Katherine Sampene, MD, FACOG
Clinical Associate Professor
QIRC Co-Chair; Director of Obstetric Quality & Safety; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Co-Chair;

Academic Specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Office Address
Junction Road Medical Center
451 Junction Rd
Madison, WI, 53717

Clinic Address
Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic
451 Junction Rd
Madison, WI, 53717
Phone: 608-265-7601

Administrative Assistant
Cheryl Verdecchia
608 261-1729


B.A. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
M.D. Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Residency Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA


American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery Certification

Department Leadership Role

QIRC Co-Chair

Director of Obstetric Quality & Safety

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Co-Chair


Honors and Awards

Association of American Medical Colleges Early Career Women Faculty Leadership Development Seminar


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology

American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine

Department engages UW students during AHANA-MAPS outreach event

On November 16, 2023, several members of the Department of Ob-Gyn participated in an outreach event with the University of Wisconsin–Madison AHANA-MAPS Pre-Health Society. The event focused on showcasing obstetrics and gynecology careers and career pathways with students interested in medical and health science careers.  

During the event, department members led hands-on birthing simulations, guided students through case-based learning, and answered questions about their career paths during a panel discussion.  

Special thanks to the Department of Ob-Gyn Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and DEI leaders for planning this event: 

  • Katie Sampene, MD – DEI Committee Co-Chair and associate professor, Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn 
  • Beverly Hutcherson – Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, UW School of Medicine and Public Health 
  • Cheryl Casey’Grant – Outreach Specialist, Department of Ob-Gyn 
  • Jackie Askins – Communications Manager, Department of Ob-Gyn 

Thanks to all the department members who shared their expertise with the students: 

  • Katie Sampene, MD (associate professor, Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn) 
  • Amy Domeyer-Klenske, MD (Director, Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn) 
  • Jennifer Karnowski, MD (assistant professor, Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn) 
  • Maggie Williams, MD (ob-gyn resident) 
  • Hannah Copp, CNM (Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn) 
  • Awa Sanneh, MD (ob-gyn resident) 
  • India Anderson-Carter, MD (ob-gyn resident) 
  • Laura Huffman, MD (assistant professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology) 
  • Ellen Hartenbach, MD (Department Chair; Division of Gynecologic Oncology) 
  • Bala Bhagavath, MD (professor and Director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility) 
  • Laura Jacques, MD (associate professor, Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn/Family Planning) 
  • Gabrielle Avery, MD (ob-gyn resident) 

Department hosts successful Women’s Health and Health Equity Research Lecture and Symposium

On October 12, 2023, the UW Department of Ob-Gyn hosted the UW Women’s Health and Health Equity Research Lecture and Symposium, an event created in 2005 by Gloria Sarto, MD, and Gloria Johnson-Powell, MD. Katie Sampene, MD, associate professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, chaired the event planning committee.

The event included Brief and Brilliant presentations, followed by a keynote from Denise Howard, MD, MPH, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NewYork Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and Vice Chair in the Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Madelyne Greene, PhD, RN, Tiffany Green, PhD, and Annette Miller, MA, gave research presentations. Several research groups across campus brought posters to the event.

Brief and Brilliant Talk Award:

Jenna Nobles, PhD - Mifepristone Restrictions will Increase Health Risks for >850,000 People Who Miscarry Each Year

Best Poster Awards:

Laura E.T. Swan, PhD - Physician Beliefs About Abortion Safety and Their Participation in Abortion Care

Sarina Schrager, MD, MS – African American Women’s Experiences of Menopause: A Focus Group Study

You can watch the 2023 Women’s Health and Health Equity Research Lecture and Symposium here!

  • 5:45 – Brief and Brilliant Talks
  • 25:02 – Keynote presentation: “Our Greatest Challenge: Eliminating Healthcare Disparities”, by Dr. Denise Howard
  • 1:25:05 – Research Presentation: “Engaging Diverse Stakeholders to Improve Reproductive Health Systems”, by Dr. Madelyne Greene
  • 1:55:18 – Research Presentation: “Evaluating the Impacts of Wisconsin's Birth Cost Recovery Policy on the Health and Wellbeing of Black Families: A Community-Centered Approach”, by Dr. Tiffany Green and Annette Miller

Grand Rounds: Sampene, Adams present “Optimizing Contraceptive Counseling”

On August 10, 2023, UW Ob-Gyn Associate Professor and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Chair Katherine Sampene, MD, presented the Grand Rounds lecture “Optimizing Contraceptive Counseling”. Jackie Adams, MD, MS, assistant professor in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and Laura Berghahn, MD, private practice ob-gyn at Associated Physicians of Madison, co-presented the lecture.

