Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health
Section Newsletter
Spring 2009

Message From the Chair

Section Chair Rebecka Lundgren, Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, 4301 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 310, Washington , DC 20008, Phone:  (202) 687-7969, E-mail: lundgrer@georgetown.edu


Dear Colleagues,


It is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to send you greetings and a brief message on behalf of the Section leadership. I hope that you are feeling invigorated and inspired by the change of leadership in the U.S. government, with hope for renewed support for reproductive and sexual health in the United States and around the world. I would like to send out a special welcome to our new members, especially to those of you who are students. I hope to have the opportunity to meet many of you in Philadelphia at the APHA Annual Meeting. I think you will be intrigued by the ingenuity our members have employed to link population and reproductive and sexual health to this year’s programmatic theme - Water. Our Chair-Elect Barbara Anderson and Farya Karim have put together a stimulating program I am confident that you will enjoy. Thank you both for your hard work coordinating abstract review and preformed panels and organizing our member’s submissions into cohesive panels. 


I would also like to extend a sincere thank you to our Section leadership, especially our Section and Governing Councilors, committee and Board representatives, task force leaders, student liaison and membership chair. Special recognition goes to our newsletter editor Danielle Jackson and Webmaster Larry Finer, without whom you would not be receiving this message. I was very gratified by the enthusiastic response of Section members who volunteered this year to run for office or to represent us on various APHA committees and boards. Your commitment and energy has made it a pleasure to serve as Section chair. The Section’s goal is to involve as many members as possible, in ways which are both meaningful and rewarding, so please let me know if you are interested in becoming more engaged. I also welcome suggestions regarding how the Section can better serve you.


I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to update you on a few Section-related issues. The Section has had two conference calls since our Annual Meeting in San Diego last November, primarily to plan next year’s program. We plan to hold several more before the Annual Meeting. One of the themes of our discussions has been our desire to do a better job welcoming new members, especially students, and facilitating their development into Section leaders. To this end, I ask all of you to take time to get to know, mentor and support each other, especially new members. If you are a new member, please don’t be shy to ask questions or to let us know your needs. In this spirit, Jenny Higgins and Leslie Kantor have volunteered to organize a social event at the Annual Meeting on Sunday evening (after our task force meetings and Section business meeting). This will be a great opportunity for us to get to know each other in an informal setting. We will send you more details closer to the date.  In addition, we have organized two new sessions which we hope will meet the needs of students, as well as other members. Our student liaison has put together a session on career trajectories in the field of reproductive and sexual health, drawing upon speakers from diverse backgrounds, Secondly, we will sponsor a panel of editors from the premier peer review journals in our field to discuss tips for getting your work published. We will continue our new tradition of a student poster session, which we initiated last year.  I have reviewed all of the abstracts for this session, and I urge you not to miss it, as they are all excellent. Awards for three of the student posters will be given at our business meeting on Monday evening, along with the other awards we give out each year. On a final note on Section business, we need your help updating our logo and improving our Section’s exhibit at the Annual Meeting. Stay tuned for more details.


By now you are probably aware that after four years of debate and several elections, our Section has changed its name to “Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health,” or as it is more frequently known – PRSH. In her 2008 message from the chair, Karen Hardee reflected on the name change process.  She commented that the words we were considering to include in our new name such as population, family planning, reproductive health and sexual health carried very different meanings for Section members, depending on their personal histories and perspectives. There was concern among some about the inclusion of the term population. Others were equally perturbed by the suggestion to exclude the word population from our name. We debated whether this term signified coercive family planning programs or a critical focus on family planning, while discussing the fundamental objectives of our field.


I believe that our new name represents an impressive effort on the part of our membership to reconcile diverse points of view and to "find common ground," to use a phrase which President Obama has made popular. This bodes well for our Section’s ability to continue to seek consensus and unity around our common goals. We are a very diverse Section, divided between those of us who work primarily in the domestic domain, and those of us who work internationally. There are many other differences among our members, including our nationalities, disciplines, profession and academic vs. applied focus. Naturally, we also have disagreements on priorities and strategies. However, our strength and effectiveness depends on our ability to find common ground and work together.


