To improve contraceptive care and abortion services through cutting-edge clinical research studies


  • Every person has a right to comprehensive family planning services, including contraceptive care and abortion services
  • Every person has a right to complete and accurate information about all contraceptive options
  • Every person should have access to a contraceptive method well-suited to their health and lifestyle needs
  • Reproductive health services should honor individual, religious, and cultural preferences
  • Advocates, educators, and providers should partner in non-coercive, patient-centered care rooted in principles of autonomy, equity, and justice

Who We Are

Katharine O’Connell White, MD, MPH: katharine.white@bmc.org

Dr. White (she/her/s) is the Vice Chair of Academics in the Department of OB/GYN at Boston Medical Center and is an Associate Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in OB/GYN at Baystate Medical Center, and her Fellowship in Family Planning at Columbia University (where she also received her masters of public health). Dr. White is active in multiple research studies in various areas of contraception and abortion. She is the principal investigator for the Partners In Contraceptive Choice and Knowledge (PICCK) program, to improve contraceptive access and quality across Massachusetts birth hospitals. She frequently lectures locally and nationally on topics related to reproductive health. Dr. White has published two books with Mayo Clinic Press, Your Guide to Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss (10/2021) and Your Sexual Health (5/2022). She is also on the advisory board for Women’s Health magazine.

Elisabeth Woodhams, MD, MSc: elisabeth.woodhams@bmc.org 

Dr. Woodhams (she/her/s) is the Program Director for the Complex Family Planning Fellowship and the Division Director of Family Planning. She is also the Director of Ambulatory Services for the Department of OBGYN, and an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at BU School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Arizona in 2007, and completed her residency in OBGYN at BMC in 2011. She then completed a family planning fellowship at the University of Chicago, where she also received her Masters of Science (MSc). During fellowship, she was also a fellow in the Physicians for Reporductive Health Leadership Training Academy, and worked with ACOG on LARC policy implementation. after fellowship, she worked as the Medical Director of Family Planning at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, where she received a Ryan Residency Award, and was the Title X Clinic Director. Dr. Woodhams was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society in 2009, and received several teaching awards for medical student education. Dr. Woodhams’ research interest inclde the intersection of substance use disorder and reproductive health, integration and implementation of family services into non-OBGYN clinical fields, and family planning services access among underserved populations. She co-leads the SFP Special Interest Group in Substance Use Disorders, and received the Best Investigator in Training Award from the Society of Family Planning in 2013 for her original research.

Elizabeth W. Patton, MD, MPhil, MS
Dr. Patton is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine. Before pursuing a career in the medical field, Dr. Patton completed a BA and MA in Theology. After completing medical school at the University of Massachusetts of Medical School and residency in OB/GYN at Northwestern University in Chicago, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where her work focused on shared decision making and reproductive health policy and health system design. She is an academic generalist in OB/GYN at Boston Medical Center, as well as a consultant to the Veterans Affairs National Division of Reproductive Health. Her research interests include shared decision making in reproductive health and the integration of reproductive health services within other medical disciplines, including addiction medicine.

Rachel Cannon, MD, MS: rachel.cannon@bmc.org 

Dr. Cannon (she/her/hers) is an Attending in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine. She completed an undergraduate degree in Human Physiology at Boston University. She then completed her medical degree at University of Massachusetts followed by residency in OBGYN at Northwestern University. She went on to Family Planning Fellowship At Boston University/Boston Medical Center and received a Master’s in Health Sciences at the BU School of Public Health. She now serves as the Ryan Program Director for the OBGYN residency program. Her academic research interests include contraceptive counseling, reproductive coercion, abortion stigma, and reproductive health for people with complex medical problems. She participates in local and national advocacy groups for reproductive health. She is co-chair of the OBGYN Department’s Health Equity Committee, aimed to promote anti-racist practices and create an inclusive work environment.

