Jessica Hanson

Jessica Hanson

Assistant Scientist, Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention Research

Sanford Research 
2301 E. 60th Street N.
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: 605-312-6209


  • Ph.D., Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa
  • M.A., Social Sciences, University of Northern Colorado
  • B.A., Sociology and Women's Studies, Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD)

Dr. Jessica Hanson is currently the Principal Investigator on NIH-funded research studies that use community-based participatory research with American Indian tribes to develop, implement, and evaluate alcohol-exposed pregnancy (AEP) interventions. For the past 11 years, Dr. Hanson has directed and evaluated multiple projects within American Indian communities focused on maternal-child health and has published both qualitative and quantitative data related to women’s health and wellness, including prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies and fetal alcohol syndrome. Some of her key publications include:

  1. Hanson, J.D., Ingersoll, K, & Pourier, S. (2016). Development and implementation of CHOICES Group to reduce drinking, improve contraception, and prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies in American Indian women. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.13 (1), 1-10
  2. Hanson, J.D. & Jensen, J. (2015). Importance of social support in preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancies with American Indian communities. Journal of Community Health, 40 (1), 138-146. PMID: 24974087.
  3. Hauge, C.H., Jacobs-Knight, J., Jensen, J.L., Burgess, K., Puumala, S., Wilton, G., & Hanson, J.D. (2015). Establishing validity and reliability of measures for American Indian women: use of “think aloud” and test-retest methods for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy prevention program. Qualitative Health Research, 25 (6), 820-830. PMID: 25888693.
  4. Hanson, J.D., McMahon, T., Griese, E., & Kenyon, D.B. (2014). Understanding gender roles in teen pregnancy prevention among American Indian youth. American Journal of Health Behavior, 38(6), 807-815. PMID: 25207506.
  5. Hanson, J.D., Miller, A.L., Winberg, A., & Elliott, A.J. (2013). Prevention of alcohol exposed pregnancies with non-pregnant American Indian women. American Journal of Health Promotion, 27(3), S66-S73. PMID: 23286666.
  6. Hanson, J.D. (2012). Understanding prenatal care for American Indian women in the Northern Plains. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 23(1), 29-37. PMID: 22052090.


Dr. Hanson works with the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) CHOICES Program, a program focused on the prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies among women who are drinking alcohol at risky levels and who are at risk for, or planning, pregnancy. Dr. Hanson and her team work on needs assessment methodology, data collection and entry, analysis, and report writing for the OST CHOICES Program. They also work on expanding the services that OST CHOICES provides to American Indian women. One such project is:

Tribal Collaborations in the Prevention of Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies (funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities)
It is the goal of the proposed study to work with community partners using a CBPR collaborative research approach to support partnerships with tribes in the Northern Plains who have an interest in an AEP prevention program (SA 1). We will implement a community needs assessment to establish effective input from the community on the importance of AEP prevention efforts; what an AEP prevention project would ideally look like; and, if desired, how to best modify current AEP prevention projects to make appropriate for individual tribal communities (SA 2). Finally, based on results from the community needs assessment and input from Community Advisory Boards, AEP prevention pilot projects will be implemented in three large, hospital Indian Health Service (IHS) sites (SA 3).

Check out these links:

OST CHOICES Facebook Page:

Article on OST CHOICES in the Rapid City Journal:

Article that includes information on OST CHOICES in the Omaha World-Herald:

Evaluation Projects

New Start Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women (funded by SAMHSA)
The purpose of the project is to provide comprehensive, high-quality residential substance abuse treatment for low-income women age 18 and over who are pregnant or postpartum, and their minor children. Sanford Research will provide the evaluation of these services.

White Buffalo Calf Woman Society’s (WBCWS) Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems Program (funded by the U.S. Department of Justice)
Sanford Research will be in charge of conducting the process and outcome evaluation techniques of this important project. The evaluation team will work with WBCWS to identify measurements and tools to capture the necessary data and will be dedicated to collecting appropriate program measurements.

First Steps to Healthy Babies (funded byPrimeWest Health)
This project is a collaboration between Sanford Bemidji Medical Center in Bemidji, MN, Beltrami County Health and Human Services, and the Red Lake Family and Children Services. The goal is to develop a local program for prenatal screening and intervention for substance abuse in pregnancy.

Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis

Dr. Hanson and her team also work with other Sanford Research scientists on conducting qualitative data collection and analyzing results.