As individuals and as a Section, it is imperative that we engage in advocacy on those issues that we care about and that unite us in order to create a healthier, safer, more equitable world for women, men and children around the world. One such issue is family planning.  There is large and growing unmet need for family planning around the world. An estimated 201 million women have an unmet need for family planning. The United Nations estimates that this demand will grow by 40 percent by 2050 as record numbers of young people enter their reproductive years. Family planning has proved to be a powerful health intervention, saving and enhancing millions of women’s lives. However, donor interest in family planning has stagnated, in part due to the belief that the problem has been solved, as well as from diversion of resources to other needs, notably the HIV/AID pandemic. This situation endangers the lives of women and children. Access to affordable, effective contraception is critical in enabling women to make their own decisions. According to the recent report, “Making the Case for U.S. International Family Planning Assistance by Five Former Directors of the United States Agency for International Development,” a  $100 million investment in family planning would avoid  2.1 unintended pregnancies, prevent 825,000 abortions and 70,000 maternal deaths and save 4,000 lives. http://www.prb.org/Articles/2009/makingthecase.aspx


Renewed leadership in meeting the need for sexual and reproductive health, including but not limited to family planning services, is urgent. We can reinvigorate sexual and reproductive health initiatives by advocating for renewed public and private sector financial commitments and by working to increase access to and quality of services. Let us work individually as well as together as a Section to engage in advocacy, produce and use evidence to replicate and scale up successful programs and ensure that reproductive and sexual health services are included as an essential component in health policies, programs and budgets, including health care reform.


Keep up the hard work to realize this dream until we see each other in Philadelphia this fall!



Best regards,




“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”                                                                                                                                                                   -- Margaret Mead

Action Board Report

Board Representative Lois Uttley, Education Fund of Family Planning Advocates of NYS, 17 Elk St., Albany, NY 12207 Phone: (518) 436-8408 Fax: (518) 436-1048  E-mail: Lois@mergerwatch.org


Join APHA in Pressing for Real Health Reform This Year!


This summer, APHA will be mobilizing members to advocate for meaningful health reform.  With a new President and Congressional leaders committed to health reform, we have an opportunity to get quality, affordable health care for all Americans.


Congressional action on health reform appears to be moving quickly, with bills expected out of the Senate and then the House before the July Congressional recess and promises of votes on Capitol Hill before the August recess.  Leaders have stated their intent to get a combined House-Senate compromise bill to the President in the fall.

What does APHA want to see in health reform?  A new 2009 Agenda for Health Reform has been developed and posted on the APHA Web site, along with a list of suggested questions to ask members of Congress about health reform.  Visit https://secure3.convio.net/apha/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=135.


As would be expected for the world’ largest public health organization, APHA is stressing the need to achieve universal coverage for health care and take additional steps  to optimize the nation’s health through health promotion and prevention programs.  The APHA Agenda for Health Reform is divided into two sections.


The first section lists measures need to “support population-based services that improve health.”  Examples include prevention and early-intervention services at the individual and community levels, and strengthening of programs to reduce health disparities.  One innovative proposal would establish health goals and outcomes, and then require an annual “State of the Nation’s Health” report to hold ourselves accountable.


The second section focuses on measures to “reform health care coverage and delivery.”  It describes a vision of comprehensive health care for all this way: “All people living in this country should have comprehensive benefits, including evidence-based clinical preventive services, management of chronic diseases and conditions, behavioral health, dental and vision care, and reproductive health services, without restrictions in coverage due to pre-existing conditions.”  I have added the emphasis on reproductive health services because it is important to our Section that APHA’s Agenda for Health Reform has explicitly included services we provide and support.


As health reform moves through Congress, we may be faced with attempts from conservatives to exclude abortion from coverage packages under health reform.  We must work through APHA and our own organizations to resist this attempt.  We must also oppose any efforts to enact new expansive “provider conscience” language in health reform bills, as has been requested by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Members of our Section are working to ensure that reproductive health care is treated just like other types of health care in any reform bill, and is not singled out for exclusions.


How can you get involved in health reform efforts this year?  The APHA’s Action Board, on which I represent our Section, is planning activities during the summer Congressional recesses.  APHA members and members of APHA affiliates from targeted states will be asked to meet with key members of Congress about health reform.  These members are expected to include the Democratic Chairs and Republican Ranking Members of the Senate Finance Committee (Max Baucus of Montana and Charles Grassley of Iowa) and Health Committee (Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Mike Enzi of Wyoming) and the Democratic Chairs and Ranking Republican members of three key House Committees: Ways and Means (Charles Rangel of New York and Dave Camp of Michigan), Energy and Commerce (Henry Waxman of California and Joe Barton of Texas) and Education and Labor (George Miller of California and Howard McKeon, also of California). In addition, other members of these same committees may be targeted, such as Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who is leading an effort in the Senate Finance Committee to develop a “public plan” option that would be included in health reform.  APHA supports the inclusion of a public plan in health reform.  Finally, APHA will be looking to educate leaders of the House and Senate, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.