During the presentation, Sampene and co-presenters explained the basic frameworks of person-centered care, cultural humility, and reproductive justice; outlined areas of identified need for improvement in contraceptive counseling; and shared department-developed resources for use in daily provision of contraceptive counseling.

Watch the whole presentation here!

Grand Rounds: Sampene presents “Leveraging Quality Improvement to Promote Health Equity”

Katie Sampene, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, presented the Grand Rounds lecture Leveraging Quality Improvement to Promote Health Equity to the department on May 27, 2021.

In the lecture, Sampene described the principles of health equity and how they relate to medical practice, walked through the basic process of quality improvement, and outlined the intersection of quality improvement and health equity.

Watch the whole lecture here

UW Ob-Gyn research and presentations at 2022 ACOG Annual Meeting

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists held the Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting in San Diego May 6-8, 2022. Faculty, fellows and residents in the UW Department of Ob-Gyn brought many exciting presentations and projects to the conference. Read more about some of their awesome accomplishments:

Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn Director Makeba Williams, MD gave the Morton and Diane Stenchever Lecture “The Women’s Health Initiative: Controversy, Confusion, Consensus” at the opening of the day on May 8: 

“In 2022, is hormone therapy safe? Have we reached a point of consensus? The Women’s Health Initiative hormone therapy trial preliminary results were released summer 2002, completely altering the practice of prescribing hormone therapy to midlife and menopausal women. Controversy and confusion immediately ensued. Attend this thought-provoking session to better understand current recommendations, management strategies and treatment options for menopausal patients.”

Division of Gynecologic Oncology Director Stephen Rose, MD, presented “A Revised Markov Model Evaluating Oophorectomy at the Time of Hysterectomy for Benign Indication”, co-authored by Gynecologic Oncology Fellow Shannon Rush, MD, during a late-breaking abstracts session on May 8.

More posters and presentations:

Black Women With Low Numeracy Fare Worse in Diabetic Pregnancies - Jennifer Jacobson, MD; Amy Godecker, PhD; Jennifer Janik, MD; April Eddy, MS; Jacquelyn Adams, MD

Assessment of In-Hospital Pain Control After Childbirth and Its Correlation With Anxiety in the Postpartum Period – Clara Olson, BS; John Poehlmann, MD; Zachary Stowe, MD; Kathleen Antony, MD

Clinical Application of a Previously Validated Pregnancy-Specific Screening Tool for Sleep Apnea – Kathleen Antony, MD

Operationalizing Aspirin to Reduce Preeclampsia Risk and Related Morbidity and Mortality – Maya Gross, MD; Katherine Sampene, MD

Leveraging Quality Improvement to Promote Health Equity: Prenatal Aspirin Recommendations by Race - Maya Gross, MD; Katherine Sampene, MD

In the Eye of the Beholder: Perspectives of Fellowship Applicants on Virtual Interviews - Christine Heisler, MD

Cost-Effectiveness of Opportunistic Salpingectomy Following Vaginal Delivery for Ovarian Cancer Prevention – Matthew Wagar, MD; Makeba Williams, MD

Incredible work, all!

Wallace and Sampene to co-lead department’s Quality and Safety program

As part of the ongoing changes to the UW Department of Ob-Gyn’s Quality and Safety platform, Sumer Wallace, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, and Katie Sampene, MD, associate professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, will co-lead the Department of Ob-Gyn’s Quality Improvement Review Committee!

Wallace was appointed the first-ever Director of Gynecology Quality and Safety last fall. She has a dedication to quality improvement and data-driven outcomes that will serve her well in this role. She is a longtime member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s Policy, Quality and Outcomes committee, and has served as Director of Clinical Informatics for the Division of Gynecologic Oncology since 2021.

Sampene was recently appointed the Director of Obstetrics Quality and Safety. She has been an active leader in obstetrics quality at UnityPoint Health-Meriter Hospital for several years: she served as chair of the UPH-Meriter Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 2017-2019, during which time she was also a member of the OB Quality Improvement Committee. Sampene is currently an active member of the UPH-Meriter Pregnancy and Childbirth Care Committee. She has ongoing research projects focused on standardized communications practices during unscheduled Cesarean birth, contraceptive counseling within a reproductive justice framework, and quality improvement research on prenatal aspirin recommendations. In addition, Sampene has co-chaired the UW Department of Ob-Gyn Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee since 2021 with a particular focus on improving patient experience.

In these new roles, Wallace and Sampene will co-lead the Department of Ob-Gyn’s Quality Improvement Review Committee. They will also advise department leadership on quality improvement opportunities in clinical practice, develop data infrastructure to track and monitor quality metrics in all areas of practice, initiate and facilitate educational programs on quality and safety that can benefit trainees, faculty, and clinical providers, and so much more. 

