Faculty and researchers
Diana Greene Foster, PhD,
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Interim Director, ANSIRH.
Diana Greene Foster, PhD, is a demographer who uses quantitative models and analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of family planning policies and the effect of unintended pregnancy on women’s lives. Dr. Foster has worked on the evaluation of the California State family planning program, Family PACT. This work demonstrated the effectiveness of the program in reducing the incidence of unintended pregnancy. Dr. Foster created a new methodology for estimating pregnancies averted based on a Markov model and a microsimulation to identify the cost-effectiveness of advance provision of emergency contraception. She is currently leading a nationwide longitudinal prospective study of the health and well-being of women who seek abortion including both women who do and do not receive the abortion. Dr. Foster received her undergraduate degree in Political Economy of Natural Resources from UC Berkeley, her MA in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University, and her PhD in Demography and Public Policy from Princeton University.
M. Antonia Biggs, PhD, MPH,
M. Antonia Biggs serves as a senior researcher at ANSIRH, as part of her work for the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Biggs’ research is dedicated towards better understanding the barriers faced by economically disadvantaged populations in accessing reproductive health services so that policy can be designed to improve their social and health outcomes. Her specific research interests include program evaluation, Latina adolescent childbearing, delivery of long-acting contraceptive services, and the psychological well-being of women having abortions. Currently, Dr. Biggs is directing a survey of family planning providers’ delivery of long-acting contraception in California, participating in the evaluation of the Colorado and Iowa Initiatives to reduce unintended pregnancy by increasing access to long-acting contraception, and working on a nationwide longitudinal prospective study of the health and well-being of women who seek abortion. Dr. Biggs holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Boston University.
Lori Freedman, PhD,
For the past decade, Lori Freedman, PhD has researched the ways in which reproductive health care is shaped by our social structure and medical culture. Her recent book, Willing and Unable: Doctors’ Constraints in Abortion Care, is based upon 40 in-depth physician interviews and examines how abortion politics affect medical practice, focusing on the challenges to integrating abortion into physician practice. Unexpected findings from the interviews led her to research and write about the intersection of religion and health care, especially in the case of Catholic-owned hospitals. This research experience has spawned her interest in how physician employers use conscience clauses in medical practice at individual and institutional levels. Dr. Freedman’s interest in reproductive health care research was born at San Francisco General Hospital (1998) when she worked as a research assistant for several contraception-related studies. Dr. Freedman is currently embarking on a two new studies: The first focused on the bedside bioethics of religiously affiliated health care institutions and their employees and a second focused on the experiences of newly abortion trained nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants. Dr. Freedman received her BA at the University of Oregon and her PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Davis.
Caitlin Gerdts, PhD, MHS,
Caitlin Gerdts is an Epidemiologist at ANSIRH. Her research focuses on the measurement of morbidity and mortality due to unsafe abortion in the developing world. Dr. Gerdts is particularly interested in using quantitative bias analysis techniques to identify and correct for bias in studies that seek to measure the health sequellea of unsafe abortion. Dr. Gerdts is currently collaborating with researchers at ANSIRH to design and implement a “Global Turnaway Study.” The study, building on the framework of the U.S. Turnaway Study, aims to assess how being denied an abortion affects women's physical, mental and social health in countries with varying laws and cultural norms relating to abortion. Dr. Gerdts received her undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Stanford University; an MHS in Population, Family, and Reproductive Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.
E. Angel James, CNM, WHNP-BC,
Research Resident, ANSIRH.
