Whitney S. Rice

Distinguished Assistant Professor
Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

Whitney S. Rice, DrPH, MPH is a Rollins Distinguished Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Education Sciences at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health, and the Director and Principal Investigator of the Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast (RISE). As a public health scholar, she leverages training and transdisciplinary expertise from health care organization and policy, health services research, and maternal and child health disciplines in the pursuit of greater equity in sexual and reproductive health outcomes, care delivery, and scholarship. Her current research broadly examines the implications of structural stigma (stigma manifested at policy, institutional and systems levels) for healthcare utilization and health outcomes in family planning and other sexual and reproductive health contexts (i.e., HIV prevention and perinatal health). Dr. Rice is committed to patient and stakeholder-centered production and translation of scientific evidence, and to the mentorship and inclusion of trainees in this work.


Quality preventive medical care remains one of the most important tools for mitigating diseases like cancer, hypertension and heart disease, which are leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. However, due to persistent social and economic inequities, preventive services remain inaccessible to many people.


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Person-centered contraceptive access promotes reproductive autonomy, sexual wellbeing, menstrual regulation, and other preventive health measures. However, contraceptive access varies by social and geographic position, reflecting patterns in the US contraceptive access policy climate. State-level contraceptive access policies can enable access to family planning care, particularly for systemically marginalized and less socioeconomically advantaged groups, or conversely, may disproportionately disadvantage such communities.