Changemakers in Family Planning: Melanie Baca
Awarded 2020
Changemakers in Family Planning
Melanie Baca, MD
University of New Mexico

Melanie Baca is an Associate Professor and Family Medicine physician at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Baca is particularly invested in adolescent reproductive health, the prevention of unintended pregnancy, and health disparities related to these issues. Following residency, she contributed to the development of an Adolescent Medicine Fellowship focused on reproductive health within her department. She also completed this fellowship.

This passion extends into her faculty appointment, where she has created opportunities to provide culturally-informed, patient-centered reproductive healthcare services to adolescents, teach healthcare trainees and practitioners to care for this unique population, and research evidence-based practices for providing effective care. She is the Medical Director at the Bernalillo County Youth Services Center where she provides care for detained youth. Additionally, she is a provider at a school-based health center serving high-risk youth. She holds a special interest in community-engaged reproductive health research for underserved, minority adolescents.

Dr. Baca has served as a Co-Investigator on a large, federally funded unintended pregnancy prevention trial and has been the Principal Investigator of two intramural grants focused on sociocultural factors that influence Hispanic adolescents’ contraceptive choices and an evaluation of a peer-led intervention for high-risk youth in juvenile detention.

Her proposed future body of research seeks to identify patient, provider, and system-level factors that can be targeted for a trauma informed brief intervention in a medical setting to reduce disparities in reproductive health care for high risk detained adolescents.