March Monthly Update



Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We celebrated a wonderful event for International Women’s Day at RTI while I celebrated the Forbes 30/50 Summit in Abu Dhabi with new cultural experiences and the opportunity to network with many passionate young women. But we must feel pain or secondary trauma from the events happening worldwide and here in the US. The crazy weather storms on the West Coast of the US, the tornado in the South wiping out a town, and also absorbing that 131 mass shootings have occurred in the US since the beginning of the year. This is unimaginable, and now the number one cause of death for children is firearm-related injuries, which includes gun violence. As scientists, researchers, and evaluators we are confronting these issues knowing they are more complicated than presented. We are part of the solution but so much more needs to be done.

I was very happy that for International Women's Day, our WomenNC UN/CSW scholars femtored by our affiliates presented their research at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in-person! Both Manisha Dass and Isa van der Drift went as chaperones, and you can read more and see a picture below.  

Read about the RTI International Women's Day, hosted by the Women Advancing Leadership and Success North America (WALS-NA), the International Development Group (IDG) and the RTI Global Gender Center that featured speaker Jessica Shortall as well as a panel of RTI International researchers and scientists working to address various gender inequalities.

Wishing you and your loved ones a good holiday season. I want to leave us all with the reminder that we need more than just a day or a month to consider women’s issues or gender inequality -- it is an everyday responsibility for all of us everywhere! 

In health,


An excursion to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi!


