In order to improve women’s quality of life in Wisconsin by advancing reproductive and population health research, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has launched a new Division of Reproductive and Population Health. The division, which will focus on research and community-based strategies, joins the Department of Ob-Gyn’s five clinical divisions and one basic science division.
“This division is going to make a real difference in the landscape of women’s health in Wisconsin,” says UW Ob-Gyn Department Chair Laurel Rice, MD. “So much of population health is women’s health, and as an obstetrics and gynecology department in the only state medical school, we need to lead the charge.”
The Division of Reproductive and Population Health will support investigators in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as other researchers across the UW-Madison campus, working on projects that improve reproductive and maternal child health. Deborah Ehrenthal, MD, MPH, director of the new division, says it is uniquely positioned to address key reproductive and population health issues in Wisconsin, like reducing maternal and infant mortality, decreasing unintended pregnancies, improving gynecologic cancer care for minority women, and improving awareness and care for women’s pelvic wellness statewide.
“There’s a long pathway from research to health,” Ehrenthal says. “I see this division covering the whole spectrum from basic research to implementation, to working with communities to get feedback and inform improvements in our research and processes. This collaborative approach will help us support numerous community-engaged initiatives related to family planning, immunizations, infant health, and global health.”
In addition to supporting today’s researchers, the Division of Reproductive and Population Health has another important goal.
“Beyond our work that will inform health care, public health, and community-based strategies to improve reproductive and maternal-child health, this division will train future leaders in the field of population health,” Ehrenthal says. “We will work closely with graduate and public health students and postdoctoral fellows who focus on health disparities.”
Learn more about the UW-Madison Department of Ob-Gyn’s new Division of Reproductive and Population Health here.