Hello ! I am a clinical, biocultural medical anthropologist who is interested in optimizing maternal health and improving birth outcomes in the US and Hispanix/Latinx communities!
I joined the Anthropology faculty at the University of Alabama in the fall of 2019. As an academic and birth and postpartum doula (https://www.dona.org/what-is-a-doula/), I study maternal health and birth outcomes using a multi-level, biocultural anthropological approach. In particular, my research focuses on identifying the intersections between individual, maternal and infant health outcomes and structural inequities. In Puerto Rico, I conducted a mixed-methods research project on maternal perceptions of stress and timing of delivery by triangulating ethnographic research methods with structured surveys and hair cortisol sampling. I have also worked in public health as a program coordinator for a culturally and socially-matched doula program for Medicaid priority populations in Oregon (https://www.valleybirthandbeyond.org/about/). As an anthropologist, I use the critical medical anthropological framework of syndemics (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014067361730003X) to understand the complex relationship(s) between the lived experience of pregnant individuals, structural inequities, and poor birth outcomes. I prioritize conducting community-led research (https://namati.org/resources/community-action-guide-on-community-led-research/), where researchers and community partners work collaboratively to identify and construct research projects that not only benefit the academic community but also provide useful information and tools for the community partners themselves.
My additional areas of research include:
Developmental origins of health and disease
Alternative models of maternity/reproductive health care
Contributions: Horan, H. with B. Ruder and C.L. Everson. 2018. “A Daya’s Omen: Chronicling Melissa Cheyney as a Scholar, Postmodern Midwife and Activist.” In Ways of Knowing About Birth, edits by Robbie Davis-Floyd, 249-254. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. Articles: Cheyney, M.J., Henning, M., Horan, H., Ferguson, M., & Bovbjerg, M. 2019. “From Policy to Practice: Women’s Experiences of Breastfeeding-Friendly Worksites, Part 1.” Clinical Lactation. doi: 10.1891/2158-0722.214.171.124
Cheyney, M.J., Henning, M., Horan, H., Ferguson, M., & Bovbjerg, M. 2019. “From Policy to Practice: Women’s Experiences of Breastfeeding-Friendly Worksites, Part 2.” Clinical Lactation. doi: 10.1891/2158-07126.96.36.199