If you are a constituent of one of these key members of Congress and would like to volunteer to become involved in these Congressional meetings, please contact Lois Uttley at lois@mergerwatch.org.  She will assemble a list of Section volunteers which will be matched with volunteers from state and local affiliates of APHA in order to form teams to make Congressional visits.  If you cannot spare the time for such a meeting, you still can participate in APHA’s health reform activities by responding to APHA Action Alerts asking you to send e-mails to your members of Congress or make telephone calls to them.  Please be on the alert for these messages.

Membership Committee Report

Erica Fishman , Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN 55164-0882 Phone: (651) 201-5899         E-mail: erica.fishman@state.mn.us

Over the years we have kept a steady core of members, gaining and loosing some each month!  We are very interested in finding creative ways to retain and increase our membership!  I would like to meet in Philadelphia with those of you who are interested in being a part of this effort.  Please contact me if you have ideas and/or would like to meet.

For those people who attend the APHA Annual Meeting, our Section is an invaluable resource for information regarding population, family planning, reproductive and sexual health-related sessions.  It also provides an opportunity to meet informally with people who do similar work domestically and internationally.  There are many ways at the APHA meeting to become involved in our Section.  You are welcome to join us for task force meetings, business meetings, Section meetings and of course the social hour on Monday evening.  Please stop by the Section booth in the exhibit hall to to talk informally with a Section member. 

Nominations Committee Report

Chair Dr. Karen Hardee, Population Action International, 1300 19th St, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC  20036  KHardee@popact.org


The 2009 Section Election polls have just closed! We hope a significant number of members voted as it directly affects the future of our Section. Section Elections ran from May 15, 2009 - June 20, 2009, with ballots sent out on May 15 via e-mail. 


We hope you participated in this important Section activity and appreciate all who agreed to run.  Election results should be available soon.


The following was the 2009 PRSH Section Election slate for APHA officers, councilors and representatives to the Governing Council:



  • Henry L. Gabelnick, PhD


  • Farya Karim, MPH

Section Councilors

  • Shonali M. Choudhury, PhDc, MMH
  • Christine Stainton, MSN, BSN, RN, BA

Governing Councilor

  • Walter W. Klausmeier, Jr, BA

Management and Sustainability Task Force Report

Co-Chairs  Lisa A. Hare , JSI, 1616 North Fort Myer Drive, 11th Floor, Arlington, VA 22209, lhare@jsi.com and Erica Fishman, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN 55164-0882 Phone: (651) 201-5899 E-Mail:  erica.fishman@state.mn.us


The Management and Sustainability Task Force serves as a means to increase communication on management and sustainability issues, with a particular focus on sharing experiences between those members working internationally and those working domestically.  This year we revised the listing in the “Call for Abstracts” to clarify our focus:  Program Sustainability, Finance, and Management.  At the Task Force Meeting at the upcoming Philadelphia meeting we plan to have discussions in these areas.  If you have suggestions for specific topics, please submit them to the co-chairs at any time.


For further information on the Management and Sustainability Task Force, please contact the Task Force co-chairs (contact information above). 

Sexuality Task Force Report

Chair Jenny Higgins, Office of Population Research & The Center for Health & Wellbeing Princeton University, 218 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 Phone: (609) 258-6961 E-Mail: jennyh@princeton.edu


The Sexuality Task Force continues to sponsor, galvanize, and highlight sexual health research, advocacy, and programming.  We had an energizing meeting at the 2008 APHA conference in San Diego, and we’re excited to convene again in Philadelphia.  Stay tuned for forthcoming information about sexuality-focused panels in November.


The Sexuality Task Force is always looking for new members, especially those who can help us make connections with other APHA Sections.  If interested, please contact Jenny Higgins (jennyh@princeton.edu).


We wanted to share two sexual health updates from spring 2009. 




