Meghan Shanahan, PhD receives 2019 provost’s engaged scholarship award

Dr. Meghan ShanahanMeghan Shanahan, PhD, assistant professor of maternal and child health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been selected for a 2019 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for Engaged Research.

The award recognizes UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members who have performed extraordinary public service and engaged scholarship and/or enabled such service by others.

Shanahan, who also is a research scientist at the UNC Injury Prevention Center, was recognized for public health research that promotes child, family and population well-being in North Carolina, in collaboration with partner agencies from across the state.

Shanahan was nominated for the award by doctoral student Anna Austin, MPH, who studies maternal and child health at the Gillings School. [read more]

Assistant Professor, Catherine Sullivan, wins teaching innovation awardOn March 25, awards for innovative teaching were presented (l-r) to Dr. Seema Agrawal, Dr. Alexandra Lightfoot, Dr. Benjamin Mason Meier; Dr. Alyssa Mansfield Damon, Dr. Karin B. Yeatts, Dr. Dana Rice, Catherine Sullivan and Dr. Feng-Chang Lin. Not pictured: Dr. Mark Serre

Students at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health voted earlier this month to select the School’s most innovative classroom teachers. The winners were announced March 25 at the eighth annual Teaching Innovation Awards ceremony. The 2019 ‘Celebrate Teaching!’ awardees are Seema Agrawal, EdD, clinical assistant professor of nutrition; Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD, assistant professor of health behavior and director of the Community Engagement, Partnerships and Technical Assistance Core at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention; Benjamin Mason Meier, JD, PhD, associate professor of public policy and adjunct associate professor of health policy and management; Alyssa Mansfield Damon, PhD, assistant professor of health policy and management; Karin B. Yeatts, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology; Dana Rice, DrPH, assistant professor of public health leadership; Catherine Sullivan, MPH, assistant professor of maternal and child health and director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Initiative; Feng-Chang Lin, PhD, associate professor of biostatistics; and Marc Serre, PhD, associate professor of environmental sciences and engineering and director of UNC’s Bayesian Maximum Entropy Lab. [read more]

Rohit Ramaswamy, PhD is co-lead of prestigious award to improve maternal care in Ghana

Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenges Canada has awarded the nonprofit organization Kybele-Ghana $491,480 to scale up an innovative triage system to high-risk obstetric hospitals. Funds matched by other contributors will bring the two-year award to $984,069.

Dr. Rohit Ramaswamy


Rohit Ramaswamy, PhD, professor in the Public Health Leadership Program and in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is one of the four interdisciplinary project leaders. He will be responsible for developing and evaluating the project’s implementation strategy. [read more]

Palmquist selected for junior faculty development award

Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist

Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist

Aunchalee Palmquist, PhD, assistant professor of maternal and child health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been awarded a UNC-Chapel Hill Junior Faculty Development Award of $10,000 for use during the 2019 calendar year.

The award is sponsored by the UNC Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and administered by the provost’s committee on faculty research and scholarly leaves.  Read more.

Parcesepe receives NIMH training grant award

Dr. Angela Parcesepe

Dr. Angela Parcesepe

Angela Parcesepe, PhD has been awarded a $155,092 training grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the impact of mental and substance use disorders (MSD) on HIV treatment outcomes and identify important barriers and facilitators to the integration of evidence-based MSD interventions into HIV care at three HIV clinics in Cameroon.

Parcesepe is an assistant professor of maternal and child health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Read more.

CGBI award to support ‘Baby-Friendly’ initiative

The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI), which is based in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, has received a $530,700 award from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to further support safe breastfeeding and education services through its “Baby-Friendly” initiative.

Currently, 61 hospitals located in rural or underserved North Carolina communities are involved in the program which promotes optimal maternity care practices and positive, long-term health impacts for approximately 76,000 babies in these areas. Read more.

MCH co-authors’ study finds US sexual minorities poorer than straight peers

Shoshana Goldberg, PhD

Dr. Carolyn Halpern

Carolyn Halpern, PhD

Researchers find that socioeconomic status is a potentially modifiable factor in the poorer health experienced by sexual minorities in a study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Co-authors Kerith Conron, ScD, adjunct associate professor, Shoshana Goldberg, PhD, assistant professor, and Carolyn Halpern, PhD, professor and chair are members of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Maternal and Child Health.

Data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, which began in 1994, tracking the long-term health of nearly 21,000 teens in grades 7-12 at the time was used in this study to focus on what had happened to 14,051 of these teens by the time they were ages 24-34 in 2008-2009.

