Family Planning and Maternal Health Core

The Family Planning and Maternal Health Core closes the gap in unmet need for family planning and improves maternal health by building interdisciplinary partnerships, conducting innovative research, and training the next generation of leaders.
The Family Planning and Maternal Health Core has four priority areas:

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LEADERSHIP

The Family Planning and Maternal Health Core is led by Drs. Alison Drake and Jennifer Unger.

Alison Drake is an epidemiologist and Acting Assistant Professor in the UW Department of Global Health. Dr. Drake’s research interests include family planning, adolescent reproductive health, HIV prevention among women and adolescents, incident maternal HIV infections, and mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Jennifer Unger is an obstetrician-gynecologist and an Assistant Professor in the UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. As a clinical researcher, she is interested in designing and utilizing novel technologies and behavioral interventions for family planning and maternal child health (MCH) systems improvements.

Drake

Alison Drake, PhD, MPH

Unger_web

Jennifer Unger, MD, MPH, MS

RESEARCH

Enhancing safer conception for HIV serodiscordant couples through mobile technologies (Fogarty International Center)
Renee Heffron

Building on our current work to pilot a client-centered, evidence-based safer conception intervention, the goal of this project is to develop and pilot mHealth tools to enhance safer conception planning by HIV discordant couples including SMS (i.e. text message) surveys to capture data on fertility signs and a tablet-based application to facilitate in-clinic counseling between providers and couples.
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Prevalence and Cofactors of Family Planning Uptake and Integration in HIV Care Programs in Kenya (CDC-PEPFAR)
Grace John-Stewart
This national surveillance project will evaluate the integration of family planning (FP) services into routine HIV outpatient care in Kenya to inform integrated delivery of FP and HIV services.
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Immune activation during pregnancy and contraception in HIV-infected Kenyan women (NIH/NICHD K23)
Alison Roxby
This study will determine whether progesterone-based contraception and pregnancy are associated with increased local and systemic immune activation in Kenyan HIV-1-seropositive women, which will elucidate progesterone’s immunomodulatory properties.
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Mobile WACh (Mobile Solutions for Women’s and Children’s Health in Kenya) (NIH/NICHD K12)
Jennifer Unger
This randomized trial was designed to determine the effect of systematic provision of tailored one-way SMS or two-way SMS dialogue on uptake of MCH strategies including facility delivery, ANC attendance, infant immunizations, exclusive breast feeding and postpartum family planning uptake. We utilized a novel human-computer hybrid approach to deliver messaging to women targeted at increasing uptake of MCH and FP strategies.
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Reproductive Planning for Women Veterans (Veterans Administration Health Services Research & Development CDA)
Lisa Callegari
We will design and test a novel reproductive planning decision aid intervention to improve reproductive planning decision quality and contraceptive use. This intervention employs innovative patient centered strategies, including reproductive planning and shared decision making, to address gaps in current reproductive health services and ultimately aims to improve reproductive and long-term health outcomes among women Veterans.
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Optimizing repeat maternal HIV testing for PMTCT (NIH/NIAID K01)
Alison Drake
The proposed study will identify the time-point(s) to conduct repeat maternal HIV testing in prevention of mother-to- child HIV transmission (PMTCT) programs that avert the most infant HIV infections and determine the cost- effectiveness of implementing repeat testing.
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Click here for a complete list of Family Planning and Maternal Health publications

Enhancing safer conception for HIV serodiscordant couples through mobile technologies (Fogarty International Center)
Renee Heffron

Building on our current work to pilot a client-centered, evidence-based safer conception intervention, the goal of this project is to develop and pilot mHealth tools to enhance safer conception planning by HIV discordant couples including SMS (i.e. text message) surveys to capture data on fertility signs and a tablet-based application to facilitate in-clinic counseling between providers and couples.
Picture4 Picture5

Prevalence and Cofactors of Family Planning Uptake and Integration in HIV Care Programs in Kenya (CDC-PEPFAR)
Grace John-Stewart
This national surveillance project will evaluate the integration of family planning (FP) services into routine HIV outpatient care in Kenya to inform integrated delivery of FP and HIV services.
Picture3 Picture4

Immune activation during pregnancy and contraception in HIV-infected Kenyan women (NIH/NICHD K23)
Alison Roxby
This study will determine whether progesterone-based contraception and pregnancy are associated with increased local and systemic immune activation in Kenyan HIV-1-seropositive women, which will elucidate progesterone’s immunomodulatory properties.
Picture4 Picture3

Mobile WACh (Mobile Solutions for Women’s and Children’s Health in Kenya) (NIH/NICHD K12)
Jennifer Unger
This randomized trial was designed to determine the effect of systematic provision of tailored one-way SMS or two-way SMS dialogue on uptake of MCH strategies including facility delivery, ANC attendance, infant immunizations, exclusive breast feeding and postpartum family planning uptake. We utilized a novel human-computer hybrid approach to deliver messaging to women targeted at increasing uptake of MCH and FP strategies.
Picture5 Picture3

Reproductive Planning for Women Veterans (Veterans Administration Health Services Research & Development CDA)
Lisa Callegari
We will design and test a novel reproductive planning decision aid intervention to improve reproductive planning decision quality and contraceptive use. This intervention employs innovative patient centered strategies, including reproductive planning and shared decision making, to address gaps in current reproductive health services and ultimately aims to improve reproductive and long-term health outcomes among women Veterans.
Picture3

Optimizing repeat maternal HIV testing for PMTCT (NIH/NIAID K01)
Alison Drake
The proposed study will identify the time-point(s) to conduct repeat maternal HIV testing in prevention of mother-to- child HIV transmission (PMTCT) programs that avert the most infant HIV infections and determine the cost- effectiveness of implementing repeat testing.
Picture3 Picture4

Click here for a complete list of Family Planning and Maternal Health publications

ACTIVITIES

TRAINEES

Elizabeth Harrington, Family Planning Fellow
“Mobile phone SMS dialogue with women and their male partners (Mobile WACh XY) and postpartum contraceptive uptake in Kenya: A randomized controlled trial” (Mentors: Jennifer Unger, Alison Drake, Sarah Prager, Elizabeth Micks)

Julia Velonjara, Global WACh Certificate student,MPH candidate
“Determinants of contraceptive use among (Mentor: Alison Drake)

Melanie Andersen, Ob/Gyn Resident
“Reproductive desires and family planning and safer conception knowledge among HIV-serodiscordant couples in Kenya: A qualitative study” (Mentor: Jennifer Unger)

Bonnie Crouthamel, Ob/Gyn Resident
“Provider barriers to LARC for adolescents in Kenya” (Mentor: Jennifer Unger)

Mona Wiggins, Global WACh Certificate student; DNP candidate
“Family Planning Needs Assessment in Ahero & Bondo, Kenya: An Implementation Science Project” (Mentor: Alison Drake)