Data Analysis Project Supports Citywide Interventions to Screen for Intimate Partner Violence Among Birthing People
April 27, 2023
Sarah Weinbrom is an MPH student majoring in Epidemiology with a minor in Maternal and Child Health (MCH).
Sarah has always had an interest in MCH. Sarah worked at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) after completing her undergraduate degree where her work focused on children’s health. These experiences solidified Sarah’s interest in Maternal Health.
Sarah received a mini grant from the Drexel MCH Program to support her MCH workforce development project with the Division of Maternal, Child, and Family Health at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (MCFH PDPH). Sarah’s project focused on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Screening among Birthing People in Philadelphia (pdf)
What did you do on the project? What products did you produce?
I worked with the PDPH MCFH Data & Evaluation Team and the OVA (Organized Voices for Action) to look at perinatal intimate partner violence. I conducted data cleaning and analysis. I specifically worked with Philly PRAMS (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System) data. PRAMS is a national surveillance system conducted at the state level in collaboration with the CDC. Philadelphia has done its own PRAMS Survey since 2018 in addition to that from Pennsylvania. The PRAMS survey is sent to Philadelphia postpartum birthing people between 2 and 6 months after birth. The survey contains questions about before, during, and after pregnancy.
"This was a great opportunity to pull together all the skills I learned in the classroom and apply them to a project I was leading. I was able to take a project from start to finish, from raw data to a report that is publishable, and explain the decisions I made to arrive at the final report." - Sarah Weinbrom
I looked at Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) statistics and created a report related to the prevalence of and screening for perinatal IPV in Philadelphia. The report is currently being edited and will be published. I also created a presentation of the findings for the OVA. The OVA is a multidisciplinary community action team created to carry out the recommendations of the Philadelphia Maternal Mortality Review Committee. Stakeholders include women and birthing people, governmental agencies, health care system professionals, insurance providers, maternal support organizations, policy advocates, social determinants of health professionals, and support networks. This information is helpful to the OVA as it works to implement and support citywide interventions addressing the causes of maternal mortality, including IPV.
How did your training at Dornsife prepare you for the experience?
The SAS classes I completed were helpful. The intermediate epidemiology and biostatistics courses helped prepare me to complete the coding and analysis required for the project. Dornsife provided me with the research skills and vocabulary to be able to talk about data and statistics. The professors at Dornsife provided tools to understand data ethics and how to report on data.
What did you learn from the experience? How did the experience augment your training from Dornsife?
My content knowledge of perinatal IPV increased substantially from the literature review I conducted. I got practical experience using SAS and producing reports. This was a great opportunity to pull together all the skills I learned in the classroom and apply them to a project I was leading. I was able to take a project from start to finish, from raw data to a report that is publishable, and explain the decisions I made to arrive at the final report.
What advice would you give to current MCH students?
Networking is huge. Dr. Davis was able to organize an informational interview that led to this internship. This experience further enabled me to make connections and gain exposure to the right people that could mentor me and point me in the right direction.
I suggest students send emails to people and ask to speak with them about their roles. Don’t be afraid to take opportunities that come up, even if they are not the perfect alignment.
Update: The brief that Sarah co-authored was published in August 2023. Read Intimate Partner Violence and Screening Among Birthing People in Philadelphia (pdf)
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Dornsife's Maternal and Child Health Program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.