RTI Gender-related March Publications

  • Bucher S, Nowak K, Otieno K, Tenge C, Marete I, Rutto F, Kemboi M, Achieng E, Ekhaguere OA, Nyongesa P, Esamai FO, Liechty EA. Birth weight and gestational age distributions in a rural Kenyan population. BMC Pediatr. 2023 Mar 8;23(1):112. doi: 10.1186/s12887-023-03925-2. PMID: 36890485; PMCID: PMC9993805.
  • Curran D, Patterson BJ, Carrico J, Salem A, La EM, Lorenc S, Hicks KA, Poston S, Carpenter CF. Public health impact of recombinant zoster vaccine for prevention of herpes zoster in US adults immunocompromised due to cancer. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2023 Mar 7;19(1):2167907. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2023.2167907. PMID: 36880669; PMCID: PMC10038038.
  • Deese J, Chen PL, Gao X, Heffron R, Hobbs M, Lapple D, Jaspan H, Miller A, Nair G, Onono M, Palanee-Phillips T, Reddy K, Steiner MJ. Post-randomization Differences in Condomless Vaginal Sex Among Women Randomized to Intramuscular Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Injections, a Copper Intrauterine Device or a Levonorgestrel Implant in the ECHO Trial. AIDS Behav. 2023 Mar;27(3):978-983. doi: 10.1007/s10461-022-03834-y. PMID: 36357806; PMCID: PMC9945058.
  • Devlin LA, Hu Z, Ounpraseuth S, Simon AE, Annett RD, Das A, Fuller JF, Higgins RD, Merhar SL, Smith PB, Crawford MM, Cottrell LE, Czynski AJ, Newman S, Paul DA, Sánchez PJ, Semmens EO, Smith MC, Whalen BL, Snowden JN, Young LW; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network and the NIH Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program Institutional Development Awards States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network. The influence of mediators on the relationship between antenatal opioid agonist exposure and the severity of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome. Matern Child Health J. 2023 Mar 11. doi: 10.1007/s10995-022-03521-3. PMID: 36905529.
  • Dharod JM, Hernandez M, Labban JD, Black MM, Ammerman A, Frazier C, Raynor N, Ramos-Castillo I. Associations between early introduction to complementary foods, subsequent cereal-added bottle feeding and daily macronutrient intake among infants. Appetite. 2023 Mar 1;182:106453. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2023.106453. PMID: 36621723; PMCID: PMC9907061.
  • Gartlehner G, Kahwati L. Hormone therapy for the prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal persons-reply. JAMA. 2023 Mar 21;329(11):943. doi: 10.1001/jama.2023.0192. PMID: 36943216.
  • Goldenberg RL, Saleem S, Billah SM, Kim J, Moore JL, Ghanchi NK, Haque R, Figueroa L, Ayala A, Lokangaka A, Tshefu A, Goudar SS, Kavi A, Somannavar M, Esamai F, Mwenechanya M, Chomba E, Patel A, Das P, Emonyi WI, Edidi S, Deshmukh M, Hossain B, Siraj S, Mazariegos M, Garces AL, Bauserman M, Bose CL, Petri WA Jr, Krebs NF, Derman RJ, Carlo WA, Liechty EA, Hibberd PL, Koso-Thomas M, Peres- da-Silva N, Nolen TL, McClure EM. COVID-19 antibody positivity over time and pregnancy outcomes in seven low-and-middle-income countries: A prospective, observational study of the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research. BJOG. 2023 Mar;130(4):366-376. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17366. PMID: 36504437; PMCID: PMC9877904.
  • Hull SJ, Massie JS, Holt SL, Bowleg L. Intersectionality policymaking toolkit: Key principles for an intersectionality-informed policymaking process to serve diverse women, children, and families. Health Promot Pract. 2023 Mar 24:15248399231160447. doi: 10.1177/15248399231160447. PMID: 36960782.
  • Jackson-Morris A, Meyer CL. The case for investing in the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in three middle-income countries. Lancet Glob Health. 2023 Mar;11 Suppl 1:S18. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(23)00101-8. PMID: 36866475.
  • Kim JH, Robles V, Weimer KED, Gehtland LM, Kucera KS. Improved dried nlood spot PCR assay for universal congenital cytomegalovirus screening in newborns. Microbiol Spectr. 2023 Mar 20:e0404122. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.04041-22. PMID: 36939327.
  • Knapp EA, Kress AM, Parker CB, Page GP, McArthur K, Gachigi KK, Alshawabkeh AN, Aschner JL, Bastain TM, Breton CV, Bendixsen CG, Brennan PA, Bush NR, Buss C, Camargo CA Jr, Catellier D, Cordero JF, Croen L, Dabelea D, Deoni S, D'Sa V, Duarte CS, Dunlop AL, Elliott AJ, Farzan SF, Ferrara A, Ganiban JM, Gern JE, Giardino AP, Towe-Goodman NR, Gold DR, Habre R, Hamra GB, Hartert T, Herbstman JB, Hertz-Picciotto I, Hipwell AE, Karagas MR, Karr CJ, Keenan K, Kerver JM, Koinis-Mitchell D, Lau B, Lester BM, Leve LD, Leventhal B, LeWinn KZ, Lewis J, Litonjua AA, Lyall K, Madan JC, McEvoy CT, McGrath M, Meeker JD, Miller RL, Morello-Frosch R, Neiderhiser JM, O'Connor TG, Oken E, O'Shea M, Paneth N, Porucznik CA, Sathyanarayana S, Schantz SL, Spindel ER, Stanford JB, Stroustrup A, Teitelbaum SL, Trasande L, Volk H, Wadhwa PD, Weiss ST, Woodruff TJ, Wright RJ, Zhao Q, Jacobson LP, Environmental Influences On Child Health Outcomes OBOPCF. The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO)-wide cohort. Am J Epidemiol. 2023 Mar 24:kwad071. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwad071. PMID: 36963379.
  • Krzyzanowski MC, Ives CL, Jones NL, Entwisle B, Fernandez A, Cullen T, Darity W, Fossett M, Remington PL, Taualii M, Wilkins CH, Pérez-Stable EJ, Rajapakse N, Breen N, Zhang X, Maiese DR, Hendershot T, Mandal M, Hwang SY, Huggins W, Gridley L, Riley A, Ramos EM, Hamilton CM. The PhenX Toolkit: Measurement protocols for assessment of social determinants of health. Am J Prev Med. 2023 Mar 17:S0749-3797(23)00124-1. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2023.03.003. PMID: 36935055.
  • Lepeule J, Pin I, Boudier A, Quentin J, Lyon-Caen S, Supernant K, Seyve E, Chartier R, Slama R, Siroux V; SEPAGES study group. Pre-natal exposure to NO2 and PM2.5 and newborn lung function: An approach based on repeated personal exposure measurements. Environ Res. 2023 Mar 10;226:115656. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.115656. PMID: 36906269.