The co-authors say, “the findings indicate that poverty, with accompanying economic strain, is an unappreciated ‘sexual minority’ issue for women. [Socioeconomic status] should be considered an important pathway through which sexual orientation health inequalities are generated.”

Lewis Margolis, MD retires from MCH after almost 30 years

Chair of MCH, Dr. Carolyn Halpern congratulates Dr. Margolis on his successful career.

Chair of MCH, Dr. Carolyn Halpern congratulates Dr. Margolis on his successful career.

Lewis Margolis, MD received his MD in medicine from the University of Chicago in 1974 and earned his MPH in epidemiology in 1980 from the Gillings School of Global Public Health.  With a background in pediatrics, Margolis has always had a passion and desire to help children and families. Dr. Margolis served in numerous leadership positions during his 28 years with Gillings, including the SPH Delta Omega Committee, the MCH Leadership Consortium, the SPH and MCH Awards committees and as Head of the MCH Master’s program, to name a few. He has served as a liaison between the School and assorted Title V and other public health programs throughout the southeast, engaging in projects that translate research into practice.  Margolis received several honors and awards during his time at Gillings, including being inducted into Delta Omega Honors Society in 1992, the McGavran Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014, and the Vince Hutchins Leadership Award in 2017. The department thanks Dr. Margolis for his commitment to excellence in teaching, mentoring, research and service. We wish him well in his retirement August 31, 2018.


Alison Stuebe, MD and others publish evidence summary on Breastfeeding Program and Policies

Photo of Professor Alison Stuebe

Dr. Alison Stuebe

Alison Stuebe, MD, in collaboration with RTI International and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, co-authors an evidence summary discussing maternal health outcomes in developed countries involving breastfeeding programs and policies.  Alison Stuebe, MD is an Associate Professor with the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and is a distinguished scholar in infant and young child feeding through Gillings.  Stuebe, board certified in both Obstetric and Gynecology and Maternal Fetal Medicine also serves as the Medical Director of Lactation Services at UNC HealthCare.

Click here to access full summary


Dr. Ringel-Kulka receives 3-year, $900,000 grant from Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE)

Dr. Tamar Ringel-Kulka

Dr. Tamar Ringel-Kulka

Tamar Ringel-Kulka, MD, MPH is the principal investigator for the Infant-Toddler Experiences Initiative: Implementation of Regional Child Care Heath Consultation Services for Economically Distressed Counties.  This 3- year grant focuses on providing three regional Registered Nurse Child Care Health Consultants (CCHCs) to work with early childhood educators, programs, and families to ensure optimal health for infants and toddlers and to reduce children’s risk of illness and accident. These nurses will work with licensed child care centers that do not currently have access to a CCHC, serving over 8,000 infants and toddlers.

Dr. Ringel-Kulka has been an assistant professor with the Department of Maternal and Child Health since 2006.  With a background in health policy and adolescent medicine, Dr. Ringel-Kulka focuses her work on vulnerable populations, particularly women and children aiming to understand policies, practices and environmental factors affecting children’s health along the life span, thereby allowing disease prevention and/or alleviation strategies to be devised.


Sian Curtis, PhD, alongside three MCH alumni awarded IAS Research Prize for work with MEASURE Evaluation

IAS Research Prize awarded to Dr. Sian Curtis and team.

IAS Research Prize awarded to Dr. Sian Curtis and team.

Congratulations to MCH Professor Sian Curits, PhD and MCH alums Smisha Agarwal, PhD, Kristen Brugh, PhD and Martha Skiles, PhD among others on their recent Research Prize.  The International AIDS Society HIV Co-Infections and Co-Morbidities Initiative  awarded MEASURE Evaluation a top prize for its abstract investigating a strategy to improve outcomes for people co-infected with HIV and tuberculosis (TB).

Dr. Sian Curtis

The prize was given at the 22nd International AIDS Society annual conference in Amsterdam on July 27, 2018. MEASURE Evaluation was one of five winners for its work in Ukraine, which found programs integrating TB and HIV care resulted in a significant increase in timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) among co-infected patients. Timely initiation of ART has been shown to reduce viral load and prolong life for HIV-infected people.

MEASURE Evaluation won for the abstract of its report, “How does integrating HIV and TB services affect health outcomes for HIV-TB co-infected patients in Ukraine? Results from an impact evaluation.” The prize is USD $2,000 in recognition of value as an incentive for researchers to investigate questions that affect TB/HIV co-infection and the effectiveness of programs to address it.  Click to view poster


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