MCC’s Research Consortium includes academic research partners with expertise in topics related to Maternal and Child Health and Early Care and Education. This multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional group includes representatives from many of the universities in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region. The group meets semi-annually, and communicates throughout the year, to share research results and consider collaborative research opportunities that align with overall MCC priorities. Current Consortium members include:
Diane J. Abatemarco, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Dr. Diane J. Abatemarco is an Associate Professor and Director of Doctoral Programs. Her primary areas of expertise include, research in innovative implementation approaches, evaluation and outcomes research methods, behavioral epidemiology and doctoral education. Dr. Abatemarco has worked in doctoral education since 2000 and has co-created Ph.D. and Dr.PH programs for two major universities. Currently she an Associate Professor and is the Director of Doctoral Programs at the School of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University.
Dr. Abatemarco’s primary research is focused on innovative methods of enhancing health care for children and maternal health systems. She is currently the Co-Principal Investigator of Practicing Safety, a study to evaluate a pediatric-based practice change intervention to prevent child maltreatment of children age 0 to 3 years of age. She is also the implementation and evaluation co-investigator for Fitwits MD, an intervention to prevent and reduce child obesity and a Nemours Obesity Treatment Program. Dr. Abatemarco has been the Primary Investigator of an US/Croatian Healthy Cities Partnership to delay the onset of alcohol use among adolescents in Split, Croatia. She has worked actively with the nation of Croatia on two separately funded projects. Her research includes comprehensive quasi-experimental and experimental designs and the use of qualitative and quantitative methods. In her work in social epidemiology she has conducted a study of HIV infected pregnant women to determine their rates of treatment and to identify factors associated with receipt of treatment. She has conducted numerous survey research projects to determine tobacco prevalence among pregnant women, college students, and adults, as well as to survey prenatal providers as to the tobacco dependence treatment practices. Other ongoing research includes the measurement of stress, anxiety and socioeconomic factors as determinants of maternal health and birth outcomes. Dr. Abatemarco has mentored doctoral students in all areas of her research.
Dr. Abatemarco is currently developing a proposal to implement Practicing Safety on a national sample of pediatric practices. The project will include state of the art health IT including bi-directional personal health care records. Here preliminary work has been highlighted recently as an AHRQ Innovation. Dr. Abatemarco recently, working with I.A. DuPont – Nemours Pediatricians, developed a proposal to test a model for transition of care for special needs teens. She is also currently a co-investigator on a NICHD study to improve birth outcomes for pregnant women and her work on the grant is focused on anxiety, SES and race as it affect birth outcomes.
Darlyne Bailey, Ph.D., L.I.S.W.
Dr. Darlyne Bailey is currently the Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College, where she also serves as Special Assistant to the President for Community Partnerships. She has held faculty and administrative positions at several universities, including Case Western Reserve University in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and the Weatherhead School of Management, Columbia University in Teachers College and the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development. Darlyne currently serves on the Board of the Stoneleigh Foundation, the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute and the National Human Services Assembly in addition to numerous editorial boards. She has published three books on topics about which she is passionate, reflecting her interests and values, including Sustaining Our Spirits: Women Leaders Thriving for Today and Tomorrow. Further, Darlyne has published numerous articles and book chapters in the areas of small group, organizational, and community transformation and leadership, and the formation and sustainability of strategic alliances.
Nathalie A. Vanderpool Bartle, Ed.D.
Dr. Nathalie Akin Bartle is a Professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at Drexel University, School of Public Health (DUSPH). She was a member of the core faculty group who developed the School of Public Health in 1994-996. Dr. Bartle has served in numerous leadership positions at DUSPH, including Associate Dean for Student Affairs and currently as the school’s Chair of the Maternal & Child Health (MCH) Working Group.
Dr. Bartle holds a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University and a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Harvard University. She has held an appointment as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical School where she taught behavioral health to medical students and pediatric residents and was made Director of the Division of School Health & Community Pediatrics. Dr. Bartle has extensive experience in the fields of maternal and child health, adolescent health, and community health, including as a senior research associate of the Harvard Health Policy, Research and Education Division, a member of the Harvard University Working Group on Early Life and Adolescence, and a consultant to the Carnegie Foundation. She also developed a training program for public health students and primary care residents at the Department of Health & Hospitals in Boston.
