When she first joined the Society of Family Planning, Amanda immediately recognized the Society as her academic and professional home; a place where she could engage with and learn from other members, whether she was building connections with mentors or mentees, serving as a grant reviewer, presenting at the annual meeting, or securing research or career development grants. As a girl from a small town in Georgia who started out at community college, she relished every opportunity the Society offered to develop scholarship and leadership. It was the Society that supported her dissertation on the unmet health needs of women with epilepsy, a project which helped launch her independent research career and ultimately led to the creation of Girls With Nerve, a sexual and reproductive health website designed to inform and support teens living with the disorder. Amanda’s passion for research that makes a difference was honed during her nine years as an Associate at Ibis Reproductive Health, where her research focused on understanding how abortion and contraception policies impact low-income people. Her work has been published in the Society’s official journal Contraception, and in the American Journal of Public Health, Health Services Research Journal, Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Seizure, and Women’s Health Issues, among other journals. She has also served on the board of the Abortion Care Network, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP). Amanda first became involved with CLPP as a student at Hampshire College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. She also holds a Doctor of Public Health from Boston University, and a Master’s in Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. “My job at the Society is to see how all the different parts connect and make them hum,” says Amanda. “I weave together vision, operations, members, and partners, and it’s fantastic. What I don’t do is serve as the face or voice of the Society: that comes from our members and our board.” Contact Amanda at ADennis@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 305.
Events and Membership Manager
Rhea is committed to ensuring that abortion, contraception, and family planning are not left on the sidelines of the national healthcare conversation — a reflection of her lifelong passion for social justice. Before joining the Society of Family Planning in 2018, Rhea oversaw the daily programming operations at Take The Lead, a national nonprofit dedicated to getting more women into top leadership positions. Rhea has also worked as a campaign coordinator and fundraising consultant for New York City Council races. A member of the board of New York Abortion Access Fund, she is particularly interested in research about how decreased access to reproductive health care affects communities. “A large part of what I do centers around building a robust membership community where people can share the best and latest developments happening in the family planning world, ” she says. Rhea holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Marymount Manhattan College. Contact Rhea at RBeddoe@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 405.
Assistant to the Executive Director
Madison finds the quotidian aspects of supporting the Society’s Executive Director and Board of Directors inspiring. “When I schedule a meeting, it’s more than just scheduling a meeting,” explains Madison, who previously served as a Health Center Assistant with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “I’m arranging an opportunity for brilliant minds to come together to address some of the most crucial and controversial topics of our time.” Madison, who started college at age 16 at Bard College at Simon’s Rock before transferring to Colorado State University to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, is particularly taken by the history of abortion. “Abortion is older than some modern mainstream religions,” explains Madison. “Seeing how religious and cultural views can and have shifted over time is incredibly intriguing. This is probably the anthropologist in me.” Contact Madison at MBilthuis@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 406.
Grants Administration Coordinator
“Accessibility is my personal family planning soapbox,” says Rachel. “Year after year we’re fighting another TRAP law, barrier, or reduction in health care funding. Health care that includes the full spectrum of abortion and contraception is a basic human right and access to it shouldn’t be determined by your income.” This passion is something that has persisted throughout a career spent serving nonprofit organizations that advance the cause of reproductive health, rights, and justice; and advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS. Rachel studied psychology and human services at Millsaps College before completing her Master of Science in Psychology at the University of Memphis. In her role as Grants Administration Coordinator, Rachel is driven to ensure that researchers of color and emerging researchers are able to secure support for their work. “I want to help them answer the question of how might we make abortion and contraception more just and informed by people’s lived experiences,” she says. Contact Rachel at RBrooks@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 410.
Grants Administration Coordinator
For Patty, ensuring that Society-supported researchers are given the resources they need to complete their abortion and contraception research is her way of making a positive, tangible impact on the world. “When you are talking about highly-politicized topics where facts are often distorted, focusing on evidence-based science is crucial,” she says. Before joining the Society of Family Planning, she worked as a Women’s Health Promoter at a Federally Qualified Health Center talking pregnant people through their options and providing bilingual prenatal education to those who chose to continue their pregnancies. She also worked at her alma mater, the University of Chicago, studying ways to reduce health disparities among Latinos with diabetes. Her passion is confronting and ameliorating the effects of race and class on overall reproductive health. “It’s not simply a matter of addressing the health of individuals,” explains Patty. “Eliminating health disparities means creating and maintaining a more just society that refuses to turn a blind eye to the effects of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and classism on the health of its populations.” Contact Patty at PFernandez@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 302.
Before joining the Society of Family Planning in 2016, Christine worked with middle school teachers as the Early Warning System Program Manager for the Philadelphia Education Fund, utilizing data in the classroom to flag early warning signs of dropout. She started her career as Curriculum and Research Manager for Medical Students for Choice and then as a Research Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania. Christine is interested in research that explores “reducing reproductive health disparities,” driven by her “strong interest in social justice.” Christine received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cabrini College and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Contact Christine at CHence@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 402.