Sent to Congress on May 7, President Obama’s 2010 budget recommendations were not unilaterally positive for sexual and reproductive health.  However, perhaps the best news was that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs — which can downplay the effectiveness of contraceptives and strongly stigmatize homosexuality — will no longer receive federal funding.  As the Guttmacher Institute reports (http://www.guttmacher.org/media/index.html#news1), the president recommended shifting these funds ($163 million), plus an additional $15 million, to support a new teen pregnancy prevention initiative that includes a grants-to-states program and a separate community-based grant program. 


We hope this news has served as a well-deserved boost for those of you working so tirelessly in the area of comprehensive sexuality education.  Keep up the good work.




We also wanted to shamelessly highlight a new commentary written by several APHA/PRSH members (Rachel Jones, Julie Fennell, Jenny Higgins, and Kelly Blanchard), "Better Than Nothing or Savvy Risk-Reduction Practice? The Importance of Withdrawal."  Forthcoming in the June 2009 issue of Contraception, the piece highlights that withdrawal is only slightly less effective than the male condom at preventing pregnancy.  Yet neither health providers nor clients tend to think of withdrawal as a viable method, even as a backup to more effective methods or as an alternative to not using contraceptives at all.  The authors suggest that withdrawal may have great potential as part of a larger risk-reduction strategy, and they suggest new directions for its measurement and promotion.


The article has created some buzz in the blogosphere, leading to a number of withdrawal puns.  Perhaps you, too, would like to weigh in on this issue.




Yours in sexual health and sex positivity,

The Sexuality Task Force

Other Committee and Task Force Information

Men and Reproductive Health Committee

Co-Chairs Michele Burger, International

Consultant, New York, N.Y., E-mail:  mburger11@aol.com and  Fabio Castaño,  International Consultant, E-mail: fcastano99@yahoo.com, Alternate E-mail: fabiocastano@socialempowerment.net


Resolutions Committee

No contact information available


Abortion Task Force

Co-Chairs Lisa Maldonado, Reproductive Health Access Project, P.O. Box 21191, New York, NY  10025  E-mail:  lmm9@earthlink.net and Diana Romero, Urban Public Health Program, Hunter College, City University of New York, 425 E. 25th St, Box 807, Rm. 714 New York, NY 10010 Phone: (212) 481-5073 E-mail: diana.romero@hunter.cuny.edu  


Adolescent Health Task Force

Co-Chairs John Santelli , Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Clinical Population & Family Health, Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 60 Haven Ave., B-2, New York, New York 10032   Phone:                (212) 304-5634           Fax: (212) 305-7024  E-mail: js2637@columbia.edu Iris Meltzer, Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron, One Perkins Square, Akron, OH 44308  Phone: (330) 543-8914  E-mail: imeltzer@chmca.org and Susan Newcomer, DBSB/CPR/NICHD, 6100 Executive Blvd, Building 61E, Room 8B13, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510 Phone: (301) 496-1174         E-mail:  newcomes@mail.nih.gov 


Emerging Reproductive Technologies Task Force

No contact information available



On The Hill

Craig Lasher, Senior Policy Analyst, Population Action International, 1120 19th St, NW, Suite 550, Washington, DC 20036  clasher@popact.org



With the first 100 days of the Obama administration just having passed, it seems clear that perhaps the “stars are aligning” for renewed U.S. leadership on international family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) efforts with a supportive president and secretary of state, larger pro-FP/RH majorities in Congress, and renewed opportunities presented by the Fifteenth anniversary of the Cairo conference on population and development and by greater focus on the Millennium Development goals.  However, tremendous challenges are presented by the global economic recession and a U.S. government budget deficit soaring to $1.8 trillion this year.


Nevertheless, President Obama has delivered on his policy commitments by rescinding the Global Gag Rule, restoring the U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and renewing blocked U.S. government contraceptive donations to Marie Stopes International, all within his first 100 days in office.  Recently, with the release of the fiscal year 2010 budget request, the president has proposed a $48 million, or 9 percent, increase for FP/RH programs.  This follows an earlier White House announcement of a new Global Health Initiative that promises to perhaps double current funding for non-HIV/AIDS global health priorities like FP/RH by FY 2014.  All of these policy changes and funding proposals represent very positive steps that bode well for FP/RH programs in the coming years.



Early Actions by President Obama to Reverse the Bush Policy Legacy


Most prominent among President Obama’s early actions to reverse the disastrous eight-year legacy of the Bush administration in international FP/RH policy was his Jan. 23 decision to repeal the Global Gag Rule, which prohibited U.S. family planning assistance from being provided to any foreign organizations that perform, counsel and refer, or advocate for abortion using non-U.S. government funds.


