Dr. Sarah Traxler
Medical DirectorCompany: Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
Role: Session Presenter Session: Acknowledging and Addressing Our Institutional Histories (Spotlight 6)
Jumping in since 2015, Dr. Sarah Traxler serves as the medical director for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS). As medical director, she oversees all family planning and abortion services across the affiliate and serves as the voice for medical services on the executive team. She also provides clinical care, including advanced gynecology services and abortion up to the second trimester. Prior to her role as medical director, Sarah served as the associate medical director and director of Family Planning Services for PPMNS. As the director of family planning services, she oversaw the family planning services conducted at the 19 health center sites across the affiliate.
She has been a strong advocate of women’s reproductive rights and health care access for two decades. After graduating cum laude with a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Tulane University in 1997, Sarah worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA with battered women and youth experiencing homelessness in Texas. Then, working as an HIV Specialist with IV drug users and sex workers in Austin, Texas, she assisted underserved populations while volunteering with groups dedicated to women’s reproductive rights and access to abortion, including the Rosie Jimenez Fund and Planned Parenthood.
After seven years working with people experiencing homelessness, Sarah attended Oregon Health and Sciences University for medical school from 2004 to 2009 where she continued her dedication to reproductive rights through work with Medical Students for Choice. She completed her OB/GYN residency training at the University of Minnesota in 2013, and in June 2015, she completed her fellowship in family planning at the University of Pennsylvania where she also earned a Master of Science in health policy research. During her fellowship, Sarah became an expert in contraception and abortion-related clinical care and gained an in-depth understanding of public health policy, especially as it relates to reproductive rights.
Sarah has published peer-reviewed articles on abortion and contraception, and has served as a principle investigator for both qualitative and quantitative research focusing on reproductive health. She has been working with the Disparity Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital for the past year on a project in reproductive health disparities. She is currently working on a qualitative interview project that aims to investigate how generational reproductive coercion impacts knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs, and contraceptive uptake in patients of color. This video ethnography project will be used to encourage contraceptive counseling through a reproductive justice lens.
Sarah also currently serves on the board of directors for the Twin Cities Medical Society and is on the Medicolegal and Ethics Committee for the Minnesota Medical Association. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the University of Minnesota and is the primary clinician educator for the family planning rotation for OB/GYN residents.