Blair Darney, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine
  • Associate Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health

Biography

Blair G. Darney, Ph.D., M.P.H. is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, OHSU, and Health Systems & Policy in the OHSU-PSU joint School of Public Health. 

She also holds an appointment at the National Institute of Public Health (Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica/INSP) in Mexico. Her time is divided between research, teaching, mentoring, and management roles. Dr. Darney earned an MPH in Global Health from Yale University (2002) and a PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Washington School of Public Health (2012). She completed a competitive health services post-doc at OHSU supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (2012-2014). Dr. Darney was an Area Director in the Center for Health Systems Research (CISS) at the INSP in Cuernavaca, Mexico for 3 years (2014-2017). She serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Family Planning (SFP) and SFP Research Fund and has served as an expert witness for the Oregon Department of Justice on Title X litigation. Dr. Darney served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal (1996-1999).

Dr. Darney is a global reproductive health services researcher. Her work assesses service delivery, disparities in utilization of care, and health outcomes. Her work also focuses on obstetric outcomes, maternal mortality, contraception, and abortion. She primarily engages in secondary analyses of existing data but also has experience with intervention and feasibility studies. Her areas of expertise include working with survey, census, claims, and medical chart data, improving causal inference in non-randomized designs, measuring quality of care, and health insurance. Her work and collaborations have been supported by WHO, the Society of Family Planning Research Fund, The Medical Research Foundation, HRSA, NIH, the MacArthur Foundation, the Office of Population Affairs (OPA), and the Mexican Agency for Science and Technology (CONACYT).

Her current research work on abortion in Mexico responds to advocacy needs for evidence. This decade-long body of work has mutually beneficial collaboration and capacity-building for research at its core. They leverage medical charts, discharge data, and survey data to answer key questions around the public abortion program in Mexico City, public opinion on abortion, and utilization of abortion-related services across Mexico. This program of research is in collaboration with the Reproductive Health program of the Ministry of Health of Mexico City, Ipas, Catholics for Free Choice (Catolicas por el derecho a decider/CDD), ECOSUR (el colegio de la frontera sur, San Cristobal, Chiapas), The Population Council, and CISIDAT (a non-profit health research consortium). Her team prioritizes training and career development; junior researchers from the US and Mexico actively participate in the team, leading analyses and scientific publications. Her work has examined who presents late for legal abortion and cannot receive services, gestational age estimation using LMP and U/S, disparities in access to legal abortion in the greater Mexico City metropolitan area, implementation of legal exceptions, measurement of quality of care, availability of misoprostol in pharmacies, use of second trimester services, out of facility abortion models, and case-fatality due to abortion nationwide. Her work speaks to current political rhetoric around, for example, whether abortion rates continue to rise after legalization, whether Mexico’s Catholic population supports access to abortion and under which circumstances, whether Mexican women need second trimester abortion services, and disparities in access to basic healthcare.

Her program of research on access to contraception in Mexico focuses on who (e.g. adolescents) receives contraception, where (e.g. post-partum vs. clinic setting) services are delivered, and the quality of those services. They identify disparities in access and gaps in service delivery that inform policy debates about how to address Mexico’s high rates of adolescent births. 

In the US, she leads studies funded the OPA focused on contraceptive provision in school-based health centers and the role of Title X in access to contraception in safety net clinics and Latina reproductive health and the roles of nativity and immigration. She serves as a co-Investigator on studies investigating Medicaid policy and immediate post-partum contraception, the effect of Medicaid expansion on contraceptive provision in US safety net clinics, and a systematic review of contraceptive care delivery.   

She serves as a mentor in the NIH-funded BUILD (Building Infrastructure to Lead to Diversity) training grant. With undergraduate first generation Latina students, they collaborate with the Mexican consulate in Portland, OR to conduct studies that inform local outreach about access to care, participation in clinical trials, the “carga publica,” and reproductive autonomy.

Education

  • B.A., 1994, Sarah Lawrence College
  • M.P.H., 2002, Yale University
  • Ph.D., 2012, University of Washington School of Public Health
  • Internship:

    • US Peace Corps Volunteer, Senegal, 1996-1999
  • Fellowship:

    • AHRQ post-doctoral fellow 2012-2014, OHSU

Honors and awards

  • Outstanding Researcher in Training Award, 2012, Society of Family Planning
  • Resident Research Mentor Award, Department of OB/Gyn, 2019

Memberships and associations

  • Population Association of America (PAA), Society of Family Planning (SFP), International Federation of Contraception and Abortion Professionals (FIAPAC)

Areas of interest

  • health services research, impact evaluation, maternal mortality and morbidity, contraception, abortion

Publications

Publications

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