Maternal and Child Health

Claudia Fernandez, DrPh, clinical assistant professor of maternal and child health at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD, professor of social medicine and of medicine at UNC School of Medicine will lead the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Clinical Scholars program. Read story.
Message from the Chair
"We promote population health locally and globally by improving the health of women, children, youth, and families through sustained excellence in research; program and policy development, implementation, and evaluation; and by educating current and future MCH leaders and advocates." Read more.
Carolyn Halpern, PhD
Professor and Chair

Our maternal and child health department was founded in 1950 and is one of the world’s leading academic departments for research, teaching and practice.

We are dedicated to improving the health of women, children and families — domestically and globally. Our teaching program provides students with broad exposure to maternal and child health population needs and priorities, as well as the skills to become leaders of tomorrow. Our faculty members represent a rich mix of academic backgrounds and interests, contributing expertise and leadership in a wide range of disciplines. We invite you to join us as we embark upon an exciting new year of scholarship, leadership and service.

Our research strengths include:

  • Developing a strong evidence base to improve health policies, programs and practices for women and children, locally and globally;
  • Working in interdisciplinary teams to develop innovative solutions for addressing health disparities among women and children;
  • Using innovative approaches, including implementation science, to support the successful implementation of proven women’s and children’s interventions at scale; and
  • Using quantitative and qualitative methods to improve the health of women, children and families in North Carolina, the nation and the world.


Awards and funding
Support MCH
Health disparities
WHO collaboration
Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute
Leadership consortium
Departmental activities


Gillings Program Search (GPS) for prospective students provides a search option for our School’s degree and non-degree programs, as well as the ability to drill down to an overview of each program’s quick facts and related information about how to apply.


MCH staff member receives School Staff Excellence Award
Kathy Biancardi, , public communications specialist in the Department of Maternal and Child Health and assistant to the director of UNC’s World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center, accepted the 2015 Staff Excellence Award at a Schoolwide event on Nov. 12.

Paper reports link between health insurance coverage and skilled birth attendance in Ghana
Shane Khan, doctoral candidate, published online November 2 in Maternal and Child Health Journal results of a national study on the National Health Insurance Scheme and skilled birth attendance. Kavita Singh, research assistant professor of maternal and child health, is his co-author.

News Brief Archive…


Reflections from the Field – Practicum Day
Friday, Nov. 20
1:00-4:00 pm
Michael Hooker Research Center-upper/lower atrium
School-wide event showcasing student practica from this past summer. Everyone invited to attend.