Biographical Sketches of Workshop Speakers, Moderators, and Planning Committee Members
Wanda D. Barfield, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, Rear Admiral (retired), is the director of the Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is a retired assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Barfield joined CDC in 2000 as part of its Epidemic Intelligence Service, where she worked in neonatal and perinatal health. She was named the division director in 2010. Dr. Barfield’s research focuses on maternal/infant morbidity and mortality; early child health services utilization; improving access to risk-appropriate perinatal care; and advancing the quality of maternal, infant, and reproductive health data for public health action. She has published more than 120 scientific articles in these areas. As the DRH director, Dr. Barfield has led efforts to provide optimal and equitable health to women, infants, and families through improved surveillance and applied public health research during the critical junctures of population health: pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence. She has built and strengthened numerous strategic partnerships with multiple maternal and child health organizations. In addition, Dr. Barfield is an associate professor of pediatrics with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and an adjunct professor at the Emory University School of Medicine. She is a fellow with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and is the CDC liaison to the AAP Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and the Committee on Fetus and Newborn. She continues to do clinical work in neonatology, providing care to premature and other critically ill newborns.
Ann E. B. Borders, M.D., M.Sc., M.P.H., is the executive director and the obstetric lead at the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative, a collaborative of more than 100 birthing hospitals focused on improving outcomes for mothers and newborns. She is a maternal-fetal medicine physician with the NorthShore University Health System Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Borders received an M.Sc. in health policy from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1999. She completed a maternal-fetal medicine fellowship and a National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellowship in health services research at Northwestern University in 2006. In 2007, she completed an M.P.H. at Northwestern University. Dr. Borders serves on the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives Executive Committee and is a member of the Illinois Maternal Mortality Review Committee. She is a National Institutes of Health–funded researcher focused on addressing disparities in pregnancy outcomes for vulnerable populations.
Claire Brindis, Dr.P.H., M.P.H. (Planning Committee and Moderator), is a Distinguished Emerita Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy in the Division of Adolescent Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and an emerita director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is also the co-director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center and the founding director of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UCSF. Dr. Brindis, a native of Argentina and the first to attend college in her family, conducts research focused on child, adolescent, and women’s health policy and on the implementation of health care reform and immigration health. Incorporating a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodologies centered on community participatory research, her research focuses on program evaluation and the translation of research into policy at the local, state, and national levels. Dr. Brindis’s policy research focuses on how racial and other social determinants and disparities impact health outcomes, including access to quality care and health insurance coverage. Her research interests also include consumer engagement in health care system redesign; tracking the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on adolescents, young adults, and women, including barriers encountered in enrolling these and other marginalized populations; the evaluation of the UCSF Preterm Initiative; and research on the health and mental health needs of Dreamers (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA). Her writings include Policy and Advocacy Evaluation: Theory and Practice (Stanford Press). Throughout these and other projects, Dr. Brindis is committed to closing the gap between evidence-based
innovation and its application to policy and programs, as well as mentoring of the next generation of pioneers. Dr. Brindis received her Dr.P.H. in public health and behavioral sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.
Juanita J. Chinn, Ph.D., M.A., is a sociologist and a demographer in the Population Dynamics Branch at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), where she directs the Demography of Health, Demography of Health Disparities, Human Morbidity and Mortality, and Population Composition programs. Dr. Chinn co-chairs the NICHD Maternal Health Coordinating Committee and serves on the trans-National Institutes of Health (NIH) UNITE initiative to identify and address structural racism. Before joining NICHD in January 2017, she was the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health’s Health Disparities Fellow at the National Center for Health Statistics, where she led efforts in stimulating health disparities research and programs. Her areas of expertise include racial, ethnic, and nativity disparities in health, morbidity, and mortality; infant and maternal health; women’s health; data policy; social demography; acculturation and assimilation; and the social determinants of health. Dr. Chinn earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology, with a specialization in demography, from The University of Texas at Austin. She trained as an NIH postdoctoral fellow in the Office of Population Research at Princeton University. She holds an Sc.B. in applied mathematics and psychology from Brown University.
Charlene Collier, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S., is the medical director of the Bureau of Maternal and Infant Health at the Mississippi State Department of Health in Jackson, Mississippi. She is also the director and the co-founder of the Mississippi Perinatal Quality Collaborative and chairs the Maternal Mortality Review Committee. Dr. Collier practices obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. In addition to her duties as an associate professor, she co-chairs the Ob/Gyn Department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. She is a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Obstetrics Practice as well as the Executive Committee of the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives.
