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Parental Leave and Its Benefits for Maternal, Child and Family Health

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Lack of paid parental leave policy has significant negative impacts on maternal and child health as well as the national economy. Poor maternal health due to stress, increase in infant mortality, and an annual predicted loss of over $500 billion to the U.S. economy, are just a few examples of the cost associated with this issue. Despite that, the United States is still the only developed country that does not offer paid parental leave. Join MASS AWIS for a discussion of this critical issue!

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm Registration & Networking
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Panel Discussion
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Reception* & Networking with Panelists

Panelists (Bios Below):

  • Kim Dukes, PhD: President and CEO, DM-STAT
  • Sari Pekkala Kerr, PhD: Senior Research Scientist & Lecturer, Wellesley College.
  • Kenneth Matos, PhD: Vice President of Research, Life Meets Work
  • Tim McCarthy: Boston City Councilor
  • Kimberly McNiff: Master’s student in Public Health, Boston University

Moderator (Bio Below):

  • Yevgenia Khodor, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, American Cancer Society

Panel Discussion ONLY is FREE
(upon registration)

Panel Discussion + Reception*
MASS AWIS members $8 · HMS/HDMS postdocs $8 · Non-members
(*Reception is LIMITED to 50 people)


Kim Dukes

Dr. Dukes received her PhD from Boston University’s mathematics department. In 1996 she founded DM-STAT, initially DM-STAT provided data management and statistical consulting services, today, DM-STAT in 1996 a full-service CRO, offering clinical operations, medical and safety, regulatory, data management, biostatistics, and programming, and strategic consulting services to our clients. DM-STAT has participated in over 300 state, federal, foundation, and industry-sponsored clinical trials, observational studies, opportunistic studies and clinical evaluations, including 10 to 40,000 subjects. These investigations have resulted in numerous investigational drug and device filings and reports to regulatory agencies, as well as several hundred publications. Over the past 20 years, DM-STAT has specialized and Kim’s expertise is in maternal and child health research, specifically in vitro diagnostics and laboratory developed tests, as well as analysis of biomarkers to measure exposure and predict poor perinatal outcomes.

Sari Kerr

Sari Pekkala Kerr is an economist and a senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) at Wellesley College. She joined the WCW in 2010.

Dr. Kerr previously worked at the Government Institute for Economic Research in Helsinki. She also served as an adjunct professor or visiting scholar to the economics departments of MIT, Boston University, and the University of Kent at Canterbury. Dr. Kerr also has extensive private sector experience as an economic consultant for Charles River Associates and Keystone Strategy. Dr. Kerr received her Ph.D. from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.

Dr. Kerr’s research and teaching focus on the economics of labor markets, education and families. One strand of research evaluates how different schooling systems affect learning outcomes and economic mobility, especially for children from disadvantaged family backgrounds. A second strand examines the role of high-skilled immigration within the U.S. firms, and the overall economic impacts of immigration on the economy. Her most recent efforts quantify the effect of information on labor market prospects on students’ choices among study programs, and the impact of public policies on the coverage and usage of parental leaves across the family income distribution.

Dr. Kerr is actively involved with the academic community in Europe and in the US. She is an active member of Helsinki Economics of Education Research Group (HEERG), a network of economists working on questions related to educational policies and outcomes, particularly in Finland. She has also served as the Scientific Secretary of the European Regional Science Association and as an international expert in the European Union Mutual Learning Panel on the Economics of Immigration. She co-chaired the Labor Economics Finnish Post-Doctoral Program for several years. She has also been a policy advisor regarding gender equality in labor markets and immigration.

Kerr received a University Diploma in Economics from the University of Kent at Canterbury in England, and her M.A. in Economics, Business Studies, Education and Linguistics and her Ph.D. from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.

Kenneth Matos

As Vice President of Research at Life Meets Work Kenneth conducts research on a wide range of workforce and workplace issues, including diversity, mentoring, work-life alignment, wellness, engagement and workplace effectiveness.

Before joining Life Meets Work, Kenneth was the Senior Director for Research at Families and Work Institute where he identified emerging employment issues and trends, through client records, original company surveys, and national studies.

Experienced in speaking to the academic, business and media communities, Dr. Matos has been frequently quoted in a variety of media such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show, and NPR.

Timothy McCarthy

From improving city services to creating opportunities for youth, Tim McCarthy has dedicated over 20 years to serving the residents of District 5. Tim’s first position as the Mayor’s neighborhood Services Coordinator instilled a passion for helping his neighbors and earned him a reputation as someone who listened and solved problems.

As Director of the Boston Youth Fund, Tim McCarthy transformed Boston’s summer jobs program into a national model. He created the web-based HOPELINE to streamline and professionalize the hiring process. Because job provide important financial assistance for young people, but also teach work ethic and impart skills, Tim built partnerships with over 200 non-profit organizations to expand the number of summer jobs while also creating year-round employment and jobs training opportunities so young people would earn skills with real-world value.

Tim’s ability to make a good program great led to a senior leadership position in the Department of Public Works where he was again a voice for residents’ concerns about infrastructure, zoning, safety and city services. His leadership on Boston’s Big Belly Solar Power trash initiative secured over $4 million worth of equipment for neighborhood business districts while generation revenue and protecting the environment, earning Tim MassRecycle’s “Innovation in Municipalities” Award in 2012.

For Tim McCarthy, public services isn’t merely a job but a life’s commitment. From Parkway baseball and football to Hyde Park Hoopsters, Time has been a coach and mentor to Boston’s young men and women for more than 20 years.

Tim is a graduate of Catholic Memorial High School, Curry College, and the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development. He is (currently) pursuing a Master’s Degree at Suffolk University and a City of Boston Credit Union Board Member. Tim McCarthy (currently resides) in Hyde Park with his wife, Maureen, a school teacher and medical editor, and sons Dolan (18) and Garrett (16).

Kimberly McNiff

Kimberly moved to Boston 2 years ago to pursue her Master’s in Public Health from Boston University (BU). She concentrated her studies on Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology. While attending BU, she completed a fellowship through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health where she focused on the social determinants of health on infant and family outcomes. She then went on to write her culminating paper on paid parental leave. As a mom herself, she is passionate about policies and programs that can better serve American families. In her spare time, she enjoyed eating delicious food, chasing around her toddler, and beating her husband at a game of cribbage.

Yevgenia Khodor

Yevgenia Khodor was born in Kyiv, Ukraine in the former Soviet Union. She immigrated to the US with her family in 1990 and settled in northeast Ohio. Yevgenia obtained her B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004, and her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Brandeis University in 2012, where she worked in the laboratory of Michael Rosbash, studying RNA biology. Currently, she is an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Christopher Burge, where she studies how changes in cellular RNA composition can affect a process used by cancer cells to metastasize. Yevgenia lives in West Roxbury with her husband and two children.

Thanks to our sponsors for this conference!

Parental Leave and Its Benefits for Maternal, Child and Family Health


Tuesday, September 20, 2016
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Categories:


Harvard Medical School (Building C, Cannon Room)
240 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115 United States
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MASS AWIS is the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association for Women in Sciences. Our mission is to support women in all scientific fields and to achieve equity and full participation for women in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. Our events and membership are open for the public regardless of their gender, professional background, or career level.