We at the Women's Center would like to extend a huge welcome to Dr. Melissa Goldin Evans. Dr. Evans has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Mary Amelia Center since 2018. Her current work spans the MAC gamut, from evaluating a peripartum women’s mental health telemedicine program to writing grants that expand current programs and create new community partnerships to supporting the early childhood education staff and piloting SMS-based programs to working with maternal and child health epidemiologic doctoral students. She enjoys the variety and numerous learning opportunities.
A Gulf Coast native, Dr. Goldin Evans moved to New Orleans in 2006 to become part of the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort while earning her MsPH from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM). She went on to manage various programs at the New Orleans’ Musicians Clinic before returning to graduate school with the purpose of gaining additional skills needed to address community health disparities. In 2017, she received her PhD from the Community Health Sciences Department at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School of Public Health.
Passionate about reducing disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes through improved access to contraceptives, her dissertation research focused on objectively studying factors related to contraceptive access among low-income women in Louisiana using Medicaid claims data. This novel approach used the new contraceptive provision measures, recently endorsed by the National Quality Forum, as the foundation for creating the study population of women at risk of unintended pregnancy. She also examined if a Medicaid reimbursement policy change impacted provision of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). Her seminal finding—that LARC provision was twice as likely in the year following the policy change than the year before—was recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
This fall, Dr. Goldin Evans will be co-teaching Evidence-Based Methods in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Tulane University SPHTM. She is also working on an NIH grant application to expand MAC’s portfolio to include contraceptive research and continue to her efforts to reduce reproductive health disparities through equitable contraceptive access.