Dilys Walker, MD

Adjunct Professor
Ob/Gyn, Reproductive Sciences
+1 415 476-5934

Dilys Walker is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. She serves as the Director of Global Health Research for the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and the Director of the Institute for Global Health Science (IGHS) Center for Global Maternal Newborn Child Health Research. As a clinician researcher, her academic career has focused on global implementation research in limited resource settings, taking a life course approach to improving outcomes for women, mothers, and their newborns.

Dr Walker led efforts to build the evidence base to support the re-introduction of professional midwifery in Mexico and to address the disparity in quality of care at the time of birth. She developed an innovative provider training program for emergency obstetric and newborn care (PRONTO), based on highly realistic simulation and team training. The program began in Mexico, and now has programs in over 10 countries globally.

As Principal Investigator for the Preterm Birth Initiative East Africa (2014-2021), the project aimed to decrease the burden of preterm birth in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Among other efforts, the team conducted two large CRCTs:(1) to evaluate an intervention package to improve quality of care at birth for preterm infants in Kenya and Uganda, and (2) to assess the impact of group antenatal care on prevention of preterm birth in Rwanda. UCSF, led by Dr Walker, is a technical anchor for the USAID funded Health Evaluation and Applied Research Development Project and has worked with collaborators in Madagascar and Malawi to improve postpartum hemorrhage care.

Dr Walker is co-leading the Equitable Global Health Partnerships Initiative, a collaborative effort between The Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health (Bixby) and the Institute for Global Health Sciences (IGHS) that began in 2021 with the mandate to identify and address inequity in our global health partnerships. This culminated in This culminated in 5 working groups co-led by our global partners developing action plans for the Domains for Change identified through the process including: Education Training and Mentorship, Relationship Building, Authorship and Knowledge Production, Ethics and Community Involvement, and Equity in Financial Management.


The role of informational support from women's social networks on antenatal care initiation: qualitative evidence from pregnant women in Uganda.

BMC pregnancy and childbirth

Comfort AB, El Ayadi AM, Camlin CS, Tsai AC, Nalubwama H, Byamugisha J, Walker DM, Moody J, Roberts T, Senoga U, Krezanoski PJ, Harper CC

Respectful language in intrapartum and newborn care - Authors' reply.

The Lancet. Global health

Walker D, Otieno P, Waiswa P

Simulation and team training embedded nurse mentoring programme and improvement in intrapartum and newborn care in a low-resource setting in Bihar, India.

Journal of global health

Ghosh R, Spindler H, Dyer J, Christmas A, Cohen SR, Das A, Sonthalia S, Mahapatra T, Gore A, Shah H, Walker DM

Effect of a quality improvement package for intrapartum and immediate newborn care on fresh stillbirth and neonatal mortality among preterm and low-birthweight babies in Kenya and Uganda: a cluster-randomised facility-based trial.

The Lancet. Global health

Walker D, Otieno P, Butrick E, Namazzi G, Achola K, Merai R, Otare C, Mubiri P, Ghosh R, Santos N, Miller L, Sloan NL, Waiswa P, Preterm Birth Initiative Kenya and Uganda Implementation Research Collaborative

Cohort study of neonatal resuscitation skill retention in frontline healthcare facilities in Bihar, India, after PRONTO simulation training.

BMJ paediatrics open

Higgins BV, Medvedev MM, Spindler H, Ghosh R, Longkumer O, Cohen SR, Das A, Gore A, Mahapatra T, Walker DM

Simulation-enhanced nurse mentoring to improve preeclampsia and eclampsia care: an education intervention study in Bihar, India.

BMC pregnancy and childbirth

Raney JH, Morgan MC, Christmas A, Sterling M, Spindler H, Ghosh R, Gore A, Mahapatra T, Walker DM

Clinical cascades as a novel way to assess physical readiness of facilities for the care of small and sick neonates in Kenya and Uganda.

PloS one

Morgan MC, Spindler H, Nambuya H, Nalwa GM, Namazzi G, Waiswa P, Otieno P, Cranmer J, Walker DM

Logistical, cultural, and structural barriers to immediate neonatal care and neonatal resuscitation in Bihar, India.

BMC pregnancy and childbirth

Vail B, Morgan MC, Dyer J, Christmas A, Cohen SR, Joshi M, Gore A, Mahapatra T, Walker DM

The power of practice: simulation training improving the quality of neonatal resuscitation skills in Bihar, India.

