Over the past 15 years I have designed and implemented numerous research and evaluation studies to improve access to care and measure the impact of family planning for women and teens. Today, as National Director of Research at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, I lead both clinical and health services research to improve clinical care and patient outcomes at Planned Parenthood and beyond. One of our most exciting studies underway is a study on self-administration of injectable contraception to further reduce barriers to access. I also have the privilege of supporting local Planned Parenthood health centers in their research efforts, which is why being nominated for this award by a local health center staff member is especially meaningful to me.
My mother. From a very young age, my mother taught me about the importance of access to family planning, including safe and legal abortion. She openly shared her own experiences and those of others before Roe v. Wade, and this made an indelible impression on me. I feel very fortunate to be able to work toward improving access to family planning every day.
The U.S. is a wealthy nation, yet there are stark and growing racial and socioeconomic disparities in health care access and outcomes related to reproductive health. Improved health insurance coverage is an essential start, but the time has come for a more honest national conversation and robust efforts to address institutional racism in the health care system.
In the next five years I hope to expand the role of Planned Parenthood in the family planning research community and conduct and disseminate high-quality, relevant research that is important to the individuals and families we serve. I would also like to finally, really learn Spanish.