Joia Crear-Perry, M.D., FACOG, is a physician, policy expert, thought leader, and advocate for transformational justice. As the founder and the president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC), she identifies and challenges racism as a root cause of health inequities. She is a highly sought after trainer and speaker who has been featured in national and international publications, including Essence and Ms. Magazine. In 2020, Dr. Crear-Perry
was honored by USA Today in its “Women of the Century” series and featured on ABC Nightline’s “Hear Her Voice.” Dr. Crear-Perry has twice addressed the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to elevate the cause of gender diversity and urge a human rights framework toward addressing maternal mortality. Previously, she served as the executive director of the Birthing Project, the director of Women’s and Children’s Services at the Jefferson Community Healthcare Center, and as the director of clinical services for the City of New Orleans Health Department.
Tenesha Duncan, M.A., leads Tara Health Foundation’s strategy and investments in birth equity, where she focuses on the intersection of birth and economic justice to elevate community-led solutions that improve care quality and outcomes. Prior to joining Tara Health, Ms. Duncan was an investment associate at Rhia Ventures, where she supported deal evaluation and managed reproductive health care service delivery projects. She has led and facilitated coalitions of abortion providers and advocates and also served as the membership director of the National Abortion Federation, where she focused on quality in abortion care delivery and experience, organizational development, and clinic sustainability. She also previously worked as the administrator/director of Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center, where she led operations and business development. Ms. Duncan is an M.B.A. candidate at Howard University, holds a master’s degree in psychology from Kingston University, and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Oklahoma.
Abigail Echo-Hawk, M.A., is an enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. She is currently the executive vice president at the Seattle Indian Health Board and the director of the Urban Indian Health Institute. Currently, Ms. Echo-Hawk is part of multiple committees, boards, and work groups, including the Best Starts for Kids Board, the March of Dimes Health Equity Workgroup, the Tribal Collaboration Working Group with the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program, the Advisory Committee for Health Equity Research at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse American Indian and Alaska Native Collaborative Research Engagement Workgroup, and the Board of Data for Indigenous Justice. In the past, Ms. Echo-Hawk spent 8 years as the tribal liaison with Partnerships for Native Health at the University of Washington School of Public Health. In 2016, she became the co-director of Partnerships of Native Health at the Washington State University Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health. She was also the tribal relationship facilitator at the Institute of Translational Health Sciences at the University of Washington from 2010 to 2015. In 2015, she became a board member for the Center for Indigenous Law and Justice. Ms. Echo-Hawk has a B.A. in
interdisciplinary studies and an M.A. in policy studies, both from the University of Washington. She is an expert in American Indian and Alaska Native health, including strengths and resiliencies as well as deficits and disparities.
Marinah V. Farrell, Midwife, LM, CPM, is the executive director of the Changing Women Initiative. She identifies as a first-generation, two-spirit Chicanx/Indigenous daughter of a medicine woman from Chihuahua, Mexico, and mother to mixed-race children from Mexican, Pascua Yaqui, and Irish/English descent. Ms. Farrell is active in multiple public health initiatives and coalitions within her community and at the national and international levels. Her background includes diverse activism, such as street-level medic work and immigration activism in Arizona, clinical/government policy work in Mexico and Africa, organizational development and facilitation in the United States and Mexico with various nonprofits, and as a founding board member of a primary care free clinic, Phoenix Allies for Community Health. Ms. Farrell is passionate about advocating for traditional and community health workers and has worked as a staff midwife for birth centers and medical facilities internationally, as a program coordinator for traditional midwives, and as an educator. Ms. Farrell is the owner of Phoenix Midwife, a long-standing midwifery practice, and Casa Ancestral, focused on creating a traditional healing space. She also served as the past president for the Midwives Alliance of North America. Other current roles include board member for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice and the founder of Parteras de Maiz, an umbrella organization dedicated to advocacy for traditional birth work and health justice that includes projects such as the Dignity Birth Campaign and the Good Birth for All network and podcast.
Nourbese Flint, M.A., serves as the policy director at Black Women for Wellness (BWW) and is the executive director of the Black Women for Wellness Action Project. Here she uses her skill set in policy and civic engagement and her background in health to decrease systemic and institutional barriers that exasperate health disparities seen in women of color. Before joining BWW, Ms. Flint studied women’s health in both Spain and Cuba and journalism in Scotland. Ms. Flint’s communication background includes serving as the communication director for the Center of Women’s Health and Human Rights, as well as reporting for KPFK evening news. In addition, she has an M.A. in women’s health from Suffolk University, where she specialized in health disparities as it relates to media influence. She is a founding member of Trust Black Women, a national coalition dedicated to increasing respect and support of Black women, and she was the co-chair of girls policy for the California Women’s Agenda, an organization that intersects international issues of women and girls and the United States with the mission to ratify
the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Currently, Ms. Flint is one of only a handful of Black women working on assisted reproductive technologies, biotechnologies, and their intersection with reproductive justice and cultural ethics.