In making the announcement, President Obama stated: 


“For too long, international family planning assistance has been used as a political wedge issue, the subject of a back and forth debate that has served only to divide us.  I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate.


. . .  I have directed my staff to reach out to those on all sides of this issue to achieve the goal of reducing unintended pregnancies.  They will also work to promote safe motherhood, reduce maternal and infant mortality rates and increase educational and economic opportunities for women and girls.”


At the same time, the President announced his intention to work with Congress toward the restoration of the U.S. contribution to UNFPA.


See a copy of the presidential memorandum and press statements at the follow link— http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/pop/restrictions.html#mcp


The reassertion of progressive and constructive U.S. leadership on sexual and reproductive health can also be seen in the March 31 statement of the U.S. government delegation to the United Nations Commission on Population and Development and in several Capitol Hill appearances by Secretary of State Clinton, most notably during a pointed April 22 exchange with anti-choice congressional nemesis Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., in which Clinton stated:


“We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women's health and reproductive health includes access to abortion, that I believe should be safe, legal and rare.


I've spent a lot of my time trying to bring down the rate of abortions, and it has been my experience that good family planning and good medical care brings down the rate of abortion.


Keeping women and men in ignorance and denied the access to services actually increases the rate of abortion . . .


So we disagree and we are now an administration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care.”


Despite the arrival of the new administration — and in large part in response to — FP opponents have demonstrated that the opposition in Congress has not gone away by proposing two unsuccessful Senate floor amendments directly challenging the president’s actions on the Global Gag Rule and UNFPA.  (See PAI’s Web site for a description of the amendments and how your Senators voted — http://capwiz.com/pai/keyvotes.xc/?lvl=C)


FY 2010 Budget and Appropriations Process


On May 7, the President released his federal budget request for fiscal year 2010.   The Obama administration is proposing a modest increase — albeit significant in light of the difficult economic and budgetary climate — in funding for the U.S. government's international FP/RH program.


The Obama administration is proposing $593 million for bilateral and multilateral FP/RH assistance — a $48 million or a nearly 9 percent increase above the $545 million that Congress appropriated in FY 2009 in the omnibus spending bill, just approved in March.  (The FY 2009 funding figure itself represented an $82 million or 18 percent increase above the prior year level.) 


If appropriated by Congress, the overall funding level of $593 million proposed for FY 2010 would represent the largest amount of funding for international FP/RH programs — not accounting for inflation — ever approved.


As spelled out in a State Department budget document, the FY 2010 requests for funding of USAID-managed global health programs “reflects the President’s commitment for a comprehensive approach to improved health interventions that address critical Maternal and Child Health, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, and Family Planning and Reproductive Health needs worldwide (p. 9)."  See http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/122513.pdf


Of the total bilateral funding request for USAID, the portion within the Global Health and Child Survival (GHCS) account allocated for FP/RH is slated to increase to $475 million — a $20 million increase above the FY 2009 level.  According to reliable and well-informed sources, total FP/RH funding from all bilateral accounts — including GHCS and funds designated for politically-important nations (Economic Support Fund — ESF) and countries in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia amounting to an additional $68 million — equals $543 million.


A proposed U.S. contribution UNFPA of $50 million is included as part of the $593 million total request.  The entirety of the UNFPA contribution is funded out of the State Department’s International Organizations & Programs (IO&P) account along with all of the other voluntary contributions to UN agencies such as UNICEF.  The $50 million contribution requested is identical to the amount that Congress earmarked for UNFPA in FY 2009 and which Secretary of State Clinton announced on March 13 would be released to UNFPA in the near future.


As noted in the State Department budget document, “in January 2009 the President announced he would work with Congress to restore U.S. funding support for [UNFPA] to ‘reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries.’" (p. 48)


How congressional appropriators will respond to the proposed increase in funding for international FP/RH programs remains to be seen.  Fortunately, the State-Foreign Operations Subcommittees in the House and Senate, which have jurisdiction over FP/RH programs, are chaired by strong FP/RH champions — Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., and Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., respectively.  However, appropriators are likely to closely hew to the program priorities outlined in the President’s budget request, and the overall amount of foreign assistance dollars the chairs and subcommittees will have to divide may be lower than President Obama proposal, forcing difficult choices between competing programmatic and foreign policy concerns.


