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Impact Lives

Online Master of Public Health Faculty Publications: Heidi Roeber Rice

Students in Benedictine University’s online Master of Public Health (MPH) study under high-profile faculty members who share their expertise by publishing their findings. MPH faculty member Heidi Roeber Rice, M.D., is no exception.

Dr. Rice is board-certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine through the American Board of Preventive Medicine and is a staff physician with HealthPartners Clinics in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition to her online teaching duties at Benedictine, Dr. Rice is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, where she is the residency program director for the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Training program. Her professional interests include issues unique to women in the workplace and opportunities to address the needs of underserved populations.

In the article, “Fertility goal-based counseling increases contraceptive implant and IUD use in HIV-discordant couples in Rwanda and Zambia” (Contraception, Volume 88, Issue 1, July 2013), Dr. Rice was one of several researchers examining the uptake of two long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods — intrauterine devices (IUD) and hormonal implants — among HIV-discordant couples in Rwanda and Zambia. As part of the study, women were interviewed alone or with their partner during routine cohort study follow-up visits to ascertain fertility goals. Those who weren’t pregnant, infertile, not already using a LARC method and wishing to limit or delay fertility for three years or more years received information and counseling on LARC methods, and offered an IUD or implant on-site. Dr. Rice found that integrated family-planning counseling and access to LARC methods with reinforcement of dual-method use prompted the use of IUDs and implants, and reduced unprotected sex among HIV-discordant couples in two African capital cities.

In the article, “Workplace Hazards to Women’s Reproductive Health” (Minnesota Medicine, September 2007), Dr. Rice and her co-author, Beth A. Baker, MD, discuss the impact of infectious agents, physical exertion and activities, and common workplace hazards such as chemicals on the reproductive health of the female labor force. Although data on the effect of these hazards on women’s reproductive health is limited, there is evidence that raises concerns. Drs. Rice and. Baker argue that clinicians should do more to assess women for exposure to these potentially overlooked risks and talk with them about the risk of infertility, miscarriage and preterm birth.

Dr. Rice is just one of the online MPH faculty members making meaningful contributions to public health in the United States and around the world. To learn more about the online MPH program and its faculty, call (866) 295-3104 today to speak to a Program Manager or request more information.