  • Molock SD, Boyd RC, Alvarez K, Cha C, Denton EG, Glenn CR, Katz CC, Mueller AS, Meca A, Meza JI, Miranda R, Ortin-Peralta A, Polanco-Roman L, Singer JB, Zullo L, Miller AB. Culturally responsive assessment of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in youth of color. Am Psychol. 2023 Mar 13. doi: 10.1037/amp0001140. PMID: 36913280.
  • Mulhern RE, Kondash AJ, Norman E, Johnson J, Levine K, McWilliams A, Napier M, Weber F, Stella L, Wood E, Lee Pow Jackson C, Colley S, Cajka J, MacDonald Gibson J, Hoponick Redmon J. Improved decision making for water lead testing in U.S. child care facilities using machine-learned Bayesian networks. Environ Sci Technol. 2023 Mar 18. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.2c07477. PMID: 36932953.
  • Oberlin A, Wallace J, Moore JL, Saleem S, Lokangaka A, Tshefu A, Bauserman M, Figueroa L, Krebs NF, Esamai F, Liechty E, Bucher S, Patel AB, Hibberd PL, Chomba E, Carlo WA, Goudar S, Derman RJ, Koso-Thomas M, McClure EM, Goldenberg RL. Examining maternal morbidity across a spectrum of delivery locations: An analysis of the Global Network's Maternal and Neonatal Health Registry. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2023 Mar;160(3):797-805. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.14391. PMID: 35949060; PMCID: PMC9911556.
  • Okunogbe A, Meekins M, Saalim K, Conti-Lopez MA, Benabaye RM, Mendoza OM, Julio R, Stan L, Bisson C. Utilization of adolescent health services during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence on impact and adaptations from a rapid assessment survey in the Philippines. BMC Public Health. 2023 Mar 14;23(1):493. doi: 10.1186/s12889-023-15102-2. PMID: 36918863; PMCID: PMC10013233.
  • Parker MG, de Cuba SE, Rateau LJ, Shea M, Sandel MT, Frank DA, Cutts DB, Heeren T, Lê-Scherban F, Black MM, Ochoa ER Jr, Rose-Jacobs R, Garg A. Associations of household unmet basic needs and health outcomes among very low birth weight children. J Perinatol. 2023 Mar;43(3):364-370. doi: 10.1038/s41372-023-01626-3. PMID: 36750715.
  • Patterson JK, Neuwahl S, Goco N, Moore J, Goudar SS, Derman RJ, Hoffman M, Metgud M, Somannavar M, Kavi A, Okitawutshu J, Lokangaka A, Tshefu A, Bose CL, Mwapule A, Mwenechanya M, Chomba E, Carlo WA, Chicuy J, Figueroa L, Krebs NF, Jessani S, Saleem S, Goldenberg RL, Kurhe K, Das P, Patel A, Hibberd PL, Achieng E, Nyongesa P, Esamai F, Bucher S, Liechty EA, Bresnahan BW, Koso-Thomas M, McClure EM. Cost-effectiveness of low-dose aspirin for the prevention of preterm birth: a prospective study of the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research. Lancet Glob Health. 2023 Mar;11(3):e436-e444. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00548-4. PMID: 36796987.
  • Raspa M, Kutsa O, Andrews SM, Gwaltney AY, Mallonee E, Creamer A, Han PKJ, Biesecker BB. Uncertainties experienced by parents of children diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency through newborn screening. Eur J Hum Genet. 2023 Mar 27:1–7. doi: 10.1038/s41431-023-01345-5. PMID: 36973394; PMCID: PMC10040930.
  • Ruglass LM, Shevorykin A, Zhao Y, Killeen TK, Bauer AG, Morgan-López AA, Back SE, Fitzpatrick S, López-Castro T, Norman SB, Saavedra LM, Hien DA. Self-report and urine drug screen concordance among women with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders participating in a clinical trial: Impact of drug type and participant characteristics. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2023 Mar 1;244:109769. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2023.109769. PMID: 36696843; PMCID: PMC9987239.
  • Shrestha RK, Galindo CA, Courtenay-Quirk C, Harshbarger C, Abdallah I, Marconi VC, DallaPiazza M, Swaminathan S, Somboonwit C, Lewis MA, Khavjou OA. Cost analysis of the Positive Health Check intervention to suppress HIV viral load and retain patients in HIV clinical care. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2023 Mar 2;29(3):326-335. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000001695. PMID: 36867503.
  • Trottier BA, Niehoff NM, Keil AP, Jones RR, Levine KE, MacNell NS, White AJ. Residential proximity to metal-containing superfund sites and their potential as a source of disparities in metal exposure among U.S. women. Environ Health Perspect. 2023 Mar;131(3):37701. doi: 10.1289/EHP11045. 2023 Mar 14. PMID: 36917478; PMCID: PMC10013684.
  • Uwimana A, Sethi R, Murindahabi M, Ntirandeka C, Piercefield E, Umulisa N, Abram A, Eckert E, Munguti K, Sullivan D, Uyizeye D, Mbituyumuremyi A, Gutman JR. Effectiveness of intermittent screening and treatment of malaria in pregnancy on maternal and birth outcomes in selected districts in Rwanda: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2023 Mar 10:ciad128. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciad128. PMID: 36896967.
  • Virkus RA, Mikkelsen AP, Lidegaard Ø, Torp-Pedersen C, Bergholt T, Rothman KJ, Løkkegaard E. Does fetal sex influence the risk of venous thrombosis in pregnancy? A cohort study. J Thromb Haemost. 2023 Mar;21(3):599-605. doi: 10.1016/j.jtha.2022.11.024. PMID: 36696192.
  • Wagar MK, Forlines GL, Moellman N, Carlson A, Matthews M, Williams M. Postpartum opportunistic salpingectomy compared with bilateral tubal ligation after vaginal delivery for ovarian cancer risk reduction: A cost-effectiveness analysis. Obstet Gynecol. 2023 Mar 9;141(4):819-827. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000005118. PMID: 36897130.
  • Watanabe S, Baginski S, Iwai T, Matsushita R, Takatsu M, Nakanishi T, Lindbom K, Mckenzie C, Vikingsson S, Kronstrand R, Gréen H, Seto Y. Systematic in vitro metabolic profiling of the OXIZID synthetic cannabinoids BZO-4en- POXIZID, BZO-POXIZID, 5F-BZO-POXIZID, BZO-HEXOXIZID and BZO-CHMOXIZID. J Anal Toxicol. 2023 Mar 1:bkad016. doi: 10.1093/jat/bkad016. PMID: 36857377.


