Women’s Health Experts

Susan Altfeld

Expert on: perinatal health, doula programs.

Susan Alfteld’s research on the first community-based doula program for adolescent mothers provided the basis for the development of this model to improve perinatal health for women from underserved and marginalized groups and their infants.  Her work has also included evaluation of support programs for pregnant and parenting teens and of the efficacy of screening for perinatal depression in adolescents.

Faculty Profile

Susan Buchanan

Expert on:  environmental toxins and pregnancy.

Susan Buchanan’s environmental health research has examined the exposure to methyl mercury from fish consumption among women of child-bearing age. As director of the Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health, she provides education to prenatal providers on reproductive environmental health topics such as lead exposure and screening guidelines, methyl mercury exposure and avoidance of endocrine disruptors and other chemicals in personal care products.

Faculty Profile

Arden Handler

Expert on: prenatal care, postpartum care, preconception/interconception/well-woman care and breast and cervical cancer services

Arden Handler is involved in multiple projects focused on improving women’s health across the lifecourse. She has conducted a number of studies on women’s access to, satisfaction with, and utilization of prenatal care.  Currently, she is PI of the evaluation of the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP),  co-lead of a multi-disciplinary two generation working group at UIC focused on increasing women’s use of postpartum care by offering women’s health care at the well-baby visit, co-PI of a project to improve health communication across three women’s health programs (IBCCP, WiseWoman, Family Planning), and PI of the recently completed Well-Woman Project.  She is the PI of the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health and teaches several courses focused on women’s and maternal health.

Faculty Profile

Jeni Hebert-Beirne

Expert on:  bladder and pelvic health.

Jeni Hebert-Beirne is an investigator in a national, transdisciplinary, NIH-funded study to explore risk and protective factors associated with bladder health in order to identify a national bladder health promotion strategy (following the success of heart health, breast health national campaigns). She brings to this national research consortia experience as a practitioner on women’s health promotion, as well as qualitative research expertise and community-based participatory research expertise.

Faculty Profile

Yamilé Molina

Expert on:  health disparities, breast cancer, HIV.

Yamilé Molina focuses on women’s health in the context of disparities in breast cancer, HIV, and mental health.  They are currently examining health promotion efforts with women living with HIV, in particular providing information about breast cancer.  They are also studying mental health needs of queer-identified women in a national study.

Faculty Profile

Nadine Peacock

Expert on: unintended pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health, well-woman care.

Nadine Peacock is an anthropologist and qualitative/mixed-methods researcher. She has collaborated with Dr. Alan Schwartz, a decision science expert, in examining the preferences and subjectivities underlying the concept of pregnancy intention among African American women and community college students.  She has also collaborated with Dr. Arden Handler on the recently completed Well Woman Project. Dr. Peacock has served as chair of the Board of Directors of the Guttmacher Institute, and is currently a member of the Research Advisory Panel for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Faculty Profile

Alisa Velonis

Expert on:  gender-based violence

As a researcher and public health practitioner, Alisa Velonis’ expertise centers on solution-focused responses to intimate partner and gender-based violence. Much of her current work aims to improve health care systems’ ability to identify and respond to partner violence, especially through the use of implementation science and mobile technology, and demonstrates the importance of investing in the early stages of implementation readiness to create successful screening and response programs. Her teaching interests include reproductive health, gender-based violence, realist methodology, community health assessment and program evaluation.

Faculty Profile