Gillings School Directory

Herbert Peterson, MD

Herbert Peterson

Herbert Peterson, MD

William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health
William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director
WHO Collaborating Center for Research Evidence for Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Rosenau Hall
  • CB #7445
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599
  • USA

Herbert B. Peterson, MD, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, is the past chair of the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and has a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UNC School of Medicine. He also serves as Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Research Evidence for Sexual and Reproductive Health, based in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the UNC Gillings School. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Epidemiology. 

Certified by both the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Board of Preventive Medicine, Dr. Peterson served for 20 years at the CDC, where he was Chief of the Epidemiologic Studies Branch and the first Chief of the Women’s Health and Fertility Branch of the Division of Reproductive Health. In 1999, he was assigned by CDC to WHO in Geneva, Switzerland where he served until coming to UNC in 2004.

Dr. Peterson’s major research interests are at the interface of clinical medicine and public health and are increasingly focused on global women’s reproductive health, most recently on implementation science. His work has been assuring that policies, programs and practices-- and their implementation-- are based on the best available science. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, editorials, book chapters and other publications


Honors and Awards

Awarded Fellowship honoris causa

2019, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

The Hale Lecturer - invited keynote address

2017, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The Howard Taylor Lecturer -invited keynote address

2015, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Allan Rosenfield Award for Lifetime Contributions to International Family Planning

2010, Society of Family Planning

William R Kenan Jr Distinguished Professor of Maternal and Child Health

2009, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Election to Membership

2007, National Academy of Medicine (formally Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences

Election to Membership

1995, American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society

Distinguished Service Award

2004, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The Jeffrey P. Koplan Award

1999, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Medal

1992, US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

Distinguished Service Medal

1999, US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

The Meritorious Service Medal

1990, US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

The Outstanding Service Medal

1987, US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

The Commendation Medal

1985, US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

Representative Courses

MHCH 729 Implementation Science for Global Maternal and Child Health

Teaching Interests

Dr. Peterson's major teaching focus is on implementation science in global reproductive health, including successful and sustainable implementation of life-saving innovations at scale.

Research Activities

Dr. Peterson's major research interests are at the interface of clinical medicine and public health and have focused on reproductive health. His focus in this regard has been assuring that policies, programs and practices in reproductive health are based on the best available science - and implemented successfully and sustainably - with an emphasis on the value of interdisciplinary approaches, including implementation science.

Service Activities

2014-present Member, Appointments, Promotions and Tenure Committee, Gillings School of Global Public Health

2004-present Member, Full Professors Committee, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health

2004-present Member, Post-tenure Review Committee, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Practice Activities

2020-present Chair, Global Operations Expert Working Group, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

2019-2020 Founding Member, Board of Directors, Global Implementation Society

2015-2018 Founding Member, Board of Directors, Global Implementation Initiative

2015-2019 Member, Evidence for Contraception Options and HIV Outcomes Study (ECHO) Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB), World Health Organization

2011-2020 Chair, Global Operations Advisory Group, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

2011-2013 Chair, Section Five, Membership Committee, Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine)

2009-2010 Committee Member, Committee on Women’s Health Research, Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine)

2008-present Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, Contraception Clinical Trials Network, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health

2005-present Member, Guidelines Steering Group, Contraceptive and Fertility Care Unit, Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research

2005-present Member, Guidelines Development Group, Contraceptive and Fertility Care Unit, Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research

Key Publications

Health and Well-Being for All: Delivering on the Promise for Those We Serve. H Peterson (2018). Obstetrics and Gynecology, 131(3), 418-422.

Implementing Innovations in Global Women's, Children's, and Adolescents' Health: Realizing the Potential for Implementation Science. H Peterson, J Haidar, D Fixsen, R Ramaswamy, B Weiner, S Leatherman (2018). Obstetrics and Gynecology, 131(3), 423-430.

Great Moments in Global Health, and Why We Are in One Now. Peterson HB (2016). Obstetrics and Gynecology, 128(6), 1225-1232.

Education

Post-doctoral Training, Epidemic Intelligence Service, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1981

Residency, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 1983

MD, Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 1977

BA, Biology, Wittenberg University, 1973

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