Dr. Bartle’s book, Venus in Blue Jeans: Why Mothers and Daughters Need to Talk about Sex, has received national and international attention. It was published by Houghton-Mifflin in 1998, Dell in 2000, an e-book in 2012 and has also been published in Spanish and Greek. Dr. Bartle has spoken on national radio and television about how parents (and others) may communicate effectively with children and adolescents about sexual topics. More recently, she has been a primary investigator for three MCH research studies. During her 18 year tenure at Drexel’s School of Public Health she has been a mentor and advisor to many graduate students and young faculty. Dr. Bartle has assumed numerous leadership roles at The Institute for Women’s Health & Leadership at Drexel’s College of Medicine and in the community. She and her husband, Harvey Bartle, enjoy spending time with their five children and their spouses as well as their 12 grandchildren.
Rhonda C. Boyd, Ph.D.
Dr. Rhonda Boyd is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Iowa. Dr. Boyd completed two postdoctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and a federal policy fellowship with the Society for Research in Child Development where she was placed at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families.
Dr. Boyd’s research focuses on maternal depression and the prevention of mental health problems in at-risk youth. She had a career development award from the NIMH for which she conducted a descriptive study of African American mothers with depressive disorders and their school aged children and adapted an intervention for this population. Recently, Dr. Boyd conducted community-based participatory research focused on developing and testing a mental health referral intervention for perinatal women with mood disorders.
Rickie Brawer, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Rickie Brawer, Ph.D., MPH has been the Associate Director of the TJU/TJUH Center for Urban Health since 2002 and is an Assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Brawer also teaches in the MPH program at Jefferson’sSchool ofPopulation Health. She has spent more than two decades practicing public health in thePhiladelphia area and has developed strong relationships with area public health related coalitions, agencies and organizations. She is the Co-Director of the JMC College within the College Population Health Program, and has been involved in integrating public health content and experiential opportunities into the core JMC curriculum and teaches in several community medicine electives.
Dr. Brawer’s research interests include obesity and its relationship to food access and the built environment, medical legal partnerships and Healthy Start, CBPR and chronic disease prevention and management. Finally she is a health literacy trainer with expertise in developing and evaluating materials and websites for lower literacy populations.
Ian M. Bennett M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Ian Bennett is a family physician providing full spectrum primary care including obstetric, pediatric and general adult health services. He also conducts research in the area of disparities in the delivery of maternal-child health care. His funded work includes projects focused on health literacy and perinatal depression as well as obstacles to the delivery of pediatric preventive care in safety net medical settings. He is the primary investigator of multiple grants funded by the National Institutes of Health as well as foundations (WK Kellogg Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) investigating obstacles to maternal child care in low income race/ethnic minority populations in diverse geographic settings and has been recognized as a Health Disparities Scholar by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH). He has particular expertise in the delivery of health services within Federally Qualified Health Centers and is the PI of a three year prospective study of the implementation of team based care for perinatal depression in four FQHCs in southcentral and southeast Pennsylvania.
Joan Bloch, Ph.D., CRNP
Dr. Joan Bloch joined Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions as a full-time faculty member in 2005. She has a secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health. While completing her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, she was awarded a two-year NIH pre-doctoral research fellowship in the Center for Vulnerable Women, Children and Families and then a NIH post-doctoral research fellowship at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy.
Dr. Bloch’s mission in nursing is to promote optimal health for women and their families through practice, teaching and research. As a certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner since 1981, she has practiced in a variety of settings: city clinics, HMOs, and private practice. Her current practice in a Philadelphia federally-funded prenatal center informs her teaching and research. Her prior teaching experience includes an adjunct faculty position from 1988 – 1997 in the first Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program in the U.S. which was federally funded and taught by Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Dr. Bloch’s program of research is aimed at advancing knowledge that can ultimately be translated into practice to improve individual and population outcomes for mothers, children and families. Currently, the focus of her research is aimed at preventing adverse birth outcomes specifically related to preterm births that can lead to subsequent infant morbidity and mortality. Dr. Bloch is involved with an internationally renowned perinatal epidemiology research team, hoping that her perspectives as a nurse will provide a useful disciplinary lens to this complex health problem in which significant racial perinatal health disparities exist.
Regina Canuso, M.S.
