Speaker Biographies

Sandra P



Sandra P. Arnold is Vice President, Corporate Affairs, and Acting Secretary of the Population Council. Her responsibilities encompass information systems, finance and accounting, human resources, publications and public information, contract administration, product licensing, legal affairs, and industry relationships. As manager of the business aspects of the Council’s operations, Ms. Arnold is liaison with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the approval of mifepristone. The Council holds the U.S. rights to mifepristone.

The Council is an independent, nonprofit research organization dedicated to improving reproductive health throughout the world, and to achieving a sustainable balance between population and resources. To attain these goals, the Council conducts research in the social, health, and biomedical sciences.


Wendy Chavkin, M.D., M.P.H. has been active on a host of reproductive health issues. Her clinical training is in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her Master s of Public Health (MPH) is in Reproductive Epidemiology, and she is Board Certified in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Chavkin directed the Bureau of Maternity Services and Family Planning at the New York City Department of Health from 1984 to 1988. She is Professor of Clinical Public Health and Ob/Gyn at Columbia University s Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health and the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Chavkin assumed the position of Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association in 1994. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH) and is Associate Editor for Women’s Health Policy at the American Journal of Public Health. She has written extensively about women’s reproductive health issues, including her 1994 book Double Exposures: Women’s Health Hazards at the Job and at Home.


Tina Hoff is the Director of Public Health Information and Communication for the Media and Public Education Program at the Kaiser Family Foundation. She oversees the release of Foundation-commissioned research and several communications-related programs, including an ongoing media briefing series on reproductive health issues and the Talking with Kids campaign. She is involved with many of the Foundation’s special partnerships focusing on public education, including a briefing series for Latino journalists and a joint collaboration on women’s reproductive health with Essence, Latina, and the L.A. Times. At the Foundation, Ms. Hoff has also worked on several studies of media coverage of health and reproductive health issues, including content analyses of the sexual and reproductive health coverage in women’s, men’s, teen, and other specialty magazines, a 10-year study of news coverage of HIV/AIDS, the sexual content on television’s family hour, and the sexual content on television soap operas and talk shows. Ms. Hoff joined the Foundation in 1994 as a program officer in communications.

Previously, Ms. Hoff worked for a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm, The Widmeyer-Baker Group, representing primarily non-profit organizations focused on health care and women’s and children’s issues. She received a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia.


Carole Joffe is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the social dimensions of reproductive health, with a particular interest in abortion provision. She is the author of Doctors of Conscience: The Struggle to Provide Abortion Before and after Roe v. Wade (Beacon Press). Dr. Joffe has recently received grants from the Open Society Institute and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation to investigate the potential impact of the coming of medical abortion to the United States. Some recent articles which have resulted from this research are “Reactions to Medical Abortion Among Surgical Abortion Providers: An Early Snapshot,” Family Planning Perspectives; “Will Medical Abortion Increase Access to Abortion Services? A Cautionary Tale,” Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association; and Medical Abortion in Social Context,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, special supplement on medical abortion (forthcoming, August 2000).


Eric Schaff is an unusual academic pediatrician with a specialty in adolescent medicine. In 1994, he began studying medical abortion with methotrexate at the University of Rochester. In 1996, Dr. Schaff became the principal investigator of the Abortion Rights Mobilization multicenter trials with mifepristone. They have completed five trials with almost 6000 women.

In 1997, he was trained in first trimester surgical abortions at Planned Parenthood New York City s Abortion Training Program and has been providing this service since. He now directs one of eight Kenneth J. Ryan Family Planning and Abortion Fellowship programs. He is currently a full professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Rochester and is a board member of the National Abortion Federation and the National Medical Committee of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Dr. Schaff also serves as an Attending in Pediatrics at Strong Memorial Hospital, as Courtesy Attending in Pediatrics at Highland Hospital, and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Adolescent Health, and the Rochester Academy of Medicine – Pediatric Society.

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