The announced goal of the Democratic leadership is to pass all 11 appropriations bills that fund the federal government separately by the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1 and not resort to a massive omnibus spending package.  As a result, the State-foreign ops bill is slated to be debated on the House floor before the August congressional recess.  The Senate is not likely to act until Congress returns in September.


Global Health Initiative Unveiled


In other potentially very positive news on the funding front, the White House unveiled a new “Global Health Initiative” on May 5 that calls for dramatic increases in investments in a “comprehensive global health approach” in order to “prevent millions of new HIV infections; reduce mortality of mothers and children under five, saving millions of lives; avert millions of unintended pregnancies; and eliminate some neglected tropical diseases.”


A White House statement commits the Obama administration to the following goals:


·         to “focus attention on broader global health challenges, including child and maternal health, family planning, and neglected tropical diseases”;


·         over the next six years (FY 2009-FY 2014), to spend $12 billion on non-HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria global health funding “priorities,” which could result in a quantum leap in the amount of funding available for FP/RH programs in future years;


·         at the same time, to maintain “robust” funding levels for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — such funding will constitute 70 percent of the total of $63 billion proposed for global health programs over the six year period; and


·         to adopt a more comprehensive, integrated approach to “fighting diseases, improving health, and strengthening health systems.”


See http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Statement-by-the-President-on-Global-Health-Initiative/


Although there were some indications at the time of the announcement that more specific details on the initiative would be forthcoming, apparently that will not be the case.  Nevertheless, it seems likely that the funding is heavily back-loaded in the out years.  Greater specificity on policy priorities and funding levels is expected to emerge in the FY 2011 budget.  In addition, there is an ongoing interagency conversation about global health policy and solid indications that the United States might push for increased donor efforts in support achievement of the health-related MDGs (numbers 4, 5, & 6) at the upcoming G8 summit in Italy.


What You Can Do


As a constituent, voter, and public health professional, your well-informed opinion on these vital programs has tremendous credibility and carries great weight with your Senators and Representative.  Educate yourself and your friends, families and colleagues on the positions of your members of Congress.  Please let them know what you think about any or all or all of these policies. 

2009 Annual Meeting Program Plans

Section Chair-Elect Barbara Anderson, Seattle University College of Nursing, Seattle University, 901 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 Phone                (206)365-0161         Email: bandersoncnm@gmail.com


Philadelphia, Nov. 7-11, 2009


The Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health Section (PRSH), under its new Section name, will be offering a diverse program incorporating all of our task force and core topics. This year’s theme, “Water and Public Health” reminds us of the link between population, reproduction, sexual health and the environment in which we live. You will find sessions focusing on these intersections from both a domestic and global perspective.


We have 25 panels linking with the conference theme: 


  • From Population Control to Reproductive Justice: Changing the Debate around Population and Climate Change
  • Reproductive and Sexual Health Rights: Global and Domestic Issues
  • Lessons for Scaling-Up Experience
  • Adolescent Pregnancy Intentions
  • Policy and Adolescent Health
  • Adolescent Health: Decisions about Sexuality
  • Family Planning Trends
  • Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC)
  • New Directions: Policy and Advocacy in Family Planning
  • Unplanned Pregnancy
  • Access to Contraception on the U.S.-Mexican Border
  • Men and Women’s Experience with Contraception
  • A Global View of Contraceptive Choices
  • Gender Perspectives on Sexuality and Reproductive Health
  • Abortion from the Clinician’s Perspective
  • Abortion through Women’s Eyes
  • Men’s Voices: Pregnancy and Contraception
  • Men’s Reproductive Health: Relational Factors
  • What’s Sex Got to Do with It?
  • STI’s: Focus on Sexual Health
  • Human Papilloma Virus and Adolescents
  • Quality Issues in Reproductive Health
  • Technology on the Edge
  • Reproductive Health Career Trajectories
  • How to Get Published in the Field of Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health

Our poster sessions are in line with the conference theme and we are continuing, for the second year, a special student poster session


·        Spotlight on Student Research

·        Policy and Research in Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health

·        Risk Behaviors among Adolescents: Multicultural Perspectives

·        Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Adolescents

·        Factors Influencing Contraception and Family Planning: A Global Overview

·        Messages and Methods in Contraception and Family Planning

·        A Global View of Abortion and Post Abortion Care

·        What’s Gender got to do with Health?

