Healthier families worldwide

The Department of Maternal and Child Health at Gillings is a world class hub of research, teaching and practice dedicated to improving the health of women, children and families — domestically and globally. Our approach provides students with thorough exposure to maternal and child health population needs and priorities, as well as with the requisite skills to become the leaders of tomorrow.

For information about returning to campus this fall, please visit the UNC Gillings Return to Campus Roadmap page.

Coronavirus Affects Everyone: The Department of Maternal and Child Health Responds

The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI) in the Department of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) provides support to hospitals throughout North and South Carolina through the ENRICH Carolinas breastfeeding training program. As these health facilities respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist is spearheading efforts to provide implementation support and guidance for recommended infant feeding practices in the context of COVID-19.

Staff members in the N.C. Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center — which is managed through MCH — are working closely with NCDHHS leadership to support child care facilities throughout the state of North Carolina, in part by developing interim guidance (PDF) and handwashing resources (PDF) for child care settings. Program staff also have been temporarily assigned to advise child care facilities in regions that do not currently have health consultation support. In addition, project director Jacquie Simmons is a member of the COVID-19 Governor’s Education and Nutrition Working Group.

An illustration from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals the basic form of the virus blamed for the outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.
Centers of Excellence Logo

Select this logo to view information about our Centers of Excellence distinction.


Our faculty members represent a rich mix of academic backgrounds and professional experience to address health inequities domestically and globally. Faculty and students work together on topics that impact pregnant women, children, and families, including issues such as family planning and reproductive health, maternal mortality and morbidity, infant and child health and well-being, nutrition, housing, violence, gender, and prenatal and postnatal care and breastfeeding.


· Envision a career working to support the well-being of women and children?

· Want to learn how to translate evidence into action to dramatically improve family health?

· Want to learn how MCH impacts health and well-being across the life course?

· Seek an interdisciplinary learning environment in a unique setting?

Message from the Chair

Explore our Department