Global Reproductive and Sexual Health Summer Institute

Unfinished Agenda

Even though we had to cancel our 3rd annual Global Reproductive and Sexual Health Summer Institute this year, we recognize the opportunity this conference offered to many of us practitioners, researchers, and policy advocates from around the globe as a platform to promote robust discussions around health equity, access, and reproductive health. We were particularly excited about our program focus, “#UNFINISHEDAGENDA: Sexual reproductive health and rights for all.” In lieu of coming together in person, we would like to share some of the accepted posters as digital abstracts as well as share some videos about maternal and reproductive health, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic created by some of our presenters. We look forward to seeing you at the Global Reproductive and Sexual Health Summer Institute in the future!

We had some truly exceptional abstracts submitted from Ethiopia, Kenya, and the United States for this year’s Summer Institute. We are pleased to share five of these in digital format. Please see the digital abstracts below for more information on abortion-related stigma in Africa and Latin America, sexual health practices related to noncircumcised care, preeclampsia and eclampsia in Ghana, provider bias in contraceptive access for adolescents in Kenya, and safe abortion services in Ethiopia.


Deborah ArmbrusterDebra Armbruster, MPH, CNM, FACNM – Founding member of the White Ribbon Allinance for Safe Motherhood

Through the What Women Want campaign, White Ribbon Alliance and partners heard from 1.2 million women and girls about their top request for quality reproductive and maternal healthcare. The largest ever survey into women’s and girls’ opinions of their health needs, What Women Want let women and girls set the agenda, as opposed to beginning with a premise of what is important or asking them to decide among a set of options. Now, a robust advocacy agenda takes their demands forward for health programs, policies and practices that are more responsive to actual needs. It’s time to listen, and act, on what women want. Find out more at See the What Women Want videos on our new Global Nursing YouTube Channel!

Leseliey Rose WelchLeseliey Welch, MPH, MBA – Birth Detroit & Birth Center Equity Fund

In the face of death, suffering, and brutally amplified racism, communities of color are caring for each other and leading the world with powerful love, strength, and vision. Movement Strategy Center’s new video series Vision Through COVID: Portals to the Future tells these stories, starting with “Birthing the Future” which features the Birth Center Equity Fund, a network of people of color-led community birthing centers that was born in urgent response to COVID-19 with a vision of liberatory community birthing for generations to come. Watch and share here 

Ruth ZielinskiRuth Zielinski, Ph.D., CNM, FACNM – Clinical Associate Professor, U-M School of Nursing

Dr. Zielinski highlights some of her observations related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on global maternal health on our new Global Nursing YouTube Channel!




Alex SternAlexandra Stern, Ph.D.

Alexandra Minna Stern, Ph.D. is the Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor of American Culture, History, and Women’s Studies and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan. Her research has focused on the uses and misuses of genetics in the United States and Latin America. She is the author of the award-winning Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America which was published in second edition by University of California Press in 2015. She also is author of Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), a Choice 2013 Outstanding Academic Title in Health Sciences. Her book, Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right is Warping the American Imagination (Beacon Press, 2019) applies the lenses of historical analysis, feminist studies, and critical race studies to deconstruct the core ideas of the alt-right and white nationalism. Stern leads the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab, which uses mixed methods to study patterns and experiences of eugenic sterilization in the twentieth-century United States; this research has informed policy efforts to provide redress to survivors of compulsory sterilization. Stern has held numerous grants including from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institutes of Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Charisse LoderCharisse Loder, MD

Dr. Loder is a Clinical Lecturer of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School and the Director of Clinical Family Planning Services in the Division of Gynecology. She completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester in 2015, and a fellowship in Family Planning at the University of Michigan in 2017. She is passionate about medical education and collaborates with reproductive justice advocates to build RJ education for health professionals. 

