After working together for +20 years, we co-founded Doing Right by Birth in 2024. This new project combines our +50 years of clinical experience caring for pregnant and parenting people who use drugs and their infants & our work consulting with public health and government at city, state, and federal levels. During our time we have been fortunate to partner with community-based organizations, legal advocacy groups, affected individuals with the goal of further supporting & improving the dyad, family, and community.





MPH in Health, Policy and Management, Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, MA (2003); Awarded Commonwealth Fund Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy

Pediatric Resident, Georgetown University Children's Medical Center, Washington, DC (1995 – 1998)

MD, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, RI (1995) 

BA in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, Brown University, Providence, RI (1991)


Since Medical School Dr. Taylor 's work has focused on eliminating health and health care disparities and inequities with a goal of promoting health and wellbeing among historically and systematically excluded individuals, families and communities. Seeking solutions has led her to embrace a non-linear career including working as an FQHC pediatrician, public health practitioner, legislative assistant within the US Senate, program officer at a national foundation, non-resident fellow at a large research center and ultimately as an independent consultant. 

She is an experienced leader, manager and strategist willing to take the time needed to build and steward strong relationships with diverse stakeholders and team members in an effort to achieve equitable wellbeing outcomes. 

Though her work and career has included work to improve equitable outcomes across many aspects of health and wellbeing, her drug policy work, particularly as it relates to pregnant and parenting people is passion place and led her to partner with Dr. Terplan on this organization. As a pediatrician, mother, daughter, and community members she appreciates the role of loving supportive families (as defined by individuals). However, pregnant and parenting people who use substances , particularly Black and Brown parents, are often denied this opportunity. Not only do they face punishment from legal, child welfare, education, employment and housing systems but the health care system often bars access to the full continuum, of culturally and linguistically effective, evidence informed substance use services. This has to change and we hope this organization's work can be a small part of creating a new reality that centers love and wellbeing of parents, infants and dyads instead of punishment.

Areas of Interest

Health equity, racial justice, community engagement, research, policy translation, implementation and application, substance use and mental health conitnuum (prevention, harm reduction treatment, recovery) community engaged metric development, medicaid, health care workforce expansion and diversification, school health, adolescent health and wellbeing




MPH Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2006)

Residency OBGYN, Los Angeles County, University of Southern California (2000-2004)

MD University of California, San Francisco (2000)

BA Anthropology, University of Chicago (1991)


Mishka Terplan is a physician whose clinical, research, public health, and advocacy interests lie along the intersections of reproductive and behavioral health. He has a long-standing interest in how drugs and drug use is framed in society, and as a medical student, helped to set up and run a volunteer medical clinic that ran concurrent with a syringe exchange and a Saturday morning clinic that served only women, primarily street-based sex workers and exotic dancers. He did not anticipate becoming an obstetrician gynecologist. Raised in and privileged by the patriarchy he had tacitly accepted the devalue of the health of women and other people capable of pregnancy. He was, however, drawn to the lifecourse perspective and especially, the sacred specialness of birth. 

Initially his career focused on exploring the intersections between substance use and addiction (for example, embedding reproductive health in syringe exchange and drug treatment, or integrating SBIRT into abortion care) and today is recognized as an expert in the care of pregnant and parenting people who use drugs. He first learned about the family policing system from his patients by following them from clinic into court and has spent the last 20 years partnering with community-based organization and legal aid groups to stand for the human rights and human dignity of all parents, especially those that use drugs. Recently, his work has focused on naming and resisting the increasing carceral complicity of health care at birth. Doing Right By Birth is the logical consequence of all his prior work, and together with Dr. Taylor, he hopes to carve and hold space along the interstices of medicine, law, and life to support the dyad and the community so that all families might thrive. 

Areas of Interest

Pregnancy and birth, drug exposure and drug use, addiction treatment and recovery, stigma and discrimination, health equity and ethics, carcerality and resistance, family policing and alternatives


Doing Right by Birth is a Project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, a 501(c)(3).