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PFRH E-NEWS Spring/Summer 2023

Research & Practice Highlights

Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health

Located in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Gates Institute is dedicated to the advancement of scholarship and science for social change. The Institute conducts and facilitates cutting-edge research in family planning, adolescent and youth reproductive health and population dynamics, and translates science into evidence-informed policies, programs, and practice. For more information, please visit

Gates Institute Presents Latest Research at the 2023 Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting
Gates Institute Presents Latest Research at the 2023 Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting

Gates Institute representatives attended the 2023 Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana in April 2023. This important event brings together demographers and social and health scientists from around the world to share the latest research and insights in the field of global health.

GI was proud to participate in PAA2023 and showcase our cutting-edge research in demography, population, and family planning. Our team of experts engaged with attendees and presented at over 15 scientific sessions featuring our research. Our participation included presentations from our Research, Measurement and Performance Monitoring platform, Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA), and our Demographic Dividend Initiative (DD), among others. Read more about GI’s participation in PAA 2023.

Improving the Quality of Adolescent and Youth-Friendly Health Services in Four Nigerian States
New Article Looks at Improving the Quality of Adolescent and Youth-Friendly Health Services in Four Nigerian States

Findings from a recently published program case study in the Global Health: Science and Practice journal from four Nigerian states – Edo, Niger, Plateau and Ogun – reveal it is possible to integrate and improve adolescent and youth-friendly health services (AYFHS) within a systems-based approach. TCI supported the state governments in Nigeria by updating the already existing family planning supportive supervision (FPSS) tool that the Nigerian government had previously endorsed for AYFHS, leveraging the WHO’s Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO) AYFHS checklist and Nigeria’s National Standards & Minimum Service Package for Adolescent & Youth Friendly Health Services. To ensure that the quality of family planning (FP) service delivery aligned with the national FP service protocol and facilitate improvement in the quality of service delivery, state government staff conducted supportive supervision activities using the updated FPSS QA tool at the health facilities. Ultimately, findings from this program case study show that it is possible to integrate a adolescent and youth FPSS quality assessment tool and its associated quality improvement processes within an existing health system’s supportive supervision checklist, with the relevant support for enhanced capacity to administer, analyze and translate the findings into action through performance improvement plans. Click here to read more.

British Medical Journal Open Publishes Demographic Dividend Effort Index Tool
British Medical Journal Open Publishes Demographic Dividend Effort Index Tool

BMJ Open recently published Gates Institute’s novel Demographic Dividend Effort Index tool for measuring efforts in harnessing a country’s demographic dividend for socio-economic growth. The DDEI aims to provide a standard measure to quantify the nature and strength of in-country demographic dividend efforts in governance and economic institutions, family planning, maternal and child health, education, women’s empowerment, and the labor market. The tool is able to identify sector-specific gaps in the implementation of policies and programs, as well as to identify areas of improvement in research and advocacy. The index proved to be a reliable and internally consistent tool, fostering measurements, dialogue and innovation in six key sectors that have the potential to cultivate the DD. Learn more about this novel tool and the Demographic Dividend Initiative.

ICFP2022 Recap Report Highlights Convening’s Impact on FP Community
ICFP2022 Recap Report Highlights Convening’s Impact on FP Community

The International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) has just announced the launch of the official ICFP2022 Recap Report. The report is an in-depth, data-driven look at successes and learnings from the hybrid conference in Pattaya City, Thailand.

ICFP 2022 welcomed over 3,600 in-person delegates and thousands more virtually to the conference in Pattaya City, Thailand. With over 300 scientific sessions, 31 pre-conferences, and 63 side events, attendees had the opportunity to engage with a variety of programming. Attendees networked and collaborated with scientists, researchers, government officials, bilateral organizations, civil society organizations, over 700 youth delegates, and beyond.

The report provides a comprehensive summary of all the major highlights from the sixth ICFP held virtually and in Pattaya City, Thailand, including information on scientific sessions, pre-conferences, youth engagement, and more. The ICFP2022 Recap Report is available now to view and for download in English and French here.

Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI)

The CAHMI’s Engagement in Action Framework is Available to All!

The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI) recently put forth the Engagement in Action! (EnAct!) Framework, a framework toward an integrated early childhood health system to promote the early and lifelong health of children and families. The EnAct! Framework is the result of the CAHMI’s partnership with Mississippi Thrive! Child Health and Development Project initiative, which was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration through a cooperative agreement. CAHMI’s leadership was also supported through a current RWJF grant to scale the CAHMI’s Cycle of Engagement (COE) model to promote the healthy development of young children in low income communities of color.  The EnAct! Framework sets forth a pathway to support national, state, and local efforts to establish a family and community engaged, whole child and family well-being focused, integrated early childhood health system. Using state and national data, a partners landscape analysis, national guidelines and decades of research, EnAct! defines roles for current and potential partners, shares a novel approach to child and family care based on the COE theory of change and approach to family engagement and integrated services, and provides principles for collaborative action, a set of “Possibility Prototypes” for application across system partners and implementation action plan towards policy and practice reform, and  provides implementation action steps towards policy and practice reform.  The framework became the basis of the charter for Mississippi’s new Early Childhood Development Coalition (ECDC), who will be continuing the work of Mississippi Thrive!