Angel James is a predoctoral student in the UCSF School of Nursing, Family Health Care Department. She is a recipient of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences IMSD fellowship. In addition, Ms. James is currently a volunteer clinician at the Women's Community Clinic. Her research interests include unintended pregnancy and the nursing role in unintended pregnancy prevention and abortion care. Ms. James has many years of experience as a nurse in women's health both in the hospital and clinic settings. Prior to returning to school, she worked as a certified nurse midwife and nurse practitioner for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. She received her BSN and MS from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Sujatha Jesudason, PhD,
From examining the fault lines in efforts to curtail sex selection to exposing attempts to pit reproductive rights against disability rights, Dr. Jesudason works to forge unlikely collaborations and look past forced simplifications. She brings her expertise in social justice organizing and advocacy to her role as Director of CoreAlign, a “think and do tank” that is creating a 30-year strategy to win resources, rights and respect for all people’s sexual and reproductive decisions. With over 20 years’ experience as a researcher, advocate and organizer for women’s lives, Dr. Jesudason has worked at Generations Ahead, Center for Genetics and Society, Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice, and 9to5 National Association of Working Women. She works at the intersection of issues too often considered separately: economic inequality, domestic violence, cultural norms, discrimination, gender roles and racial identity. In this, Dr. Jesudason merges not only topics but methods, from rigorous academic research to on-the-ground movement building, and from legislative education to media advocacy. A leading voice on the ethics of human genetics, women’s rights and racial justice, Dr. Jesudason holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Carole Joffe, PhD,
Professor emeritus of sociology at UC Davis; professor of obstetrics and gynecology at ANSIRH.
Carole Joffe is a professor at ANSIRH and a professor of sociology emerita at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on the social dimensions of reproductive health, with a particular interest in abortion provision. In January 2010, Dr. Joffe’s book, Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients and the Rest of Us, was published by Beacon Press. Besides writing for an academic audience, she also writes frequently for the general public on the topics of reproductive health and reproductive politics. In 2006, Dr. Joffe was awarded the Public Service Award by the Academic Senate of the University of California, Davis. Some recent publications are “Abortion and Medicine: A Sociopolitical History,” in M. Paul, ed., The Management of Abnormal and Unintended Pregnancy and “The Religious Right and the Reshaping of Sexual Policy: An Examination of Reproductive Rights and Sexuality Education,” in Sexual Research and Social Policy, Winter 2007 (with Diane di Mauro). She is the author of Doctors of Conscience: The Struggle to Provide Abortion Before and after Roe v. Wade (Beacon Press) and The Regulation of Sexuality: Experiences of Family Planning Workers (Temple University Press 1986). Dr. Joffe received her BA from Brandeis University and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
Katrina Kimport, PhD,
Katrina Kimport is a qualitative sociologist whose research focuses on gender, sexuality, and social movements. Dr. Kimport's current research engages two central themes: an examination and critique of heteronormativity, including analysis of its effect in the social experience of abortion; and an investigation of claims-making around abortion. Other recent work by Dr. Kimport has examined the relationship between heteronormativity and same-sex marriage, aiming to understand why same-sex couples choose to marry and to analyze the impact of their marriages both for participants and for broader social processes, and has investigated the use of the internet for protest. Dr. Kimport's work has been published in several journals, including the American Sociological Review, Gender & Society, Symbolic Interaction, and Perspectives on Sexual and Reproduction Health. She is the author of Queering Marriage: Challenging Family Formation in the United States (Rutgers University Press) and co-author, with Dr. Jennifer Earl, of Digitally Enabled Social Change (MIT Press).
. Dr. Kimport received her BA from Yale University and her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Monica McLemore, RN, MPH, PhD,
Monica McLemore is a clinician-scientist at ANSIRH. Her research interests include unintended pregnancy prevention, the efficacy and safety of nurse administered procedural sedation, tumor markers of ovarian cancer and their behavior across the menstrual cycle, the nursing role in abortion care provision and pilot testing of a doula training program as a job vocational program for previously incarcerated women. Her current work reflects her training as a public health nurse, trained in qualitative, quantitative, and molecular methods. Nursing is a dynamic and hybrid field that meets patients and their families where they are; including the context and environment where experiences of illness and or wellness occur. As a clinician scientist, she takes an ecological approach to her work meaning women are not compartmentalized beings easily reduced to individual studies of arbitrary time points associated with their biology, Dr. McLemore's own diverse clinical experiences inform and are closely aligned with her research interest and the unifying thread is this: to produce evidence to assist nurses to meet women wherever they are, specifically, by designing patient-centered studies that enhance the knowledge base of nurses who work in gynecology, sexual and reproductive health across the lifespan. Dr. McLemore has a BS in Nursing from The College of New Jersey, an MPH from San Francisco State University, and a PhD from the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing.
