Department of
Obstetrics and Gynecology


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion


At the University of Wisconsin Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, we value and promote an inclusive environment that respects, welcomes and embraces differences across all of our missions including, but not limited to race, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, religion, income, and national origin.

To achieve this, we provide education and promote policies and practices that support patients, their families and our employees throughout the State of Wisconsin and beyond.

We embrace the mission, vision, values, and strategies set forth by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health

The Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology has initiated a number of new DEI efforts since forming a committee in 2019:

Community Outreach and Health Equity:

  • The UW Ob-Gyn Community Advisory Council includes several crucial community partners who advise on health equity issues in Madison/Dane County and provide feedback on department programs
  • Members of the department sit on health equity advisory committees, including the UW Health Maternal Child Health Advisory Committee; Dane County Fetal & Infant Mortality Committee 
  • Department sponsors organizations focused on health equity and racial justice, including the YWCA Racial Justice Conference; Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness; Project Babies 
  • The annual UW Ob-Gyn Diaper Drive raises funds and collects donations to support families across Madison/Dane County through organizations like REACH Dane; YWCA; Domestic Abuse Intervention Services; River Food Pantry


  • October 2019: Women’s Health and Health Equity Research Lecture & Symposium – keynote “Saving Black Mothers and Babies: What do the Data Tell Us?”, presented by Tiffany Green, PhD.
  • October 2019: “Breaking the Bias Habit” training presented to UW Ob-Gyn Support Staff Team
  • April and May 2020: Clinical Research Office staff completed two “Addressing Systemic Racism” seminars

Department Actions in Response to the Current Social Climate:

Our department has redoubled our efforts on climate, diversity and inclusion since May 2020. On June 2, 2020, department leadership collaborated on a statement sent to the entire department. We encouraged participation in the June 13, 2020 White Coats for Black Lives rally through our department newsletter, as well as our FacebookTwitterand Instagram accounts.

An incoming UW Ob-Gyn resident, Dr. India Anderson-Carter, helped organize the rally, and was a speaker during the event. Residents and faculty had a strong attendance at the event, and department chair Dr. Laurel Rice followed the experience with a message to the whole department about important learnings and next steps the DEI committee will focus on to keep these conversations at the fore of our work:

  • June 2020: the DEI committee created a Prescription for an Inclusive Ob-Gyn activity and encouraged all-department participation; follow-up survey results suggest 84% of participants found the activity valuable, and several people requested to join the DEI committee as a result.
  • August 2020: “Moving from Cultural Competence to Anti-Racism” training to be presented to entire UW Ob-Gyn department
  • October 2020: Bystander Intervention training to be presented to entire UW Ob-Gyn department
  • We’re in the process of implementing VotER Healthy Democracy kits into clinical spaces


DEI Committee:

  • Melody Bockenfeld, BSN, MPH – Co-Chair
  • Katherine Sampene, MD – Co-Chair
  • India Anderson-Carter, MD
  • Jacquelyn Askins
  • Gabrielle Avery, MD
  • Bala Bhagavath, MD
  • Shiva Bidar
  • Heidi Brown, MD
  • Erica Carballo, MD
  • Anastasia Doherty, CNM
  • Luther Gaston, MD
  • Maya Gross, MD
  • Ellen Hartenbach, MD
  • Emelle Holmes-Drammeh, PA
  • Kara Hoppe, DO
  • Carol Hulland
  • Laura Kwitek, DNP
  • Christy Lincicum
  • Hailey Mattheisen
  • Elisavet Paplomata, MD
  • Jacqueline Peebles, MD
  • Laurel Rice, MD
  • Shannon Rush, MD
  • Gloria Sarto, MD
  • Lisa Scott, PhD
  • Nicole Shapiro,
  • Cassidy Slinger
  • Jennifer Stevens
  • Naomi Takahashi
  • Vienna Tran, MD
  • Jodi Wagner, CNM
  • Ruth Yemane, MD
  • Catherine Zhang, MD
  • Andrea Zorbas