We update our website regularly with all RTI Gender-related publications under resources. Please let us know if we missed any of yours. 


March Publication Feature

As with many health conditions, Malaria can cause significant complications during pregnancy. This study enrolled pregnant women in Rwanda from 14 health centers around the country to determine whether adding in Malaria-specific screenings in addition to traditional antenatal care could be an effective way to address Malaria during pregnancy. While there were not significant between-group differences, this study is the first of its kind, and opens the door for future investigations in the subject. 

Uwimana A, Sethi R, Murindahabi M, Ntirandeka C, Piercefield E, Umulisa N, Abram A, Eckert E, Munguti K, Sullivan D, Uyizeye D, Mbituyumuremyi A, Gutman JR. Effectiveness of intermittent screening and treatment of malaria in pregnancy on maternal and birth outcomes in selected districts in Rwanda: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2023 Mar 10:ciad128. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciad128. PMID: 36896967.


RTI Gender-related March Project Wins

Congratulations to:

  • Lynn Langton, and team on their win, Crime and Safety Surveys Program Support 2022, from the Dept of Education NCES
  • Carrie Ngongo and team on their win, World Ovarian Cancer Coalition Cost-of-Illness Study, from the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition
  • Bidemi Carrol and team on their win, Liberia TESTS Add on, from the USAID Liberia Mission
  • Amanda Honeycutt and team on their win, Costs of PrEP in the United States, from the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute
  • Abhik Das and team on their win, PRIMED Pilot Study Resubmission, from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • Nisha Gottfredson O'Shea and team on their win, Developing a brief intervention for parental alcohol socialization to be delivered by pediatric providers: A feasibility study, from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Tasseli McKay and team on their win, Caregiving Responsibilities and Workforce Equity in the Wake of the COVID Pandemic, from the National Academies NAS
  • Jessica Cance and team on their win, Substance Use Disorder State Needs Assessment (Texas), from the University of Texas at Austin


March Project Feature

Congratulations to Tasseli McKay and team on their win, Caregiving Responsibilities and Workforce Equity in the Wake of the COVID Pandemic, from the National Academies NAS! This study will examine policies and support services for caregivers working in STEM fields, with particular awareness to how individual intersectional identities can impact caregiving duties.

March Event Recap

In collaboration with the Women Advancing Leadership and Success North America (WALS-NA) group and the International Development Group, RTI International hosted social entrepreneur Jessica Shortall as a keynote speaker. Jessica is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and first Director of Giving at TOMS Shoes. She discussed her personal experiences working internationally throughout her career to build bridges to equity for all. Following Jessica’s keynote speech, a panel of RTI leaders discussed their experiences embracing equity at work and in their communities. Panelists included affiliates Cara Valentino, Darigg Brown, and Katherine Kristoffersen. 


This year marked the first year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that WomenNC scholars have been able to present their research at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women! This year, nine scholars presented their literature reviews based on gender inequalities they identified in North Carolina to an international audience on International Women's Day. Students also were able to attend events hosted by international leaders, including forums on technology by Nordic nations, events at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and much more. You can read more about their experiences here: Scholars' Experience at the United Nations
Thank you to the RTI Global Gender Center femtors for supporting the students' research -- your leadership is invaluable!

Upcoming Events

APRIL 24, 2023 | 12 - 1 PM ET
Join us for an Earth Day celebration! Registration and event details will open soon.


JUNE 16, 2023
Save the date for the 15th InWomen's Conference in Denver, Colorado! Registration is now open.
Late-breaker submissions are also now open and due April 15: 15th InWomen's Group Conference Late-breaker Abstract Submission Form


Gender Science News 

Greater gender equality helps both women and men live longer
New ways to measure curls and kinks could make it easier to care for natural hair
Study finds similar association of progestogen-only and combined hormonal contraceptives with breast cancer risk
Promoting healthy longevity should start young: Pregnancy complications lift women's risk of mortality in the next 50 years
How do we make farming better for the planet? Ask women

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