Practices and perceptions of pediatric cardiologist providers regarding family planning care for women with congenital heart disease
Awarded 2021
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Natalie Stokes, MD, MPhil
University of Pittsburgh

Natalie Stokes is a cardiovascular disease fellow planning to specialize in women’s cardiovascular health, and specifically cardio-obstetrics. As such, she is particularly passionate about addressing the high rates of maternal cardiovascular morbidity and mortality through early, effective family planning care, including assessment of reproductive goals, and education and access to safe contraception and abortion. Prior to medical training, she completed a Masters degree in Women’s Studies, where she received formal training in qualitative methods. She has dedicated much of her cardiovascular disease training to learning about and researching the intersection of cardiovascular disease and family planning. The opportunity to engage with the Society of Family Planning Research Fund would both further her research goals and provide an avenue to build an interdisciplinary mentorship network that is unparalleled. Women with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at high risk for cardiovascular maternal morbidity and mortality, most of which is preventable with optimal family planning care. In her prior work, she found that women with CHD desired family planning care to involve their cardiologist. In a population with a great heterogeneity of disease, cardiologists are often the only providers capable of giving personalized health care information. The family planning care practices and knowledge of pediatric cardiologists is unknown. This mixed methods study will identify current practices, attitudes, and knowledge of pediatric cardiologists regarding the family planning needs of adolescent and young adult women with CHD. Results will inform the development of effective interventions that can improve family planning care for this high-risk patient population.