Regina Canuso has over 20 years’ experience working with and for young children and their families. She won a 2003 National Head Start Health Services Institute award for her pioneering work creating a mental health program for pregnant women and families with young children. She was a Research Instructor at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) School of Nursing, where she was the co-investigator on an National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded study on reducing depressive symptoms in low-income mothers in five Early Head Start sites in North Carolina and New York. She also was a consultant on two Administration for Children and Families funded projects to improve mental health services for Early Head Start parents and children. In addition, Regina co-authored a curriculum for Early Head Start staff designed to increase their ability to respond to the mental health needs of parents and young children. She also has authored or co-authored professional and peer-reviewed articles on health and mental health issues affecting Head Start and Early Head Start parents and children. She has worked as a nurse-therapist in private and publicly funded mental health facilities. She is the founder and chair of the Onondaga County Healthy Start Mental Health Committee, which has been instrumental in starting a perinatal depression clinic in the community. She is currently the Project Manager of the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council, where she plays a pivotal role in advancing a comprehensive early childhood agenda for the state. Regina is a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls and received her BS and MS in Nursing from Syracuse University where she was named a Syracuse University Remembrance Scholar. She has advanced board-certification as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatric Nursing.
Marilee Comfort, Ph.D., MPH
Dr. Marilee Comfort founded Comfort Consults to consult on parenting assessment, staff training and program evaluation with family service programs providing health, education and social services. With support from NICHD, she and her colleagues have developed and validated the Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale (KIPS – www.ComfortConsults.com/kips). KIPS is a practical assessment of parenting behavior, with a web-based training/support system for providers to learn to observe and assess a parent/caregiver during play with a young child in their daily settings. Dr. Comfort has conducted research and evaluations in various settings, including school readiness initiatives, a children’s museum, Early Head Start programs, community-based maltreatment prevention programs, and family substance abuse treatment centers. She received a Ph.D. in early childhood special education and an MPH in maternal and child health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Andrea Crivelli-Kovach, Ph.D., MA, MCHES
Dr. Andrea Crivelli-Kovach, Professor and Director of Community & Global Public Health Programs at Arcadia University, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology/ Biochemistry and a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from Immaculata University, Philadelphia PA; completed her Ph.D. in Community Public Health at Temple University and is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES). In addition to her faculty and administrative responsibilities at Arcadia, she is a research and evaluation consultant with Maternity Care Coalition and has completed projects with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Family Planning Council, and other public health agencies in Philadelphia. During her tenure at Arcadia, she developed the Master in Public Health Program, four Dual Degree Programs, and a University Minor in Global Public Health.
Previous teaching affiliations include the University of Pennsylvania, Women’s Studies Program and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her areas of research include: US and international hospital breastfeeding policies and practices, mothers experiences with breastfeeding in the hospital setting, the impact of community health workers on empowerment in low-income pregnant women and mothers of young children, environmental justice in Latino populations, and health communication and information seeking behaviors of long-term breast cancer survivors. Her publications include a book chapter on environmental justice and articles in Birth, The Journal of Human Lactation, Breastfeeding Medicine, Environmental Justice, The Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, Korean Journal of the Academy of Nursing, and the Journal of the Osteopathic Medical Association.
She has served on the Board of the Pennsylvania Public Health Association (PPHA) as President (October 2007-October 2009) and Chair of the 2004 Joint Conference of PPHA and the PA Department of Health, Public Health Institute held in Philadelphia, and is currently Immediate Past President of PPHA.
She has presented at conferences of the American Public Health Association, American Association of Colleges and Universities, Pennsylvania Public Health Association, Maternity Care Coalition, the 1995 International Conference on the Theory and Practice of Human Lactation, Breastfeeding Management and Research, the 2002 International Women’s Health Conference in Seoul, South Korea, the 2000 Korean Lactation Association Annual Meeting in Seoul and at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Maternal and Child Health Annual Conference.
Jeane Ann Grisso, M.D., M.S.C.E.
Dr. J.A. Grisso received her medical degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a fellowship at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she obtained a MSc. Degree in clinical epidemiology. In 1983, Dr. Grisso came to U Penn and rose through the ranks to Professor in both Medicine and Epidemiology. Dr. Grisso was a senior scholar at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, a senior fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute, senior fellow of the Institute on Aging and had a secondary appointment in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. She was involved in the development of the Bridging the Gaps and Focus programs.
Dr. Grisso has served as principal investigator of many federally-funded investigations, including important studies of reproductive health and intimate partner violence. Dr. Grisso conducted seminal epidemiological work addressing injuries in women, having published 3 first-author papers in the New England Journal of Medicine in this area.Her primary research interest is in urban women’s health.