Congratulations to Dr. Wallace and Dr. Sampene!

Faculty Development Funding Feature: Katie Sampene, MD

Each fiscal year, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Faculty Development Committee makes available a total of $10,000 for professional development. Faculty may submit applications at any time (until funds are exhausted for the current fiscal year).

Read more about Dr. Katie Sampene’s experience with the Faculty Development Funding Program, and learn how you can apply for faculty development funds here!

Why were you interested in the One Key Question® Certification and Preconception and Contraception Pathways to Care training?

We were working on a project via the DEI committee: our aim was to optimize our contraceptive counseling during pregnancy in the peripartum period. As part of the background for better understanding some of the concerns from the community, we had reviewed the Saving Our Babies report, which contained a recommendation for providers to consider that training. While it's not specific to pregnancy or the postpartum period, there are some foundational concepts as part of that training that we wanted to be sure to incorporate as we thought about how to optimize our care.

What was the approximate time commitment to complete your training?

Half a day or a little bit less than half a day.

How have you been able to apply what you learned in the training to your clinical activities?

It's been it was really informative, actually. There are things that, even though I saw them a lot I didn't really conceptualize them until I took that training. For example, one thing that I learned is that people's stated objectives for pregnancy or birth control may not always match to their choice, and while I saw that, in practice, I always thought that that was something that I should be trying to correct. So, for example, if someone said they weren't planning to be pregnant, but wanted to use just condoms, I sort of perceived it as my job to try to help them make a different choice. Through the training I realized that sometimes it's okay for people to have that difference and it probably relates to the way some of us just function and behave.

Another thing that I also realized from that training is that it's okay not to be sure if you want to be pregnant or not. I think many of us are pretty black and white in our field from that standpoint, and we're just thinking well, you either know that you want to be pregnant, or you don't want to be pregnant. And just kind of recognizing that many patients are just unsure of their wishes and the choice to contracept or not may reflect that uncertainty, and that it's not necessarily my job to get them to be sure about their pregnancy wishes, but rather just to make sure that whatever choices they make regarding contraception or the lack of it is reflecting an informed choice and is reflecting what their wishes are.

Do you feel like skills and information you learned in the training benefit health care providers or trainees in the broader department?

From the standpoint of education, we're hoping to disseminate these concepts through our work in the DEI committee. One Key Question has a worksheet that could be used in the clinical space to better understand the patient's perspective, what's important to them and what their wishes are. One of the things that we've been working on through the DEI committee is determining a form of that that would be applicable during pregnancy. We’ll probably need to make some alterations so that it makes sense for the pregnancy time interval, but I’m hoping that using those concepts and potentially a similar worksheet to what they developed can help us disseminate the concepts with our resident learners and our student learners as we roll out that project.

Would you recommend the Faculty Development Grant to others in the department?

Yes, definitely! It was really easy to navigate and the administrative staff was really helpful in getting me connected with the application process. It was smooth and straightforward, and I was really appreciative that it was able to do that without having to make a choice between a different thing that I usually do with my CME money.

UW Ob-Gyn prepares posters, presentations for SASGOG Annual Meeting

The Society of Academic Specialists in General Obstetrics and Gynecology Annual Meeting, coming up in May 2022, will include exciting presentations and posters from faculty and residents in the UW Department of Ob-Gyn! Some of the great work that will be featured at the conference:


UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn Director Makeba Williams, MD, and Heidi Brown, MD, MAS, of the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, collaborated on a project that earned the First Place Oral Presentation prize at the conference! The review committee told Williams and co-authors that they “highly regarded your work and encourage you to turn your abstract into a peer-reviewed paper.” Congratulations!

BP Connect: Referring Gynecology Patients with Elevated Blood Pressure to Primary Care Follow-up – Makeba Williams, MD; Heidi Brown, MD, MAS; Anisa Carlson; Christie Bartels, MD; Edmond Bromley; Monica Messina; Bret Hanlon


Implementation of Resident Clinic Curriculum Using Podcasts and Case-Based Learning – Emily Buttigieg, MD; Bridget Kelly, MD

Incidence of Lymph Node Positivity in Endometrial Intraepithelial Neoplasia – Matt Wagar, MD; Katherine Sampene, MD; Makeba Williams, MD

Congratulations to all!

Sampene promoted to Clinical Associate Professor

Our sincere congratulations to Katherine Sampene, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn! The SMPH Clinician Teacher Track Appointments and Promotions Committee endorsed Sampene’s promotion to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor, effective July 2021.

Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!