Dr. Amy Crockett ’96
Courtesy Amy Crockett

In October, Amy Crockett ’96 won the Aspen Institute’s McNulty Prize for her work in transforming prenatal healthcare through South Carolina’s CenteringPregnancy program.

CenteringPregnancy is a group prenatal care program in which women take an active role in their own healthcare and attend appointments with small groups of other pregnant women (eight to 10) who are due in the same month. Crockett founded CenteringPregnancy South Carolina in 2007. Since then, she’s seen many levels of success.

“It’s a really different model of delivering healthcare,” Crockett said. “But we’ve had a lot of luck with it here in my practice in South Carolina in reducing the rates of preterm birth and particularly reducing the racial disparities in preterm birth.”

According to Crockett, 12 percent of babies are born prematurely in South Carolina, while the rate of preterm babies among women in the CenteringPregnancy program is only 8 percent. African-American women are more likely to experience a preterm birth, and outcomes at CenteringPregnancy South Carolina have challenged that disparity.

For Crockett, her work comes down to a question of social justice. “If there’s something that I can do to make this better, I should do that. And that’s compelling to me — the social justice element of it,” she said. “We’ve seen all the problems of racial disparities in all kinds of domains, especially this year with the election. There’s injustice in policing and there’s injustice in housing and there’s injustice in jobs. I focus on the racial inequality in healthcare.”

Crockett, while at Princeton, majored in history with a certificate in women’s studies. At Princeton, she wrote her thesis about an 18th-century obstetrician named William Smellie. She’s known that obstetrics was the career path she wanted to take since high school, when she shadowed another Princeton alumnus, Dr. Steven Gabbe ’65, at Ohio State University. The experience, Crockett said, “really solidified my career choice in women’s health.”

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Crockett attended Ohio State for medical school, Baylor College of Medicine for her residency, and had specialty training in maternal fetal medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After she graduated in 2007, she took a job with the Greenville (S.C.) Health System as an associate professor with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Greenville.

WATCH a video about Crockett’s work, courtesy of the McNulty Prize