UNC School of Medicine Research Named to Forbes’ Healthcare Innovators List

A UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health researcher known for studying perinatal depression just landed another honor to her decorated career.

In its recent list of “16 Healthcare Innovators That You Should Know,” Forbes included Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, a long-time UNC faculty member and innovator in studying women’s mood disorders. The magazine pens that Meltzer-Brody is one of the leaders who is “changing the face of healthcare.”

It’s not the first time Forbes has recognized Meltzer-Brody. She was named to the list of “Women Over 50 Working to Improve Our Collective Mental Health” by the magazine in 2021.

Meltzer-Brody’s body of work reflects why she earned this recognition from Forbes. She founded the UNC Perinatal Psychiatry Program in 2004 and also serves as the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at UNC’s School of Medicine. Her work at the university investigates the epidemiologic and biological predictors of perinatal depression, which is the mood disorders before, during and after pregnancy. Meltzer-Brody’s approach to developing an integrated clinical and research program helps study and find data behind new mothers and expectant mothers, who make up more than 10 percent of those who experience mental health issues.

The recognition by Forbes is just the latest for the mental health specialist. Meltzer-Brody is currently the Assad Meymandi Distinguished Professor at the School of Medicine, but also won the UNC System’s O. Max Gardner Award in 2020. The award is given annually to a faculty member of the UNC System who “has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race” during the academic year. When UNC hosted a mental health summit in the fall of 2021, the university turned to Meltzer-Brody to facilitate and lead the event.

Meltzer-Brody was also named a WCHL Hometown Hero in June 2020 and spoke to Chapelboro about telepsychiatry in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of her work is continuing to best utilize telehealth methods to serve patients in the future.

“People have to know they are not alone in this and that it’s not that they’re doing something wrong and it’s not that they’re not strong enough,” Meltzer-Brody said. “Making people aware that they are not alone and that it can have felt very traumatic and that what they’re experiencing puts them in very good company and that there is something that we can do about it. Opening up those lines of communication is vital.”

To read the full list of “16 Healthcare Innovators That You Should Know,” click here. To learn more about Meltzer-Brody’s work at UNC, visit the School of Medicine’s website.

Photo via UNC Health/UNC School of Medicine.

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