Starting in 2001, Dr. Grisso worked at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). There she directed the Clinical Care Management (Quality) team; developed a new initiative in the prevention of childhood obesity; developed a new effort in violence prevention, with a special focus on intimate partner violence. She also was the Senior Program Officer for national human capital programs focusing on faculty development, including RWJF Clinical Scholars, the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, and the Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars, and the RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars.
Dr. Grisso returned to the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 where she is currently Professor of Public Health in both the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing. She has a leading role in the Center for Public Health Initiatives and serves as a core faculty member in the MPH program. She is working on two NIH-funded research projects. The first is a cluster-randomized controlled trial to improve the culture and support of women faculty in the School of Medicine. The second is a trial in the Health Department clinics of using family health advocates to screen for and counsel patients at risk for Intimate Partner Violence in the School of Nursing.
James Guevara, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. James Guevara is Associate Professor of Pediatrics & Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and an attending physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is a board-certified pediatrician and received his M.D. degree from Northwestern University and M.P.H. degree from the University of Washington. He holds an administrative position as the Senior Diversity Search Advisor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he is involved in promoting diversity in faculty searches. He is also the Director of Interdisciplinary Initiatives at PolicyLab: Center to Bridge Research, Practice, & Policy at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he participates in developing and disseminating child health policy research. He holds a number of faculty appointments as a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and a Senior Scholar at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His research interests focus on the organization, financing, and delivery of primary health care services for young vulnerable children with developmental and behavioral disabilities.
Holly Harner, Ph.D., M.P.H., CRNP, WHNP-B
Dr. Holly Harner is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program at La Salle School of Nursing and Health Sciences. She is also a women’s health nurse scientist and a nationally certified Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHCNP-BC). She earned a doctorate (Ph.D.) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (2001) in the area of forensic mental health and completed additional training, receiving a Master of Public Health (MPH) focusing in Family and Community Health, at the Harvard School of Public Health (2002). Dr. Harner’s scholarship addresses gender related health disparities – with a specific emphasis on women’s mental health and violence. She is particularly interested in examining the role of childhood physical and sexual trauma as pathway to incarceration for women.
Cecily Knauer, Ph.D., M.A.
Dr. Cecily Knauer has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Temple University and a B.S. in Biobehavioral Health from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Knauer‘s area of specialization is Medical Anthropology. Her doctoral dissertation was an ethnographic work that used qualitative methods to examine the economic and social shifts in maternity care in Philadelphia, PA and the resulting outcomes for parents. In addition to her research, Dr. Knauer has worked in the area of women’s health in a variety of capacities: as a Health Educator in a smoking cessation program for low-income pregnant women, as a Program Evaluator for a women’s fitness and diet program, and as a Samuel S. Fels Fund research intern with Maternity Care Coalition to survey prenatal care availability for Medicaid Managed Care recipients.
Yookyong Lee, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Dr. Yookyong Lee is an assistant professor at the Temple University School of Social Work. Her research focuses on young parents, child and family policy, child abuse and neglect, the child welfare system, and father involvement. Prior to joining the Temple University School of Social Work, Dr. Lee earned her Ph.D. at the Columbia University School of Social Work and Master of Social Work at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dr. Lee seeks to develop, implement, and disseminate a program of research that will influence policies and practices to provide support, prevention services, and intervention programs for children, youths, and their families that are appropriate for their strengths, needs, and circumstances.
Deborah B. Nelson, Ph.D.
Dr. Deborah Nelson is a reproductive epidemiologist with NIH-funded research focusing on early pregnancy exposures among urban women and adverse pregnancy outcomes. In particular, Dr. Nelson examines chronic sexually associated conditions, environmental stressors, genetic predisposition, and several behavioral factors which may influence adverse pregnancy outcomes including spontaneous preterm delivery, miscarriage, preterm labor and pelvic inflammatory disease. Dr. Nelson is an Associate Professor of Public Health and Obstetrics/Gynecology in the Department of Public Health, College of Health Professions and Social Work; in addition, Dr. Nelson is the Director of the Masters of Science in Epidemiology Program and Co-Director of the Masters of Science in Clinical Research and Translational Medicine in collaboration with Temple University School of Medicine.
