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Abigail Wilpers PhD

Faculty Member

Abigail Wilpers (she/her) is a faculty member at PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a passionate reproductive health advocate who is dedicated to enhancing health care and health equity for people whose pregnancies are complicated by a severe fetal condition and may face significant challenges including perinatal loss, preterm birth and raising a child with special health care needs. Dr. Wilpers explores how models of care, social determinants of health, and patients’ experiences connect to care quality and health outcomes. 

Using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods, Dr. Wilpers works with interprofessional teams and people with lived experience to develop policy-relevant and community-engaged research. Some examples of her recent work include identifying inadequate racial and ethnic representation in studies of maternal-fetal surgery, examining counseling practices in maternal-fetal surgery, and validating a Person-Centered Care Scale for Fetal Care Centers in North America. Her work is grounded in her background as a fetal therapy nurse and draws on her experience as a board member for local, national, and international organizations dedicated to helping pregnant people and families such as Hope After LossThe Fetal Health Foundation, and the Fetal Therapy Nurse Network.

Dr. Wilpers received her PhD in Nursing from Yale University in 2019, where she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar. She worked as a fetal therapy nurse at the Yale New Haven Hospital Fetal Care Center while receiving mentored postdoctoral training in clinical research through the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine. In 2020, she sought additional health services and policy research training as a postdoctoral fellow in the National Clinician Scholars Program.