Clinical Affairs Manager
At the Society of Family Planning, Hannah serves as a bridge between the worlds of academia and patient care. “Working on Clinical Practice Guidance is a very rewarding part of my job,” she says. “I see firsthand how the expertise of members advances vital abortion and contraception care.” Hannah has a particular passion for adolescent medicine, and managed reproductive health research in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Her work has been published in Contraception, Pediatrics, Journal of Community Health, and Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Hannah received a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology, a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology, and a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature from Ohio State University. Her graduate research focused on public policy and health disparities related to gender and sexual orientation. “I’m a problem solver at heart,” says Hannah, who joined the Society in 2018, “When we need the answer to a clinical question, I won’t stop until we find it.” Contact Hannah at HLange@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 404.
Clinical Affairs Coordinator
In addition to sustaining our ever-growing Abortion Clinical Research Network, Elizabeth is always looking for new and creative ways to support academic clinicians who are working to align policy and practice with the most up-to-date research findings. “Science provides us with evidence that we can use to inform and advocate for policies that can improve people’s lives everyday,” she says. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley where she earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Public Health, Elizabeth held several positions at the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program in Family Planning and Abortion at the University of San Francisco before joining the Society’s Clinical Affairs team. “The key to advancing access and equity in abortion and contraception is finding ways to marry science and lived experiences in a way that honors people’s stories,” says Elizabeth. Contact Elizabeth at ELy@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 412.
Grantmaking and Learning Manager
Ruth drives all phases of the grantmaking lifecycle as well as leads ongoing learning related to grantmaking. She plays a key role in developing and implementing funding opportunities as well as leverage insights from formative and ongoing evaluation into improved grantmaking practice and enhanced research impact. “Learning from and improving upon our programs is critical to having the greatest impact on the field of family planning,” says Ruth. She was previously on staff at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, developing tools to improve shared decision-making in reproductive health care. She also worked at Ibis Reproductive Health, managing a portfolio of research that assessed and sought to increase the quality and accessibility of contraception, abortion, and HIV care. In 2009, Ruth received a Fulbright to study Sri Lankan women’s kitchen culture and cooking practices. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Grinnell College. Ruth joined the Society of Family Planning in 2017. Contact Ruth at RManski@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 403.
Director of Grantmaking and Evaluation
Since joining the Society of Family Planning in 2018, Jenny spends her days tackling the puzzle of how to align financial and organizational resources with rigorous and thoughtful science in a way that assures the most impactful results. “There are a million small but critical choices that go into moving research from an interesting question to an actionable plan to meaningful results. As a grantmaking organization, the trick is to figure how we support scholars making these choices, with the end goal of just and equitable abortion and contraception in mind” she says. Jenny earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College, where she later served as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. She also holds a Doctorate of Science in Social and Behavioral Sciences and a Master of Science in Society, Human Development and Health, both from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her dissertation focused on qualitatively and quantitatively exploring the intersection of place and individual attributes on access to reproductive health services in rural communities in Central Appalachia. Her research has been published in Social Science and Medicine, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Reproductive Health Matters, Women’s Health Issues, and the Journal of Maternal and Child Health. Jenny spent over ten years as the Deputy Director at Provide, a national nonprofit focused on training health and social service providers to meet the needs of patients with unintended pregnancies, including abortion care. Jenny has also served as a Fellow in the 2012-2013 National Council for Research on Women-Amex Fellowship, a program dedicated to developing women leaders in the nonprofit sector. Contact Jenny at JOdonnell@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 407.
Mia comes into the role of Membership Coordinator with enthusiasm for growing, diversifying, and further connecting the Society’s already robust and engaged community. “I see myself as not just supporting current members, but also expanding membership to include professionals in an even more diverse array of disciplines,” she says. “The ultimate goal: ensuring that abortion research is just and equitable for all.” A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Mia has worked in development and community organizing at the Colorado Health Network and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “I’m deeply committed to advancing contraception and abortion care through science and scientific inquiry,” she says. “Everyday I go to work, I’m able to put my relationship building skills to use doing just that.” Contact Mia at MReilly@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 409.
Elizabeth helps set and execute the Society of Family Planning’s operational strategy while building the infrastructure to “keep the wheels greased” in four key areas: HR, finance, IT, and administration. A self-described “process geek,” she obsesses over every process and procedural element. Elizabeth has more than 14 years of operational experience in supply chain management and spent the last two-and-half years as an executive coordinator and board liaison for Provide, Inc., a non-profit that provides professional development for health professionals counseling women with unintended pregnancies. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology for the University of New Rochelle and a Master of Business Administration in global supply chain and logistics from Northeastern University. Elizabeth is interested in how the Society can support researchers to find ways to engage traditionally marginalized voices — including communities of color, the economically disadvantaged, the LGTBQ community, and those who live in rural communities — in the abortion and contraception conversation. Contact Elizabeth at ERivera@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 303.
Senior Clinical Research Manager
Mary manages the implementation of multi-site studies that answer clinical questions about abortion for the Society of Family Planning. These include large-scale studies that would be difficult for a single institution to conduct on their own. It’s the perfect job for someone who calls herself “passionate about reproductive justice and a nerd for clinical trials.” Mary holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of San Francisco and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has a Doctorate from the University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine, where she also worked as a clinical practice manager, research center director and assistant professor. She has been published in Contraception, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Journal of Adolescent and Pediatric Gynecology. “The path to expanding access to care is long and winding,” say Mary, who started her career a program manager for the Fellowship in Family Planning. “But I feel strongly that this rigorous evidence is a critical component of the many elements that must work together to improve the lives of women and families.” Contact Mary at MTschann@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 408.