Deborah ArmbrusterDeborah Armbruster

Deborah Armbruster is a nurse-midwife with a Master’s in Public Health and a fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.  She has over 30 years experience in safe motherhood and reproductive health programs in over 25 countries. She is a founding member of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and is an author of the Home-Based Life Saving Skills program.  She serves as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. Ms. Armbruster is currently with USAID as a Sr. Maternal and Newborn Health Advisor.  She came to USAID from PATH where she was the director of the research project, the Oxytocin Initiative and from 2004-2009, she was the Director of the Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage Initiative (POPPHI) project. At USAID, she has led the USAID work with the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, has been the Maternal Health lead for the flagship, Maternal Child Survival Project and is now a team member, and activity manager for the Ending Eclampsia and White Ribbon Alliance work. She is a recent award winner of the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ Hattie Hemschmeyer award.

Hannah SwansonHannah Swanson

Hannah Swanson is an Associate Staff Attorney in the Public Policy Litigation & Law department at Planned Parenthood Federation of America in Washington, D.C.  In that role, she helps litigate constitutional challenges to state and federal laws that restrict access to abortion and other reproductive health care.  This is Hannah's second stint at Planned Parenthood:  she also worked for the litigation team as a paralegal from 2010-2012.  Before joining Planned Parenthood as an attorney in September 2018, Hannah worked for judges on courts in the District of Columbia, Seattle, and San Diego.  She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Yale University, and Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor.

Leseliey Rose WelchLeseliey Rose Welch, MPH, MBA

Leseliey Rose Welch, MPH, MBA, Co-Founder, Birth Detroit, has over a decade of progressive public health leadership experience in city, state and national nonprofit health organizations. She served as interim executive director of Birthing Project USA, a grassroots maternal-child health movement, and Deputy Director of Public Health for the City of Detroit, leading the operational reconstitution of the post-bankruptcy health department and starting SisterFriends Detroit. She provided concept development and community engagement consulting in the start-up of Corktown Health Center, Southeast Michigan’s first comprehensive LGBT health center. Leseliey is on faculty in Public Health at Wayne State University and lectures in Women’s Studies at University of Michigan. She is passionate about health equity as a daily practice, a tool for systems transformation, and a policy imperative; and inspired by the possibility of a maternal health system that centers women, and leverages the power of community-based midwifery as a proven strategy to improve health outcomes. She is currently leading the Birth Detroit development team to open Detroit’s first community women’s wellness and birth center, modeled after the JJWay©.  Leseliey earned her undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies, Masters in Public Health with a certificate in Women’s and Reproductive Health, and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.


Marie Klingberg-AllvinMarie Klingberg-Allvin

Marie Klingberg-Allvin, is a midwife, and professor in global reproductive health at Dalarna University and guestprofessor at Karolinska Institutet. She has a PhD in international health from Karolinska Institutet and 18 years’ experience of working within global Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) in low resource settings. More specifically, her research area focuses on safe abortion, post abortion care, contraception, and immigrants’ SRH. Parts of her research related to medical abortion and post abortion care has been published in high impact journal and used in the WHO guidelines. She has experience building strategic partnerships with academia and nongovernmental organizations in low-resource settings and working with development cooperation projects.  Being a former director of the midwifery program at Dalarna University (DU) she initiated the development of a model for net-based learning in order to rebuild capacity within midwifery training institutions in Somaliland. This model has further been implemented at 38 academic institutions in Bangladesh. She is a member of the International Board of the Swedish Association of Midwives and has five years’ experience in academic leadership as pro vice chancellor and acting vice chancellor for DU. Klingberg-Allvin has been invited as an expert to the international meetings on Strengthening Quality Midwifery Education organized by WHO and has been invited as keynote speaker at national and international conferences on global SRH. Current work focuses on working a with local researchers to begin building an agenda for midwifery research in the Somali region. Her ongoing program of research targets maternal morbidity and mortality in the Somali region using maternal near misses and audits in early and late pregnancy and design and testing of midwifery-led models of care to improve maternal and newborn health to reduce the burden of maternal and newborn mortality on individuals.

