Nurse Scientist Susan Groth Receives National Award For Commitment to Women's Health

Jun. 17, 2013
Grant Will Support Her Work Exploring the Factors Leading to Obesity in Women
Susan W. Groth, assistant professor of nursing

Assistant Professor of Nursing Susan W. Groth, Ph.D., R.N., W.H.N.P.-B.C., FA.A.N.P., was presented today with an award from the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) in recognition of her research into the variety of factors that contribute to obesity in women, including genetic predisposition, behavioral and environmental components. The March of Dimes Comerford Freda "Saving Babies, Together®" award includes a $9,000 grant that will specifically support her study, The Dietary Choices of Low-Income, Pregnant African American Women. Groth receives the award today at the AWHONN annual convention in Nashville, Tenn.

The Margaret Comerford Freda "Saving Babies, Together®" Award is presented annually to an experienced investigator whose research reflects the shared commitment of the March of Dimes and AWHONN to promoting the health of women and newborns. The award is supported through an educational grant from the March of Dimes and named for long-time AWHONN member and nurse researcher, Margaret Comerford Freda.

"Dr. Groth is passionate about understanding the many factors that can lead to obesity in women, particularly those from the most vulnerable populations,” said AWHONN's Chief Executive Officer Karen Peddicord, Ph.D., R.N.. “Her work as a nurse scientist will help to improve the health of women and their children. It is a pleasure to present this award in partnership with the March of Dimes."

Groth’s research stems from years of caring for women who expressed difficulties losing weight after their pregnancies, and her desire to prevent the adverse and often long-term effects of weight gain on mothers and children. She began as a nurse working with newborns, and later worked to provide obstetric and gynecologic care to care to uninsured and underserved women. For 19 years she provided obstetric and gynecologic care for high-risk girls served by Hillside Family of Agencies, and within the juvenile justice system. She also worked as a women’s health practitioner for St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center in Rochester for 15 years.

She joined the UR School of Nursing faculty in 1994, where her clinical experiences have shaped her research focus and made her an effective educator and preceptor to nursing students.

In addition to her work to identify the factors that contribute to weight gain during pregnancy, Groth is also co-investigator of a separate randomized controlled trial, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), that is evaluating an electronic intervention to prevent excessive gestational weight gain and prevent postpartum weight retention.

Groth earned her PhD and master’s degrees from the University of Rochester and her BSN from Roberts Wesleyan College. She serves on AWHONN’s Research Advisory Panel, is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, and a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.


The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is the foremost nursing authority that advances the health care of women and newborns through advocacy, research and the creation of high quality, evidence-based standards of care.

AWHONN's 24,000 members worldwide are clinicians, educators and executives who serve as patient care advocates focusing on the needs of women and infants. A leader in professional development, AWHONN holds the distinction of twice receiving the Premier Program award by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for innovation and excellence in Continuing Nursing Education (CNE).

Founded in 1969 as the Nurses Association of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the association became a separate nonprofit organization called the Association of Women's Health and Neonatal Nurses in 1993.