Gillings School Directory
Kristin Tully, PhD

Kristin Tully, PhD

Research Associate
Department of Maternal and Child Health
  • Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute
  • Department of Maternal and Child Health
  • 135 Dauer Drive 422 Rosenau Hall
  • CB #7445
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7445

Kristin Tully, PhD, is engaged in a program of research that centers around safety in patient transitions through maternity care, patient-provider communication, breastfeeding experiences, parent-infant nighttime interactions, and health care innovation. Broadly, she is interested in engaging new families, clinicians, and other key stakeholders to identify unmet patient needs and co-develop effective, sustainable, and scalable solutions.

She brings an interdisciplinary perspective to maternal and child health as evidenced by her training in Economics and Honors Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, in Biological Anthropology at Durham University, England, as well as her postdoctoral fellowship at the Duke University School of Nursing through the Carolina Consortium on Human Development. In addition to her role at the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, she is a research partner and collaborator with the Center for Maternal and Infant Health at the UNC School of Medicine.

In her current position, Tully and colleagues at UNC Chapel Hill are developing a Class II medical device, which is an infant bassinet for use in hospitals. The Couplet Care Bassinet™ will facilitate safer and more convenient mother-newborn rooming-in. Project support has been provided through the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute, the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, a Gillings Entrepreneurship Award, donor philanthropy, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the One N.C. Small Business Program, the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health.

Dr. Tully leads with her values, including authenticity, respect, co-creation, transparency, equity, and integrity.

She is part of the “4th Trimester Project” which is transforming care for new mothers and their families. The team has recently launched, the first postpartum health website designed for moms by moms. Additional ongoing work includes advancing primary care around social determinants of health screening and resource connection, virtual-health monitoring and support through a postpartum blood pressure assessment trial, and tele-medicine for maternal mood through a US-Canada Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute funded trial. Dr. Tully is a Principal Investigator on an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality project to re-engineer postnatal unit care and the discharge transition to reduce maternal-infant morbidity and mortality.

Broadly, her training as a medical anthropologist and developmental scientist facilitates the critical assessment that is essential in establishing more inclusive, accessible, and impactful health care.

Staff/Administrative Duties

Kristin Tully, PhD, is a research associate at UNC Chapel Hill through the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute in the Department of Maternal and Child Health of the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also a research partner and collaborator with the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health at the UNC School of Medicine.

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