Leadership Training Academy

2015 LTA DCcrop

ANNOUNCEMENT: The application period for the Class of 2016 is now open! Click here for more information.

Purpose of the Academy

The Physicians for Reproductive Health Leadership Training Academy prepares physicians to become lifelong leaders in reproductive health advocacy. Through an intensive program, the Academy helps its Fellows develop and internalize the skills and attributes they need to be powerful, effective advocates for comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care.

Drs. Floyd and MorrellAcademy Highlights

  • Firsthand advocacy experience
  • Visits with lawmakers in state capitals and Washington, DC
  • In-person sessions and webinars
  • Opportunities to improve medical education and share best practices in reproductive and sexual health care with peers
  • On-camera media trainings
  • Chances to educate the public about contraception, abortion, STIs, and other aspects of sexual and reproductive health
  • Collaboration with physicians around the country and across specialties
  • Opportunities to build and strengthen coalitions between organizations
  • Guidance from experts in medicine, advocacy, leadership, and communications

Who Can Apply

The Leadership Training Academy is open to physicians in any specialty and at various points in their careers. Medical specialties of past fellows include obstetrics/gynecology, family medicine, pediatrics, maternal-fetal medicine, internal medicine, and psychiatry, among others. The Academy is open to:

  • Physicians entering the final year of the Fellowship in Family Planning (FPF), the TEACH Leadership Fellowship or RHAP Reproductive Health Care and Advocacy Fellowship, FPF alumni, or Directors of Ryan Residency Programs. The Academy program, including travel and lodging expenses, is available at no cost to current participants of the Fellowship in Family Planning, TEACH or RHAP fellowships, FPF alumni, and Ryan Residency directors through funds from a categorical grant.
  • Practicing physicians in any specialty, with priority considered for those who practice in least-access states, who are able to cover their own travel and lodging expenses. These physicians are required to pay a $500 registration fee, which includes training materials and most meals.

Note: Scholarship funds may be available to cover the expenses of one or more applicants.

In addition to meeting the requirements above, applicants should have already demonstrated great potential as leaders and worked to improve reproductive and sexual health care. Further, applicants should be ready, willing, and able to be confident, visible, and tenacious ambassadors for reproductive and sexual health.

Space in the Leadership Training Academy is limited. The program runs annually from October through June.

Mission

DSC_5555Physicians for Reproductive Health founded the Leadership Training Academy to foster future generations of self-driven physician leaders who will work throughout their careers to defend and advance comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care.

 

History

Physicians for Reproductive Health has been helping doctors become physician-advocates since its inception in 1992. Formalized in 2003, our leadership training program has graduated nine classes of doctors equipped to advance reproductive and sexual health care in their home institutions and beyond.

Questions

If you have questions about the Leadership Training Academy, please contact:

Libby Benedict
Director of Leadership Training Networks
Physicians for Reproductive Health
55 W. 39th Street, 10th floor
New York, NY 10018

Office: 646-649-9923
Cell: 415-990-6502
Email: libby@prh.org

Related Posts:

Dr. Lonna Gordon: Happy Mother’s Day to Young Mothers Everywhere

Dr. Lonna GordonLonna Gordon, MD, PharmD, is a pediatrician who specializes in adolescent medicine at the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York City. She is a Leadership Training Academy fellow.

It is a bright spring day and I am headed to meet a friend at the park. A woman passing me on the street smiles at me and says, “Happy Mother’s Day!” I am not a mother, but after many Mother’s Days, as a “true adult” I have learned it is just easier to smile and offer a polite “Thank You” to well-wishers. Moreover, as a pediatrician who specializes in adolescent medicine I am a caretaker of hundreds of children, so perhaps I exude motherly qualities.

Later that week I see one of my patients, a young mother whom I will call Shannon, in my exam room and ask her how her Mother’s Day was.

“Ok,” she replies.

“Just ok?” I prod. “Did you do anything special?  Have a nice meal?  Get flowers or a card?”

“No,” she says with a sigh, “It was just another day.”

I change the subject, and soon we are discussing how to potty train her son and prepare him for the new baby expected in a few months. I check in on how many semesters she has left at the local community college and tell Shannon how proud I am that she is pursuing her educational goals. However, as I move through the rest of my day I can’t help but feel sad for her. How terrible it must feel as a mother to have no one acknowledge your hard work and accomplishments, especially on Mother’s Day!

