Samantha Auerbach is a sexual and reproductive health Nurse Practitioner and PhD student in Nursing at the University at Buffalo. Sam is a clinician at Planned Parenthood, where she has developed clinical expertise in contraceptive and abortion care. Since starting her doctoral program, she has been working with SFP members Gretchen Ely and Kafuli Agbemenu on a SFP funded project assessing unmet family planning needs in an Appalachian population. Sam received a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and worked in pre-clinical and clinical research at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) before obtaining Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nursing from the MGH Institute of Health Professions.
The overall goal of this project is to optimize contraceptive use and support reproductive autonomy by generating an actionable understanding of contraceptive nonuse. Ms. Auerbach will first identify individual attitudes towards pregnancy and contraception that determine contraceptive nonuse in a sample of individuals from Appalachia, a large geographic region spanning multiple states with well-documented health disparities. She will then model the relationships between attitudes towards pregnancy, attitudes towards contraception, and contraceptive nonuse in order to determine the how they interact to ultimately influence contraceptive nonuse. This project provides a novel approach for understanding contraceptive nonuse that will support the development of tailored and person-centered contraceptive counseling interventions to be shared with Appalachian community members and providers. Results will also generate foundational knowledge regarding contraceptive nonuse in the Appalachian population.