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SFP Staff

Amanda Dennis, DrPH, MBE, Executive Director. When she first joined the Society of Family Planning, Amanda immediately recognized the Society as her academic and professional home; a place where she could engage with and learn from other members, whether she was building connections with mentors or mentees, serving as a grant reviewer, presenting at the annual meeting, or securing research or career development grants. As a girl from a small town in Georgia who started out at community college, she relished every opportunity the Society offered to develop scholarship and leadership. It was the Society that supported her dissertation on the unmet health needs of women with epilepsy, a project which helped launch her independent research career and ultimately led to the creation of Girls With Nerve, a sexual and reproductive health website designed to inform and support teens living with the disorder. Amanda’s passion for research that makes a difference was honed during her nine years as an Associate at Ibis Reproductive Health, where her research focused on understanding how abortion and contraception policies impact low-income people. Her work has been published in the Society’s official journal Contraception, and in the American Journal of Public Health, Health Services Research Journal, Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Seizure, and Women's Health Issues, among other journals. She has also served on the board of the Abortion Care Network, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP). Amanda first became involved with CLPP as a student at Hampshire College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. She also holds a Doctor of Public Health from Boston University, and a Master’s in Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. “My job at the Society is to see how all the different parts connect and make them hum," says Amanda. "I weave together vision, operations, members, and partners, and it's fantastic. What I don’t do is serve as the face or voice of the Society: that comes from our members and our board." Contact Amanda at ADennis@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 305.

Solange Azor, BA.Solange Azor, BA, Administrative Assistant. Solange graduated from Harvard in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Her studies centered on reproductive justice and feminist theory and she wrote her senior thesis about stigma and activism in abortion politics. "Having escorted at several clinics and spoken directly to anti-abortion extremists who spew hate and fictitious claims about abortion, I see the critical nature of producing reliable and accessible research in the realm of family planning and reproductive health," she says. Solange also worked with the abortion rights performing group the Lady Parts Justice League. Solange joined the Society of Family Planning in 2018. Contact Solange at SAzor@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 406.

Rhea Beddoe, BA.

Rhea Beddoe, BA, Events and Membership Manager. Rhea is committed to ensuring that abortion, contraception, and family planning are not left on the sidelines of the national healthcare conversation — a reflection of her lifelong passion for social justice. Before joining the Society of Family Planning in 2018, Rhea oversaw the daily programming operations at Take The Lead, a national nonprofit dedicated to getting more women into top leadership positions. Rhea has also worked as a campaign coordinator and fundraising consultant for New York City Council races. A member of the board of New York Abortion Access Fund, she is particularly interested in research about how decreased access to reproductive health care affects communities. "A large part of what I do centers around building a robust membership community where people can share the best and latest developments happening in the family planning world, " she says. Rhea holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Marymount Manhattan College. Contact Rhea at RBeddoe@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 405.

Christine Hence, MS.

Christine Hence, MS, Events and Membership Coordinator. Before joining the Society of Family Planning in 2016, Christine worked with middle school teachers as the Early Warning System Program Manager for the Philadelphia Education Fund, utilizing data in the classroom to flag early warning signs of dropout. She started her career as Curriculum and Research Manager for Medical Students for Choice and then as a Research Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania. Christine is interested in research that explores “reducing reproductive health disparities,” driven by her "strong interest in social justice.” Christine received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Cabrini College and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Contact Christine at CHence@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 402.

Hannah Lange, MPHCCRP, Clinical Affairs Manager. At the Society of Family Planning, Hannah serves as a bridge between the worlds of academia and patient care. “Working on Clinical Practice Guidance is a very rewarding part of my job,” she says. “I see firsthand how the expertise of members advances vital abortion and contraception care.” Hannah has a particular passion for adolescent medicine, and managed reproductive health research in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Her work has been published in Contraception, Pediatrics, Journal of Community Health, and Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Hannah received a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology, a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology, and a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature from Ohio State University. Her graduate research focused on public policy and health disparities related to gender and sexual orientation. "I’m a problem solver at heart," says Hannah, who joined the Society in 2018, "When we need the answer to a clinical question, I won’t stop until we find it.” Contact Hannah at HLange@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 404.  

