The Women and Health Initiative has a talented team whose hard work and dedication bring the Initiative’s activities to life.
Ana Langer – Director
The Women and Health Initiative is led by Dr. Ana Langer, a physician specializing in pediatrics and neonatology, and a reproductive health expert. She joined the Harvard School of Public Health in July 2010 as a Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Global Health and Population. Dr. Langer is respected worldwide as a leader in using research findings to influence policy and improve the overall quality of health care for women and families. For the past 25 years, she has been a leading researcher, programmer and advocate for the improvement of women’s health.
Dr. Langer has conducted and published extensively on maternal mortality; psychosocial support during pregnancy, labor, delivery and the post-partum period; quality of maternal health care, unsafe abortion, emergency contraception; the introduction of evidence-based practices in maternal health services; and strategies to reinforce the reproductive health component in health sector reform programs in developing countries. Read more…
Jacquelyn Caglia – Deputy Director of Administration & Operations
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Jacquelyn Caglia joined the Women and Health Initiative in August 2011 where she manages several projects and assists with overall coordination of the W&HI as the Deputy Director of Administration and Operations. Before joining the W&HI, Ms. Caglia was Program Director at World Connect, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of women and children in low-resource settings.
Prior to this, Ms. Caglia worked with the Institute for Community Health as a researcher investigating how race, ethnicity, language and culture affect health and the quality of healthcare services. She has worked with many organizations addressing women’s health to evaluate their health interventions and communicate about their work including the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy and Circle of Health International.
Ms. Caglia has extensive experience in training development and grant writing and has held various positions focused on local and international health including work in survey administration with John Snow Incorporated and in community outreach and case study development with the Montgomery Country Health Department in Pennsylvania. Ms. Caglia served with the Peace Corps as a community health specialist in the Dominican Republic.
Originally from Pennsylvania with roots in community organizing and service learning, Ms. Caglia holds a BA in Biology and Psychology and a MPH from Boston University. She is fluent in Spanish.
Gennet Fantu – Senior Grants Manager
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Gennet Fantu joined the Women and Health Initiative (W&HI) at Harvard School of Public Health in June 2012 as the Senior Grants Manager. She provides financial and grants management expertise and leadership, overseeing all sponsored research administration for the Initiative. Before joining the W&HI, Gennet spent two years in Ethiopia (her original home country) working for Fantu & Family Trading & Industry PLC serving as the Deputy General Manger.
Prior to that, Ms. Fantu worked as the Administrative Manager in the Cancer Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine (2007-2009) and in the Hematology and Oncology Section at Boston Medical Center as Grants and Contracts Specialist (2005-2007).
Gennet received her Masters of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University Extension School in Management. She completed her undergraduate work at Kansas State University where she majored in Business Administration. Gennet enjoys running and outdoor activities. She has run the Chicago Marathon and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
Andrea Goetschius – Senior Communications Manager
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Andrea Goetschius joined the Women and Health Initiative in May 2012 as graphics and content producer for the Maternal Health Task Force. Previously, she worked in communication for public health and educational organizations, including Ipas and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Andrea completed her MA in interdisciplinary health communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her research focused on the use of visual communications techniques to make reproductive health information more accessible for low-literacy audiences. Her case study on public relations strategies around football-related concussion won the grand prize in the 2011 Arthur W. Page Society case study competition. Andrea holds a BFA in graphic design from Alfred University and has more than 10 years experience as a designer for print and web.
Kelsey Holt – Senior Project Manager
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Kelsey Holt manages several projects at the Women and Health Initiative (W&HI), including a study investigating the readiness of the United States primary care physician workforce to provide reproductive health services and a project to develop a new composite measure of voluntary, informed contraceptive choice in client-provider interactions. She is also a doctoral student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health working on completing her dissertation.
