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Megan Christofield

75 Public Votes Reached!
Megan Christofield - 2017 Nominee
Position: Family Planning Technical Advisor
Organization: Jhpiego
Current Location: United States, North America
MPH from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
B.A. in Peace Studies. College of St. Benedict (Minnesota, USA).
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Decade Award
    Awarding Organization:
    College of St. Benedict
    Date Awarded:
    June 24, 2017
I strongly endorse Megan as a champion in FP due to her extraordinary passion and commitment. Her groundbreaking work has resulted in superb results including in scale-up of implants in Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia and fostering the global PPFP movement – Ronald Magarick, Director, Special Projects at Jhpiego
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

At the crux of my work as a Family Planning Technical Advisor is a commitment to acknowledging all contraceptive experiences, whether positive or negative, so we can learn from them and make our efforts ever-more suited to the clients we serve. A contraceptive user myself, I know the value of easy access to a well-trained provider and a variety of methods to choose from. For too many women, a bad experience with a provider or method results in disappointment or discontinuation, despite still wanting to avoid pregnancy. This is why I’ve devoted so much of my time to improving continuity care for contraceptive users, particularly expanded access to implant removal services – a topic I’ve published and spoken about frequently.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

In high school, I volunteered for a program that offered social support to teenage mothers and saw firsthand the reality of unintended pregnancy, especially the inadequacy of our social systems. Then, as a college student, I studied social justice and traveled abroad to Uganda and South Africa. From those experiences, the tie between reproductive health and social justice became even clearer. When I later joined the Peace Corps, my passion and belief in family planning as a human right only grew

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

My leadership style is to listen, learn, think critically, and challenge tradition. Whether in improving access to FP in interval periods or postpartum, rethinking how we ensure sufficient support for existing FP users, strategically using advocacy to overcome bottlenecks, or utilizing data in a new and different way, my aim is to work with teams to identify high-yield solutions through deeper understanding of the problem—and in doing so inspire more innovative and impactful programming.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

The grant will go towards the creation of a short tool (likely a checklist and resource list) for use by those who design and implement family planning programs to incorporate appropriate, evidence-based program elements to reduce contraceptive discontinuation into their design. Support to existing FP users is often eclipsed by the more alluring ambition of pursuing new users with unmet need. Luckily, there is good evidence for how discontinuation can be reduced, to be utilized in this tool.

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