Infant, Child & Adolescent Health Experts
Expert on: safe infant sleep.
Susan Altfeld’s research, with Dr. Nadine Peacock and others, found that media campaigns to promote safe infant sleep primarily focused on select elements of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations (i.e. the “ABC” messaging) and neglected others with significant potential to reduce infant deaths. Campaigns were often focused on high risk populations. The reach and effectiveness of these public education campaigns were rarely assessed. As most parents fail to adhere to all of the recommended measures, Drs. Altfeld and Peacock advocate for the development of harm reduction messaging to support parents in minimizing risk of sleep related deaths.
Expert on: perinatal epidemiology; nutrition; cognitive development; fetal, infant and childhood growth.
Rebecca Campbell is an epidemiologist trained in human nutrition and global health. Her research utilizes observational epidemiologic methods to identify determinants of nutritional status and health during sensitive life stages, with particular focus on fetal, infant and early childhood growth and cognitive development. Her current research investigates iron status as a nutritional pathway linking the maternal social environment to fetal and infant neurocognitive development.
Expert on: school and student health and wellness, early care and education nutrition and physical activity policy.
Jamie Chriqui has been leading the largest nationwide evaluation of the congressionally-mandated school district wellness policies and studying their implementation and impact on schools and student health and wellness. She also conducts research to study the implementation of changes to the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern standards governing early child care centers and to the physical activity standards for Head Start and Early Head Start centers.
Expert on: mentoring, self-esteem, program evaluation.
David DuBois is an expert on mentoring relationships and self-esteem development for school-age children and adolescents as well as the evaluation of programs for these age groups. He studies mentoring and self-esteem promotion interventions that are provided to youth in schools and other parts of the community. His research has shown that these types of programs can promote resilience and holistic positive development, particularly for youth from under-resourced families and communities.
Expert on: adverse pregnancy outcomes, preterm birth, low birth weight, infant mortality.
Arden Handler’s research focuses on the exploration of factors that increase inequities in adverse pregnancy outcomes and examination of the ways in which the health care delivery system, particularly prenatal care, perinatal care, postpartum care, and preconception/interconception/well-woman health care can ameliorate these inequities. She has conducted a number of evaluation projects focused on reducing racial/ethnic disparities in adverse pregnancy outcomes. She is currently co-I of the evaluation of the UIC Healthy Start Project and is a former member of the US Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality. She is the PI of the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health and teaches several courses focused on reproductive and perinatal health.
Expert on: adolescent sexual, bladder and pelvic health.
Using community engaged research approaches, Jeni Hebert-Beirne co-developed adolescent pelvic health school-based health curriculum and tested its feasibility and effectiveness via group randomized control trial. She is currently working with health education experts nationally to develop and evaluate a virtual space to provide culturally appropriate pelvic health education for young adolescents to promote life long health behaviors which may reduce pelvic health disorders experienced later in life.
Expert on: school health and wellness.
Elizabeth Jarpe-Ratner’s research focuses on K-12 education and adolescent and school-based health to better understand how to adopt and implement policies, including wellness policies and district wide policies related to sexual health education and supporting transgender and gender-expansive students. Her work focuses on understanding the experiences of practitioners in schools (principals, teachers, nurses, social workers, etc.) in order to ensure they are supported in building their skills and capacities to implement policies and programs that ultimately support students’ health and well-being.
HIV remains a global pandemic with 37 million infected. In western Kenya, where much of Supriya Mehta’s research takes place, HIV prevalence in girls rises from 1.3 percent in 13-14 year-olds to 3.3 percent in 16 year-olds, to 12.8 percent by age 18. Globally, an estimated 350 million sexually transmitted infections (STI) occur each year, fueling the HIV epidemic through biological synergism and carrying long term reproductive sequelae for women and girls. Adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to STIs and HIV, due to a confluence of behavioral, biological, developmental and structural factors. Mehta is the principal investigator of a prospective cohort study examining the effects of menstrual cups on the vaginal microbiome and STIs among adolescent girls and factors affecting the trajectory of their vaginal microbiome over time. She serves as specialty co-chief editor to the Adolescent Reproductive Health and Well-Being section of the journal Frontiers in Reproductive Health.
Expert on: safe infant sleep.
Nadine Peacock is a qualitative and mixed-methods researcher with a background in Anthropology who, in collaboration with Dr. Susan Altfeld and others, has conducted research on media campaigns and other public health interventions to promote safe infant sleep. Drs. Peacock and Altfeld have examined the extent to which media campaigns cover the full range of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations, whether the messages are positively or negatively framed, their cultural sensitivity, and the extent to which the campaigns have been evaluated for reach and effectiveness. Drs. Peacock and Altfeld have advocated for the development of harm reduction messaging to support parents in minimizing risk of sleep-related infant deaths.