Prior to working with the W&HI, Kelsey spent four years managing a dynamic program of research related to contraception, unintended pregnancy, abortion, and HIV prevention in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and the U.S., at the non-profit clinical and social science research organization Ibis Reproductive Health. She has also previously worked for several other non-profit organizations on research, evaluation, and programmatic work in a number of different areas including sexual and reproductive health, tuberculosis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. During her Master’s program in medical anthropology at the University of Colorado-Denver in 2005, she designed and conducted original research to investigate multi-level factors influencing low rates of institutional births in a rural Bolivian city. Kelsey’s quantitative and qualitative research has been published in an interdisciplinary set of peer-reviewed journals and she has presented on her work at various international and U.S. conferences.
Annie Kearns – Project Manager
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Annie Kearns joined the Women & Health Initiative as a student Research Assistant in September 2011, remaining in this role while she completed her MSc from the Department of Global Health and Population at HSPH. She became Project Manager of W&HI’s project on antenatal and postnatal care beginning in September 2013. Before coming to Harvard, Ms. Kearns spent two years working with AED to increase access to medical journals for health care workers around the world. She has a strong research background, particularly pertaining to antenatal care and early childhood nutrition. As an undergraduate at Cornell University and later as a graduate student, Ms. Kearns spent several months looking at breastfeeding practices across Brazil, from the Northeast to the Amazon region.
Katie Millar – Publication Coordinator & Technical Writer
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Katie Millar joined the W&HI’s Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) as publication coordinator and technical writer in May 2014. Katie has varied experience that brings a unique perspective and set of skills to her role at the MHTF. Ms. Millar graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 2008 with a B.S. in nursing and a minor in international development. After her graduation from BYU she worked as a nurse from 2008-2012 at a level III NICU in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ms. Millar always knew she wanted a career in global health and so pursued a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which she completed in 2013. Apart from her clinical nursing experience, Katie also has a wide range of global health experience. During her time at BYU, she traveled to Argentina to provide nursing care in the public maternity hospital, La Maternidad Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, and health education and screenings for children and their mothers in the community. In addition, she conducted research in and provided training for developmental care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the public maternity hospital. In 2010 she traveled to Haiti as an assistant team lead for a medical humanitarian trip with the NGO International Aid Serving Kids (IASK) where she managed a health clinic and collaborated with other organizations to provide medical care to earthquake victims. In 2011 and 2013, she partnered with the Ministry of Health (MOH), UNICEF, and Latter-day Saint Charities to teach neonatal resuscitation and basic newborn care in Nicaragua and Peru. For her MPH capstone Ms. Millar conducted research on infant motor development in rural Ghana. In the year between receiving her MPH and starting at W&HI/MHTF she worked on two projects. First, she wrote manuscripts on malaria care seeking for children under five in Nigeria. Second, she was a technical advisor in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya where she conducted an evaluation of an adolescent sexual and reproductive health program and partnered with UNHCR, UNFPA, IRC, and JSI to plan the second phase of the project. Ms. Millar is passionate about moms and babies and loves to dance. She is particularly interested in the intersection of neonatal and maternal health and how to translate research to practice.
Ms. Nasshan is a graduate of Smith College with a B.A. in Government and Global South Development Studies with a concentration in Africa where her research focused primarily on the political economics of post-conflict regions and the changing role of women within those environments.
Mary Nell Wegner joined the Women and Health Initiative in November 2011 and serves as the Executive Director of the Maternal Health Task Force. She has spent the last 20 years working in international public health with a focus on gender, reproductive health, and maternity care.
Ms. Wegner has worked directly for donors (the Rockefeller Foundation, UNFPA, and the EMpower Foundation) as well as community-based and nonprofit organizations at both the local and global levels (Jubilee Refugee Camp, The White Mountain Apache Tribal Health Authority, The Women’s Dignity Project, Planned Parenthood of CT, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, The Margaret Sanger Center, and EngenderHealth). She has worked with teams to help strengthen reproductive health programming in a variety of contexts in Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Ghana, Hong Kong, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and the US. Ms. Wegner has a special interest in work with adolescents. In the last ten years, she has written and spoken on quality of care in labor and delivery, obstetric fistula prevention and treatment, mens’ roles in family planning, and reproductive health choices.
Ms. Wegner completed her BA at Yale in cultural anthropology, her EdM in international education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her MPH in public health at UCLA.