide.

Reality check

The center will work to improve access to healthcare and address racial disparities:

  • March of Dimes rates South Carolina with an “F” in preterm birth.
  • Preterm birth rate is 11.8%, which has risen over the last five years.
  • S.C. has inadequate prenatal care at 15.9% versus the U.S. rate of 14.9%.
  • Preterm birth rate among Black women is 55% higher in S.C.

Case in point

PPFRC will improve the health and wellbeing for families through research and innovation, and leadership and excellence through collaborative, interdisciplinary research.

  • Decrease morbidity and mortality for women in S.C. and beyond, before and after childbirth.
  • Decrease morbidity and mortality for premature infants and children born in S.C. from birth to two years old.
  • Facilitate the health and wellbeing of families in S.C. during child-bearing years with increased access to equitable, quality healthcare through research.

New PPFRC Director Dr. Robin Dail serves as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and was recently appointed as Health Sciences Endowed Professor.

“I created the center to bring together maternal-child researchers at the College of Nursing with faculty across the UofSC campus and nation. This will enable networking and extended collaborations, growing research productivity at the university, while making a difference to improve health outcomes for families in South Carolina and beyond,” says Dail.

This is the only center amongst peer institutions conducting this research.

Meet the experts
  • Robin M. Dawson, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC, Associate Professor
  • Kayla C. Everhart, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor
  • Tisha Felder, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor
  • Joynelle R. Jackson, EdD, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor
  • Rhonda Johnson, DNP, APRN, c-EFM, CNE, CNM, FACNM, Assistant Professor
  • Brooke Patterson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, Assistant Professor
  • Phyllis Raynor, PhD, PMHNP-BC, CARN-AP, APRN, Assistant Professor
  • Alicia Ribar, PhD, FNP-BC, Professor
  • Abbas Tavakoli, Dr. PH, MPH, ME, Professor
  • Jessica Bradshaw, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, CAS
  • Nansi S. Boghossian, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, ASPH



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