|Ms. Erica Prochaska graduated from Carleton College, Northfield Minnesota with a B.A. in History in 2009. Her coursework focused on South Asian, postcolonial and environmental history. While at Carleton she studied abroad in Rajasthan, India and wrote her senior thesis on postcolonial environmental policy in India. With the goal of attending medical school, Ms. Prochaska then entered the Bryn Mawr postbaccalaureate premedical program. After completing the science requirements for medical school, she began working as a research coordinator in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her main duties included coordinating a birth outcome study and two Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) studies. She hopes to have two papers on PCOS and a paper on human chorionic gonadotropin published in the summer of 2011. In her free time, Ms. Prochaska has been able to shadow on the Labor and Delivery floor of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and observe gynecological surgeries. Her hobbies include running, biking, yoga, writing and Ultimate Frisbee. She hopes to be able to implement her interests in environmental health and women's health as she begins her medical training.
Ms. Prochaska's Fulbright-Nehru research titled "A Survey of Medicinal Plants Used in Maternal Health Care in the Garhwal Himalayas" is a descriptive study of medicinal plant usage among women during pregnancy in the Garhwal region of the northwestern Himalayas. Although many studies have detailed medicinal plant usage in Garhwal, no previous study has focused on maternal health. The purpose of this survey is to both fill a gap in medicinal plant literature and provide information to strengthen local maternal health care in a region with severely limited access to primary health care.