Rachel Logan receives grant to study young black women’s family planning care

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Rachel Logan, a USF College of Public Health doctoral student in community and family health, has been awarded an Emerging Scholars in Family Planning grant.

The grant is funded by the Society of Family Planning Research Fund and the Society of Family Planning. It is open to those in graduate-level programs who focus on research that advances access to safe abortion or the prevention of unintended pregnancy in the United States.

Logan was given the maximum award—$7,500—to help further her research examining the family planning care black women between the ages of 18-29 receive in the Southeast United States.

“I am interested in the experiences these women have when they go to clinical settings for birth control,” Logan said. “I want to see how they perceive their experiences with their provider and whether the entanglement of social and personal identities, things like race, age and social status, influence their perceptions of care.”

Doctoral student Rachel Logan. (Photo courtesy of Logan)

Logan decided to focus on young black women because it’s a demographic with a high unintended pregnancy rate and inconsistent contraceptive use.

“Providers have a critical role in women’s access to the most effective forms of contraception, particularly hormonal methods,” Logan noted. “I want to know more about what young black women experience since their rate of unintended pregnancy is disproportionately high when compared to women of other ages and races.”

Logan, who received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Virginia Tech and her MPH from George Mason University, hopes her research can help enhance patient experiences and patient-provider communication.

“I think public health has to be a part of leading research that encompasses all aspects of health care delivery, including non-disease and condition outcomes,” Logan commented.  “The research I want to do, and the research that I think is critical to the field of public health, is not always the research that is funded. The Society of Family Planning is committed to supporting researchers who are addressing issues of health equity in all facets of sexual and reproductive care.”

Included in the $7,500 award is membership to the Society of Family Planning, complimentary hotel and travel to its annual meeting, coverage of the processing fees associated with open-access publishing and admittance to a career-development workshop.

After graduation, Logan intends to work in a position that combines research, policy and practice to address health equity.

“This award,” Logan said, “is enabling me to do the research I want to do and is creating opportunities for me to continue it into the future. Besides increasing our understanding of patient experience, I hope my work will give black women and their diversity representation in public health research.”

Story by Donna Campisano, USF College of Public Health