Many women face significant barriers in accessing family planning services to meet their reproductive health needs. As a result, unintended pregnancy rates remain high and more than 220 million women worldwide continue to face an unmet need for contraception and family planning support.
We develop and test innovative strategies using an implementation science framework to achieve sustainable progress in family planning. We strive to evaluate novel family planning counseling tools and the success of transferable patient centered care delivery models. These changes in patient care will support women and their families to make informed reproductive health decisions, and provide access to respectful and dignified family planning care.
Health support technologies and novel data collection tools will bring the health care system closer to women and their families, bring their health concerns to the attention of decision makers, and reduce the unmet need for family planning.
By establishing and growing collaborations, we will responsibly scale and integrate these solutions to help women and their families, expand to other regions and populations and cultivate young innovators to ensure sustainability of this work.
Our passion for encouraging young Family Planning (FP) and Maternal-Child Health (MCH) researchers has led to the development of projects that bring family planning and contraceptive information and support to women and their partners, provide daily support to women and newborns during the critical postpartum period, and understand adolescent needs for contraception.
Our implementation science framework for family planning and maternal health focuses on person-centered, novel approaches to reaching women. We design tools and improve health systems to empower and support women through family planning, pregnancy, and the postpartum period.
Sponsor: United States Agency for International Development (AID-OAA-F-16-00026)
Award Years: 07/01/2016 – 06/30/2019
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Unger
Co-Investigators: Maneesh Batra, Alison Drake, Grace John-Stewart
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, antenatal care 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.
Sponsor: Fogarty International Center (1R21TW009908)
Award Years: 09/10/2014 – 04/30/2015
Principal Investigator: 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.
Sponsor: National Insitute of Child Health & Human Development (5K23HD071788)
Award Years: 07/01/2012 – 06/30/2016
Principal Investigator: 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.
Sponsor: Gates Grand Challenges Award (OPP1172004)
Award Years: 05/01/2017 – 10/31/2018
Principal Investigator: Alison Drake
Trainees: Claire Rothschild
The goal of this study is to develop deeper understanding of contraceptive behavior, including adherence, experience of side effects, continuation, and satisfaction, among a cohort of adult women and adolescent girls using modern contraception in western Kenya. We test the feasibility and acceptability of a novel, tailored mobile messaging platform for collecting real-time, ongoing information from women on their family planning experiences.
Sponsor: National Institutes for Health (K12HD001264)
Award Years: 07/01/2013 – 07/01/2015
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Unger
Co-Investigators: Elizabeth Harrington, John Kinuthia, MBChB, MMed
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.
Sponsor: Veterans Administration Health Services Research & Development Career Development Program (CDA-2)
Award Period: 10/2015 – 09/2020
Principal Investigator: 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.