Elena Fuentes-Afflick, M.D. (Planning Committee), is a professor and the vice chair of pediatrics, the chief of pediatrics at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and the vice dean for academic affairs in the School of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 2012, Dr. Fuentes-Afflick was appointed the vice dean for academic affairs and faculty development for the School of Medicine. She is responsible for overseeing all academic affairs in the School of Medicine, including the recruitment, development, and advancement of a diversified academic workforce of the highest caliber. She is also responsible for overseeing innovative programs for faculty orientation, career development, and leadership training. After completing her undergraduate and medical education at the University of Michigan, Dr. Fuentes-Afflick came to UCSF for her residency training in pediatrics, followed by a fellowship in health policy at UCSF and an M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has served in several important national leadership roles, including as the president of the Society for Pediatric Research, the president of the American Pediatric Society, and service on the Council of the National Institute for Child Health and Development. Dr. Fuentes-Afflick was chair of the UCSF Academic Senate from 2009 to 2011. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2010 and has served as a member of several consensus study report committees.
Stephanie Gaw, Ph.D., M.D., is an assistant professor in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She completed her M.D. and Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York through the Medical Scientist Training Program. She completed her residency training in OB/GYN at UCSF and a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has a long-standing interest in global infectious disease and maternal–child health, which started from her service as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Honduras and has led to her current research in perinatal infections. Her laboratory group conducts translational research on placental infections, including malaria in pregnancy, Zika virus, and more recently, SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy and lactation. She has global collaborations with researchers in Brazil, Kenya, and Uganda. She is co-principal investigator of PRIORITY (Pregnancy CoRonavIrus Outcomes RegIsTrY), a nationwide study of pregnant or recently pregnant people who are either under
investigation for COVID-19 or have been confirmed to have COVID-19. She has recently served as a temporary advisor to the World Health Organization on mother-to-child transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Reproductive Scientist Development Program, the Foundation for SMFM, the CDC Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the California Health Care Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Yellow Chair Foundation.
Dawn Godbolt, Ph.D., is the policy director at the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC), where she works to improve maternal health disparities by creating a more equitable health care system through federal policy levers. She sits on the National Quality Forum’s Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Committee and chairs the Equitable Maternal Health Coalition policy working group. Prior to joining NBEC, she was at the National Partnership for Women & Families, where she worked to integrate a reproductive justice framework into the maternal health portfolio as the senior manager for maternal health initiatives. Dr. Godbolt completed her doctorate in sociology from Florida State University and a fellowship with the OpEd Project, where she was trained to influence thought leadership. Her previous work examined race differences in mothers’ fear of allowing children outside, disparities in neighborhood factors, and the connection among stereotypes, religion, and obesity.
Camie Jae Goldhammer (Sisseton-Wahpeton), M.S.W., LICSW, IBCLC, is a clinical social worker and a lactation consultant. Ms. Goldhammer is the founder and the chair of the Native American Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington. She is also a founding mother and the president-elect of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color. In 2013 she became Washington State’s first Native American International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant®. She is a member of the Center for Social Inclusion’s First Food Racial Equity Cohort. She worked as a campaign director with MomsRising, working to bring paid family and medical leave to Washington State, which was signed into law in July 2017. In fall 2017, Ms. Goldhammer launched the Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor Certification, which is a 45-hour foundational lactation counselor program for those that identify as Native/Indigenous/First Nations. In November 2018, she and Kimberly Moore-Salas (Diné) were the first Native Americans to be elected to the United States Breastfeeding Committee Board of Directors. Both were reelected for a second term in fall 2020. In April 2021, she left her role as the program manager for United Indians of All Tribes’ Daybreak Star Doulas (which she also developed) and Our Strong Fathers and is in the early stages of starting a new nonprofit called Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services, whose first program is Hummingbird Indigenous Doulas. She is a national leader on topics of racial equity and first food justice.
Kanika Harris, Ph.D., M.P.H., currently works as the director of maternal health for the Black Women’s Health Imperative. She is a behavioral health scientist, with a special focus on health equity, maternal health, and women’s health. She is a mother of three, doula, and birth justice advocate. She also serves as the maternal health equity advisor for the state of Maryland and the public health expert for the lactation commission in Washington, DC. She received her M.P.H. in international development from the Morehouse School of Medicine and her Ph.D. in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan.
