Maternal and Child Health

Sandra L. Martin, PhD, professor and associate chair for research in the Gillings School’s Department of Maternal and Child Health and the School’s associate dean for research, is this year’s winner of the Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award. [Read story]
Message from the Interim 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 Interim 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.


Doctoral student receives UNC’s Bryan Award for public service
Kristin Black awarded Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award for work with ACCURE study. [Read story]

Doctoral student awarded training grant
Kathryn Houk selected as trainee on T32 training grant funded by National Institutes of Health. [Read story]

Dean announces intent for MCH chair appointment
Dean Rimer announces her intent to appoint Carolyn T. Halpern, PhD. as chair of maternal and child health. [Read story]

Former faculty member, interim chair passes
Elizabeth L. Watkins, MCH professor for 13 years dies March 19. Read obituary.

Parcesepe successfully defends dissertation
“Interpersonal violence and HIV sexual risk factors among female sexworkers in Mombasa, Kenya: The influence of alcohol harm reduction and early initiation of sex work” by Angela Parcesepe.

Pollock successfully defends dissertation
“The impact of child maltreatment on the development of alcohol and substance use: comparing the trajectories of alcohol and substance use from adolescence to adulthood between victims and non-victims of child maltreatment” by McLean Dickinson Pollock.

AMCHP video reports MCH PHLI outcomes
Claudia Fernandez, DrPH, clinical assistant professor in MCH, is PI and director of the MCH Public Health Leadership Institute.

News Brief Archive…


Master’s Gala
Support graduating students
Friday, April 24
2:00-3:00 pm
1301 McGavran-Greenberg

Support MCH student scholarships
Donate to one of nine student scholarships and receive MCH T-shirt ($24+) and/or tote bag ($16+) thank-you (preview).