Kelly Treder, MD, MPH: kelly.treder@bmc.org

Dr. Treder (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Boston University School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from University of Washington School of Medicine and her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Washington School of Public Health. She completed her residency at Northwestern University/Stroger Hospital of Cook County and her fellowship in Family Planning at Boston University. Her research interests include reproductive health inequities and the impact of racism on reproductive health.

Virignia Tancioco, MD, MBA
Dr. Tancioco is a Complex Family Planning Fellow in the Division of Family Planning in the Department of OBGYN. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Calofornia, Berkeley, received her MD/MBA from University of California, Los Angeles and completed her OBGYN residency at University of California, Irvine. She joined the BEACON Research Team in July 2020. Her research interests includes implementation science and quality improvement with respect to reproductive justice. In her leisure time she enjoys spending time with her two young kids, taking her dogs for a fun run or traveling – especially to places with great scuba diving!

Melissa Wong, MD
Dr. Wong is a Fellow in Complex Family Planning Fellow in the Department of OBGYN. She obtained her undergraduate and graduate medical degrees from the George Washington University and completed her OBGYN residency at the Texas Tech University of Health Sciences Center. She joined the BEACON Research Team in July 2021. Her research interests include teaching bimanual exams to medical students, intrauterine device self-removal, and improving abortion access in underserved populations. In her free time, she enjoys visiting National Parks, exploring new cuisine, and spending time with family.

Natasha Lerner, MPA, DrPH Candidate
Natasha Lerner is the Program Director for the PICCK Program. Natasha is a current part-time DrPH student at the Boston University School of Public Health. She received her MPA from the New York University Rober F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, specializing in international health policy and management. She graduated with a BA in Politics and with minors in Women’s and Gender Studies and Poverty and Human Capability Studies from Washington and Lee University. In addition to the PICCK program, Natasha also works on the IDEAS Study. When she is not studying or working, Natasha enjoys traveling, visiting family and friends, and eating southern BBQ.

Kristina Tavilla, MPH 
Kristina Tavilla is the Program Manager for the PICCK Program.  Kristina obtained her BS degree at the College of Charleston and completed her Master of Public Health degree at Boston University School of Public Health in May 2017, specializing in Social and Behavioral Sciences.  Prior to joining the BEACON Research Team, she had worked in the Boston area for non-profit serving women experiencing chronic homelessness and severe and persistent mental illness as well as at a residential eating disorder center.   Her duties include overall project management, supporting the hospital engagement, needs and readiness assessment, CME certification, stakeholder group, and sustainability planning. In her free time, Kristina enjoys traveling, writing, and hiking.

Rushina Pancholi, MPH MBA
Rushina Pancholi is the Research Associate (Research and Fellowship Program Manager) for the BEACON Research Team. She completed the Master of Public Health degree at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in May 2017 ans has an MBA in healthcare. In her role, Rushina oversees all clinical trials and ongoing studies, and provides research support in the Division of Family Planning. She hires, trains and mentors Research Assistants and Practicum students. Rushina also manages the Fellowship in Complex Family Planning (CFP) and provides research support to the CFP Fellows. In addition, Rushina is a trained dentist from India and is a strong advocate of oral health. Prior to joining the BEACON Research Team, she was involved with numerous non-profit oral health advocacy groups. She is passionate about public health and aspires to contribute to the field through research and advocacy.  Recently, Rushina completed 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training and is now a registered Yoga teacher. In her free time, Rushina enjoys cooking, yoga, and Zumba.

Madeline Jankowski, BA
Madeline Jankowski is a Research Assistant for the CCTN clinical trials and the PICCK program. She graduated from the College of Holy Cross in 2019, where she earned a BA in Philosophy and was a member of the Health Professions Advisory Program. Madeline has previously worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and as a Youth Specialist at Bellefaire JCB. In the future, she plans to pursue a career in pediatric nursing.

OB/GYN Clinic, Yawkey Ambulatory Care Center, 5th Floor, Boston Medical Center, 850 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118
dg-infofp@bmc.org | 617-383-3500