Zsakeba Henderson, M.D., currently leads the Office of Maternal and Child Health Impact at March of Dimes, providing strategic direction and clinical expertise across the organization to help end the maternal and infant health crisis. She is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist, and previously led the program in support of state-based Perinatal Quality Collaboratives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Reproductive Health, including leading the establishment of the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC). Dr. Henderson currently serves as an executive committee member and the obstetric co-chair for the NNPQC. She received her B.S. in biochemistry from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, and her M.D. from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. She also completed her internship and residency at Harvard at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital Integrated Residency Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She subsequently entered the Epidemic Intelligence Service at CDC in the Division of STD Prevention. Dr. Henderson is a nationally recognized leader in the growth and spread of perinatal quality improvement efforts across the country, working toward the goal of making the United States a safer place to give birth and be born.
Grace Lubwama, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the chief executive officer of the YWCA in Kalamazoo, the first and oldest YWCA in the state of Michigan, dedicated to eliminating racism; empowering women; and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. YWCA Kalamazoo is leading the charge around public health issues such as domestic violence (as the only domestic violence shelter in Kalamazoo County) and sexual assault (as the only sexual assault nursing examination program in Kalamazoo County) and is the founding organization of the Cradle Kalamazoo, an infant mortality initiative in Kalamazoo. Dr. Lubwama received her B.A. in fine arts and industrial design from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, her M.P.H. from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, and her Ph.D. in policy, planning, and development from the University of Southern California.
Allison Bryant Mantha, M.D., M.P.H., is an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Harvard Medical School. She received degrees in biology, public health, and medicine from Harvard University, where she also completed training in obstetrics and gynecology. She has had fellowships in maternal/fetal medicine and The Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy. She is the senior medical director for health equity at the Mass General Brigham integrated health system. She served as the vice chair for quality, equity, and safety in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mass General Hospital, a role she designed to underscore the critical role of equity in care quality for all patients. She currently serves as a member of several regional and national women’s health and equity improvement efforts, among them, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee, which she chairs, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Obstetric Practice, and the board of directors of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Ebony Marcelle, CNM, M.S., FACNM, is the director of midwifery at Community of Hope Family Health and Birth Center. Formerly the administrative chief of midwifery service at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, she completed her nursing education at Georgetown University and midwifery at Philadelphia University. Save the Child recognized her as its “Real Award Midwife Honoree” in 2014. In 2015 she was recognized by the American College of Nurse Midwives with the “Young Whippersnapper” award for midwives excelling professionally with less than 10 years of experience. In 2018 she completed the Duke University and Johnson & Johnson nursing leadership fellowship. In 2021 she will complete The Equity Lab’s “Seeding Disruption” fellowship. Ms. Marcelle is known for her passion in midwifery and midwifery’s role in social justice. She continues to build culturally aware midwifery with driven clinical models of care, specifically for underserved Black women. She is currently serving on the boards of March for Moms, the National Association for the Advancement of Black Birth, and the American Association of Birth Centers. She is also adjunct faculty at Georgetown University.
Kay Matthews is the founder of the Shades of Blue Project. She graduated with a 2-year degree in early childhood development from North Harris College in Houston, Texas, and furthered her education in the mental health field by becoming a licensed community health worker. She has also received numerous awards from both her community and peers and sits on the boards and is partner with several national organizations, along with writing her first best-seller, a self-help journal titled 365 Days to Recovery: Finding Your Way Out of the Darkness and Recovery State of Mind: Inspired You Daily Journal. Ms.
Matthews is actively teaching and speaking to women of all ages to help them better understand how important it is to advocate for themselves before, during, and after childbirth. She helps them realize that they have the ability to have a successful birth outcome and she ensures that they know of resources available with respect to maternal mental health. To Ms. Matthews, this is the most important aspect of the work she does within the community and it is the motivation that she uses to continue to educate communities worldwide.
Monica R. McLemore, Ph.D., M.P.H., RN (Moderator), is a tenured associate professor in the Family Health Care Nursing Department at the University of California, San Francisco; an affiliated scientist with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health; and a member of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. She retired from clinical practice as a public health and staff nurse after a 28-year clinical nursing career. Her program of research is focused on understanding reproductive health and justice. To date, she has 69 peer-reviewed articles, op-eds, and commentaries. Her research has been cited in The Huffington Post, Lavender Health, three amicus briefs to the Supreme Court of the United States, and two National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine publications, and in a data visualization project titled “How to Fix Maternal Mortality: The First Step Is to Stop Blaming Women,” which was published in the 2019 “Future of Medicine” edition of Scientific American. Her work has appeared in publications such as Dame Magazine, Politico, and ProPublica/NPR, and she made a voice appearance in Terrance Nance’s HBO series Random Acts of Flyness. She is the recipient of numerous awards and currently serves as the chair-elect for the Sexual and Reproductive Health section of the American Public Health Association. She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2019.
