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Sara Cottler

Sara Cottler

Sara Cottler
Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Sara Cottler is a social scientist specializing in health systems strengthening, research, health information and public health policy. She has extensive experience working in the field of international public health within the context of the World Health Organization, with a particular focus in the field of sexual and reproductive health, sexuality, gender, gender equity, human rights, maternal health and transgender health. Sara obtained her Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and her Bachelor of Arts in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well as Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis.

She is currently leading the GFMER initiative to develop a training programme for health professionals to learn about the importance of sexual health and to help overcome challenges related to sexual health in older persons. It consists of:

  • Building capacities through an on-line training module on sexual health of older persons
  • Creating professional networks of those interested in sexual health of older persons to share learnings and best practices. This is to ensure not only global but also national level coordination and knowledge sharing.
  • Gathering country specific information on initiatives and projects on sexual health of older persons. This is to encourage grounding such initiatives to country-level realities, needs and opportunities and tying them directly to country-level health sector needs and priorities.
  • Sharing knowledge through a database of research about sexual health of older persons.

Before working with the GFMER, Sara spent four years at the World Health Organization in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR), where her principal contributions were to the following projects:

  • Revision of the International Classification of Diseases
    • Co-led development of innovative new chapter on “Conditions Relating to Sexual Health” to better define, measure and record sexual health data.
    • Lead development, programming and implementation of internet-based case-control study which assesses the clinical utility of new sexual dysfunction classification and clinical utility.
  • Sexual Health, Human Rights and the Law Report
  • Maternal Morbidity Measurement Tool
  • Systematic Review of Provider Barriers of Adolescents Seeking Contraception

Prior to her work at RHR, Sara served as the Project Manager of the Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, in the Department of Health Statistics and Information at the World Health Organization for four years.