Staff and Contributors

Here’s a brief introduction to the core staff of the Center for Young Women’s Health (CYWH) and contributors to Medical fellows and other Boston Children’s Hospital health care professionals contribute to the development of content, and our wonderful youth advisors advise us on presenting information in a teen-friendly style.


S. Jean EmansDr. S. Jean Emans, Co-Director and Co-Founder

Dr. Emans is the Mary Ellen Avery Professor of Pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School, Chief Emeritus of the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, and the Director of the Office of Faculty Development at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is the author of several textbooks, including Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (7th edition, 2019), and more than 200 medical articles. She has lectured extensively around the world on many reproductive health topics. She is a Past President of the North American Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Dr. Emans oversees the operation of the CYWH, edits all of our health guides and has directed two courses each years for medical clinicians. In 2006, she was honored with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Adele Dellenbaugh Hofmann Adolescent Health Award. Dr. Emans has been honored with the 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Adele Dellenbaugh Hofmann Adolescent Health Award, the 2009 HMS William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award, and the 2011 Outstanding Achievement in Adolescent Medicine Award from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM), the highest honor in Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Emans feels passionately about empowering girls about their health.


Marc LauferDr. Marc R. Laufer, Co-Director and Co-Founder

Dr. Laufer is the Chief of Gynecology at Boston Children’s Hospital, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School. He is the past president of the North American Society of Pediatric Adolescent Gynecology, and the past chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist’s Adolescent Health Committee. Dr. Laufer has conducted research and published extensively, lectured internationally, and is the co-author of 4th and 5th edition of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Dr. Laufer is recognized internationally for his expertise in pediatric and adolescent gynecology, reproductive endocrinology, endometriosis, reconstructive surgery for congenital anomalies of the reproductive tract, and gynecologic surgery. Dr. Laufer is an advisor to the Endometriosis Association and has provided his expertise for the staff to host our MRKH and Endometriosis chats each month. He has been recognized by numerous organizations with awards for being an excellent doctor.


Emily Gallagher BSN, RN, CPN, Nurse Educator

Emily Gallagher was recruited as the new Nurse Educator for the Center for Young Women’s Health (CYWH) with the retirement of Phaedra Thomas, RN in 2019.  Although new to this role, Emily is a certified pediatric nurse and was a Youth Advisor for the CYWH. She brings her experience in co-developing educational materials for patients at BCH including videos to the CYWH. Emily is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the CYWH, including the Youth Advisory Program, moderating online chats, coordinating both the Endometriosis and MRKH annual conferences, mentoring students, updating online health information, and collaborating with other clinicians to provide the highest quality evidence-based health information for teens, parents, health care providers, educators and others. Emily is both passionate and dedicated to improving health education and resources for teen girls and young women around the world. ​


Phaedra ThomasPhaedra Thomas Thomas, RN, BSN, Co-Founder and Emeritus Co-Director

Phaedra Thomas is a nurse educator, experienced project leader, and lead author and editor of our curricula and health guides. During her more than 20 years as Co-Director of the Center for Young Women’s Health, she has coordinated the Children’s Hospital League’s Resource Center, the Youth Advisory Program, and the Peer Mentoring Program. She has overseen the two conferences for teen girls and their families on Endometriosis and on MRKH. In 2003 Phaedra received the David Weiner Award for her leadership and innovations in teen health. She is passionate about empowering teen girls and young women to understand and take the best possible care of their heath.


Schroeder_Katrina-croppedKatrina Smith, RD, LDN, Dietitian

Katrina Smith is a Clinical Nutritionist specializing in adolescent nutrition issues. Her areas of expertise include eating disorders, overweight and obesity, body image, polycystic ovary syndrome, and peer education. She trained in the LEAH (Leadership Education in Adolescent Health) program at Boston Children’s Hospital. In addition to writing and editing guides for the Center for Young Women’s Health, she sees patients in the Adolescent Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital, including the HAPPENS program to provide teaching to HIV+ youth on nutrition.


Katy Doughty, Media Coordinator

Katy Doughty is the CYWH’s graphic designer and media coordinator. She manages the CYWH and YMH websites, designs all print and web material, and helps ensure that all information posted is clear and accurate. Katy is passionate about helping young people worldwide to understand their bodies and their health through accessible and educational online information.



Jill R. Kavanaugh, MLIS, AHIP, Media Consultant

Jill R. Kavanaugh is the part-time Media Consultant for the CYWH. Jill provides support to the Media Coordinator and the Web Developer, assisting with both technical and content tasks. Additionally, Jill has a background in media studies, and creates evidence-based content for teens and parents on how media and technology can affect the health and development of children and adolescents.


Brian Keller, Web Developer

Brian Keller builds new features for the CYWH and YMH websites. He brings his expertise and talent in developing educational and nonprofit websites and is devoted to using the Internet as an essential tool to help and educate people everywhere.


Additional Contributors

Prof. Cristina Vignolo-Córica, translator

Cristina Vignolo-Córica is a retired Professor of English who – for over 30 years – taught English Grammar, Applied Linguistics, English Phonetics, English in Science and Technology, and Legal Discourse Analysis at teacher-training courses and at legal translators’ courses, at both state and private Universities. After retirement, she devoted herself to volunteering as a translator, proofreader and editor, and to writing about drug policies and state violence in Latin America. Her collaboration with United Nations organizations, such as FAO and OHCHR, has earned her recognition and appreciation. “Social service” are key words in her life.