M. Kathryn Menard, M.D., M.P.H., is a distinguished professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, where she served for 14 years as the director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the director of the Center for Maternal and Infant Health. In addition to her duties at UNC, she serves as the medical director of North Carolina’s Pregnancy Medical Home through Community Care of North Carolina, a statewide program that supports Medicaid beneficiaries and their care providers in access to high-quality maternity care. She also serves on North Carolina’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee and the Maternal Health Task Force. Throughout her career in academic medicine, Dr. Menard has worked to highlight the shared goals of clinical medicine and public health, thus bringing diverse perspectives together, promoting collaboration, and realizing synergy. She has worked to elevate attention to maternal health needs by advancing two
important initiatives: (1) strengthening regional systems by defining Levels of Maternal Care, and (2) providing foundational leadership for the broad dissemination and implementation of maternal safety bundles through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health. Her current work includes engagement with the HRSA-sponsored Maternal Health Learning and Innovations Center based at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Menard completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her maternal-fetal medicine fellowship training was at UNC as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.
Nia Mitchell, M.P.H., is a birth equity research scholar with the National Birth Equity Collaborative. As an evaluator and a researcher, she is committed to centering Black women and birthing people’s lived experiences, models of care, scholarship, and activism in her work. Ms. Mitchell received a B.A. in anthropology from Georgia State University, an M.P.H. from the Morehouse School of Medicine, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in qualitative research and evaluation methodologies from the University of Georgia. Throughout her career, she has implemented and evaluated the effectiveness of education, health, and civic engagement programs serving diverse families and communities (e.g., immigrants and refugees, women, queer and trans youth of color, low income).
Jennifer E. Moore, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, is the founding executive director at the Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI). She is an internationally recognized leader in Medicaid and maternal and child health. With more than 20 years of experience, her work, at the intersection of clinical practice, research, and policy, positions her as a thought leader and a passionate advocate for vulnerable populations. This multifaceted emphasis makes her a respected participant in the national dialogue on these and other health care topics. As the founding executive director of IMI and an assistant research professor at the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Moore focuses her efforts on strategically bringing together payers, clinicians, researchers, and government to design and evaluate innovative approaches to address maternal health issues such as opioid use during pregnancy, value-based purchasing, disparities, social determinants of health, and maternal mortality and morbidity. Dr. Moore’s current grant-funded research projects include work with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to assess Medicaid access and coverage for the nation’s most vulnerable through the first national longitudinal survey of Medicaid-managed care organizations in seven key categories, including value-based purchasing, high-risk care coordination, women’s health, pharmacy, child and adolescent health, long-term
services and supports, behavioral health, and social determinants of health. She also is involved in projects focused on reducing disparities through payment and delivery system reform, an exploration into innovative mental health services for pregnant women under Medicaid managed care, and models of care to improve maternal health care delivery and patient outcomes in Medicaid. Many honors and awards have been conferred on Dr. Moore, including the Carole Weisman and Gary Chase Gender-Based Research of the Year Award, presented in 2017 by AcademyHealth. During her 3 years at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, she was honored with the Director’s Award of Merit four times. Dr. Moore holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in health systems and policy from the University of Michigan, as well as a B.S.N.
Aza Nedhari, LM, CPM, M.S., has more than 18 years of experience in community organizing, reproductive justice, and program development. She is a licensed certified professional midwife, a family counselor, and the founding executive director of Mamatoto Village. Ms. Nedhari is a fiercely dedicated woman who believes that by promoting a framework of justice, the barriers in maternal and child health begin to dissipate, giving rise to healthy individuals, healthy families, and healthy communities. She is pursuing her doctorate in human services with a concentration in organizational leadership and management, with an eye toward the sustainability of people of color–led organizations and the cultivation of innovative models of perinatal care delivery in high-needs communities.
