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ASCENT Center Leadership

Susanna R. Cohen, DNP, CNM/ MSN

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Lori M. Gawron, MD, MPH, FACOG

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Jennifer Kaiser, MD

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Jessica N. Sanders, PhD, MSPH

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Rebecca G. Simmons, MPH, PhD

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David K. Turok, MD, MPH, FACOG

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Sarah Elliott, MPH

Associate Director, Family Planning

Sarah is the Associate Director of the ASCENT Center. Sarah earned her bachelors in Business Administration and a Master’s in Public Health and brings over 15 years of experience program operations to the Center. She is passionate about equal care access and reducing barriers that exist in the State of Utah to contraceptive care.



Caitlin Quade, MPH

Technical Director

Caitlin Quade serves as Technical Director for Family Planning Elevated with the ASCENT Center and brings over a decade of experience in international and domestic contraceptive access workto her position. She provides technical training and program implementation for community clinics and providers in the state of Utah. She is thrilled to be able to combine her background in health care provider training with her passion for reproductive autonomy by facilitating person-centered contraceptive trainings.


Jami Baayd, MSPH

Research Development Specialist

Jami is obsessed with asking good questions. While this trait makes her a bit awkward at dinner parties, it has served her well as a researcher. Her expertise lies in designing and conducting large-scale qualitative and mixed methods studies, and in mentoring others to do the same. As the process evaluator for Family Planning Elevated, she analyzed not only if the statewide contraceptive initiative was successful, but also how it was successful. Jami is also passionate about creating and facilitating high-quality trainings for health care teams. In the past three years she has co-designed many trainings including simulation-based training to improve the quality of family planning care in FPE partner clinics and trainings to prepare clinical teams to provide same-day emergency contraception.


Alexandra Gero, MPH


Alexandra Gero is a Biostatistician with the ASCENT Center. She received her master’s degree in Public Health from Boston University before moving to Utah in 2017, and has over five years of experience in the population health research. Alex is thrilled to be able to combine her interests and experience in research methodology and quantitative analysis with her commitment to reducing disparities in health and in healthcare, especially for women and children.

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Madeline Mullholand, MPA

Communications Manager

Maddy is the Communications Manager of the ASCENT Center. She earned her bachelor's degree in Public Health from the University of Rochester and executive master's degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University.  As Communications Manager, Maddy oversees communications, media campaigns, marketing, and the internship program for Family Planning Division. Maddy is passionate about finding long-term sustainable solutions to helping individuals get the sexual and reproductive care they want with out cost or distance being a barrier. She is also committed to using communications to empower individuals through health literacy and transparent access to information.


Erica Torres, MPH

Community Outreach and Training Specialist

Erica Torres is the Project Facilitator with the Family Planning Elevated Program within the Division of Family Planning in the OB/GYN Department at the University of Utah School of Medicine. A transplant from California and a proud daughter of migrant farm-working parents from Mexico, she is a first-generation college and graduate student, currently completing her Master's degree in the Public Health program.


Chelsea Daniels

Executive Secretary

Chelsea has worked in the women's health department at the University of Utah for over 7 years, starting off as a Medical Assistant in the women's health clinic. For the past 2 years she has been the Family Planning Practice and Patient Care Coordinator, providing clinical scheduling and support to family planning clients. She is passionate about helping women receive the best care possible.


Amy Orr

Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

Amy Orr is a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator at the University of Utah.  Amy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Behavior Science and Health and is dedicated to supporting women’s healthcare.

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Corinne Sexsmith, MS

Research Manager

Corinne Sexsmith is a Research Manager at the University of Utah's ASCENT Center. Corinne received her master's degree in Human Development and Social Policy from the University of Utah, and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Westminster College. With a background in the non-profit sector, she is invested in advancing clinical research and promoting women's health in the community.


Jasmin Alcantara

Clinical Research Coordinator

Jasmin started her career as a Medical Assistant for a low-income community clinic, where she worked with a very diverse population. From there, she transferred to the University of Utah and has been working with the Family Planning group in clinical trials for over 7 years.

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Gentry Carter, MS


Gentry Carter is a biostatistician with the Ascent Center. She earned her Master’s degree in Statistics emphasizing in Biostatistics from the University of Utah in 2021 and has since worked in the Family Planning Division of the OB-GYN department at the university. Gentry is passionate about sexual and reproductive health education. Her expertise lies in applying complex statistical methodologies when analyzing health initiatives, and she is excited about using her skills as an analyst to ensure high quality research.

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Gabriela García, MHA

Program Manager

Gabriela (Gaby) García is a first-generation Mexican-American and program manager for the ASCENT Center for Reproductive Wellness. She earned her bachelor’s in healthcare administration with minors in Spanish and French from Weber State University and master’s in healthcare administration from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business. She holds a project management fundamentals certificate from the University of Utah. 

She has participated in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Outreach committees and was on the hiring committee for the first Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Utah College of Nursing. She is currently serving on the Latinx Advisory Council for the University of Utah. She is responsible for planning and executing the Center’s mission of expanding access to all communities, and maintaining the stories of the historically unheard in the core of the projects and grants she serves. She strives to improve access to Latinx and underserved communities, with an interest in maternal health and family planning.

Contact Us

ASCENT Center for Reproductive Health

Sarah Elliott
Associate Director, Family Planning