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Women’s Health Experts

Susan Buchanan Heading link

Expert on: occupational medicine, environmental health, children’s exposures, community engagement, reproductive environmental health.

Susan Buchanan is a former family physician who delivered babies in her practice. She now leads the Great Lakes Center for Reproductive and Children’s Environmental Health, one of ten CDC/EPA-funded Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units in the US. This center provides expertise on the health effects of exposures to environmental pollutants and contaminants during pregnancy and childhood to communities, healthcare providers, and public health agencies. In this capacity, she gives lectures to Ob/gyn residents, medical students, and public health students on the prenatal effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals, lead, methyl mercury, and other substances.

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Rebecca Campbell Heading link

Expert on: perinatal and life course epidemiology; nutrition and the social environment during and before pregnancy.

Rebecca Campbell is an epidemiologist trained in human nutrition and global health. Her research examines determinants of nutritional status and health during sensitive life stages, with particular focus on stress and the social environment during and before pregnancy. Ongoing research characterized nutritional pathways linking prenatal psychosocial exposures to health outcomes for pregnant people and their children, as well as policy- and systems-level determinants of nutrition and health during pregnancy.

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Arden Handler Heading link

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.

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Jeni Hebert-Beirne Heading link

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.

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Supriya Mehta Heading link

Expert on: vaginal microbiome.

Supriya Mehta studies the effects of the penile microbiome on women’s risk for bacterial vaginosis (BV), as a potentially modifiable intervention approach. BV is a sexually enhanced infectious syndrome representing bacterial imbalance of the vaginal microbiome which affects 20-50 percent of women worldwide, including nearly 30 percent of women in the United States. BV increase a woman and her partner’s risk of HIV and is also associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, STIs and increased risk of cervical cancer. BV is treated with antibiotics, but up to 50 percent of the time it comes back. New therapies and prevention approaches are needed.

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Yamilé Molina Heading link

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.

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Nadine Peacock Heading link

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.

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Alisa Velonis Heading link

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.

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