Gillings School Directory
Catherine Sullivan, MPH

Catherine Sullivan, MPH, RDN, LDN, IBCLE, RLC, FAND

Assistant Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health
Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute
  • 427 Rosenau Hall
  • CB# 7445
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599
  • USA

Catherine Sullivan is Director and clinical assistant professor at the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI). Catherine leads CGBI programmatic efforts in the areas of breastfeeding friendly healthcare, childcare, communities and in lactation training. She facilitates the National Collaborative for Advancing the Ten Steps, and serves as CGBI’s Principal Investigator on the core leadership team of CDC’s EMPower Breastfeeding Initiative. Additionally, Catherine serves as course coordinator for the Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative. Under her leadership, CGBI is the steward for the US Breastfeeding Committee’s Maternity Care Constellation. Catherine served as State Breastfeeding Coordinator in the NC Division of Public Health from 2006-2013 and has worked at the local level as a WIC Director and as field faculty for NC State’s Cooperative Extension Service. Additionally, she has been a faculty member and clinician in the Department of Family Medicine at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. She is a registered and licensed dietitian and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Catherine is a frequent invited speaker with over 100 presentations in the areas of lactation training, maternity care practices, breastfeeding advocacy, and nutrition. She has over twenty years of experience in the fields of nutrition and lactation.

Honors and Awards

Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND)


Certificate of Appreciation APHA Martha May Eliot Forum

2015, American Public Health Association

Centennial Legacy Leader

2009, East Carolina University, College of Human Ecology

Faculty Author Recognition Award

2006, 2005, East Carolina University, Laupus Health Sciences Library

Outstanding Research Paper Award

2004, East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine

Representative Courses

MHCH 765 - Clinical Support for Breastfeeding I

MHCH 766 - Clinical Support for Breastfeeding II

Research Activities

Ms. Sullivan actively researches the impact of best breastfeeding practices and the impact on systems level change in healthcare and in the community.

Principal Investigator, RISE: Lactation Training Model

Principal Investigator, Improving best practices in the Carolinas

Principal Investigator, EMPower Training

Service Activities

2016- present  Adjunct Faculty Committee

2015- present  Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative Advisory Committee

2014-present  US Breastfeeding Committee

2014- present  North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding Friendly Designation review committee

2013- 2018  North Carolina Lactation Consultant Association- Co-Chair

2007- present  Perinatal Health Committee, Child Fatality Task Force

2006- present   Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Prevention Committee, Healthy Start Foundation

Practice Activities

Charting the Course Together. Supporting Breastfeeding at Work: Child Care. National Association of County and City Health Officials Webinar Series, May 14, 2018.

Overcoming Challenging Situations, 16th Annual Triangle Breastfeeding Alliance Conference: Optimizing Outcomes in Challenging Situations, April 26, 2018.

CGBI Update on Initiatives, 13th Annual Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, March 22, 2018.

Charting the Course Together. Maternity Care Practices at the Nexus of Hospitals, Providers, States and Communities. National Association of County and City Health Officials Webinar Series, March 12, 2018.

Optimum infant feeding: a breastfeeding medicine elective for physicians and advance practice nurses. Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine 22nd Annual International Meeting. Atlanta, Georgia during November 10-14, 2017.

Postnatal unit experiences of mothers in the United States, by cesarean section or vaginal childbirth. Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine 22nd Annual International Meeting. Atlanta, Georgia during November 10-14, 2017.

EMPower Breastfeeding Initiative: Impact on Key Impact and Process Outcome Monitoring Measures. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo, Atlanta, GA, November 4, 2017.

Ready-to-Use Materials for Counseling Pregnant Women on Breastfeeding Plus Strategies for Integration. FNCE 2018 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. October 23, 2017.

Advocacy & Leadership Panel. Uplifting Leadership in Maternal Care, Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association 8th National Seminar, Detroit, MI, October 13, 2017.

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative: CGBI/EMPower Ten Step Implementtion, Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere Summit, New Orleans, LA, August 24, 2017.

Key Publications

Parent-infant room-sharing is complex and important for breastfeeding. K Tully, C Sullivan (2018). Evidence-based nursing, 21(1), 18.

Advocacy for IBCLC care: A toolkit for action based on cost benefit analysis and GIS mapping in North Carolina. Wouk K, Chetwynd E, Sullivan C. (2017). Labbok M, Hall Smith P, editors. Breastfeeding, social justice, and equity: Reflecting, reclaiming, re-visioning, In press.


Faculty Development Mini-fellowship, Family Medicine, East Carolina University, 2001

MPH, Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000

BS, Dietetics, East Carolina University, 1997

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