Sarah Roberts, DrPH,
Public Health Social Scientist.
Sarah CM Roberts, DrPH, is a public health social scientist at ANSIRH. Her research interests include gender equality and women’s health, state-level abortion restrictions, and alcohol and drug use in the context of pregnancy, parenting, and reproductive health. Dr. Roberts’ current research focuses on the impact of receiving versus being denied an abortion on women’s alcohol and drug use, abortion restrictions, and strategies to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in Child Protective Services reports related to maternal drug use. Dr. Roberts’ work has been published in Social Science & Medicine, Women’s Health Issues, Maternal and Child Health Journal, and Alcohol and Alcoholism. Dr. Roberts received her undergraduate degree in history from Columbia University, her MPH and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan, and her DrPH from the University of California, Berkeley.
Corinne Rocca, PhD, MPH,
Corinne Rocca is an Epidemiologist at UCSF's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. Her research interests include prevention of unintended pregnancy, adolescent sexual behavior, contraceptive use, pregnancy intentions, and latent variable measurement. Dr. Rocca's research has focused on the measurement and significance of pregnancy intentions, including what influences young women's attitudes towards pregnancy and the role of intentions and ambivalence in shaping contraceptive behavior. She is particularly interested in using quantitative psychometric techniques, such as Item Response Theory, to improve measurement of latent variables, including attitudes and social norms. Her current work includes creating a valid measure of childbearing attitudes for use among diverse populations of adolescents and young women; using data from a nationally representative sample of unmarried young people to examine the roles of pregnancy ambivalence and fatalism on use of effective contraception; and examining barriers to safe abortion in Nepal.
Gretchen Sisson, PhD,
Gretchen Sisson is a qualitative sociologist whose research focuses on social constructions of parenthood, specifically examining teen pregnancy and young parenthood, infertility and assisted reproductive technologies, and adoption and birth motherhood. Her current research with ANSIRH focuses on representations of abortion and reproductive decision-making in popular culture, including film and television. Dr. Sisson’s past work on reframing models of teen pregnancy prevention has been published in the Journal of Sexuality Research and Social Policy. She received her BA from Amherst College and her PhD from Boston College.
Diana Taylor, RN, MS, PhD,
Director of Research and Evaluation, Primary Care Initiative.
Diana Taylor is a nurse practitioner, educator and researcher, and is Professor Emerita at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing. She has served as Director of UCSF’s Women’s Health NP Program, as well as the co-Director of the UCSF Center for Collaborative Primary Care to advance interprofessional collaboration and innovation related to primary care education, practice and research. Dr. Taylor has been a leader in policy-shaping activities for multiple professional groups on regional, national level and international levels. She has participated in the development of innovative women’s health care delivery models, interdisciplinary education programs, practice standards, and evidence-based practice guidelines. She has served on national boards and committees of the Health Professions Division of the US Public Health Service, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Nurses Association, the National Organization of NP Faculties, the Association of Women’s Health Nurses, as well as state and local nursing practice and education committees. Dr. Taylor has more than 100 scientific articles, books and publications in the area of women’s health. Some recent publications include “When politics trumps evidence: Legislative or regulatory exclusion of abortion from advanced practice clinician scope of practice” published with Barbara Safriet and Tracy Weitz in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health (2009; 54: 4-7) and Providing Abortion Care: A professional toolkit for nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants (UCSF ANSIRH, 2009). Currently, Dr. Taylor is also an active board member of the Reproductive Options Education Consortium in Nursing (Abortion Access Project); a board member of Clinicians for Choice (NAF); and Board chair (as well as a practicing clinician) of the San Francisco Women’s Community Clinic. Dr. Taylor received her BSN from the University of Oregon, her MS from UCSF and PhD from the University of Washington.