In my practice at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York City, I work every day with a multidisciplinary team to provide vital, comprehensive adolescent health care that emphasizes confidentiality and support for whatever happens in our patients’ lives. We empower young people to make responsible choices concerning their reproductive health. While access to comprehensive sex education and contraception are absolutely important, this is only one part of the solution. When those approaches fail and one of my patients becomes pregnant, I support her no matter what she decides. If she makes the deeply personal choice to become a parent, I support her.

So while I provide the full range of contraceptive care, I also care for teenage parents and their children and I support them in their efforts to be excellent parents and raise healthy kids. At the Center, I am able to provide these services free of charge, and without judgment.

Our culture frequently sends the message to young parents that they are irresponsible and a burden to society. We tell them they are too young to parent, won’t be able to do it well, and that their lives and dreams are over when they have a child.  We marginalize and stigmatize them.

But what would happen if instead we—doctors, teachers, social workers, society—gave them support? We know that when young people are healthy in mind and body, they can make it in this world. What if we taught them good parenting skills? What if we encouraged their educational goals and dreams? What if we ensured they had secure housing, reliable child-care and nutritious food? What if we equipped them with the knowledge and resources for planning their next pregnancy?

Young mothers want the same things for their children that all mothers want. They want to do a good job. They work at balancing parenting with their many other personal responsibilities. They want their kids to be happy, healthy, and successful. They need to feel supported as they do their best in such a meaningful role.

As a doctor, I am in a privileged position. I get to see tangible results of what young mothers achieve when they are supported. They are happy and well adjusted. They finish high school. They go to college. They get jobs. Their kids are healthy and meet their developmental milestones. They learn how to co-parent with their child’s father or other extended family members.

A year has passed and Shannon is the mother of two and just three months away from finishing her associate’s degree. My hope for her this Mother’s Day is that she experiences a holiday where she is celebrated and validated. So to Shannon, and all the young moms reading this who may feel forgotten or undervalued: I believe in you and I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!

Crossposted on Feministing 

Dr. Lisa Hofler: “My Patients Need and Deserve Health Care Coverage”

Lisa Hofler, MD, MPH, is a current Leadership Training Academy Fellow practicing in the southeastern U.S.

Lisa Hofler MDAs an obstetrician-gynecologist, I am proud to support the Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act of 2015, legislation that would restore health care coverage for many of my patients. For nearly two decades, politicians have enacted restrictive policies that prevent immigrants from accessing affordable health coverage. The HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act, reintroduced in Congress by Rep. Lujan Grisham this week, would among other things restore access to health care programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for immigrants who are authorized to live and work in the U.S.

The current legal and policy barriers to affordable health coverage disproportionately harm immigrant women. Working in a large safety-net hospital in the Southeast, I regularly see immigrant patients who are pregnant and have not received adequate prenatal care. Certainly there are a number of possible individual reasons for not seeking this care, from language barriers to logistical barriers in finding time and a means to travel to a health clinic. But most definitely, lack of health insurance is a significant barrier preventing many women—pregnant or not—from seeking the health care they need.

For example, there are pregnant women whose first visit to a health care provider is a month before their due date—their concern for the health of their pregnancy outweighing the worry about the prohibitive cost of care. In some cases, they have gestational diabetes, a common condition that is easily diagnosed and treated during the course of routine prenatal care. But because they miss the screening for this condition, they also miss most of the benefits of treating their diabetes early on.

Other times, the first care my patients receive is when they arrive at the hospital in preterm labor. In some of these instances, without access to affordable contraception, their second pregnancy followed rapidly after their first. A short interval between pregnancies and lack of prenatal care can put women at risk for many complications, such anemia and preterm labor, resulting in prolonged hospitalization; and for their babies, prematurity, low birthweight, and a resulting long NICU stay.

Access to affordable, timely, and comprehensive contraceptive, prenatal, and postnatal care is essential to reduce unintended pregnancies, pregnancy complications, and maternal mortality. And when mothers are healthy, the whole family is healthier.

Denying immigrant women and families health coverage doesn’t eliminate their need for health care. It just creates worse health outcomes that often could have been prevented with access to affordable health care. The good news is that our lawmakers in Congress can do something about this: show their commitment to improving health care access for immigrant communities by cosponsoring the HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act. 