Chanel L. Porchia-Albert, CD, is the founder and the chief operating officer of Ancient Song Doula Services, a reproductive health organization of more than 70 full-spectrum, community-based doulas focused on providing resources and full-spectrum doula services to women of color and marginalized communities throughout New York City (NYC) and northern New Jersey. Her work within infant and maternal health has led her across the globe to Uganda, where she has served as a maternal health strategist in rural war-torn areas to address the lack of resources to birthing mothers. She is a certified lactation counselor, midwifery assistant, and vegan chef who has served on various advisory boards throughout the country. Her work in birth and reproductive justice continues to span into the research and methods of care of marginalized people and people of color, bringing a human rights framework into birthing rooms and beyond into institutional reform and accountability measures within health care to address implicit bias and racism. When she is not working on legislative policy or facilitating workshops, you can find her spending time with her six children. To name a few of her achievements, she has served as a consultant for the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs and the NYC Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene, as well as assisting in the creation of the Respectful Care at the Birth document that has been in widespread use at health care institutions, engaging providers in birth justice. Most recently, she was appointed by NYC Mayor DeBlasio as a commissioner to the NYC Commission on Gender Equity and is an advisory board member for the Marymount College School of Politics & Human Rights. She has served on the advisory board at Ariadne Labs at Harvard Medical School, on the board of directors for March for Moms, and as a board member of the Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery and Village Birth International. Her and Ancient Song’s work has been featured on CNN’s Champions for Change and the cover of Working Mother Magazine and in The New York Times, Self magazine, and more.
Kathryn Schubert, M.P.P., is the president and chief executive officer of the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR), where she leads the organization’s efforts to promote research on sex as a biological variable and to improve women’s health through science, policy, and education. Prior to joining SWHR in April 2020, Ms. Schubert served as the chief advocacy officer at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), where she oversaw the organization’s advocacy and communications activities. Prior to joining SMFM, she was a senior vice president at CRD Associates, where she represented patient advocacy organizations, physician organizations, and coalitions. Ms. Schubert previously served in key staff roles for U.S. Representatives Nancy Johnson (R-CT) and Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), and brings a unique perspective of working across party lines to achieve policy goals. She currently serves as the chair of the board of the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance and as an advisor to the John E. Lewy Fund for Children’s Health. She is a past president of Women in Government Relations and has an M.P.P. with a concentration in health policy from The George Washington University. She attended Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where she earned a B.A. in political science.
Karen A. Scott, M.D., M.P.H., FACOG, is an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. She is a social improvement and implementation scientist and activist grounded in a Black feminist–reproductive justice praxis with formal training and experience as a community-based OB/GYN and applied epidemiologist. Dr. Scott’s ethical, theoretical, and methodological approaches interrogate health services provision, evaluation, and training in antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum units as sites through which racism (structural, gendered, and obstetric) is enacted and imposed on the humanity, bodies, and lives of Black women,
mothers, and people in the afterlife of slavery. She is also the developer and the owner of the first and only validated Patient-Reported Experience Measure of OBstetric racism®, known as the PREM-OB ScaleTM (pronounced Oh-Bee), and she is the principal investigator with the SACRED Birth study. Dr. Scott also developed the Virtual Perinatal Quality Improvement Prioritization by Affected Communities (V-QPAC) Protocol, a Black feminist ethnographic methodology to facilitate community participation in prioritizing untested sociocultural perinatal quality improvement recommendations across the domains in the PREM-OB ScaleTM in order to mitigate obstetric racism during hospital-based labor, birth, and postpartum experiences.
Monique Shaw, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A committed public health practitioner, she draws on her prior work in health education, health policy research, program coordination, and community outreach to help align systems and build a culture of health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. She views her work as enabling health care, public health, and social service systems to work closely together to meet the goals and needs of the people they serve. She strives to use health policy change as a vehicle to promote cross-sector collaboration in addressing social determinants of health and to advance health equity. Previously, Dr. Shaw served as the program coordinator for the University of Pennsylvania’s M.P.H. program and the assistant program director at the University of the Sciences. Earlier, Dr. Shaw was the outreach projects manager for Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care, the southeastern Pennsylvania health care quality unit. There she helped increase access to community physical and mental health care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Shaw earned her doctorate in health policy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, M.P.H. from Drexel University with a focus on community health and prevention, and B.S. in psychology from Howard University. Dr. Shaw is a practicing full-spectrum doula supporting and advocating for women of color throughout their reproductive health journeys.
Kosali Simon, Ph.D., M.P.H. (Moderator), is the Herman B. Wells Endowed Professor and the associate vice provost for health sciences at Indiana University, where she is faculty in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She is the editor of the Journal of Health Economics and the co-editor at Journal of Human Resources. Dr. Simon is a nationally known health economist who specializes in applying economic analysis in the context of health insurance and health policy. Her current research focuses on the impact of health insurance reform on health care and labor market outcomes, the causes and consequences of the opioid crisis, and COVID-19-related policy. She is also
active in national leadership roles in her profession, serving on several boards. She serves as the vice president of the governing body of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Melissa Simon, M.D., M.P.H. (Planning Committee and Moderator), is the George H. Gardner Professor of Clinical Gynecology and the vice chair of research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is also the founder and the director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation and the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative and the co-program leader for cancer control and survivorship for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is an expert in implementation science, women’s health across the lifespan, minority health, community engagement, and health equity. She has been recognized with numerous awards for her substantial contribution to excellence in health equity scholarship, women’s health and mentorship, including the Presidential Award in Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentorship and as a Presidential Leadership Scholar. She is a former member and the current consultant to the United States Preventive Services Task Force and serves on the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research in Women’s Health Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the National Academy of Medicine’s Leadership Consortium’s Culture Inclusion and Equity Collaborative. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Chicago, her M.D. at Rush Medical College, her residency at Yale University, and her fellowship in family planning at Northwestern University.