Ushma Upadhyay, PhD, MPH,
Public Health Social Scientist.
Ushma Upadhyay is a Public Health Social Scientist at ANSIRH. Her research interests include unintended pregnancy, gender-based relationship power, and access to contraception and abortion. Her current research focuses on measures of women’s empowerment and assessing its influence on contraceptive use, abortion decisions, and fertility in the US and sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Upadhyay developing a theory-based, validated scale to quantitatively measure women’s empowerment that reproductive health researchers can incorporate into interview assessments in a variety of research contexts. She is co-author of Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers, a Johns Hopkins/WHO publication providing evidence-based guidance on the provision of contraceptive methods. Dr. Upadhyay has a BA in Communications and International Studies from American University, an MPH from Columbia School of Public Health, and a PhD from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Roula AbiSamra, MPH,
Project Coordinator, Health Workforce Pilot Project.
Roula AbiSamra is the Project Coordinator for ANSIRH's Health Workforce Pilot Project. Her experiences prior to joining ANSIRH have driven her desire to see reproductive health improved based on high-quality evidence. She has been involved in reproductive health work in multiple capacities, which included providing patient care and case management in several languages, coordinating data collection and analysis for clinical and social-science research, and assisting in the development of the graduate Seminar on the Global Elimination of Maternal Mortality from Abortion at Emory University in Atlanta. Ms. AbiSamra received her BA from Emory University and an MPH from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health.
Patricia Anderson, MPH,
Administrative and HWPP Director.
Pat Anderson works both as ANSIRH’s Administrative Director and as Director of the Health Workforce Pilot Project (HWPP). She has spent most of her career in various positions within the field of reproductive health and rights. Most recently, she served as the Director of the Society of Family Planning and before that as the Program Manager for the California Program on Access to Care with the University of California, Office of the President. She was the founding director of Medical Students for Choice and served as Membership Director and Interim Executive Director at the National Abortion Federation, while spearheading a special initiative on the shortage of abortion providers. Ms. Anderson received her BA and MPH from the University of California, Berkeley.
Rana E. Barar, MPH,
Project Director, Turnaway Study.
Rana E. Barar, MPH, is Project Director for the Turnaway Study. Prior to joining ANSIRH, Rana managed the Teen-to-Teen Sexuality Education Project and served as Interim Director at Answer, a leading national organization dedicated to providing and promoting comprehensive sexuality education based at Rutgers University. In that capacity, Rana oversaw publication of Answer's teen publications - Sex, Etc. magazine and Sexetc.org. Rana began her public health career working in several health and human rights projects at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and received her MPH in population and family health in 2006. She was Senior Program Officer for the Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD) Program, charged with overall administrative management of the AMDD Program, including strategic planning and launching AMDD's new look and Web site. She has a strong background in international relations as well, which has been enhanced by her substantial experience in Europe, Russia and Africa.
Elise Belusa, MS,
Elise Belusa is a Project Coordinator for multiple studies at ANSIRH. She brings a background in both domestic and international reproductive health research and service, including work with adolescents in the South and Midwest, homeless women in the northeast, and women of Kenya and Senegal. Most recently Ms. Belusa worked with health education at the Women's Options Center at UCSF, and with program management at TEACH Training, a small Family Medicine Resident education-focused group based in the Bay Area. She completed her Masters of Science in Reproductive & Sexual Health Research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (where her thesis focused on the effect of the father figure on low-income adolescent sexual behavior).
