Maternal and Child Health

Researchers report importance of probiotics in infant feeding in studies published in Best Practic & Research Clinical Gastroenterology and American Journal of Gastgroenterology. Tamar Ringel-Kulka, MD, MPH, assistant professor of maternal and child health, is an author of both studies, as well as a chapter published in "The Mircrobiota in Gastrointestinal Pathyophysiology" on Microbiota of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Infancy.
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
Departmental activities
Health disparities
WHO collaboration
Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute
Leadership consortium
MCH 2016-2017 committees


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.


Maternity waiting homes may help reduce maternal morbidity in Malawi
Researchers suggest that two maternity waiting homes, supported by the Safe Motherhood Initiative, may help reach vulnerable women in Malawi and other low-income countries. Maternal and child health faculty members, Kavita Singh and Ilene Speizer, and masters student, Timothy Kim, published findings in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Alumna to be public health director for San Antonio
Colleen Bridger, MPH (MCH ’95) will serve as public health director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District – the nation’s seventh largest city health department. She has been health director of Orange County Health Department for more the five years. Read more.

News Brief Archive…


Experience Gillings
Friday, Mar. 24
8 am – 5 pm
A program for admitted graduate students. For additional information check the event site.

Nickel to present
Friday, April 7
2306 McGavran-Greenberg
Nathan Nickel, PhD, (MCH ’11) will discuss use of administrative data in maternal and child health studies. His talk is entitled “Turning Straw into Gold: Using Administrative Data to Conduct Policy-Focused Maternal and Child Health Research”.

MCH Family Reunion
Friday, April 7
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Michael Hooker Research Center Lower Atrium
Join your MCH family (alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends) for a great opportunity to network along with a department update and presentation of major awards. Please register.