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Town Hall Meeting Speakers

Preventing Teen Pregnancy in the United States
April 19, 2011
2:00 - 3:00 PM EST

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Speakers' Biographies

Photo: Wanda BarfieldCAPT Wanda D. Barfield, MD, MPH
Director, Division of Reproductive Health
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC

Dr. Wanda Barfield is the Director of the Division of Reproductive Health in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With a staff of more than 180 members and a budget of approximately $43 million, Dr. Barfield is responsible for promoting optimal reproductive, maternal, and infant health and quality of life through research, surveillance, and partnerships. The division’s top priority areas include women’s and global reproductive health, maternal health, infant health, and unintended pregnancy prevention.

Dr. Barfield joined CDC in 2000 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer. She then worked as a CDC Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Epidemiology Field Assignee at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She returned to Atlanta in 2006 and became team leader for the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program in the Division of Reproductive Health. In this role, she created an Atlanta-based technical and program support structure to assist in the advancement of MCH epidemiology capacity nationwide. Through the assignment of senior MCH epidemiologists and CDC-sponsored MCH fellows from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, she built capacity at the state, tribal, and local level. Her mentor-based structure for scientific leadership is a model for other CDC field assignee programs. She also worked to build and strengthen effective partnerships with MCH organizations such as the Maternal and Child Health Bureau within the Health Resources and Services Administration. As a result of numerous federal, state, tribal, local, academic, and private partnerships and collaborations, the field of MCH epidemiology has increased its capacity by 55% since 2004.

Dr. Barfield is a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Dr. Barfield serves as the CDC liaison for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Fetus and Newborn. Her research includes informing policy in the area of racial disparities in perinatal mortality and early child health service utilization, improving access to risk-appropriate perinatal services, and advancing the quality of perinatal data through longitudinal linkage. 

Prior to CDC, Dr. Barfield served as a U.S. Army Officer and Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington. She received her B.S. in biology from the University of California, Irvine, and her medicine and public health degrees from Harvard University. She completed a pediatrics residency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship at Harvard’s Joint Program in Neonatology (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital, and Children’s Hospital of Boston). She is a practicing neonatologist, board-certified in both general pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine.

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Photo: Deborah KaplanDeborah Kaplan, MPH, R-PA
Assistant Commissioner
Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Deborah Kaplan has served as the Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since 2003. The primary goals of the bureau are to help adolescents make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health, to make breastfeeding the norm, and to promote health equity among mothers and infants. The bureau addresses these goals through a range of efforts, including partnerships with community-based agencies and organizations, hospitals, and healthcare providers; implementation or promotion of evidence-based programs to improve maternal, infant, and reproductive health outcomes; community and provider education; policy change; and research, surveillance, and evaluation. 

Kaplan has more than thirty years public health experience in clinical care, health education, program development and program leadership, with a focus on adolescent and reproductive health. In 2008, in recognition of her role in shaping public policy in the state, she was the recipient of the Shirley Gordon Public Policy Leadership Award from the Family Planning Advocates of New York State. Kaplan studied to become a physician assistant at Johns Hopkins University, holds a masters in public health from Hunter College, and currently is enrolled in the doctoral program at the City University of New York School of Public Health.

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Photo: Kay PhillipsKay Phillips
Executive Director
Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina

Kay Phillips is the Executive Director for the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC). She joined the agency in 2004 and has carried on the tradition of APPCNC’s work of supporting North Carolina communities in preventing teen pregnancies through advocacy, collaboration and education. Phillips has more than 15 years of experience in program development, evaluation, staff and board development, and facilitation.

She began her career in teen pregnancy prevention as a health educator for the Caldwell Council on Adolescent Health before accepting the position of Executive Director there. Phillips is a former member of the Board of Education in Caldwell County and also serves on the boards of the North Carolina School Community Health Alliance, North Carolina Women’s Health Advisory Board and Women’s Forum. She is a graduate of Medical Center School of Radiology in Charlotte, North Carolina; the Family Life Institute of Appalachian State University; and Lael University of St. Louis, Missouri.  Phillips is also an alumnus of Leadership North Carolina.

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