Alison Stuebe, M.D., M.Sc., FACOG, FABM, completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She completed fellowship training in maternal-fetal medicine at Brigham and Women’s and she earned a masters in epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She has published more than 170 peer-reviewed articles. She is currently a division director for maternal-fetal medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine and the Distinguished Professor of Infant and Young Child Feeding at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She has been awarded grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Her current research focuses on developing models for holistic and equitable care of families during the fourth trimester. She is a member of the Steering Committee for Moms Rising, North Carolina, and she is actively engaged in professional organizations. She is the president
of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and a former board member of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. At the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists she is a member of both the Breastfeeding Expert Work Group and the Maternal Mental Health Expert Work Group, and she chaired the Task Force on Reinventing Postpartum Care.
Carolyn Sufrin, M.D., Ph.D., M.A., is a medical anthropologist and an obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in family planning at Johns Hopkins University. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Gyn/Ob and the associate director of the Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine at the School of Medicine and in Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Sufrin has worked extensively on reproductive health issues affecting incarcerated women, from providing clinical care in jail to research, policy, and advocacy. Her work is situated at the intersection of reproductive justice, health care, and mass incarceration, which she examines in her book, Jailcare: Finding the Safety Net for Women Behind Bars. She is the founder and the director of the Johns Hopkins–based research group Advocacy and Research on Reproductive Wellness in Incarcerated People program, which conducts National Institutes of Health– and foundation-funded research on issues such as pregnancy outcomes in prisons and jails, medication-assisted treatment for pregnant people in jails, and contraception access in carceral settings. Dr. Sufrin serves on the board of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care as the liaison for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Karen Tabb Dina, Ph.D., M.S.W., is an associate professor in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work and a faculty affiliate at Carle Foundation Hospital, the Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies, and Women and Gender in Global Perspectives. Her research agenda focuses on identifying mental health risk factors for morbidity and mortality among perinatal women and clinical factors to improve minority health. She is an expert collaborator (in the areas of mental health, maternal health, and North America) for the Global Burden of Disease Study, where she contributes in estimating population morbidity and mortality for 188 countries. She serves as an elected advisory board member and reviewer for the State of Illinois Maternal Mortality Review Committee for violent deaths.
Jamila Taylor, Ph.D., is the director of health care reform and a senior fellow at The Century Foundation (TCF), where she leads TCF’s work to build on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and develop the next generation of health reform to achieve high-quality, affordable, and universal coverage in America. A renowned health expert, Dr. Taylor also works on issues
related to reproductive rights and justice, focusing on the structural barriers to access to health care, racial and gender disparities in health outcomes, and the intersections between health care and economic justice. Throughout her 20-plus-year career, Dr. Taylor has championed the health and rights of women both in the United States and around the world, promoting policies that ensure access to reproductive and maternal health care, including building support for insurance coverage of abortion. Before TCF, Dr. Taylor served as a senior fellow and the director of Women’s Health and Rights at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where she led CAP’s efforts to advance policies that ensure that women have an equal opportunity to live healthy and economically secure lives. Prior to CAP, she was a senior advisor at Ipas, a global nongovernmental organization dedicated to ending preventable deaths and disabilities from unsafe abortion. She started her career as a congressional staffer in the office of Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and also worked for the Virginia General Assembly, the AIDS Institute, the National Network of Abortion Funds, and the Center for Health and Gender Equity. Dr. Taylor has published and presented extensively on topics related to reproductive health and rights and public policy. Dr. Taylor graduated with honors from Hampton University with a B.A. in political science. She also holds an M.P.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in political science from Howard University. Dr. Taylor serves on the board of directors for Black Mamas Matter Alliance, March for Moms, and Mamatoto Village (where she serves as the chair of the board). She also serves on the Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council Advocates Advisory Board of State Innovation Exchange.
Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds, M.D., M.P.H. (Planning Committee and Moderator), is an assistant dean for faculty affairs, professional development, and diversity and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Tucker Edmonds earned her bachelor and medical degrees from Brown University, earned an M.P.H. from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, completed her residency at Duke University, and earned a master’s degree in health policy research from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Tucker Edmonds’s research interests are in shared decision making and health equity in reproductive health care. She is interested in understanding the impact of race, class, and culture on patient preferences and risk perceptions; physician decision making and counseling; and ultimately, variations in treatment provision and service delivery. Dr. Tucker Edmonds’s work primarily focuses on communication and decision making in the management of periviable deliveries. She utilizes qualitative and quantitative methodologies to develop decision support tools and interventions for parents facing this and other preference-sensitive decisions in high-risk obstetrical settings. Her research has been supported by the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, the Society of Family Planning, and the National Institutes of Health. At the national level, Dr. Tucker Edmonds previously served on the Ethics Committee for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). She now serves on ACOG’s Committee on Government Affairs and also serves as the section chair for Indiana ACOG. Dr. Tucker Edmonds was an Anniversary Fellow for the National Academy of Medicine from 2015 to 2017, during which time she served on the authoring committee of the consensus study report The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of the Evidence and Recommendations for Research. She most recently served on the Committee Assessing Health Outcomes by Birth Setting, which authored the 2020 consensus study report Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice.
Saraswathi Vedam, Ph.D., RM, FACNM, Sci.D. (hc), is the lead investigator with the Birth Place Lab and a professor of midwifery in the Faculty of Medicine at The University of British Columbia. Her scholarly work explores experiences of respect, support, discrimination, and mistreatment in perinatal services among people with historically oppressed identities, circumstances, and backgrounds. Over 35 years, her work has set standards for international policy on place of birth, midwifery integration, and equitable access to high-quality perinatal care. She also serves as a clinician, educator, and mother to four daughters. Dr. Vedam has coordinated several transdisciplinary and participatory research projects in the United States, including the Access and Integration Maternity care Mapping Study on the impact of integration of midwives on maternal–newborn outcomes, and the Giving Voice to Mothers Study that established significant differences by race, type of provider, and place of birth in experiences of mistreatment by maternity providers. She is currently the principal investigator for Research Examining the Stories of Pregnancy and Childbearing in Canada Today, a national Canadian Institutes of Health Research–funded study examining respectful maternity care across Canada, with a focus on amplifying voices of communities that are seldom heard. Dr. Vedam and her team developed and validated three new person-centered measures, the Mothers Autonomy in Decision Making (MADM) scale, the Mothers on Respect index (MORi), and the Mistreatment by Providers index. In 2017, MADM and MORi received the National Quality Forum Innovation Prize, and they are now being applied in 23 countries to evaluate the quality of maternity care at the institutional, system, and country levels. The data from the application of these tools led Dr. Vedam to develop an interprofessional online course, Dialogue and Decisions, to teach medical, nursing, genetic counseling, and midwifery learners best practices for person-centered decision making and conflict transformation. Over the past decade,
Dr. Vedam convened four national Birth Summits in the United States and chaired the 5th International Normal Labour and Birth Research conference in Vancouver. In 2017, she was named Michael Smith Health Research Institute Health Professional Investigator.
Laurie Zephyrin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., is the vice president for advancing health equity at The Commonwealth Fund. Driven by a passion for transforming health care, she brings her experience as a clinician, health policy maker, and intrapreneur to drive systems transformation. Dr. Zephyrin has extensive experience leading the vision, design, and delivery of innovative health care models across national health systems. From 2009 to 2018, she was the first national director of the Reproductive Health Program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), spearheading the strategic vision and leading systems change through the implementation of evidence-based policies and programs to improve the health of women veterans nationwide. In 2016–2017, she served as the acting assistant deputy undersecretary, then acting deputy undersecretary, for health for community care. While directing the VA’s Community Care program, a key component of the VA’s high-performance network with an operating budget of more than $13 billion, Dr. Zephyrin spearheaded efforts to implement legislation, develop internal governance structures, and address patient outcomes through systemwide optimization of care delivery. As part of the leadership team, she also represented the VA before Congress and other internal and external stakeholders. Dr. Zephyrin is a board-certified clinician. She is a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the New York University (NYU) Langone School of Medicine (2013–present) and was previously an assistant professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (2007–2012). She has been named a White House Fellow, Young Global Leader, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, and Aspen Health Innovator Fellow. Dr. Zephyrin earned her M.D. from the NYU Langone School of Medicine, her M.B.A. and M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University, and her B.S. in biomedical sciences from the City College of New York. She completed her residency training at Harvard’s Integrated Residency Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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