Abigail B. Wilpers, Ph.D., WHNP-BC
As a clinician, Dr. Wilpers has cared for pregnant people and families facing their greatest fear — the loss of a normal pregnancy and the possibility of going home without a child. As a researcher, she explores how models of care, social determinants of health, and patients’ experiences connect to care quality and health outcomes. Dr. Wilpers combines these passions and skills to drive research and action to enhance health care and health equity for people who receive a fetal diagnosis and may face significant challenges including perinatal loss, preterm birth, and raising a child with special health care needs.
“Through policy-relevant and community-engaged research, I strive to build knowledge and partnerships between maternal-fetal medicine and the Reproductive Justice movement to enhance care and equity for people experiencing fetal complications during pregnancy.”
- PhD, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2019
- MSN, Yale School of Nursing, 2016
- BA, Barnard College, 2010
Dr. Wilpers’ research to date has been focused on workforce development and care delivery in specialized fetal diagnosis and treatment centers. Using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods she works with interprofessional teams and people with lived experience to examine and enhance practice and policy. 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 Loss, The Fetal Health Foundation, and the Fetal Therapy Nurse Network.
Selected Career Highlights
- 2022 – StatNews: Maternal-Fetal Surgery is Not an Alternative to Abortion Care
- 2020 – 2022 National Clinician Scholar
- 2021 Best of JOGNN Writing Award (the scientific journal of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses)
- 2020 – present Co-Chair, Patient Advocacy Committee, The North American Fetal Therapy Network
- 2020 Distinguished Young Aluma Award, Emma Willard School
- 2019 Young Investigator Award, the International Fetal Medicine and Surgical Society
- 2016 – 2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar