Maternal and Child Health

The National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center has been awarded a $1.74 M HRSA grant to further support development of state maternal and child health program leaders and staff members. Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, clinical assistant professor of maternal and child health and adjunct clinical assistant professor of health policy and management at the Gillings School, is the program director. 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.


Targeting health care in armed conflicts discussed in Medicine, Conflict and Survival
Threats to health care facilities, personnel and patients in areas of armed conflict and other emergencies is the focus of a July 4 paper by alumnus Dilshad Jaff, MBChB, MPH, research adviser for conflict and disaster prevention research at the Gillings Global Gateway, and co-authors Kavita Singh, PhD, research associate professor, and Lewis Margolis, MD, associate professor, both of maternal and child health.

Impact evaluation of scale-up phase of Ghana project reported
Outcomes studied in the ‘Project Fives Alive!’ evaluation have demonstrated impact at scale in the effort to improve maternal and child health. Lead author, Kavita Singh Ongechi, PhD of maternal and child health, published online in Health Research Policy and Systems.

News Brief Archive…


MCH students are working locally and globally this summer. Safe travels!

Schoolwide Orientation
Monday, Aug 22
8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Armfield Atrium, Michael Hooker Research Center

Classes begin Aug 23