BMC pediatrics

Vail B, Morgan MC, Spindler H, Christmas A, Cohen SR, Walker DM

Care of the mother-infant dyad: a novel approach to conducting and evaluating neonatal resuscitation simulation training in Bihar, India.

BMC pregnancy and childbirth

Vail B, Spindler H, Morgan MC, Cohen SR, Christmas A, Sah P, Shah MB, Das A, Walker DM

Impact Evaluation of PRONTO Mexico: A Simulation-Based Program in Obstetric and Neonatal Emergencies and Team Training.

Simulation in healthcare : journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare

Walker DM, Cohen SR, Fritz J, Olvera-García M, Zelek ST, Fahey JO, Romero-Martínez M, Montoya-Rodríguez A, Lamadrid-Figueroa H

Clinician attendance and delivery practices at hospital-based vaginal deliveries in Western Kenya.

International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics

Patel SJ, Bogaert K, Gachuno OW, Kibore MW, Unger J, Walker DM

A process evaluation of PRONTO simulation training for obstetric and neonatal emergency response teams in Guatemala.

BMC medical education

Walker DM, Holme F, Zelek ST, Olvera-García M, Montoya-Rodríguez A, Fritz J, Fahey J, Lamadrid-Figueroa H, Cohen S, Kestler E

Team training in obstetric and neonatal emergencies using highly realistic simulation in Mexico: impact on process indicators.

BMC pregnancy and childbirth

Walker D, Cohen S, Fritz J, Olvera M, Lamadrid-Figueroa H, Cowan JG, Hernandez DG, Dettinger JC, Fahey JO

The Oportunidades conditional cash transfer program: effects on pregnancy and contraceptive use among young rural women in Mexico.

International perspectives on sexual and reproductive health

Darney BG, Weaver MR, Sosa-Rubi SG, Walker D, Servan-Mori E, Prager S, Gakidou E

Promoting cultural humility during labor and birth: putting theory into action during PRONTO obstetric and neonatal emergency training.

The Journal of perinatal & neonatal nursing

Fahey JO, Cohen SR, Holme F, Buttrick ES, Dettinger JC, Kestler E, Walker DM

[Sociodemographic and reproductive characteristics associated with the increase of cesarean section practice in Mexico].

Salud publica de Mexico

Suárez-López L, Campero L, De la Vara-Salazar E, Rivera-Rivera L, Hernández-Serrato MI, Walker D, Lazcano-Ponce E

PRONTO training for obstetric and neonatal emergencies in Mexico.

International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics

Walker DM, Cohen SR, Estrada F, Monterroso ME, Jenny A, Fritz J, Fahey JO

Skilled birth attendants in Mexico: how does care during normal birth by general physicians, obstetric nurses, and professional midwives compare with World Health Organization evidence-based practice guidelines?

Journal of midwifery & women's health

Walker D, DeMaria LM, Suarez L, Cragin L, Evaluating Alternative Models of Obstetric Care in Mexico Research Team

[Interventions involving parents in order to impact adolescent sexual behavior].

Salud publica de Mexico

Atienzo EE, Campero L, Estrada F, Rouse C, Walker D

Learning effect of a conditional cash transfer programme on poor rural women's selection of delivery care in Mexico.

Health policy and planning

Sosa-Rubí SG, Walker D, Serván E, Bautista-Arredondo S

Bringing two worlds together: exploring the integration of traditional midwives as doulas in Mexican public hospitals.

Health care for women international

Smid M, Campero L, Cragin L, Gonzalez Hernandez D, Walker D

[Sex education and HIV prevention: an evaluation in Latin America and the Caribbean].

Revista panamericana de salud publica = Pan American journal of public health

Demaria LM, Galárraga O, Campero L, Walker DM

Parent-adolescent communication about sex in Morelos, Mexico: does it impact sexual behaviour?

The European journal of contraception & reproductive health care : the official journal of the European Society of Contraception

Atienzo EE, Walker DM, Campero L, Lamadrid-Figueroa H, Gutiérrez JP

Pharmacy worker practices related to use of misoprostol for abortion in one Mexican state.


Billings DL, Walker D, Mainero del Paso G, Clark KA, Dayananda I

Herpes simplex virus type 2 among Mexican high school adolescents: prevalence and association with community characteristics.

Archives of medical research

Gutierrez JP, Conde-González CJ, Walker DM, Bertozzi SM

Emergency contraception use is correlated with increased condom use among adolescents: results from Mexico.

The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine

Walker DM, Torres P, Gutierrez JP, Flemming K, Bertozzi SM