Maternal and Child Health news brief archive

Doctoral student awarded training grant
Kathryn Houk selected as trainee on T32 training grant funded by National Institutes of Health. [Read story] (April 2015)


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] (April 2015)


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. (April 2015)


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. (April 2015)


Former faculty member, interim chair passes

Elizabeth L. Watkins, MCH professor for 13 years dies March 19. Read obituary. (March 2015)


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. (March 2015)


Alum publishes study on smoking disparities among same-sex couples and tobacco retailer density
Joseph Lee, MPH (MCH ’08) and doctoral candidate in health behavior, published online in Nicotine & Tobacco Research. [Read more] (March 2015)


Impact of financial downturn, budget cuts on health services for women and children

Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, led study on maternal health service use and outcomes among Medicaid-enrolled pregnant women of state in Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. [Read more] (March 2015)


Doctoral student, alum examine developmental origins of chronic inflammation

Leslie deRosset, MPH and current doctoral student, with alum Kelly Strutz, PhD (MCH ’13) review the relationship between birth weight and c-reactive protein in Annals of Epidemiology epub ahead of print. (February 2015)


Alum develops transgender clinic in Cincinnati

Lee Ann Conard, RPh, DO, MPH (MCH’99), assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center leads transgender clinic. Read child’s experience in Cincinnati Enquirer. (February 2015)


Doctoral student finalist for Triangle Global Health Emerging Leader Award
Smisha Agarwal, second-year doctoral student and Fellow at FHI360, is one of three finalists. [Read more] (January 2015)


Data resource available for others to use – reported by alumnus in International Journal of Epidemiology. (September 2014)


Doctoral student co-author on immigrant health care enrollment study [Read more] (September 2014)


MCHPHLI offers essential leadership training [Read more] (August 2014)


Study confirms impact of HIV and malaria upon maternal mortality in Mozambique [article] (July 2014)


Alumna, Chisara Asomugha, MD, MSPH (’02), FAAP,  published on patient protection and the Affordable Care Act in The Lancet. (July 2014)


MCH students awarded global internships through Gillings Global Gateway partners [More] (June 2014)


Alum, Chipman recipient passes

Russell Howard Richardson, MSW, MSPH (MCH ‘69) passed away July 23. He served as the Southeast Regional Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and was appointed by Jimmy Carter to the Governor’s Special Council on Family Planning. For this work, he was recognized in 1975 with the Sydney S. Chipman Award. He also was Director of the Regional Training Center in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Emory University where he retired as Professor Emeritus in 1989.

For additional information see his obituary. (July 2014)


Margolis receives McGavran award

Lewis Margolis, MD , associate professor of maternal and child health, received The McGavran Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizing career-long excellence in teaching by a faculty member at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. [complete article] (May 2014)


Out of the female closet: menstrual hygiene matters

Essay by Lakshmi Gopalakrishnan, MPH, Fulbright Scholar from India and maternal and child health graduate from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, shares thesis research project. [complete article] (May 2014)


Taylor recipient of 2014 Sidney S. Chipman Alumni Award [Chipman] (April 2014)


Study finds health disparities among North Carolina’s sexual minorities

A study by researchers at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health offers the first statewide evidence that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people in North Carolina have poorer health than their straight counterparts in the state. Joseph Lee, MPH (MCH ’08) and current doctoral student in health behavior, is a co-author [complete article] (April 2014)


The News & Observer  names Tar Heel of the week

Dana Hagele, MD, MPH, research assistant professor of maternal and child health, is recognized for her work against child abuse. [complete article] (April 2014)


Researchers study toxic metal levels in Vietnamese children 

Jonathan Kotch, MD, MPH, professor, and Viet Nguyen, MD, project coordinator, of maternal and child health, and Rebecca Fry, PhD, of environmental sciences and engineering, measured whole blood lead levels and levels of toxic metals in toenails of children in a Vietnamese smelting village. The findings were published online in BioMed Central Public Health. [Read more] (Mar 2014)


Wilkinson awarded research grant

Andra Wilkinson, MSPH, maternal and child health doctoral student, has received a $33,622 grant from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for her project “Sexual differences in long-term health implications of adolescent risk behavior.” Other members of her research team include Carolyn Halpern, PhD, professor and proposed interim chair of maternal and child health; Amy Herring, ScD, professor of biostatistics; and Eric Whitsel, MD, MPH, research associate professor of epidemiology. (April 2014)


Master’s papers presentation April 24

Eight master’s students will present their research papers 3:00 – 5:00 pm Thursday, April 24 in 133 Rosenau. (Apr 2014)


CGBI awarded planning grant

Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI), based in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Maternal and Child Health, will receive a one-year planning grant of $74,995 from the John Rex Endowment, the agency has announced. The funding will be used to explore prenatal and post-maternity breastfeeding support and care provided for the most vulnerable populations. [complete article] (Mar 2014)


Halpern proposed as interim department chair

Pending university approvals, Carolyn Halpern, PhD, will be appointed interim chair of the UNC Gillings School of Global Health’s Department of Maternal and Child Health, effective July 1. [complete article] (Mar 2014)