·        Quality of Life: Sexual Health and Sexuality

·        Technology: Redefining the Borders of Thought


We would like to invite everyone to the Section Business and Task Force Meetings and to join us for our awards ceremony and reception.  We welcome your ideas, suggestions, and participation in future programming and Section activities.

2008 Section Award Winners

Congratulations to all of our esteemed colleagues who were recipients of our Section awards at the 2008 Annual Meeting in San Diego. 


The Carl S. Shultz Award for Lifetime Achievement:

Jill Sheffield and Marie Harvey


The Felicia Stewart Advocacy Award: 

Tracy Weitz


The Outstanding Young Professional Award:

Destiny Lopez

In Memoriam

Terri L. Bartlett , Craig Lasher’s longtime co-author of our Section’s "On the Hill" (formerly, "From the Hill") column, passed away suddenly in November at age 57.  Terri was a dedicated advocate for women’s health and rights as founding executive director of Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and most recently as Vice President of Public Policy and Strategic Initiatives at Population Action International.


In a remembrance that aired on All Things Considered on New Year’s Eve, NPR’s Brenda Wilson included a clip from an interview with Terri recorded in rural, northern Ethiopia featuring something her colleagues often heard her say, which reflected her incredible passion for getting family planning services and reproductive health supplies to people who need and want to use them:  "We travel around the world, and at the end of every dirt road there’s bottled water, a Coca-Cola, and a pack of Marlboros.  Why can’t we have a condom there, too?"


To learn more about Terri’s life, please see a memorial page that has been created on Facebook— http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=32225634875#/group.php?gid=32225634875


Remembrances of Allan Rosenfield

From John Santelli

As many of you know, Allan Rosenfield, longtime dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and member of our section, passed away Oct. 12, 2008.   Allan worked for more than four decades on women’s reproductive health and human rights. He is renowned for not one major accomplishment but many.  Perhaps his most notable effort was the Mother-to-Child Transmission program, which has so far brought comprehensive health care to more than 500,000 women and infants. He was also influential in the great movement to bring modern contraception to developing countries and the movement to bring AIDS care, particularly to developing countries. Allan will always be remembered as the man who put the M back into MCH.


Allan was born Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of an OB/GYN. He received his BA in biochemistry from Harvard College in 1955 and his MD from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1959.  After graduating from P&S in 1959, he returned to Boston for an internship and one year of general surgical residency. After two years in the U.S. Air Force, he entered the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at what is now Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The path that led him to be called "doctor to millions" started when he was stationed with the Air Force in South Korea and an interest in under-served populations was sparked. He sought out work abroad and combined a teaching assignment in a new medical school in Nigeria with a honeymoon with Clare, his wife of more than 40 years.


In the 1960s, he worked in Thailand with the Population Council advising the Thai ministry of public health and family planning issues — an effort he later recognized as the turning point of his career.  Allan helped develop a national family planning program that trained auxiliary midwives to prescribe birth control.


In 1975, he joined the Columbia faculty as a professor of public health and obstetrics and gynecology, as well as director of the school’s new Center for Population and Family Health. He ordered a dual focus — the global outreach that the public-health school would become known for, and efforts in Columbia’s immediate neighborhood in Upper Manhattan, where community-based programs included the Young Adult Clinic for adolescent women, the Young Men’s Clinic and clinics in middle and high schools.


In 1985 he published, with Deborah Maine, a call to action for maternal and child health, known in the field as MCH, in The Lancet. The article, “Maternal Mortality — A Neglected Tragedy: Where is the M in MCH?” drew attention to the many third-world women who died in pregnancy and childbirth. He said that the crisis in women’s health was worsening, and that providers were focusing on children at the expense of women and families. As a result, international health groups and policy-makers began to focus on the universal shortage of maternal health care, including access to emergency obstetric care.  In 1986 he was appointed dean of the Mailman School.


In 1999, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he created the Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program, the only global effort of its kind which has supported more than 85 motherhood initiatives in more than 50 countries around the world.

Speaking out at the World AIDS Conference in 2000 in Durban, South Africa, Allan again demanded that attention be paid to maternal care. With the support of nine private foundations, he started the MTCT-Plus Initiative to address mother-to-child transmission of the disease. He was national chairman of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1985 to 1986 and was chairman of the Program Board of the American Foundation for AIDS Research.


 In 2002 Allan and colleagues launched the MTCT-Plus Initiative to extend AIDS treatment to mothers, their children, and families. A $125 million grant from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief enabled the creation of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs; more than 500,000 individuals in sub-Saharan Africa have benefited from care and treatment.