Ruth Manski, MPH, Evaluation Manager. Ruth helps the Society of Family Planning understand the impact of its work and how it can be improved. “Learning from and improving upon our programs is critical to having the greatest impact on the field of family planning,” says Ruth. She was previously on staff at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, developing tools to improve shared decision-making in reproductive health care. She also worked at Ibis Reproductive Health, managing a portfolio of research that assessed and sought to increase the quality and accessibility of contraception, abortion, and HIV care. In 2009, Ruth received a Fulbright to study Sri Lankan women’s kitchen culture and cooking practices. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Grinnell College. Ruth joined the Society of Family Planning in 2017. Contact Ruth at RManski@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 403.

Jenny O'Donnell, ScD, Director of Grantmaking and Evaluation. Since joining the Society of Family Planning in 2018, Jenny spends her days tackling the puzzle of how to align financial and organizational resources with rigorous and thoughtful science in a way that assures the most impactful results. "There are a million small but critical choices that go into moving research from an interesting question to an actionable plan to meaningful results. As a grantmaking organization, the trick is to figure how we support scholars making these choices, with the end goal of just and equitable abortion and contraception in mind" she says. Jenny earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College, where she later served as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. She also holds a Doctorate of Science in Social and Behavioral Sciences and a Master of Science in Society, Human Development and Health, both from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her dissertation focused on qualitatively and quantitatively exploring the intersection of place and individual attributes on access to reproductive health services in rural communities in Central Appalachia. Her research has been published in Social Science and Medicine, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Reproductive Health Matters, Women’s Health Issues, and the Journal of Maternal and Child Health. Jenny spent over ten years as the Deputy Director at Provide, a national nonprofit focused on training health and social service providers to meet the needs of patients with unintended pregnancies, including abortion care. Jenny has also served as a Fellow in the 2012-2013 National Council for Research on Women-Amex Fellowship, a program dedicated to developing women leaders in the nonprofit sector. Contact Jenny at JOdonnell@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 407.

Marlo Polonsky, MPH.Marlo Polonsky, MPH, Grants Manager. Marlo has been with the Society of Family Planning for over a decade and has played a million different roles, including being part of the development of most major programs— including the annual meeting, clinical guidelines, and membership. Marlo is currently focused on the Society of Family Planning Research Fund: recruiting peer reviewers to evaluate proposals and serving as the first point of contact for both grant seekers and grantees. Marlo was previously Director of Community Education for the Cardiovascular Institute of Philadelphia and an Information Analyst for Information Ventures, where she maintained a comprehensive database of research on adolescent health topics and youth risk behaviors. She started her career at the Women's Health Education Program of the Drexel University School of Medicine, integrating new scientific developments in girls' and women's health into the medical curriculum. "I'm interested in and tend to gravitate towards studies that challenge conventional norms," she says. Marlo has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Education from Temple University and a Master’s in Public Health from Drexel University. Contact Marlo at MPolonsky@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 302.

Elizabeth Rivera, MBAOperations Manager. Elizabeth helps set and execute the Society of Family Planning's operational strategy while building the infrastructure to “keep the wheels greased” in four key areas: HR, finance, IT, and administration. A self-described “process geek,” she obsesses over every process and procedural element. Elizabeth has more than 14 years of operational experience in supply chain management and spent the last two-and-half years as an executive coordinator and board liaison for Provide, Inc., a non-profit that provides professional development for health professionals counseling women with unintended pregnancies. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology for the University of New Rochelle and a Master of Business Administration in global supply chain and logistics from Northeastern University. Elizabeth is interested in how the Society can support researchers to find ways to engage traditionally marginalized voices — including communities of color, the economically disadvantaged, the LGTBQ community, and those who live in rural communities — in the abortion and contraception conversation. Contact Elizabeth at ERivera@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 303.

Mary Tschann, PhD, MPH Mary Tschann, PhD, MPHSenior Clinical Research Manager. Mary manages the implementation of multi-site studies that answer clinical questions about abortion for the Society of Family Planning. These include large-scale studies that would be difficult for a single institution to conduct on their own. It's the perfect job for someone who calls herself "passionate about reproductive justice and a nerd for clinical trials." Mary holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of San Francisco and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has a Doctorate from the University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine, where she also worked as a clinical practice manager, research center director and assistant professor. She has been published in Contraception, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Journal of Adolescent and Pediatric Gynecology. "The path to expanding access to care is long and winding," say Mary, who started her career a program manager for the Fellowship in Family Planning. "But I feel strongly that this rigorous evidence is a critical component of the many elements that must work together to improve the lives of women and families." Contact Mary at MTschann@SocietyFP.org, 866.584.6758, ext. 408.

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