named 2001 Distinguished Alumna
Hallam Hurt, a much-honored academic neonatologist, has always
shown the strength of character to question conventional wisdom.
The U.Va. Womens
Center has named Hurt, a 1971 Medical School graduate, its
2001 Distinguished Alumna, based upon her work with at-risk infants.
research explores the long-term outcomes of premature infants
who are exposed to cocaine while in utero. Her studys general
conclusions that children born of cocaine-using mothers
did not fare significantly worse than their peers have
challenged conventional thinking in scientific and public policy
arenas. Hurts work asks important questions about how we
can best identify and assess risk while caring for vulnerable
will give a public talk on The Sojourn of the Inner City
Child for the Medical Center Hour lecture Oct. 10 at 12:30
p.m. in the Jordan Conference Center Auditorium. Hurt will be
honored at a benefit dinner for the Womens Center Oct. 11,
as well as spend time with students, medical students and residents
and the School of Medicine Committee on Women during her visit.
graduating from Sweet Briar College in 1967, Hurt attended Medical
School and continued her training at U.Va. She became the first
woman in pediatrics department history to be named chief resident.
She helped pioneer a treatment for severe respiratory distress
syndrome in premature infants, and worked in the first High Risk
Follow-Up Clinic to extend the care for vulnerable newborns. Hurt
has published more than 42 peer-reviewed articles and received
multiple accolades for her written work.
1981, she was honored with the McLemore Birdsong Excellence in
Teaching Award at U.Va. Later that year she was recruited by Albert
Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia as the academic Chair
of the Division of Neonatology. Along with that post, Hurt is
Professor of Pediatrics at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.
more than 20 years, Hurt has served as a compassionate and astute
observer of the effects of drugs on the health of infants. She
has blended critical care neonatology with a humanist commitment
to understanding the social events in an urban environment that
influence the outcome of premature birth. Her dedication to perinatal
education programs has become known globally.
Universitys Womens Center established the annual Distinguished
Alumna Award in 1991 to honor female U.Va. graduates who have
demonstrated excellence, leadership and extraordinary commitment
to their fields, and who have used their talents as a positive
force for change.