Dr. Mollen's particular research interest focuses on using the Emergency Department and other non-primary care settings as sites for interventions related to major reproductive health issues affecting adolescents, such as unintended teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
She has worked, both as principal investigator and collaborator, to better understand adolescents’ attitudes regarding sexual health services offered in the ED. She found that adolescents highly value sexual health services provided in the ED setting, either through one-on-one contact or via various technological methods.
Over a decade ago Dr. Mollen developed an HIV screening program in the CHOP ED, which has identified multiple new HIV infections in youth and facilitated entry into HIV care services. She also co-founded and led a sexual assault response team which streamlined and standardized multidisciplinary care for these vulnerable patients, ensuring timely delivery of care and reduced patient burden navigating assault services. Her work has also investigated provider perceived and policy barriers to the use of expedited partner therapy for adolescents diagnosed with Chlamydia, identifying both provider and policy level barriers that can be addressed to improve treatment for this important STI.
Additionally, as a senior investigator Dr. Mollen has explored rates of common STIs among the adolescent ED population, which has led to improved screening and treatment of these infections nationally. A common thread among these projects has been working with multi-disciplinary teams of physicians, allied health professionals, community and social service professionals to develop new health initiatives.