Physicians: Become Advocates for Reproductive Health!

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It has been an incredibly enriching and inspiring experience participate in the Leadership Training Academy, to work with a diverse group of doctors who share the common passion of reproductive health access for our patients. I’ve gained skills and confidence in being an advocate, but the camaraderie and community-building is what has been the most rewarding for me. — Dr. Lin-Fan Wang, Class of 2013

The Physicians for Reproductive Health Leadership Training Academy prepares physicians to become lifelong leaders in reproductive health care advocacy by helping them develop and internalize the skills and attributes they need to be powerful, effective advocates for comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care. Our leadership training program, which began in 2003, has graduated 10 classes of doctors equipped to advance reproductive and sexual health care in their home institutions and beyond. Applications are now available for the class of 2016.

Read more about the Academy and our fellows’ work as physician-advocates in the media, in Washington, and in the states.

Apply today. Space is limited. Deadline for applications is Friday, June 5, 2015

2015 Leadership Training Academy Fellows: Why I Provide

March 10 is the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. March 10 is the day in 1993 when David Gunn, MD, was murdered by an anti-choice extremist. To honor the courageous doctors who provide this much-needed service and to fight the stigma surrounding this safe, legal medical care, members of our current Leadership Training Academy class share their stories of why they provide and why they support their colleagues who provide.

 

Dr. Serina FloydWhy do I provide abortions?  Because women need them.  Because if I didn’t, there would be one less person who understands and is willing to care for the woman who finds herself pregnant at a time when she is not ready for a(nother) child.  One less person who can be there to support and provide care to the woman who discovers complications with her pregnancy.  One less person who can provide compassionate care to the woman who is pregnant as a result of sexual assault.  Why do I provide abortions?  Because I consider it an honor and a privilege to be a part of a woman’s life when she has to make such an important decision.  Why do I provide abortions?  Because I care.

Serina Floyd, MD, MSPH

Alexandria, VA

Dr. Nicole Fanarjian

Those of us who choose to assist women in this way do it because we can’t imagine not doing it.  We think it is unethical to do otherwise. We do it, not because it is glamorous or because we expect to be glorified, but because we care deeply about women and trust their family planning decisions.

Nicole Fanarjian, MD, MSCR

Sarasota, FL

 

Dr. Kate WhitehouseEvery day, women must navigate innumerable and sometimes insurmountable barriers to access abortion care.  I provide abortions to support women and families during their most vulnerable times.  I provide abortions to help preserve women’s basic human right to control their bodies and reproduction.

Kate Whitehouse, DO

Honolulu, HI

 

We all face situations in life that we don’t expect or deserve.  The decision to become a parent, and under what circumstances, is life-altering and deeply personal.  For me, there is nothing in medicine more gratifying than helping women take control of their reproductive lives so that they can become parents when ready, and have access to birth control and safe abortion when not.

Katie Simmons, MD

Portland, OR

Dr. Lisa GoldthwaiteI believe in public health interventions that provide simple solutions to human suffering. As oral rehydration therapy and vaccines have been powerful, successful public health interventions, so too has been safe abortion. Universal access to contraception and safe abortion services are fundamental issues of social justice, and I am proud to participate in improving access to these services through advocacy, research, and providing my patients with the health care they need.

Lisa Goldthwaite, MD

Denver, CO

 

Physicians should never deny their patients care. I provide abortions because it is the right thing to do. My hope for the future is that I will be able to talk about providing abortions as openly as doctors in other areas of medicine can talk about their work.

Anonymous

Dr. Amber TrueheartWhen I was a teenager, my sister became pregnant. She was not ready to become a parent and the nearest abortion clinic was several hours away.

I had only had my driver’s license for a few months when I drove farther away from my hometown than I had ever been, to ensure my sister could have an abortion. I held her hand during the whole drive and silently vowed to do everything in my power to make sure that one day nobody had to experience a drive like that. One of the ways I stay true to that promise is by providing abortions.

Abortion care needs to not only be safe and legal, it also needs to be accessible.

Amber Truehart, MD

Chicago, IL

Dr. Emily SchneiderI am a comprehensive reproductive health care physician. Abortion care is a small, but profoundly impactful service that I provide for my patients. I am proud to be a trained and skilled physician working to increase access to abortion for women and their families.