MCH to sponsor workshop on LGBTQ health disparities

A LGBTQ health disparities workshop, 2:00-5:00 pm Friday, April 4, 003/004 Michael Hooker Research Center, is designed to enhance participants’ understanding of sexual minorities in the United States and the health disparities they face. The training is available to any UNC graduate student or faculty member interested in gaining familiarity with LGBTQ-related issues in health. The workshop will use engaging activities and guest presentations to facilitate connections among participants and increased appreciation for LGBTQ-related concepts and terminology.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Department of Maternal and Child Health and the LGBTQ Health Sciences Alliance. It will be facilitated by Nicole Boyer, second-year MPH student, and Kat Turner, MPH, adjunct faculty in the Department of Health Behavior. There will also be a presentation by UNC alumna Cameron Hartofelis, MA, MPH. To sign up, please contact Nicole Boyer at nboyer@live.unc.edu. (Mar 2014)


Read students’ blog from India

Several students and faculty from SPHG 690, Implementation Lab, currently are in India working on the Sahhay Project by FHI 360. MCH students, Sam Charm Eva Fernandez, Brianne Kallam and Jaimie Lea, are in the class. [Read blog] (Mar 2014)


Teaching Innovation Award winners announced

Lewis Margolis, MD, MPH, associate professor of maternal and child health, was selected by students as the department’s recipient of the School’s 2014 Teaching Innovation Award. Students remarked on his unique flexibility, responsiveness and genuine care as a teacher and adviser.

Other recipients include Steve Cole (EPID), Lori Evarts (PHLP), Rebecca Fry (ESE), Amanda Holliday (NUTR), Beth Moracco (HB), Kathy Roggenkamp (BIOS) and Karl Umble (HPM). See photos on Facebook. (Feb 2014)


AMCHP PULSE features workforce center

The January/February issue of AMCHP PULSE features the department’s recent award for development and implementation of a National MCH Workforce Development Center. [Read more] (Feb 2014)


Alum honored as NC health director of the year

Colleen Bridger, PhD, (MCH ’95) Orange County (N.C.) health director, received the N.C. Association of Local Health Directors’ Health Director of the Year award on Jan. 22. The recognition is given to an individual who has shown outstanding leadership in public health in the state and for leadership and involvement in local community and civic activities. [complete article] (Feb 2014)


Professor completes new book

Claudia Fernandez, DrPH, clinical assistant professor of maternal and child health at the School, has completed a new book, It-Factor Leadership: Become a Better Leader in 13 Steps, that was released January 1 by Fast Track Leadership, Inc. A hands-on guide to developing crucial leadership skills, the book covers topics including how to land a great job, build a high-performing team, develop an engaged work force and refine emotional intelligence. (Feb 2014)


Work selected as “Abstract of Distinction”

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition selected work by researchers from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the School of Medicine and from UNC-G as an Abstract of Distinction for its annual scientific and education meeting, Clinical Nutrition Week 2014, this month in Savannah, GA. Lead author, Tamar Ringel-Kulks, MD, MPH, research assistant professor in maternal and child health, presented “Fecal metabolomics profile in patients with food hypersensitivity and health controls” at the meeting. She and co-authors from School of Medicine Center for Functional and Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology and Center for Translational Biomedical Research at UNC-G are working on metabolite concentrations and composition differences between persons with food hypersensitivity syndrome as compared to healthy controls. The project was partially supported by NCTraCS. (Jan 2014)


Levy publishes in Journal of Urban Health

Jessica Levy, MPH (MCH ’06), a doctoral candidate, and faculty members Sian Curtis, PhD, research associate professor and Ilene Speizer, PhD, research professor, have published online in the Journal of Urban Health, a paper associated with her dissertation: “Assessing gaps and poverty-related inequalities in the public and private sector family planning supply environment of urban Nigeria”. (Jan 2014)


Doctoral student discusses mobile technologies in health care at World Islamic Economic Forum

Smisha Agarwal, first-year doctoral student in maternal and child health at the Gillings School, was an invited speaker at the ninth annual World Islamic Economic Forum, held in London Oct. 29-31. [complete article] (Nov 2013)


Labbok receives APHA Lifetime Achievement Award

Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH, Professor of the Practice of maternal and child health, received the Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association’s International Section. [Read more] (Nov 2013)


Cilenti receives $5.5M award to develop national workforce center

Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, clinical assistant professor in maternal and child health and senior investigator at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH) at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, has received a three-year, $5.5M award from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. The award, a cooperative agreement with the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Bureau, Division of Workforce Development, will establish the national MCH Workforce Development Center at UNC that will facilitate key programmatic areas implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [Read more] (Oct 2013)


Student publishes in Contraception

Leslie deRosset, doctoral student in maternal and child health, has published “Family planning intentions: a qualitative exploration of postpartum women of Mexican descent in North Carolina” in the November issue of Contraception. (Nov 2013)