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.


National MCH Workforce Development Center helps plan improvements in NC child health
Local and regional agencies along with community partners met to improve birth outcomes and overall health status of children in North Carolina. Read story.

Food Systems Leadership Institute one of top 10
MCH faculty member, Claudia Fernandez, DrPH, is one of the founding members of the FSLI program named to top 10 continuing education programs with a strong leadership focus. Read story.

Implementation science course begins
MCH launches its first course on implementation science for global health. Professors Herbert Peterson, Sandra Naoom and Joumana Haidar will teach online this semester MHCH 890.971 “Implementation Science for Global Health”. See syllabus.

News Brief Archive…


Register for Minority Health Conference
“In Solidarity: The Role of Public Health in Social Justice”
Feb. 26, Friday Center
Register online by Friday, Feb 5.

Apply for MCH scholarships
Nine competitive scholarships are available for currently enrolled master’s and doctoral students. Read more and complete application. Deadline Feb. 16

Critical Conversation Feb 18
Feb 18, 12:30-1:30 pm
417 Rosenau
Joanna Percher and Stella Clingmon will discuss “Am I Good Enough? Overcoming Imposter Syndrome”.