Doctoral student reveals high health service utilization by prospective mothers in Amazonian communities
Doctoral student, Christopher Westgard, reveals how health service utilization for prospective mothers in Amazonian communities is relativity high in an article published in the International Journal for Equity in Health. However, there are individual- and contextual- level factors that may affect their experiences: (i) embarrassment, fear, and trust, (ii) insufficient number and poor attitudes of health personnel, (iii) limited supply of basic medicines and materials in the health facility, and (iv) low demand for family planning services and limited awareness of adolescent-specific services. Read the article.
Students volunteer at Diaper Bank
Special shout out to Hannabeth Franchino-Olsen, Allie Atkeson, Chelsea Ducille, Alex Lesak, Hannah Winslow, Elizabeth Reddington, Marjorie McVay, Caitlin Gest and Lian Folger for joining Dr. Meghan Shanahan and Dr. Anna Austin and volunteering at the Diaper Bank of North Carolina on September 28, 2019!
MCH students visit Zambia
Two Maternal and Child Health students, Enam and Munguu, visited Zambia this past summer, to support the Fetal Age and Machine Learning Initiative. The Initiative aims to develop a robust, affordable ultrasound device that can be deployed in limited-resource settings.
Three Gillings School graduate students selected as 2019 Winston Policy Scholars
Three students at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health were named recently as 2019 Winston Policy Scholars.
Allie Atkeson, Adrienne Lloyd and Laura Ellen Powis were among the 19 recipients of the David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship. Atkeson and Powis are both master’s students in the maternal and child health department, and Lloyd is a master’s student in the health behavior department. As Winston Policy Scholars, they all have been recognized for their excellence and achievement as students of health administration, health policy and public health.
The scholarship commemorates the qualities and contributions of David A. Winston, who played a significant role for 20 years in shaping health policy in the United States. The award includes $10,000 and the opportunity to attend a two-day paid health policy symposium in Washington, D.C. Read more.[June 2019]
Doctoral candidate, Mallory Turner, Poster Winner at 2019 Population Association of America Annual Meeting
Intergenerational Effects of Mass Incarceration: Parental Incarceration and Children’s Earnings in Young Adulthood
Mallory Turner , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Carolyn Tucker Halpern, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Objective: To analyze the association between maternal/paternal incarceration and children’s earnings during young adulthood. Methods: Data were from Waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Using propensity score weighting, a two-part model calculated the association between maternal/paternal incarceration and children’s earnings between ages 32–42. Results: Maternal incarceration was associated with average earnings significantly lower for respondents who were not yet born ($19,063.25), or ages 0–4 ($14,754.60), 5–10 ($10,544.68), and 15–17 ($8,453.85) at first maternal incarceration, compared to those whose mothers were never incarcerated. Paternal incarceration was associated with significantly lower average earnings for respondents ages 5–10 ($7,929.68), 11–14 ($10,264.91), and 15–17 ($10,670.16) at first paternal incarceration. Conclusions: On average, children experiencing maternal/paternal incarceration earn less during young adulthood than children who do not. The association is stronger when children were younger when their mothers were incarcerated, or older when their fathers were incarcerated. [April 2019]
Doctoral candidate, Kurar Ahsan heads to Malawi as Policy Communication Fellow
This June, Karar Zunaid Ahsan, MIPH, MSc, will visit Lilongwe, Malawi, to kick off a year of service as a Policy Communication Fellow. Implemented by the Population Reference Bureau and the African Institute for Development Policy, the fellowship focuses on effectively communicating research findings to influence policy development on a global scale.
Ahsan, who is a doctoral student of maternal and child health in the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, will build on a wealth of previous international experience. Originally from Bangladesh, he has conducted monitoring, evaluation and research in the health sector for more than 12 years. Most recently, he worked at UNC’s MEASURE Evaluation, where he was a senior research associate and served as the monitoring and evaluation adviser to the Program Management and Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Bangladesh. [read more][April 2019]
Katie Wouk, PhD, one of three selected for NC TraCS funding
Three researchers from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health are among those selected for funding by the N.C. Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS).
Kathryn Wouk, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow with the Gillings School’s Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, was funded with a pilot grant for her project, “Predictors of Postpartum Health Care Utilization and Receipt of Recommended Health Services Among Underserved Mothers in North Carolina.”
Carol Golin, MD, professor of health behavior at the Gillings School and of medicine in the UNC School of Medicine, will work with Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD, assistant professor of health behavior, on a project funded by NC TraCS’ Stakeholder Engagement Voucher Program.
Their project is “Engaging Stakeholders in a Community-Academic Partnership to Address Mental Health and Access to Care among Durham Housing Authority Residents.” [March 2019]
Stacey Klaman, MPH, successfully defended her research on opioid treatment programs and sexual and reproductive health
Stacey received a Bachelor of Art degree in English from CUNY, Brooklyn college and later earned her Master of Public Health degree from the Gillings School of Global Public Health in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at UNC-CH before moving into the PhD program. Stacey has had an interesting variety of volunteer and professional experiences outside of her academic work. Not surprisingly, given her MCH interests, Stacey has been a volunteer birth doula since 2012.