The CAHMI’s Engagement in Action Framework is Available to All!

Dr. Christina Bethell provided a call to action at the recent ECDC charter signing ceremony in which legislative, pediatric, and community leaders across the state signed the charter and agreed to advance EnAct’s mission and goals. The CAHMI would like to thank the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the opportunity to partner in this systems-change work and the Mississippi Thrive! leadership team for their ongoing collaboration and commitment to advance child and family health.   

Dr. Christina Bethell, the Mississippi Thrive! leadership team, and the new ECDC committee members at the ECDC charter signing ceremony at the Mississippi Children’s Museum, February 28th.



Center for Adolescent Health

Dr. Terrinieka Powell Named Center Assistant Director
Dr. Terrinieka Powell named Center Assistant Director of the CAH

Dr. Terri W. Powell has been appointed the Assistant Director of the Center of Adolescent Health (CAH), where she will lead the center’s Training Core and oversee diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Powell shares Assistant Director duties with Dr. Beth Marshall, who leads the center’s Research Core.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Dr. Powell to the leadership team at CAH,” said CAH Director Dr. Tamar Mendelson. “She has a long history of working within CAH and has helped make the Center what it is today. She also has years of experience doing community-based work with youth in diverse setting including schools, churches, and libraries. As Vice Chair for Inclusion, Diversity, Antiracism, and Equity (IDARE), she will help deepen the Center’s use of an equity lens in all that we do.”

Dr. Powell is a Bloomberg Professor of American Health, and within the Bloomberg School of Public Health she serves as the Vice Chair for Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism and Equity and Faculty Director of the MCH Postdoctoral training program within the Population, Family, and Reproductive Health Department; and is the Faculty Director for the Brown Scholars and Health Equity Scholars Program.

“The Center has been my home for over a decade. I love it here! Over the years, I’ve supported the center in lots of ways including research, community engagement, training, and dissemination,” Dr. Powell said. “Being invited to be on the leadership team is such a treat! As an Assistant Director, I’ll focus on continuing our strong training efforts, designing and implementing policies for standard operations, as well as ensuring that our equity principles are upheld in all we do.”

CAH also welcomes Dr. Annie Smith to its faculty as an Assistant Scientist. Dr. Smith received her doctorate recently from the Bloomberg School.

“We are so excited to welcome Dr. Annie Smith as faculty in the center,” said CAH Assistant Director Dr. Beth Marshall.  “Dr. Smith has worked closely with Center faculty during her time at Hopkins as a student.  She will continue to work on several projects focused on the implementation comprehensive sexual health education and care programs and the translation of research to practice focused on trauma informed and inclusive approaches in these programs.”

Early Childhood Services Research Program

HARC Launched its New Website
The Home Visiting Applied Research Collaborative (HARC)

The Home Visiting Applied Research Collaborative (HARC) housed in the Early Childhood Services Research Program in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, recently received a third round of funding from HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Now directed by Dr Allison West, HARC recently went through a process to redevelop its website and logo.  The website redevelopment process began with a set of focus groups with intended website users to learn about their current use of the website and the changes they would like to see in the redevelopment. Using this information, we worked with a local firm to design a new outline for the website and features that would allow us to better showcase our current body of work and the work we plan to do in the future. One of the features on the new website is a Resource Library that contains all of the HARC’s resources that are searchable by keyword, topics and author. The new website also features new content describing HARC’s Precision Paradigm, an innovative framework to support precision home visiting research questions. Once the site was designed, several members of our team were trained to merge content onto the website and to troubleshoot any technical issues. 

The redeveloped website was launched at HARC’s 8th Annual Collaborative Science of Home Visiting Meeting on May 10th. Preliminary feedback shows that users of the website find it useful and easy to navigate.

Please check out HARC’s website at

Center on Early Life Origins of Diseases

Mengmeng Li Presents at the 2023 Pediatric Academic Society
Mengmeng Li - Present at the Annual Pediatric Academic Society

Third-year PFRH PhD candidate Mengmeng Li, MD, MSPH, delivered a platform presentation on her PhD research last week at the annual Pediatric Academic Society meeting in Washington, DC. Dr. Li’s oral abstract, titled Maternal Exposure to Ambient Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) During Pregnancy on Child Risk of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the Boston Birth Cohort, was delivered during the first Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics session of the conference on Friday, April 28th, 2023. The presentation concluded that children with increased exposure to PM2.5 pollution during the third trimester and across the whole pregnancy had increased risks of ADHD, especially when their mothers also experienced smoking, high stress, preterm delivery or intrauterine inflammation during index pregnancy. This project represents the first aim of Dr. Li’s PhD dissertation, advised by Dr. Xiaobin Wang within the Center on the Early Life Origins of Disease, and is part of a larger effort at the Center to understand the relationship between neighborhood exposures and childhood health outcomes within the Boston Birth Cohort, a multiracial, mostly low income group of mother-child pairs seeking care at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Wang, the Center, and the entire PFRH department express their congratulations to Dr. Li for her accomplishment and fantastic presentation!