Dr. Nelson’s research projects include a large prospective cohort study designed to examine the role of first and second trimester bacterial vaginosis (BV) and BV-associated bacteria and the risk of spontaneous preterm delivery and miscarriage among women receiving prenatal care in Philadelphia, a study examining the role of several exposures during pregnancy (i.e. cigarette use, alcohol use and violence) and childhood overweight, and a study to examine the role of violence, resilience and social support on contraceptive use and risk of unintended pregnancy among young women in Philadelphia.
Maria Ness, M.P.H.
Maria Ness is currently the Program Evaluation and Surveillance Manager at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Division of Maternal, Child, and Family Health. Before assuming this role in August, 2011, she completed the CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship at the Oregon Office of Family Health, Maternal and Child Health Section, in July 2011. Prior to the fellowship, she completed a Policy/Community Education Internship with the NYC Coalition for a Smoke Free City, at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Ms. Ness completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Australia, attaining her Master of Public Health degree in 2008 from the University of Sydney, and her Bachelor of Medical Science degree in 2005 from the University of New South Wales.
Staci Perlman, M.S.W., Ph.D.
Dr. Staci Perlman is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Kutztown University. She earned her doctoral degree in Social Welfare and MSW from the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, she is working with a team at People’s Emergency Center in Philadelphia to evaluate the feasibility of implementing an intervention focused on promoting positive parent-child interactions in the context of emergency/transitional housing. Her prior work focused on using integrated, administrative data to examine the early educational well-being of children with histories of maltreatment and homelessness. Previously she worked as a preschool teacher and as a clinician providing intensive in-home services to children and youth who were child welfare involved. Dr. Perlman is currently co-editing a book, Supporting Homeless Families: Current Practices and Future Directions. She is the co-chair of the APA Taskforce on Promoting Positive Parenting in the Context of Homelessness and was the 2011 recipient of the Child Maltreatment Section of the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice in the Field of Child Maltreatment.
Laura A. Offutt, M.D.
Dr. Laura Offut is a physician who is currently Principal at PhOREST Consulting. Laura has held a number of different medical positions in the pharmaceutical industry, including Vice-President, Medical Affairs and Medical Safety, at Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and several positions in the Medical Research and Global Safety Surveillance and Epidemiology organizations at Wyeth Research, in addition to independent consulting work. She has held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Dr. Offutt received a Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, a Doctor of Medicine degree at Northwestern University Medical School, and completed her Residency in Internal Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. In addition to serving on Maternity Care Coalition’s Research and Public Policy Committees, she is currently a member of the American College of Physicians, previously serving on the Domain Definition Task Force on Primary Care Women’s Health.
Elizabeth B. Rappaport, M.D.
Dr. Elizabeth Rappaport is a pediatric endocrinologist and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Family and Community Medicine, and Pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University. She has more than 30 years of experience and leadership in medicine, public health, and pharmaceutical development, and has built productive collaborative relationships with colleagues in basic and clinical research, clinical practice, and public health. In addition, she has served since 2003 on the Board of Directors of the Health Promotion Council, where she currently chairs the Research Committee and the Nominating Committee. Since 2009 she has served on the George Pepper Council supporting the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has pursued research and published observations directed toward improving clinical care and public health. In working with the Maternity Care Coalition, she hopes to apply her skills and experience to supporting the organization’s mission to improve maternal and child health and well-being.
Mona Sarfaty, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP
Dr. Mona Sarfaty is a family physician and Associate Professor at Jefferson Medical College, in the Department of Family and Community Medicine with a joint appointment in the Jefferson School of Population Health. She is Training Director for the Center for Dissemination of the Patient Centered Medical Home. She has worked to improve population health, especially in the area of access to care, at the local and national level for 40 years. She has been a member of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (a national leadership group supported by the CDC and the American Cancer Society) since 2005. She has also served in a leadership capacity for the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association for nearly a decade. (She will be immediate past chair through 2013.) Locally, she sits on the Public Health Executive Committee of the Philadelphia College of Physicians. Dr. Sarfaty was formerly the Associate Director for Health Policy on the staff of the U.S. Senate Health Committee (now H.E.L.P.) during which time she handled many issues and contributed to many pieces of legislation affecting health care access (including maternal and child health), graduate medical and nursing education, biomedical research, tobacco use, and HIV services. She views the Maternity Care Coalition as an exceptionally well run organization that employs talented and devoted individuals who use their considerably energies to invest in supporting the development of healthy families.
Jane A. Siegel, Ph.D.
