Diana Montoya-Williams, MD, is interested in the drivers of racial and ethnic disparities in infant health outcomes such as preterm birth, low birth weight and infant mortality. She has conducted several studies on social determinants of perinatal health, including evaluations of paid family leave policies and prenatal risk screening. Dr. Montoya-Williams has also begun to explore resilience in pregnancy and what factors make women of different cultural backgrounds resilient to poor birth outcomes. Finally, she has a special interest in how immigration status and policy affects Hispanic women’s perinatal and infant health outcomes.

In addition to her research interests, Dr. Montoya-Williams actively engages in immigrant child health advocacy at local and national levels. She is also a medical podcaster and co-hosts Baby Doctor Mamas (, an educational podcast aimed at new parents.

Education and Training

Medical School

MD - Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY


Pediatrics - University of Florida, Gainesville, FL


Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine - University of Florida, Gainesville, PA

Titles and Academic Titles


Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Departments and Services




Montoya-Williams D, Wallis KE, Duncan AF. Best practices for the conduct of antiracist research: Time for formal, tailored curriculums. JAMA Pediatr. 2022 Feb 14. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.6315.

Montoya-Williams D, Duncan AF, Burris HH. Racial and ethnic perinatal and infant disparities: a comprehensive, diverse and actionable compendium [published online ahead of print, 2022 Aug 31]. Semin Perinatol. 2022;151655.

Bamat NA, Vereen RJ, Montoya-Williams D. Disparities in Lung Disease of Prematurity-When Does Exposure to Racism Begin?. JAMA Pediatr. 2022 Sep 1;176(9):845-847. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.2671. PubMed PMID: 35913709.

Montoya-Williams D, Gualy S, Mazur M, Huber M, Peña MM, DeMauro SB, Duncan AF. Impact of COVID-19 on Infants Followed After Discharge from the NICU Using a Telemedicine Model. American Journal of Perinatology. 2022 Nov 30.

Burris HH, Mullin AM, Dhudasia MB, Flannery DD, Mukhopadhyay S, Pfeifer MR, Woodford EC, Briker SM, Triebwasser JE, Morris JS, Montoya-Williams D, Gouma S, Hensley SE, Puopolo KM. Neighborhood Characteristics and Racial Disparities in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Seropositivity in Pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2022. In press.


Reichman V, Brachio SS, Madu CR, Montoya-Williams D, Pena MM. “Using rising tides to lift all boats: Equity-focused quality improvement as a tool to reduce neonatal health disparities.” Semin Fetal and Neonatal Medicine. 2021 Feb 26(1). PMID: 33558160.

Ayalew B, Dawson-Hahn, Cholera R, Magarik Haro T, Montoya-Williams D, Linton J. “The Health of Children in Immigrant Families: Key Drivers and Research Gaps through an Equity Lens. Academic Pediatrics. 2021 Jul 21; 21(5):777-792. PMID 33529739.

Carr R, Lane-Fall MB, South E, Brady D, Momplaisir F, Guerra CE, Montoya-Williams D, Dalembert G, Lavizza-Mourey R, Hamilton R. “Academic careers and the COVID-19 pandemic: reversing the tide.” Science Translational Medicine. 2021 Mar 10; 13(584). PMID: 33692133.

Ortiz R, Farrell-Bryan D, Gutierrez G, Boen C, Tam V, Yun K, Venkataramani AS, Montoya-Williams D. A Content Analysis Of US Sanctuary Immigration Policies: Implications For Research In Social Determinants Of Health. Health Affairs. 2021 Jul; 40(7):1145-1153. PMID: 34228526.

Montoya-Williams D, Mullin AM, Handley SC, Flannery DD, Lorch SA, Elovitz MA, Burris HH. Disparities in SARS-CoV-2 positivity among pregnant patients with limited English proficiency. J Perinatology. 2021 Oct; 41(10):2564-2565. PMID 34497337.


Montoya-Williams D, Ledyard R, Hacker MR, Burris HH. “Resilience During Pregnancy: Evidence of A Hispanic Immigrant Advantage.” Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. 2020 Aug 17. doi: 10.1007/s40615-020-00847-y. PMID: 32808195.

Montoya-Williams D, Pena MM, Fuentes-Afflick E. “In Pursuit of Health Equity.” Journal of Pediatrics X, 2020 Aug 14. Doi: 10.1016/j.ympdx.2020.100045.

Montoya-Williams D, Passarella M, Lorch SA. “Racial Differences in Young Adult Resilience and Associations with Low Birth Weight.” Journal of Perinatology, 2020 Oct 5. PMID 33028937.

Montoya-Williams D, Williamson WG, Cardel M, Fuentes-Afflick E, Maldonado-Molina M, Thompson L. “The Hispanic/Latinx Perinatal Paradox in the United States: A Scoping Review and Recommendations to Guide Future Research.” J Immigr Minor Health, 2020 October 31. PMID 33131006.