Allan Rosenfield was the only person ever to chair the boards of both Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute. Although we worked in academia, Allan never saw a division between academia and public health action.  In fact, he harnessed the strengths of the academy to the wagon of public health promotion.  In consequence, we made the Mailman School of Public Health a school like no other.  What other school directly provides family planning services or asthma care in school clinics?  What other school works so well with so many community organizations, locally and globally?  Allan took the old global public health notion that one cannot do prevention unless one takes care of people and he brought it home to Washington Heights and back out to the world.


Allan was one of the most connected men in the world.  He could maintain two simultaneous meetings in his office, with another in the conference room, while taking calls on three phones.  He also seemed to know everyone worth knowing in public health on the planet. 


What I found so incredible about Allan Rosenfield was that a man who was taking care of the health of the entire planet also took time to care for each of his faculty and staff.   When he was not on a plane to save the health of Thailand or Bangladesh or South Africa, he was making sure those of us back home at Columbia were healthy.  If any of us were sick enough to land in Presbyterian Hospital, we soon had a personal visit from Allan. 


Allan always had a good joke for any occasion:  to break the ice, to move the conversation along, to relieve the tension.   (It is true that he sometimes recycled his jokes.)  Even the most corny or familiar lines were delivered with such sincerity and with such a merry twinkle in his eye, one couldn’t help but smile. 


But best of all was Allan’s ability to connect one-on-one.  Whenever I met with Allan, he remembered the smallest details of our last conversation. He wanted to know how my children were doing at school, how each member of the faculty in Pop Fam was weathering the funding wars, and how the family planning clinic and school-based health centers were thriving.  And he always wanted to know how I was weathering my new job, both fiscally and psychically.  Allan really was the genuine article. 


I will remember Allan for his personal encouragement.  At a time when I thought of myself as just another public health epidemiologist from CDC, Allan saw something more.  I wasn’t sure I could make a transition to academic public health, but Allan did.  I really didn’t think I was qualified to be a Chairman, but Allan did.  I’m working very hard every day to prove him right.  When the going gets tough, Allan’s faith buoys me up every time. 


I will remember Allan not only for being a global force for health, but also for being such a regular guy. 

New Resources

The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) has 14 free accredited webinars available in its clinician education archive. Topics include HPV, IC/PBS, intrauterine contraception, environmental impacts on reproductive health, effective communication around contraception, and options for early pregnancy loss. Each of these topics is presented by an expert faculty member and is archived to be available anytime. For more information on this free webinar series, visit www.arhp.org/WebCME .

ARHP also has two powerful, free web tools for students, faculty and professionals who frequently present on reproductive health topics:

The Global Opportunities Tool (GO Tool) 

Discover unique educational and training experiences in reproductive health settings around the world.  Any healthcare student interested in broadening their reproductive health training may search the GO Tool for clinical and non-clinical opportunities using an interactive flash map.  Users can share sites via e-mail, write an online review of their experience, and access supplementary travel and funding resources.  Organizations can recruit students by listing program information online.  (www.arhp.org/GOtool)

Curricula Organizer for Reproductive Health Education (CORE)

Access reproductive health teaching materials or build your own dynamic curricula for learners.  CORE is an open access tool featuring peer-reviewed, evidence-based teaching materials on a variety of reproductive health topics.  It is a collaborative effort of organizations working to improve the quality and quantity of reproductive health information included in health professions education.  Users can search and download thousands of individual PowerPoint slides, complete presentation sets, case studies and learning activities to develop comprehensive educational presentations.  (www.arhp.org/CORE)

Section Web Site

We encourage you to visit the Population, Reproductive, and Sexual Health Section Web site at www.pfprh.org.   This site contains useful information about: the Section and its leadership; information on our standing committees, Task Forces, Section awards and listserv; current and past newsletters; links to other sites of interest; Section contact information; and more.


If you have suggestions for further improvements or can help to maintain the Web site, please contact pfprh@pfprh.org.

Submissions to the Newsletter

Share your news, or your thoughts!  Write a few kind words in memory of a colleague we've lost.  Inform Section members about books or papers you have recently published, upcoming conferences you are involved in, or policy or program news that might be of interest to fellow Section members.  Perhaps we can abstract an article or include a description of an innovative program.  Please send all submissions by Friday, Sept. 4, 2009 to:

Danielle B. Jackson, MPH