Dr. Jane A. Siegel is associate professor of criminal justice and chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in Camden, N.J. She is also an associate at the Rutgers University Center for Children and Childhood Studies in Camden and an affiliate of the Center for Behavioral Health Services and Criminal Justice Research at Rutgers in New Brunswick. Dr. Siegel received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in criminology from the University of Pennsylvania, and her B.A. at Drew University. She has been principal investigator and co-principal investigator on several federally funded studies focused on topics such as child abuse, the effect of parental incarceration on children, and risk factors for victimization, and has published numerous articles on these topics. She is also the author of Disrupted Childhoods: Children of Women in Prison (Rutgers University Press). Dr. Siegel is currently principal investigator for an assessment of reentry services for youth in residential placement and secure confinement for the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission.
In addition to her academic work, Dr. Siegel is actively involved in community organizations that reflect her research interests, serving as an advisory board member for an alternative-to-incarceration program for female offenders, an advisory committee member for a program for female jail inmates who are pregnant or mothers of young children, and as a member of a multi-agency working group to enhance services to incarcerated women.
Carole Soskis, J.D., Ph.D.
As a lawyer and PhD social worker, Dr. Carole Soskis has spent her career in medical, psychiatric, and legal direct service settings and in non-profit administration, where she often had to write grants to keep her programs alive. She was a consultant to the Justice Department for ten years, helping to develop programs and teaching interviewing. Her most recent position was with the Arc Community Trust, where she established and ran a special needs trust for persons with disabilities. Now retired, she teaches adults studying for their GEDs and does volunteer consulting to new and struggling non-profits. In addition, she has been on various research review committees for twenty years and was Chair of the Family Planning Council’s.
Lynn Stringer, Ph.D., WHNP-BC, RDMS,FAAN
Dr. Lynn Stringer’s clinical scholarship focuses on the promotion of a healthy pregnancy and the reduction of preterm births for high-risk women. Because preterm birth is associated with the highest rates of perinatal morbidity and mortality rates, Dr. Stringer’s focuses on risks for preterm birth, including attendance at care (i.e., number of visits attended), reasons for accessing care, health promotion, and disease prevention. Past research has included a study for increasing pre-natal care compliance for working, poor women. Additionally, as a sub-study, Dr. Stringer studied pregnant teens’ attitudes and beliefs associated with vaccination of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis B. The results of that study will be used to implement postpartum vaccine delivery in the near future. Continuing work on attendance at prenatal care, Dr. Stringer explored prenatal emergent care, specifically symptoms described by African American women evaluated for preterm labor. Women described their complaints in language markedly different from their providers, waited long periods to access care, and consulted with family members prior to coming for care. Based on these findings, HUP has now altered its preterm labor patient teaching to use language appropriately attuned to the population served.
Currently, Dr. Stringer is engaged in a collaborative effort focused on health promotion for childbearing women in the West Philadelphia community. These childbearing women face numerous health disparities, especially high rates of preterm birth. Along with women of the West Philadelphia Community, HUP Women’s Health Department, and the School of Nursing’s (SON) Healthy in Philadelphia initiative, Dr. Stringer’s team is promoting evidence-based, sustainable interventions intended to reach at-risk women.
Leanne C. Wagner, M.S., M.B.A.
Leanne Wagner has served on the Research and Governance Committees of the Maternity Care Coalition’s Board and spearheaded MCC’s 2011 strategic planning work. She is currently Vice President of the MCC Board. As an executive leader and business strategist with more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech arenas, Leanne has been recognized for her leadership in organizational change, building high performance teams, and strategy formulation. Since retiring from the pharmaceutical industry at the end of 2009, Leanne has been working as an independent consultant with a focus on strategy and new business development. Leanne currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Oberlin College, where she is also Past-President of the Alumni Association.
Charmaine Wright, Ph.D., M.H.P.
Dr. Charmaine Wright has spearheaded Maternity Care Coalition’s maternal obesity project, conducted training for staff on protocol development, statistical methodology, nutrition and obesity, and worked with Maternity Care Coalition to improve nutrition for incarcerated women in Philadelphia. A past Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and current Assistant Professor in General Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Charmaine graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. She trained at Harvard’s hospitals, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Children’s Hospital Boston. She is board certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics. She is currently a member of the following organizations: Massachusetts Medical Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Society of General Internal Medicine. Her research interests include maternal-child health, nutrition, obesity, and pregnancy. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Hypertension, the Maternal and Child Health Journal, and the Society of General Internal Medicine Forum.