Mattie Boehler-Tatman is an Interviewer for the Turnaway, Abortion Restrictions, and IUD Removal Options studies. Prior to joining ANSIRH, she worked as a Reproductive Health Specialist at Planned Parenthood in San Francisco. Her experience includes working in reproductive policy and clinic translation, particularly with underserved populations. Ms. Boehler-Tatman has a BA in Public Health and Portuguese from the University of California, Berkeley.
Megan Burgoyne is a Program Specialist at ANSIRH. A passionate advocate and active member of the reproductive health, rights, and justice community, Ms. Burgoyne thrives on working to ensure women have an equal place at life's table. Prior to joining ANSIRH, she was a Public Affairs Manager and Community Organizer for two Planned Parenthood affiliates—Planned Parenthood Southeast in Georgia and Planned Parenthood Northern New England in New Hampshire. Using her extensive knowledge about reproductive health and rights and her in-depth experience in community organizing, public policy, and volunteer program management, Ms. Burgoyne works to expand ANSIRH’s reach in the larger community. In 2011, she was selected as a fellow for the Women’s Policy Institute in Sacramento, CA. Ms. Burgoyne is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a degree in Communications as a Social Force with a focus on law.
Kate Cockrill, MPH,
Research Analyst and Project Manager.
Kate Cockrill is currently directing the Social and Emotional Aspects of Abortion Program. She is leading the Measuring Abortion Stigma team, which is developing and testing an abortion stigma scale to measure stigma experienced by women who have abortions. She is also developing a framework for understanding abortion stigma that connects lived experiences of abortion to stigma theory. Ms. Cockrill has a MPH from UC Berkeley and has 10 years of experience in the field of abortion care and women’s health. Prior to graduate school she worked at the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta, Georgia, the Fayetteville Women’s Clinic in Fayetteville, Arkansas and the National Abortion Federation in Washington, DC.
Sarah Combellick, MPH,
Program Manager, Evaluation of Abortion Restrictions.
Sarah Combellick is the Program Manager for the Evaluation of Abortion Restrictions. She is passionate about reproductive health research that informs public policy and has extensive experience designing and implementing research studies. Prior to joining ANSIRH, she worked at the California Family Health Council and UCSF’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and Institute for Health Policy Studies on projects related to abortion, teen pregnancy, access to family planning services, and adolescent health. She received her BA from the University of California, San Diego, and MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a Reproductive Health Specialist at Planned Parenthood Shasta-Pacific.
Sheila Desai, MPH,
Research and Evaluation Manager, HWPP Project.
Sheila Desai is Research and Evaluation Manager for ANSIRH's HWPP Project. Her work and research to date have focused on improving access to reproductive and maternal health care through community-based and community-run interventions. She is particularly interested in the social determinants of women's health, with a focus on gender inequities. Prior to joining ANSIRH, Ms. Desai worked in Boston with John Snow, Inc. (JSI)—a global health organization—managing public health programs in parts of East and West Africa, South Asia, and Eastern Europe. Before this, she spent three years in western India working with a rural women's collective and the local government to strengthen national and community-level maternal and reproductive health programs. Ms. Desai received her BA from Brown University and her MPH from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Research Analyst, Turnaway Study.
Ivette Gomez is an Interviewer for the Turnaway Study. Prior to joining ANSIRH, she worked as an interviewer for the U.S. Census Bureau, where she worked with immigrant communities. Although new to working in women's reproductive health field, in college Ms. Gomez focused on critical issues in women’s health and women’s history. She is very excited to be joining the ANSIRH team and looks forward to learning more about the field. Ms. Gomez received her BA from Stanford University in Anthropological Sciences.
Heather Gould, MPH,
Research Coordinator, Turnaway Study.
