Jessica Hanson, PhD, Lab


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Primary Research Group

Population Health

Secondary Research Group

Environmental Influences on Health & Disease


Dr. Hanson Bio

Jessica Hanson

  • Assistant Scientist, Population
    Health Group

Academic Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of
    South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

Primary Research Focus

Dr. Jessica Hanson has worked with American Indian communities in the Northern Plains for the past 13 years. She is a leading expert on the prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies with preconceptional American Indian women and has been funded by NIH, SAMHSA, and the CDC. Dr. Hanson has also been called upon as a consultant for national and local collaborations, both for her work in the prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies and also for training in motivational interviewing. Dr. Hanson has published both qualitative and quantitative data related to women’s health and wellness, including prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Research Line Methodolgy Expertise Other Expertise
  • Preconception Health
  • Prevention of Substance Use
  • Health Disparities
  • Qualitative Data Collections and Analysis, including Think Alouds
  • Evalutation
  • Community-Based Program Development
  • Motivational Interviewing

 Lab Projects

Dr. Hanson is a leading expert on the CHOICES intervention – an alcohol-exposed pregnancy prevention program – for American Indian women. Specifically, she and her team have:

  • Established the feasibility and acceptability of CHOICES with American Indian communities.
  • Utilized community-based participatory research (CBPR) to successfully implement CHOICES in busy tribal clinics.
  • Determined the validity and reliability of CHOICES measures for American Indian women.  
  • Conducted a needs assessment on expanding alcohol-exposed pregnancy prevention efforts.
  • Served as a consultant for multiple CHOICES-related projects, including as a CHOICES and motivational interviewing trainer.
  • Adapted CHOICES for use using the telephone and in a group setting.

CHOICES for American Indian Teens (CHAT)
The objective of the CHAT project is to reduce the risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancies (AEP) among American Indian female adolescents by determining the feasibility and acceptability of the OST CHOICES Program among rural, American Indian teens. We will develop a transdisciplinary, community-based program (CHAT) to prevent AEP with female American Indian teens, an area of great need but with few current efforts. We will also expand current clinical practice by utilizing an ecological framework to impact not just AEP risk but also teen pregnancy risk and substance use behaviors. The CHAT staff include Ms. Tess Weber (senior clinical research specialist), Jessica Hanson, PhD (PI), and Umit Shrestha, PhD (post-doctoral fellow).

Contact Information Resources

Phone: (605) 312-6209


Sanford Research
2301 E. 60th Street N.
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
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Contact Sanford Research

Address: 2301 E. 60th Street N
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: (605) 312-6300
Fax: (605) 312-6071