Emily Schneider, MD

Albuquerque, NM

 

Dr. Bhavik KumarI provide abortions because it’s the right thing to do. I am a family medicine doctor and abortion is part of the routine care that I can offer my patients. Knowing my patient, and often their family as well, I want to fully support them when they face an unplanned pregnancy. When a patient decides to continue a pregnancy, I can provide prenatal care. When a patient decides not to continue a pregnancy, I can provide abortion care.

Providing abortion care is a moral, just, and ethical part of being a family physician. Providing abortion care has taught me that my patients know what’s best for them and to trust their decisions. Providing abortion care has made me a better physician and I am thankful for that.

Bhavik Kumar, MD

New York, NY

I provide full-spectrum reproductive health care as a family physician because I want to be able to provide my pregnant patients with the care they need both when they are ready to be pregnant and when they are not. I aim to break down health care barriers for women and expand access to safe reproductive health care. I provide abortion care because it is every woman’s right to have control over her future.

Zahra Virani, MD

New York, NY

Dr. Roslyn KadeI am a simple person. It is simple tenets that motivate me: Beneficence, Autonomy, and Humanism are my driving forces. They motivate me to get up in the morning and allow me to rest at night in peace.

So providing is, in some ways, about me. It is about how caring for women and empowering them to have better lives makes me feel fulfilled and content. It is how spending even a short time with a woman can make her life better forever. How I get to have a mission and live it every day. How no matter how bleak it may be outside, how wrong things might be going in the world, when I leave work, I believe I have made the world a better place. That is why I provide and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Roslyn Kade, MD

Cincinnati, OH


I support my patient if she chooses to continue her pregnancy, and I support my patient if she chooses abortion. Whatever her decision is, it is important to me that I am able to provide her with comprehensive reproductive health care, and that includes providing abortions.

Melissa Chen, MD, MPH

Sacramento, CA

 

In society, abortion remains a polarizing subject, burdened by controversy, stigma, silence and shame. I see the profound impact of these social messages when I sit with women navigating decisions about pregnancy. But, my patients are thoughtful about their lives and capable of making decisions that are difficult and complex by reflecting on their health and the needs of their families. As a doctor, I know abortion is a valid, common and safe option for women.  And for me, performing abortions is a moral imperative. Like other aspects of my clinical work, abortion calls on my compassion, my hope, my kindness, my humanity and my integrity.  I provide comprehensive reproductive health care to challenge the messages women hear about their options, their worth, and their bodies when it comes to pregnancy.  Abortion care is my platform for patient advocacy and I’m proud to be an abortion provider.

Natalie Whaley, MD, MPH

Baltimore, MD

Dr. Anna AltshulerI became an obstetrician/gynecologist because I liked being the person my friends confided in when it pertained to sensitive subjects related to sexual and reproductive health. I loved providing information and unconditional support. My work is an extension of that commitment. I value being the person women come to when they need comprehensive reproductive health care and I take pride in having the knowledge and skills to attend to those needs.

Anna Altshuler, MD, MPH

Stanford, CA

Dr. Valerie FrenchI provide because there is a need. Women need safe abortions in kind environments. I provide because I believe that physicians should put patients first and be a source of comfort and service in their most vulnerable moments. I provide because my conscience compels me to.

Valerie French, MD

San Francisco, CA

 

As an obstetrician, I provide abortion care as part of comprehensive pregnancy-related health care.  My job and goal are to maximize the health and lives of the women I take care of.  Just like management of labor and delivery, abortion care is a fundamental part of women’s reproductive health care, and its provision helps optimize the health of women in our society.

Anonymous

Dr. Crystal GoldsmithI provide so that women have a choice. I grew up in a small town where no one discussed contraception and certainly not abortion – sex ed was abstinence-only. I watched many girls who gave birth at a young age experience stigma for having gotten pregnant in the first place. When I moved to a city I thought things would be different. But all through college, medical school and residency, I encountered people who judged women for their sexual behavior and reproductive decisions.

I believe in a world where women are able to make informed health decisions without stigma and judgment. Women should have the power to decide if and when to become a parent. As a physician, I have the ability to help women. I provide because I owe it to them to do so.

Crystal Goldsmith, MD, MS

Los Angeles, CA

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