During my fourth year of medical school in Seattle in 1965, I received an LSU tropical medicine fellowship to study at the Children’s Hospital in San Jose, Costa Rica. Enroute to San Jose, I hitchhiked to New Orleans via Baltimore and Atlanta, stopping at medical centers to interview for internships.
After my residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, I joined CDC’s EIS program, as Oregon’s first EIS officer. That fall I went to East Pakistan to conduct the first field trial of oral therapy for cholera. Exposures to intense problems associated with rapid population growth, poverty, and crowding led me to change my career.
I transferred to CDC’s Family Planning Evaluation Activity and to the Georgia Health Department. One of my first tasks was to determine whether the 1968 Georgia law legalizing abortion would reduce maternal mortality. Because of continuing unequal access to services, it would not. A lawyer cited this social inequity in Doe v. Bolton, the Supreme Court case from Georgia that was decided concurrently with Roe V. Wade.
Two years later, CDC supported my studying demography at Princeton. I returned to CDC, spent a year in the CDC Director’s Office of Program Planning and Evaluation supporting medical care for Tuskegee survivors, then returned to the Family Planning Evaluation Division.
With CDC’s major reorganization in 1980-81, I became the first Director of the Division of Reproductive Health. In 1985, CDC assigned me to Emory to develop the Global Health Track, and in 1987 to USAID, New Delhi for two years—in charge of Population, Health and Nutrition. When I returned from India, I spent six years developing Maternal and Child Health epidemiology in the Georgia Health Department.
After 30 years with CDC working in 40+ countries and with most State Health Departments, I retired from CDC in 1999—went with my brother briefly to Antarctica—and then joined RSPH, the first two years in Epidemiology and now in Global Health. I served as Director of Graduate Studies from 2003-2016 and since August 2016, I serve as Coordinator, Humphrey Fellowship Program.
March 1978 - PHS Commendation Medal in recognition of sustained high quality work performance in the development of the international family planning evaluation assistance programs.
September 1981 - CDC Letter of Commendation for contribution to the U.S.-Mexico Border Survey conducted during the period June-Sept 1979 in 51 selected counties in four border states of Texas, NM, AZ, and CA, of maternal and child health planning on the U.S. side of the border.
Oct 1990 - Georgia March of Dimes for producing Infant Health in Georgia: Progress during the 1980s--a collaborative report by Georgia March of Dimes, Georgia Department of Human Resources, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Nov 1990 - CDC Commendation Medal for outstanding work and development of activities to reduce infant mortality and to assist states in conducting analytic projects, and to evaluate their infant mortality problems.
1992 - CDC Meritorious Service Medal for sustained significant contributions to the development of activities to prevent and control morbidity and mortality among infants and women of reproductive age.
1993 - Recipient, Carl Schultz (Population and Reproductive Health) Award, APHA
1996 - Georgia March of Dimes - For contributions to statewide prevalence study of perinatal exposure to cocaine-- a collaborative study by Georgia March of Dimes, Georgia Department of Human Resources, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1999 - MCH Coalition Award for Lifetime Achievement in MCH epidemiology
2001-2002 Rollins School of Public Health, Student Government ‘Professor of the Year’
2004- Ipas In Appreciation “for your distinguished career in public service, research, teaching, and advocacy; for your visionary leadership in advancing maternal and child health, family planning, and women’s access to safe abortion care in the United States and globally; for your mentorship and support of students and young professionals in reproductive health; for your outstanding scholarly contributions over three decades in contraception, abortion, postabortion care and the epidemiology of maternal and child health. We do hereby honor and thank you for your unwavering support for women’s reproductive health and rights around the world.”
May 2009-The Thomas F. Sellers, Jr. Award "For exemplifying the ideals of public health and serving as a role model and mentor to his colleagues. This award is given to an individual who, like the man for whom it is named, represents the best qualities of collegiality."
May 2012 Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, Emory University
Sept 2016 Zena Stein and Mervyn Susser Award for Lifetime Achievement, 2016 National MCH Epidemiology Awards for Contributing Substantially to the Advancement of the Field of MCH Epidemiology with Significant and Lasting Impact. Awarded by the Coalition for Excellence in MCH Epidemiology
Sept 18 2013 Global Health Faculty Seminar:
Annual GEMMA Evening 2015: https://rsph.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Embed.aspx?id=ebef1b73-0c02-4e53-9433-52e45bd05554
Annual GEMMA Evening 2019: https://rsph.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=fa260b22-0096-416d-bfac-aae9017ada76
Sept 4, 2019 Global Health Faculty Seminar https://echo360.org/media/d5d92367-3e56-443c-8b8d-3a1454f6a15d/public
Sept 17, 2019 GH Seminar & seminar with midwifery students: https://rsph.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=13980393-ad32-440d-9e9b-aadc015603e6
Areas of Interest
- Maternal and Child Health
- Sexual Health/Behavior
- Ecology, Demography and Environmental Sciences
- Program Management
- Reproductive Health
- Social Epidemiology
- MD 1966, University of Washington
- GH 530: Maternal Mortality - Abortion
Affiliations & Activities
Coordinator, Humphrey Fellowship Program, 2016-
Faculty advisor 1. Emory Reproductive Health Association (ERHA); 2. Emory Global Health Organization (EGHO); 3. Georgia Maternal Infant Health Research Group (GMIHRG).
