Maternal and Child Health Snapshot

Hello, prospective students!

Welcome to our brief overview of Maternal and Child Health at UNC Gillings.

Recent alumna Dr. Layla Lavasani (center, right) worked with women and children in Senegal to improve maternal and child health and nutrition.

Recent alumna Dr. Layla Lavasani (center, right) worked with women and children in Senegal to improve maternal and child health and nutrition.

Founded in 1950, our maternal and child health department is one of the world’s leading departments of its kind for research, teaching and practice. We gain strength from being a part of one of the top schools of public health – and within a top public university – in the nation.  We are dedicated to improving the health of women, children and families — domestically and globally.

Students in our teaching programs gain broad exposure to maternal and child health population needs and priorities, plus the skills to become tomorrow’s leaders. Our faculty members come from a rich mix of academic backgrounds and interests, offering expertise and leadership in a wide range of disciplines. We invite you to join us as we embark on an exciting new year of scholarship, leadership and service.

Interested in finding out more? Visit our full department website

By the numbers

Faculty:

  • 25 full-time
  • 74 adjuncts

Students:

  • 72 MPH
  • 5 MSPH
  • 1 DrPH
  • 25 PhD
Our faculty

Through their research, teaching and service, our faculty:

  • Build the evidence base to improve maternal and child health policies, programs and practices, locally and globally;
  • Create innovative, interdisciplinary solutions to reduce health disparities among women and children.
  • Use qualitative and quantitative methods to help improve maternal and child health in North Carolina, the nation and the world
  • Support successful implementation of proven interventions at scale.

Discover more on ReachNC, a web portal with to-the-minute information about our faculty members’ grants, publications, research interests and  networks.

Contact us

For general questions regarding the department, degrees or admissions, contact:

Carrie Aldrich, Student Services Manager

  • 919-966-2018
  • carrie_aldrich@unc.edu
Maternal and Child Health is dedicated to improving the health of women, children and families domestically and globally.

Alison Doernberg, MPH 2012, received a 2013 NC Impact Award from UNC's Graduate School. "Alison's research identified the need to offer programs that train families affected by cancer in effective, evidence-based coping skills," said advisor Anita Farel, DrPH. "Her work will have an impact on the way services and programs for patients living with cancer are designed and implemented in NC."

Alison Doernberg, MPH 2012, received a 2013 NC Impact Award from UNC’s Graduate School. “Alison’s research identified the need to offer programs that train families affected by cancer in effective, evidence-based coping skills,” said advisor Anita Farel, DrPH. “Her work will have an impact on the way services and programs for patients living with cancer are designed and implemented in NC.”

Our faculty members have strengths in:

  • Infant, child and adolescent health
  • Health inequities and health economics

 

Active studies in North Carolina, the U.S. and around the world give students the chance to work with faculty on strategies to:

  • Monitor and evaluate methods for preventing maternal and infant morbidity
  • Reduce rates of prematurity and preterm births
  • Control transmission of HIV in developing countries
  • Prevent violence against women
  • Increase uptake of breast feeding
  • Support children and adolescents with special health care needs through optimal child health policy and service systems
  • Understand and reduce health disparities
  • Understand the impact of globalization on vulnerable populations, including HIV/AIDS orphans and displaced populations
  • and much more.
MCH students

Master’s student Sarah Beth McLellan (r) shares her summer practicum experience at World Health Organization with students during the “2012 Reflections from the Field” event at the School. The master’s field practicum provides students with an opportunity to apply their academic training to a department-approved field site.

Master of Public Health (MPH): This two-year program provides students with:  a grounding in major factors associated with maternal health and child health; an understanding of principles and methods for improving the health of mothers and children in the United States and in international settings; skills development in program planning, management, research design, consultation and policy analysis. Program provides an interdisciplinary public health perspective focused on population-based strategies for improving the health of mothers and children.

Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH): An option only for students who have, or are expected to have, a terminal health professional or allied health professional degree. This one-year program provides students with:  a grounding in major factors associated with maternal health and child health; an understanding of principles and methods for improving the health of mothers and children in the United States and in international settings; skills development in program planning, management, research design, consultation and policy analysis. Program provides an interdisciplinary public health perspective focused on population-based strategies for improving the health of mothers and children.

Dual Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work (MPH/MSW or MSPH/MSW): A cooperative arrangement between MCH and the School of Social Work (SSW), this program provides students with: a grounding in major factors associated with maternal health and child health; an understanding of  principles and methods for improving the health of mothers and children in the United States and in international settings; skills development in program planning, implementation and evaluation; limited scientific investigation; computer applications; interdisciplinary functioning; and consultations as they relate to maternal and child health. Program provides an interdisciplinary public health perspective consistent with population-based strategies for solving community health problems, addressing the responsibility of government and the contributions of scientific investigation and the interdisciplinary approach.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Develops research scholars capable of producing and disseminating new knowledge and methods for the public health profession in the field of MCH. Each doctoral student is expected to develop and demonstrate competence in at least three areas: core Maternal and Child Health content, research methods, and a chosen area of specialization. The specialization area is topic-specific and should be related to the area chosen for the student’s dissertation research.

Master’s to Doctoral Program (MSPH-PhD): Students earn either the Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) degree before enrolling in the PhD or DrPH program in Maternal and Child Health. Students in the Master’s-to-Doctoral program complete all requirements for the MPH/MSPH  and, if approved to proceed to doctoral study, all requirements for the PhD/DrPH.

My time at UNC gave me the opportunity to learn, explore and discover, beyond my wildest imaginings, the limitless opportunities one could have to engage communities in meaningful ways. It also provided the framework by which I continue to operate
Dr. Asomugha is senior technical advisory and medical officer for the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at the Centers for Medicare and Medical Services (CMS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is also adjunct clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine and vice president of the Asomugha Foundation.
Chisara N. Asomugha, MD, MSPH (MCH '02)

Where will a degree in Maternal and Child Health take you? Our alumni hold senior leadership positions in the U.S. and around the world in

  • Nonprofit organizations large and small, including Planned Parenthood, March of Dimes, Pan American Health Organization, FHI 360, and Ipas
  • Colleges and universities
  • State health departments and global ministries
  • Global NGOs
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Hospitals and health systems

Recent alumni positions include:

  • Program Coordinator, Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital
  • Research Assistant, Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute
  • Associate Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Carolina Population Center
  • Hospital Infection Control Fellow, Duke University Medical Center
  • Associate Scientist, FHI 360
  • Associate Technical Officer, FHI 360
  • Program Manager, Intrahealth International
  • Policy Associate, National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition
  • Country manager, PSI/PASMO Belize
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California-Los Angeles
  • OB/GYN resident, University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine

Interested in finding out about our course offerings?

MCH ole_2013

Entering students in the MCH Online Education (Ole!) cohort touring the Michael Hooker Research Center. They hail from Georgia, New Mexico, Washington State, and the Western, Piedmont and Eastern regions of North Carolina.

Faculty in maternal and child health create a welcoming, interactive classroom environment in twenty-first century teaching facilities. Take a look at our complete course catalog, plus syllabi, to find out more.

Interested in finding out more? Visit our department website.