Ruth ZielinskiRuth E. Zielinski, Ph.D., CNM, FACNM

Ruth Zielinski is a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Nursing Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences and the program lead for University of Michigan’s Midwifery Program. She received her MS in Nursing – Midwifery Track, PhD in Nursing and Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan. Dr. Zielinski has over 10 years of experience in women’s health research around body image and sexual health and maternal health outcomes both regionally and globally. In addition, she has 25 years of experience as a nurse-midwifery and continues to practice, most recently in global settings.

Dr. Zielinski leads an ongoing project conducting doula workshops in South Sudanese refugee settlements in northern Uganda where there are over 1 million refugees living in extreme poverty with high rates of maternal/infant mortality and morbidity. Over 100 women have participated and are serving as doulas and sharing information within the community. Dr. Zielinski is Co-I on a 5 year NIH funded project with Dr. Jody Lori to implement group antenatal care in Ghana.

Sarah Rominski Sarah Rominski 

Sarah Rominski is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan. Her work has focused on maternal health in sub-Saharan Africa, and she has worked on programs in Ghana, Liberia, and Ethiopia around clinical and research capacity building, defining and promoting respectful patient care during childbirth, human resources for health in rural areas, understanding contraceptive decision-making, and improving access to safe abortion care. More recently, Dr. Rominski has been partnering with colleagues at the University of Cape Coast, as well as the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan, to prevent sexual coercion and violence

Lee RooseveltLee Roosevelt, Ph.D., MPH, CNM

Dr. Lee Roosevelt is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, School of Nursing. She has been a nurse midwife since 2011 and currently practices at Planned Parenthood of Michigan. She isthe vice president of the Michigan affiliate and serves on the gender equity task force for the American College of Nurse Midwives. She completed her doctoral studies in 2015 in nursing and also holds a master’s in public health and a graduate certificate in women’s studies. Her research focuses on the utilization of sexual and reproductive health services by LGBTQ people and patient-provider relationships

Alain MukwegeAlain Mukwege

Alain Mukwege is a Congolese born physician and a human right activist. His work was inspired by his father’s, Denis Mukwege, who has been nominated multiple times to the Nobel peace prize for his advocacy against sexual violence in conflict zones. Alain Mukwege is a member of the advisory board of Panzi Foundation USA, a non - profit organization whose mission is to provid e holistic care to victims of sexual violence and to advocate to end violence against women and girls in DR Congo and beyond its borders. He holds a Master a Clinical research and Translational Science and his research interest s lie in the development of mechanisms to improve of Women’s health and to prevent gender based violence. Presently living in Ann Arbor Michigan to prepare for a trainin g in Obstetrics and Gynecology, his work also involves building partnerships between American institutions and Panzi Hospital to help develop local Congolese cap acities to address local problems. This framed collaborations with notably, the University Of Michigan School Of Nursing and with World without Genocide. He be lieves that the cessation of violence against women would be indispensable in the adv ancement of healthy communities and that violence against women in addition to be a violation of basic human rights is also a global health hazard.


Visitor Information

Visitor Information

Summer Institute participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements and room and board. Below are helpful links as you make your plans. Ann Arbor is a vibrant small city with a lot of activity. The Summer Institute will be held at the School of Nursing, located at 426 N. Ingalls Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Air travel

The closest airport to Ann Arbor is Detroit-Metro Airport

Ground transportation

Greyhound bus service and Amtrak train service are available from U.S. and Canadian cities. Parking on campus is limited and we cannot offer on-site parking.


A complete list of Ann Arbor accommodations can be found at


Suggested Parking locations:


For those who require a visa, please check the requirements at your local Embassy or Consulate and the University's of Michigan's International Center. Contact us at with any questions. 

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2019 Summer Institute 

Learn more about our 2019 Summer Institute.

2018 Summer Institute

Learn about our 2018 Summer Institute on Global Reproductive and Sexual Health.