Sarah Finocchario Kessler, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Associate Professor
Department of Family Medicine

Ph.D., John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2009
Postdoctoral, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2010-2011
Postdoctoral, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2011-2012

Her current research combines interests in reproductive health and HIV by exploring childbearing intentions among people living with HIV,  HIV-provider communication about reproductive options, and options for safer conception among serodiscordant couples. She is exploring these issues among HIV-infected women and men in the U.S.(Baltimore), Brazil and Uganda where in collaboration with colleagues, she has documented a similar unmet need for comprehensive reproductive counseling to reduce transmission risks to partners and infants while helping individuals more safely realize their childbearing goals. Dr. Finocchario Kessler plans to work with KUMC fertility specialists to explore similar outcomes among couples receiving preconception counseling in the context of infertility, cancer or other chronic illnesses. Dr. Finocchario Kessler also works in Kenya and Malawi to pilot an intervention designed to improve Early Infant Diagnosis services for HIV-exposed newborns. The primary outcomes of this research include increased retention in care and early initiation of treatment among infants diagnoses HIV-positive.

Selected Publications

Wagner G.J., Goggin K., Mindry D., Beyeza-Kashesya J., Finocchario-Kessler S., Woldetsadik M.A., Khanakwa S., Wanyenze R. Correlates of Use of Safer Conception Methods to Reduce Horizontal Transmission Among Ugandan HIV Clients with Fertility Intentions. AIDS & Behav. 2015 Jun;19(6):1078-88. .

Champassak, S. L., Catley, D., Finocchario-Kessler, S., Farris, M., Ehtesham, M., Schoor, R., Goggin, K. Physician smoking cessation counseling and adherence to the Clinical Practice Guideline. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare, 2015: 2(4), 477-484.  

Finocchario-Kessler S., Clark K., Khamadi S., Gautney B., Okoth V., Goggin K. Progress Toward Eliminating Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Kenya: Review of Treatment Guideline Uptake and Pediatric Transmission at Four Government Hospitals Between 2010 and 2012. AIDS & Behavior, 1-10. April, 2015.

Finocchario-Kessler S, Goggin K, Khamadi S, Gautney B, Dariotis J, Bawcom C, Cheng A, Nazir N, Martin C, Ruff A, Sweat M, Okoth V and HITSystem Team. Improving early infant HIV diagnosis in Kenya: study protocol of a cluster-randomized efficacy trial of the HITSystem. Implementation Science.2015, 10:96.

Finocchario-Kessler S., Odera I., Okoth V., Bawcom C., Gautney B., Khamadi S., Clark, K., Goggin K. Lessons learned from implementing the HIV Infant Tracking System (HITSystem): A web-based intervention to improve early infant diagnosis in Kenya.  Healthc (Amst). 2015 Dec;3(4):190-5. doi: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2015.07.004. Epub 2015 Aug 14.

Woldetsadik MA, Goggin K, Staggs VS, Wanyenze RK, Beyeza-Kashesya J, Mindry D, Finocchario-Kessler S, Khanakwa S, Wagner G. Safer Conception Methods and Counseling: Psychometric Evaluation of New Measures of Attitudes and Beliefs among HIV Clients and Providers. AIDS Behav. 2015. Oct 20. [Epub ahead of print]

Goggin, K., Finocchario-Kessler, S., Staggs, V., Woldetsadik, M.A., Wanyenze R.K., Beyeza, J., Mindry, D., Khanakwa, S., &. Wagner, G.J. (under review). Attitudes, knowledge and correlates of self-efficacy for the provision of Safer Conception Counseling among Ugandan HIV providers. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2015 Dec;29(12):651-60. doi: 10.1089/apc.2015.0089. Epub 2015 Nov 20.

Last modified: May 19, 2016


Sarah Finocchario Kessler, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor