Dr. Claire Brindis is a Professor of Health Policy, the Director of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, and Director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Brindis is an expert in adolescent pregnancy prevention among Latinas; program evaluation using quantitative and qualitative methods; as well as translating results for different groups, professionals, and communities. For example, Dr. Brindis and her team conducted research comparing Latina youth who were pregnant during adolescence with a group of youth in the same community who were waiting to have their first child in their twenties. The results of this study were produced as a 22 minute documentary titled: “Una Cuestión de Esperanza” (http://bixbycenter.ucsf.edu/videos/video-lo-3.html).
Dr. Marianne Velandia is a midwife, teacher, and a sexual and reproductive health researcher at the University of Mälardalen, School of Health Care and Social Welfare. Marianne’s principal area of research is in Scientific Medicine with a focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Her research consists of three components. The first component deals with newborn innate behavior, sex differences, and breastfeeding. The second component is associated with the quality of parental behavior, hormones, parent-child attachment and their impact on the family’s health. The third area of research deals with adolescents and unwanted pregnancies.
Dr. Velandia has a great interest in international sexual and reproductive health, especially in the Region of the Americas. In 2002, the Karolinska Institute was involved in a teacher exchange with the School of Midwifery at the University of Chile, in which Dr. Velandia was a participant. From 2005-2010, Dr. Velandia coordinated and led a project on Nicaraguan Obstetrical Nurses in collaboration with the Karolinska Institute, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, and the Swedish Government, financed by Asdi. As a result of this project, more than 500 Obstetrical Nurses at 7 universities and nursing schools graduated, while 30 Nicaraguan professors from across the country are now specialized in humane and ethical obstetrics and gynecology, based on scientific evidence. The project was a great success and as a consequence helped in reaching MDG5: maternal mortality has diminished in sites that are attended by Obstetrical Nurses. In the long term, it will be important to evaluate the effects and sustainability of this project within the health and university systems.
Dr. Velandia is a board member of the International Council of Midwives in Sweden, in which the fundamental tasks are to strengthen international SRHR work, disseminate knowledge based on scientific evidence, and promote the research and evaluation of these themes.