She also has extensive professional experience developing K-8 science and social studies curricula and has worked for many years as an editor and director for different publishing firms. Stacey’s dissertation work focuses on the possibility of integrating reproductive and sexual health education and services into opioid treatment programs. Congratulations Stacey![March 2019]
Doctoral candidate, Anna Austin, MPH successfully defends her dissertation
Anna earned a BA in Psychology and BS in Statistics from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2011. In 2013, Anna received her MPH in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale University. Prior to entering the MCH doctoral program, she completed a CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship in the North Carolina Division of Public Health Injury and Violence Prevention Branch. Anna was the recipient of numerous honors during her doctoral training, including the APHA Maternal and Child Health Section Outstanding Student Author award, a UNC Injury and Violence Prevention Fellowship, and a UNC Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship.
Anna has authored an impressive 25 publications, 14 of which are first authored, and has presented her work at numerous local and national meetings. Anna produced a well-designed dissertation project that will make a significant contribution to applied child health research as it involves using methods to simultaneously model risk and protective factors for child well-being, as well as model trajectories of child maltreatment exposure. Congratulations, Anna![February 2019]
Doctoral candidate Franchino-Olsen authors publication on sexual exploitation
Hannabeth Franchino-Olsen, MPH authored a new publication, “Vulnerabilities Relevant for Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children/Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: A Systematic Review of Risk Factors.”
Franchino-Olsen holds a BS in biology, an MS in physiology and developmental biology, and recently completed her MPH in maternal and child health at UNC. She is currently a trainee with the Carolina Population Center Predoctoral Traineeship and a previous winner of the Doctoral Merit Assistantship, the FLAS, and the Master’s Merit Assistantship.[see published article][February 2019]
Three MCH students chosen among eight as injury and violence prevention fellows.
Eight students at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health have been named inaugural Injury and Violence Prevention (IVP) fellows at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC).
They are Anna Austin, Natalie Blackburn, Jess Bousquette, Venita Embry, Alex Gertner, Sarah Treves-Kagan, Kathleen Shumaker and Venera Urbaeva.
Austin, a fourth-year doctoral student in maternal and child health, earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) in chronic disease epidemiology from the Yale University School of Public Health and worked as a fellow for the New Haven Mental Health Outreach for Mothers Partnership. Her research interests include the prevention of child maltreatment and other adverse childhood experiences and parenting in the context of substance use.
Blackburn is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in health behavior. She holds an MPH in behavioral sciences and health education from Emory University. Prior to starting the UNC doctoral program, she was an ORISE fellow in the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where she focused on strengthening the evidence for screening of hepatitis C among persons who use drugs.
Bousquette is a first-year MPH student in health behavior. She previously served as the child protection policy adviser at World Vision, where she focused on violence against children, child labor and children affected by armed conflict.
Embry, a third-year health behavior doctoral student, earned an MPH at Emory University. Her research interests include violence prevention interventions, court system responses to public health problems, and the effects of justice involvement on health. [read more][January 2019]
Doctoral candidate, Bianka Reese, MSPH successfully defends her dissertation
Bianka earned a BSPH, summa cum laude, from the dept of HPM here at UNC in 2012 and her MSPH from the MCH department in 2013; her master’s thesis was titled Sequences of Sexual Initiation and Subsequent Depression Among Adolescents. During that time Bianka was also a predoctoral trainee in the highly competitive population science training program at the Carolina Population Center. She has received numerous honors including a Career Development Award from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and the Cynthia H. Cassell Doctoral Dissertation Award in MCH.
Bianka has an impressive 7 peer reviewed publications, the majority of those first authored, and numerous invited and peer reviewed presentations. Bianka is a gifted teacher, and has generously shared her expertise with undergraduate and graduate students within and beyond the MCH department. She has been working full time as a program evaluation specialist at SHIFT NC since 2017, yet her discipline, intellect, and hard work have brought her to this place and time to defend her innovative and important dissertation work. Congratulations Bianka![January 2019]
Doctoral student publishes three studies about women’s reproductive health
Prior to her August 2018 enrollment in the doctoral program in maternal and child health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Isabel Morgan, MSPH, led a range of research projects during her tenure at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The results of three of those projects recently were published in noted journals.
Morgan’s research team — comprised of CDC colleagues Yokabed Ermias, MPH, Lauren B. Zapata, PhD, Kathryn M. Curtis, PhD, and Maura K. Whiteman, PhD – analyzed health care providers’ attitudes and practices related to providing adolescents contraception on the day of the initial health care visit. The findings, “Health Care Provider Attitudes and Practices Related to ‘Quick Start’ Provision of Combined Hormonal Contraception and Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate to Adolescents,” were published online Nov. 1, 2018, in the Journal of Adolescent Health. [Read more][January 2019]
Chauvenet lead author for WIC program shopping experience study
Researchers from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health examined how participants in the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program viewed their retail environment.
The findings, “WIC Recipients in the Retail Environment: A Qualitative Study Assessing Customer Experience and Satisfaction,” were published online Nov. 27 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The study identified problem areas that could direct future interventions to improve the shopping experience for WIC recipients. Maximizing the program benefits should encourage healthier food choices leading to prevention and treatment of obesity and food insecurity.
Christina Chauvenet, MSc, MSPH, is a doctoral candidate in maternal and child health, with a minor in health behavior, at the Gillings School. [Read more] [December 2018]