Changes in Preterm Birth Phenotypes and Stillbirth at 2 Philadelphia Hospitals During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic, March-June 2020. Handley SC, Mullin AM, Elovitz MA, Gerson KD, Montoya-Williams D, Lorch SA, Burris HH. JAMA. 2020 Dec 7. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.20991. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33284323 No abstract available.

Montoya-Williams D, Bright M, Echavarria M, Martinez S, Mercado R, Lorch SA & Thompson L. "Associations between a Healthy Start Program prenatal risk screening tool and adverse birth outcomes:  A study using the Mother-Infant Dyad Screening Cohort." J Women's Health (Larchmt). 2020 Jan 2. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2019.7712. [Epub ahead of print]

Montoya-Williams D, Salloum R, Lorch SA. “New Strategies to Tackle the Combined Biological and Social Context of Preterm Birth.” Am J Perinatol. 2019 Sep 3. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1695774. PMID: 31480082

Montoya-Williams D, Burris H, Fuentes-Afflick, E. “Perinatal outcomes in Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states among Hispanic women.”  JAMA. 2019 Sep 3;322(9):893-894. doi: 10.1001/jama.2019.9825. PMID: 31479131

Montoya-Williams D, Fuentes-Afflick, E. “Political Determinants of Population Health.”  JAMA Network Open. 2019 Jul 3;2(7):e197063. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.7063. PMID: 31322684


Montoya-Williams D, Quinlan J, Clukay C, Rodney NC, Kertes DA, Mulligan CJ. Associations between maternal prenatal stress, methylation changes in IGF1 and IGF2, and birth weight. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. 2018 Apr;9(2):215-222.

Montoya-Williams D, Lemas D, Spiryda L, Patel K, Carney O, Neu J, Carson T. The Neonatal Microbiome and Its Partial Role in Mediating the Association between Birth by Cesarean Section and Adverse Pediatric Outcomes. Neonatology. 2018: 114(2): 103-111.


Montoya-Williams D, Lemas DJ, Spiryda L, Patel K, Neu J, Carson TL. What Are Optimal Cesarean Section Rates in the U.S. and How Do We Get There? A Review of Evidence-Based Recommendations and Interventions. Journal of Women’s Health. 2017 Dec; 26(12):1285-1291.

Montoya-Williams D, Quinlan J, Clukay C, Rodney NC, Kertes DA, Mulligan CJ: Associations between maternal prenatal stress, methylation changes in IGF1 and IGF2, and birth weight. J Dev Orig Health Dis 11: 1-8, Oct 2017 Notes: doi: 10.1017/S2040174417000800.


Posters and Presentations


Pennsylvania Dept. of Health, Virtual Health Equity Conference. “Health Equity for Children in Immigrant Families.” (November).

The Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Consortium Annual Symposium. ““Incorporating Anti-Racism in the NICU via Quality Improvement and Research.” (November)

Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine Pediatric Grand Rounds.  “Anti-Racist Academic Work to address Maternal & Infant Health Inequities.” (November)


Resilience to Stress: Does it mediate racial/ethnic disparities in perinatal outcomes? Rising Scholars in Health Research symposium. Bloomington, Indiana

Montoya-Williams D. “Resilience to Stress: Does it mediate racial/ethnic disparities in perinatal outcomes?” Platform presentation at Rising Scholars in Health Research symposium. Bloomington, Indiana. 2019.

Montoya-Williams D, Passarella, M Lorch SA. “Racial Differences in Young Adult Resilience and Associations with Low Birth Weight.” Platform presentation at Eastern Society for Pediatric Research Conference. Philadelphia, PA. 2019.

Invited Lectures


Montoya-Williams D. “Highlighting Community Partnerships: Uniting Existing Community Resources to Provide Care for Immigrant Children and their Families.” Public Health Special Interest Group Meeting at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition. 2018.

Montoya-Williams D. Immigrant Health and Health Care.” University of Pennsylvania Urban Health Systems. 2019.

Awards and Honors

2018, Henry A. Kokomoor Award, University of Florida
2017, Audrey Lincourt Schiebler Award for Excellence in Child Advocacy
2015, Outstanding Achievement in Pediatric Medical Student Education, University of Florida
2015, Gold Humanism Honor Society, University of Florida
2012, Gold Humanism Honor Society, Columbia University
2012, William Perry Watson Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics, Columbia University

Editorial and Academic Positions

Academic and Institutional Committees

2019 - present, Neonatology Clinical Research Committee
2019 – present, Health Equity Portfolio at CHOP PolicyLab

Leadership and Memberships

Memberships in Professional Organizations

2020, Eastern Society for Pediatric Research
2012-present, American Academy of Pediatrics
 - 2015-present, Fellow
 - 2015-present, Section of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
 - 2015-present, Council on Immigrant Child and Family Health