Heather Gould currently serves as the research coordinator for the Turnaway Study. Ms. Gould has been involved with the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health since it was founded and has worked on many center research and policy projects over the years. She has extensive experience designing and implementing qualitative and quantitative research studies, managing reproductive health programs, and writing grants. Ms. Gould has worked in several reproductive health clinics as a manager or health specialist, including New Generation Health Center, Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, and the Marin County Women’s Health Services. In addition, she has served as a consultant to several organizations, including Planned Parenthood Federation of America-International (PPFA-I), the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP), and Population Services International (PSI). Her particular areas of interest include access to abortion and family planning, quality of reproductive health care, social determinants of health, and policies that support reproductive justice more broadly. Ms. Gould received her MPH from the University of California, Berkeley.
Whitney Losh is the Project Coordinator for CoreAlign, managing and supporting programs, events and communications. Although relatively new to the field of reproductive health, rights and justice, she is excited to jump onboard and is confident that sexual and reproductive health will be the home of a lasting career. In addition to working at CoreAlign, Whitney is the Co-Chair of the Girls on the Run Bay Area Associate Board, whose mission is to educate and build confidence in young girls through non-competitive, curriculum-based running programs throughout the Bay Area. She grew up in Northern California and graduated from San Francisco State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Health Education.
Sara Magnusson is the Program Assistant at CoreAlign, supporting events, programs and the CoreAlign team. Sara received her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus in Latin America and the Caribbean from the University of Washington. She worked with various non-profit organizations in the greater Seattle area all with a shared vision of giving teens the tools they need to become global leaders. Since moving to the Bay Area two years ago, Sara focused her efforts on obtaining a position in the reproductive health field. She volunteers at the Women’s Community Clinic and works with the TEACH Program as the Project and Communications Coordinator. CoreAlign feels like the perfect place for her, as it combines many of her personal and professional passions.
Aura Orozco-Fuentes began her employment with the University of California in 1992. She currently serves as the Office Manager for ANSIRH. Prior to joining ANSIRH, Ms. Orozco-Fuentes worked at the Center for the Health Professions with the School of Dentistry as a Program Coordinator for the Pew Programs in the Biomedical Sciences where she provided administrative and grant management support to over 120 grantees established at various academic institutions in the continental United States, in addition to organizing the group’s annual scientific conference. Ms. Orozco-Fuentes also worked for the Medical Center’s Department of General Internal Medicine at Mt. Zion and Parnassus as a Supervisor and Program Coordinator for the residency program. Ms. Orozco-Fuentes received a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Communication with an emphasis in Design from San Francisco State University.
Brenly Rowland is an interviewer for the Turnaway, Abortion Restrictions and IUD Removal Options studies. Prior to joining ANSIRH she worked as a sex educator and sales associate at Good Vibrations. She has worked as an advocate, counselor and organizer, focusing especially on issues of reproductive justice and abortion access. Throughout college she was a lead organizer of the Abortion Speakout at the annual Civil Liberties and Public Policy conference. She has worked as a patient advocate at a clinic in her home state of Montana, and as an intern for Our Bodies, Ourselves in Massachusetts. In her free time, she volunteers as an abortion doula with the Bay Area Doula Project, providing support to people through their abortions. Ms. Rowland received her BA in Medical Anthropology and Women’s Health from Hampshire College.
Chelsea W. Simms,
ANSIRH Program Coordinator.
Chelsea Simms is ANSIRH’s Program Coordinator, supporting the successful operation of the entire office as well as providing assistance on multiple projects. She began her UCSF career in 2006 as a research assistant at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. She subsequently served as Program Assistant at the Center for Gender Equity for four years, where she coordinated professional development, wellness, and violence prevention programs for the UCSF community. Most recently, she served as Patient Navigator for the Obstetrics Services department within the Medical Center, where she provided tailored customer service to pregnant patients throughout their care with UCSF. Ms. Simms is a fierce advocate for the underserved, which is demonstrated through both her career choices and her volunteer work. She has volunteered as a patient escort for Choice Medical Group, health educator for The Women’s Community Clinic, sexual assault crisis counselor and patient advocate for Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR), and as a birth doula for the UCSF Medical Center.