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Health Sciences

About the Department of Women’s Health

Geisinger's Department of Women's Health is involved in research projects that are integral to the prevention, diagnosis, management and treatment of conditions that affect women throughout their lifespan.

By broadening the scope of women's health research and making significant contributions to the discipline, the Department of Women's Health provides the highest quality of care and education.

Resident and fellow research curriculum program leads and research mentors

  • A. Dhanya Mackeen, MD, MPH, CPE
    Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
    Assistant Chair of Research and Academic Affairs, Women’s and Children’s Institute
  • Michael J. Paglia, MD, PhD
    Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Core clinical fellowship research advisors

  • Jay Bringman, MD, Vice Chair, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • John Ross, DO, Fellowship Director, Maternal-Fetal Medicine  

Women’s and Children’s Institute Research Funding Committee

  • A. Dhanya Mackeen, MD, MPH, CPE
  • Anne Marie Morse, DO
  • Lisa Bailey-Davis, DEd, RD
  • Melissa Troup, MHSA, CCRP
  • Jessica Webster

Core clinical residency research advisors

  • Sandra Culbertson, MD, Chair, Women’s and Children’s Institute; Program Director, Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency
  • Dani Ashak, MD, Associate Program Director, Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency
  • James Daucher, MD
  • Brytanie Marshall, MD
  • Haidy Morsy, MD
  • Kaitlyn Sweeney, MD
  • Orlando Valle, MD
  • Sabrina Whitehurst, MD
  • Keith Williams, MD

Research support staff

  • Cynthia Drazenovich, MA (IIRO)
  • Amanda Young, MS (Biostatistics)

Women’s Health resources

  • Geisinger is part of the Perinatal Research Consortium, a collaborative of hospitals in the northeastern United States.
  • Labor and Birth Ongoing Registry (LABOR) database: Validated database of over 250 variables including deliveries from 10/2007 until present.

Recent publications

Geisinger Women's Research - Google Scholar

Current funded studies

Pennsylvania – Maternal and Infant Health in a Pandemic (PA MIPA) Study

Funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health and in partnership with Penn State Health, Temple University Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, this study examines factors surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic that have impacted the health and wellbeing of mothers and their infants throughout Pennsylvania.

Site PI: A. Dhanya Mackeen, MD, MPH, CPE
Funder: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – CURE Program
Project Number: SAP #4100089395
Dates: 2021 – 2025


The Early Intervention to Promote Cardiovascular Health of Mothers and Children multicenter trial aims to test the effectiveness of an intervention designed to promote cardiovascular health and address cardiovascular disparities in both mothers and children (0-5 years old).  ENRICH is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in collaboration with several federal partners. Geisinger is part of the Penn State Clinical Center, one of seven clinical centers in the trial. Learn more at

Contact: or 570-214-1424
Site PI: Lisa Bailey-Davis, DEd, RD 
Funder: National Institutes of Health
Grant Number: IUG3HL162971
Dates: 2022 – 2029

Central Pennsylvania Rural Birth Cohort

This is a collaborative prospective longitudinal pilot study between Geisinger and Penn State University to determine what strategies are most successful in: 

  • building and retaining a cohort of families from rural communities in central Pennsylvania with recruitment beginning in pregnancy, infant/toddler age, and preschool age using a cohort sequential design
  • collecting clinical electronic health record and remote biobehavioral measurements to better characterize synergistic factors associated with obesity and substance use in this population
  • identifying points for future intervention, treatment, prevention and policy efforts to reduce health disparities in maternal-child morbidity and promote positive family processes. 

Site PI: Lisa Bailey-Davis, DEd, RD
Contact: or 866-630-0748, Option 4.
Dates: 2022 – present

Modeling Informatics Data to Track Maternal Risk and Care Quality

In collaboration with the perinatal research consortium, this study will characterize maternal care in high-risk scenarios using electronic health record data and determine to what degree optimal care mitigates maternal risk.

Site PI: A. Dhanya Mackeen, MD, MPH, CP
Funder: National Institutes of Health
Grant Number: R01HD104943
Dates: 2022 - 2027

Advancing Health Equity by Integrating Social-Clinical Models During Pregnancy

Funded by the American Heart Association Food is Medicine grant, this study compares a model that integrates prenatal clinical care with the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program versus usual care on WIC enrollment and participation, food security, nutrition behaviors, health and cost outcomes.

Site PI: Lisa Bailey-Davis, DEd, RD
Funder: American Heart Association (AHA)
Dates: 2022 – 2025

RallyBio Study

Fetal and Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) is a rare disorder that occurs when a pregnant mother’s immune system recognizes the developing baby’s platelets as foreign. The mother’s immune system produces antibodies that can cross the placenta and cause harm to the baby’s platelets which may result in a range of issues for the fetus. The RallyBio Study is observing how often pregnant women at higher risk for FNAIT produce the immune response (called HPA-1a alloimmunization).

Site PI: Michael Paglia, MD, PhD
Funder: Rallybio IPA, LLC. ID: NCT05345561
Dates: 2022 – 2026 (estimated)

Engaging Communities to Reduce Morbidity from Maternal Sepsis (EnCORE)

In collaboration with the perinatal research consortium, the main goal of this study is to evaluate a maternal sepsis safety bundle, optimize risk prediction accounting for the social determinants of health, and establish a novel maternal care continuity model to reduce sepsis-related death and disability and increase maternal health equity.

Site PI: A. Dhanya Mackeen, MD, MPH, CPE
Funder: National Institutes of Health
Grant Number: 1UG3HD111247-01
Dates: 2022 – 2026

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