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

Clinical Assistant Professor Department of Maternal and Child Health
Director Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute

T:(919) 843-4118

427 Rosenau Hall

CB# 7445

Chapel Hill, NC 27599


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

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.

Service Activities

Ms. Sullivan is an elected Director to the US Breastfeeding Committee, Chair of the Women’s Health Practice Group for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Co-Chair of the North Carolina Lactation Consultant Association, and serves on the executive board of the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition.

Practice Activities

Ms. Sullivan is the PI on several CGBI projects, serves on the core team and as a breastfeeding technical assistance coach for CDC’s EMPower Breastfeeding (Enhancing Maternity Practices) Initiative and is the Course Coordinator for the Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative, the first CAAHEP/LEAARC accredited Pathway 2 lactation program in the United States.

Key Publications

Improving access to medical lactation support and counseling: Building the cast for medicaid reimbursement. Wouk K, Chetwynd E, Vitaglione T, Sullivan C. (2017). J Matern Child Health, In press.

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.

The provision of breastfeeding support: Differentiating the research on peer counselors and IBCLCs. Chetwynd E, Sullivan C. (2016). Labbok M, Hall Smith P, editors. In: Advancing Breastfeeding: Forging partnerships for a better tomorrow..

Encouraging breastfeeding. Lawrence RA, Sullivan CS.  (2014). Hark L, Deen D. Morrison G, editors. Medical nutrition and disease: A case-based approach. 5th ed..

Prevalence of hyperinsulinemia and clinical correlates in overweight children referred for an intervention study. Sullivan CS, Beste JF, Cummings DM, Hester VH, Holbrook T, Kolasa KM, et al. (2004). J Am Dietetic Assoc, 104(3), 433-6.


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