2015 Co-organizer Psychosocial Workshop, San Diego CA
- Rachel Shapiro, Blake Erhardt-Ohren, Roger Rochat, 2020, Comparison of Women from Georgia and Contiguous States Who Obtained Abortions in Georgia, 1994-2016, Maternal and Child Health Journal, ,
- Boudreau, Courtney L., Howard Kress, Roger W. Rochat, Kathryn M. Yount, 2018, Correlates of Disclosure of Sexual Violence among Kenyan Youth , Child Abuse and Neglect , 79, 164-172
- Evelyn Howatt, Roger Rochat, Deborah McFarland, Carlos Del Rio, 2017, From Albania to Zimbabwe: Ten years surveying Global Health Field Experiences at the Rollins School of Public Health, Global Health Science and Practice Journal, 5, 468-475
- Almaghaslah Eman, Roger Rochat, Ghada N. Farhat, 2017, Validation of A Pregnancy Planning Measure for Arabic-Speaking Women,, PLOSOne, 12, 10
- Fink L., Stanhope K., Rochat R., Bernal O., 2016, "The Fetus is my patient, too": Attitudes toward abortion and referral among physician conscientious objectors in Bogota, Colombia, International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 42, 71-80
- Adrienne D. Zertuche, Bridget Spelke, Zoe Julian, Meredith Pinto, Roger Rochat, 2016, Georgia Maternal and Infant Health Research Group (GMIHRG): Mobilizing Allied Health Students and Community Partners to Put Data into Action, Maternal and Child Health Journal, 20,
- Wijesooriya, N. Saman, Rochat Roger W, Kamb Mary L., Turlapati Prasad, Temmerman Marleen, Broutet Natalie, Newman Lori M, 2016, Global burden of maternal and congenital syphilis in 2008 and 20112: a health systems modeling study, Global Lancet, 4, e525-e533
- Bridget Spelke, Adrienne Zertuche, Zoe Julian, Roger Rochat, , 2016, Obstetric Provider Maldistribution-Georgia 2011, Maternal and Child Health Journal, ,
- Martin Julia, De Lora Patsy, Rochat Roger, Andes Karen, 2016, Understanding female condom use and negotiation among young women in Cape Town, South Africa, International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 42, 13-20
- Luffy SM, Evans DP, Rochat RW, 2015, "Siempre me critican": barriers to reproductive health in Ocotal, Nicaragua, Rev Panam Salud Publica, 37, 245-50
- Jill A. McDonald, Brittany Argotsinger, Octavio Mojarro, Roger Rochat, Anup Amatya, 2015, First Trimester Initiation of Prenatal Care in the US-Mexico Border Region, Medical Care, 54, 700-707
- DeSisto, Carla L., Jill McDonald, Roger Rochat, Beatriz A. Diaz-Apodaca, Eugene DeClercq, 2014, Decision-making about method of delivery on the U.S.-Mexico border, Health Care for Women International , ,
- Lathrop Eva, Roger Rochat, 2013, The GEMMA Seminar: A graduate public health course on Global Elimination of Maternal Mortality from Abortion, Contraception, ,
- Diaz-Olavarrieta, Claudia, Sandra G Garcia, Angelica Arangure, Vanessa Cravioto, Aremis Villalobos, Roula AbiSamra, Roger Rochat, Davida Becker, 2012, Women's Experiences of and perspectives on abortion at public facilities in Mexico City three years following decriminalization, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 118, S15-S20
- Rochat RW, Heath CW, Chu S, Marchbanks P, 2011, Maternal and Child Health Epi-Aid Investigations, 1946-2005, American Journal of Epidemiology supplement , 174 (11), S80-S88
- Omer Saad B, David Goodman, Mark C. Steinhoff, Roger Rochat, Keith P Klugman, Barbara J Stoll, Usha Ramakrishnan, 2011, Maternal Influenza Immunization and Reduced Likelihood of Prematurity and Small for Gestational Age Births: A Retrospective Cohort Study , PLOS Medicine, ,
- Lasswell S, Barfield W, Rochat R, Blackmon, L, 2010, Perinatal Regionalization for Very Low Birth Weight Infants: A Meta-Analysis of Three Decades of Evidence , JAMA; 304(9):992-1000, ,
- Kim S, Rochat R, Rajaratnam A, DiGirolamo A, 2009, Evaluating completeness of maternal mortality reporting in a rural health and social affairs unit in Vellore, India, 2004, Journal of Biosocial Science , 41, part 2, 195-205
- Rochat RW, 2008, The Challenges of Conducting Research to improve the Health of American Indians and Alaska Natives, Matern Child Health J. Suppl 1:126-7., ,
- Yusuf Hussain R, Akhter Halida H. , Chowdhury Mahbub Elahi , and Rochat Roger W., 2007, Causes of death among women aged 10-50 years in Bangladesh, 1996-1997, Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition, ICDDRL/B, , 25 , 1-10
- Santelli, J., and Rochat, R.W., et al. (Unintended Pregnancy Working Group), 2003, Reconceiving unintended pregnancy, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 34(2),
- Warner, D.L., Rochat, R.W., et al., 2001, Missed opportunities for congenital syphilis prevention in an urban southeastern hospital, Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases., 28(2), 92-98
- Stanhope K., Rochat R, Fink L, Richardson K, Brack C, Comeau D, 1945, Physician opinions concerning legal abortion in Bogota, Colombia, Culture, Health and Sexuality, 19, 873-887