People, relationships, and the aspiration to make a difference: a qualitative life history of Dr. Roger Rochat Open Access

Elloway, Avery (Fall 2022)

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Dr. Roger Rochat has worked tirelessly throughout his life in the field of sexual and reproductive health, focusing much of his efforts on safe abortion access and the education of future public health professionals. This project is intended to provide a narrative of Rochat’s personal and career history while also adding insight into the history of research in sexual and reproductive health and abortion both in federal and state government organizations and within academia. To achieve this, in-depth interviews were conducted with Rochat and 15 key informants. Key informants were chosen based on characteristic of a close relationship with Rochat professionally or personally, namely his early life, family relationship, CDC, Emory University, and mentor relationships. Analysis highlighted themes in Rochat’s life that reflected his personality characteristics, influences on his life, and his impact on individuals and in public health. Of influences on Rochat’s life, themes included childhood upbringing, religion, education, mentors, politics, his role as a husband and father, and the effect of the work he was doing. Personality characteristics identified themes that included relationships, ethical kindness, and a commitment. Of Rochat’s impact and legacy, themes comprised of his academic work, his impact within the field of sexual and reproductive health, his role as a mentor, and the establishment and effect of the Global Elimination of Maternal Mortality from Abortion (GEMMA) fund.   From the three overarching themes found in analysis, some topics stood out as having particular significance in Rochat’s life. These topics included the presence of education, his ability to connect with others, and his enduring desire to do more to serve.

Table of Contents

Ch I. Introduction 1

Ch II. Literature Review 3

Introduction and Rationale 3

Methods 3

Results 4

Table 1. Key Words focusing on Maternal and Child Health in Publications Authored by Roger Rochat, 1970-20215

Table 2. Key Words focusing on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Publications Authored by Roger Rochat, 1970-2921 6

Table 3. Key Words focusing on Abortion in Publications Authored by Roger Rochat, 1970-2021 7

Figure 1. Publications Authored by Roger Rochat by US State/Region, 1970-2021 8

Figure 2. Publications Authored by Roger Rochat by Country, 1970-2021 9

Table 4. Substantive Topic by Geographic Region in Publications Authored by Roger Rochat, 1970-2021 10

Table 5. Substantive and Geographic Region by Career Era in Publications Authored by Roger Rochat, 1970-2021 11

Discussion 11

Ch III. Methodology 14

Ch IV Results 18

Introduction 18

Sample Characteristics 18

Table 6. Key informant relationships to Roger Rochat 19

Personality Attributes 19

Relationships 19

Ethical Kindness 21

Commitment  22

Influences 24

Humble Upbringing   24

Religion 26

Education 28

Work  31

Politics. 34

Mentors and Influencers 36

Marriage and Fatherhood 40

Legacy 43

Public Health and SRH 43

Academics  45

Mentorship  48


Ch V. Discussion and Conclusions   55

References  60

Appendix 1: Rochat Publications, Geography, Themes, and Keywords 61

Appendix 2: Codebook for Analysis of Interviews with Roger Rochat and Key Informants 86

Appendix 3: International Consultations and Travel of Roger Rochat 91

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