Maternal and Child Health news brief archive

Sullivan named AND fellow
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes Catherine Sullivan, MPH, RN, LDN, IBCLC as a Fellow for her accomplishments and pursuit of life-long learning. Sullivan is Director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI) and clinical professor of maternal and child health in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Read more.

Halpern to serve on NIH study section
The National Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific Review has named Carolyn Halpern, PhD, as a member of the Community Influences on Health Behavior Student Section. Read story. (July 2017)

Commentary: ending female genital mutilation pratices
Ending female genital mutilation practices in Kurdistan would ensure health and well-being of girls and women, according to researcher Dilshad Jaff, MD, MPH. His recently published commentary appeared online in <a href=””>Medicine, Conflict and Survival.</a> Jaff is research adviser for conflict prevention and disaster preparedness in the Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Research Innovations and Global Health Solutions unit and adjunct assistant professor of maternal and child health at the School. (Jun 2017)

UNC Research Women in Science feature
Kashika Sahay, a graduating doctoral student of maternal and child health, is featured on the UNC Research  Women in Science – <a href=””>endeavors</a> webpage. Her research interests include gender equity, reproductive health outcomes, women’s empowerment, and violence prevention. (May 2017)

Review of opioid use disorder literature to support national guidance
Reviewing current treatment for opioid use disorder in pregnant and parenting women and their infants and children will help inform national guidance. Stacey Klaman, MPH, doctoral student of maternal and child health has published a paper in the Journal of Addiction Medicine concerning the increasing prevalence of opioid use disorder during pregnancy. (May 2017)

Cilenti named interim health director
Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, clinical associate professor of maternal and child health at the Gillings School, has been named interim health director for Orange County. Read more. (Mar 2017)

UNC-CH launches opiod use/overdose deaths iniative
The UNC Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes for Rural Primary Care Medication Assisted Treatment (UNC ECHO for MAT) will reduce barriers to primary care providers that provide MAT to those with opioid use disorders. Sherri Green, PhD, who the lead investigator, is a research fellow at the Sheps Center for Health Services Research and assistant professor of maternal and child health in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.Read story. (Feb 2017)

Angeles named Teaching Excellence Awardee
Gustavo Angeles, PhD received the 2017 Teaching Excellence Award in maternal and child health at the Gillings School. Students selected him as a faculty member who inspired, enhanced learning and supported students’ success. Carolyn Lamere, MCH master’s student served as a Academic Program Committee member. (Feb 2017)

Study finds sexual experience varies among populations with different cognitive abilities
Sexual experiences vary among populations with different cognitive abilities during adolescence researchers find. Nicole Kahn, MPH, doctoral student of maternal and child health and first author with Carolyn Halpern, PhD, professor and chair of maternal and child health at the Gillings School published findings in The Journal of Sex Research. Kahn was interviewed about the study by psyPost. (Feb 2017)

Importance of probiotics in infant feedings
Researchers report importance of probiotics in infant feeding in studies published in Best Practic & Research Clinical Gastroenterology and American Journal of Gastgroenterology. Tamar Ringel-Kulka, MD, MPH, assistant professor of maternal and child health, is an author of both studies, as well as a chapter published in “The Mircrobiota in Gastrointestinal Pathyophysiology” on Microbiota of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Infancy. (Jan 2017)

Opiod use and abusive behaviors
Prescription opioid use among young US parents may link to risk of abusive behaviors according to a study reported in Pain Medicine. Authors Anna Austin, MPH, doctoral student, and Meghan Shanahan, PhD, research assistant professor of maternal and child health, used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health for the study. (Jan 2017)

Maternity waiting homes may help reduce maternal morbidity in Malawi
Researchers suggest that two maternity waiting homes, supported by the Safe Motherhood Initiative, may help reach vulnerable women in Malawi and other low-income countries. Maternal and child health faculty members, Kavita Singh and Ilene Speizer, and masters student, Timothy Kim, published findings in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. (Jan 2017)

Alumna to be public health director for San Antonio
Colleen Bridger, MPH (MCH ’95) will serve as public health director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District – the nation’s seventh largest city health department. She has been health director of Orange County Health Department for more the five years. Read more. (Dec 2016)

Study finds disparities without optimal breastfeeding
A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics suggests lack of optimal breastfeeding led to twice the number of deaths among African-American infants than white infants in computer models. Alison Stuebe, MD, Distinguished Scholar of Infant and Young Child Feeding in maternal and child health is a co-author. (Dec 2016)

Newsletter for adjunct faculty 
Staying Connected with Adjunct Professors in Maternal and Child Health shares options for becoming more involved with MCH students and the department as well as providing updates on activities and policies. (Nov 2016)

Mobile app created to help refugees
mAdapt has been developed by alumna Rebecca Bartlett, MPH with current students Zainab Alidina, Hannah Rackers and Shahrzard Rouhani. Mobile technology assists refugees with information on reproductive health care needs. (Nov 2016)

Sustainability of family planning programs in urban Nigeria
Ilene Speizer, PhD (l), research professor of maternal and child health, will lead a project on the sustainability of family planning programs in urban Nigeria. The two-year $1.7 effort is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read story. (Nov 2016)

Review evaluates studies of perinatal depression in the military
Stacey Klaman, MPH, a doctoral student of maternal and child health, published a literature review in the Maternal and Child Health Journal focusing on the under-studied topic of perinatal depression of military service women and spouses of military servicemen. (Nov 2016)

Pregnancy-associated violent deaths are under-reported
The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Anna Austin, doctoral student of maternal and child health, is a co-author of the study that linked data from the North Carolina Maternal Mortality Review and the North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System. Read story. (Oct 2016)

Sullivan selected as CGBI director
Catherine Sullivan, MPH, RD, LDN, IBCLC, has been appointed director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI), based in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Maternal and Child Health. Read story. (Oct 2016)

WHO Collaborating Center to support implementation/improvement activities for FPNTC
The World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research Evidence for Sexual and Reproductive Health has been awarded a cooperative agreement award from DHHS. Administered by JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc, the Collaborating Center will support implementation and improvement activities of a new Family Planning Training Center for Service Delivery Improvement incorporating the rapidly evolving field of implementation science to assure that  activities are based upon the best science. Read story. (Sep 2016)

Wilson named Gates Institute as ’40 under 40′ advocate for reproductive health
Lucy Wilson, MPH, has been chosen by the Gates Institute as one of 40 individuals under 40 who are strong advocates for sexual and reproductive rights. Wilson is an MCH alumna ‘(07) and technical adviser at FHI 360. Read story. (Sep 2016)

Speizer named University Scholar in RTI International
Ilene Speizer, PhD is selected as one of six University Scholars in RTI International 2016-2017 class. The research professor of maternal and child health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and faculty fellow at UNC’s Carolina Population Center plans to work on health interventions for young women sex workers in Pretoria, South Africa. Read story. (Sep 2016)

2016-2017 MCH cohort
Forty-three master’s students and six doctoral students and includes six physicians, three nurses and four international students, one of which is a Fulbright scholar, comprise the new cohort. We also have one Royster fellow, three Graduate School merit awardees and two Gillings merit awardees.

Two Gillings Merit Scholars
Two maternal and child health master’s students, Marwa Elnagheeb and Alex Sanchez, were selected as Gillings Merit Scholars. Read story. (Aug 2016)

Adjunct professor receives AAP Child Health Advocate Award
Thomas Vitaglione, MPH, adjunct professor of maternal and child health and senior fellow at NC Child will accept the American Academy of Pediatrics Child Health Advocate Award Aug. 20.Read story. (Aug 2016)

Social support for adolescent mothers may reduce rapid repeat pregnancies
Attachments to  conventional institutions – school, family, peers, and public/private religious ties – are associated with a lower likelihood of rapid repeat pregnancies, according to an article published July 30 ahead of print in the Maternal and Child Health Journal by doctoral student Bianka Reese and professor and chair Carolyn Halpern. (Aug 2016)

Parental criminal justice involvement and child maltreatment topic of systematic review
Doctoral student Anna Austin published in Children and Youth Services Review a systematic review  that she began during her MHCH 801 class last fall. Results indicated a relationship between prior parental criminal justice involvement and child maltreatment. (Aug 2016)

CGBI director Labbok dies
Miriam Harriet Labbok, MD, MPH, IBCLC, a tireless advocate for women’s, children’s and families’ health worldwide and founding director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute in the Department of Maternal and Child Health dies Aug. 13. Read story. (Aug 2016)

Student selected as APHA section fellow
Anna Austin, MPH, second-year doctoral student, has been selected by APHA as an MCH Section Fellow for 2016-2017. Read story. (Aug 2016)

Sullivan elected to US Breastfeeding Committee board
Catherine Sullivan, MPH, RD, LDN has been elected to the board of directors of the United States Breastfeeding Committee. She is the acting director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute and director of training as well as a clinical assistant professor in the Gillings School’s Department of Maternal and Child Health. Read story. (Jul 2016)

Alumnus and public health leader in Liberia dies
Saye D Baawo, MD, MSPH, (wearing cap) alumnus of maternal and child health at the UNC GIllings School of Global Public Health and assistant minister for curative services in Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Weilfare has died at age 50. He is survived by his wife and children. Read story. (Jul 2016)

Excellence in Breastfeeding Research Award goes to Labbok
Dr. Miriam Labbok receives the 2016 Journal of Human Lactation Patricia Martens Award for Excellence in Breastfeeding Research. Read story (Jul 2016)

Targeting health care in armed conflicts discussed in Medicine, Conflict and Survival
Threats to health care facilities, personnel and patients in areas of armed conflict and other emergencies is the focus of a July 4 paper by alumnus Dilshad Jaff, MBChB, MPH, research adviser for conflict and disaster prevention research at the Gillings Global Gateway, and co-authors Kavita Singh, PhD, research associate professor, and Lewis Margolis, MD, associate professor, both of maternal and child health. (July 2016)

Workforce Development Center receives HRSA grant
The National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center has been awarded a $1.74 M HRSA grant to further support development of state maternal and child health program leaders and staff members. Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, clinical assistant professor of maternal and child health and adjunct clinical assistant professor of health policy and management at the Gillings School, is the program director. Read story. (June 2016)

CGBI celebrates 10th anniversay
The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, marking its 10 year, is featured in the spring issue of the Carolina Public Health Magazine.  Read story (June 2016)

Impact evaluation of scale-up phase of Ghana project reported
Outcomes studied in the ‘Project Fives Alive!’ evaluation have demonstrated impact at scale in the effort to improve maternal and child health. Lead author, Kavita Singh Ongechi, PhD of maternal and child health, published online in Health Research Policy and Systems. (June 2016)

Rotary Peace Fellows’ work has global/local health impact
Rebeccah Bartlett, MPH, and Natsuko Sawaya are Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Fellows in maternal and child health. Read how their work is impacting global and local health. (June 2016)

Mobile job aids help health workers in Tanzania
Doctoral student, Smisha Agarwal, published online May 10 in Global Health: Science and Practice on the use of mobile job aids to assist counseling on family planning and HIV/STI screening. (May 2016)

Doctoral student co-authors Washington Post opinion on HB2
The Washington Post published an op-ed on HB2 by doctoral candidate, Shoshana Goldberg and co-authored with Andrew Reynolds, professor of political science. (May 2016)

Halpern receives Larsh Award for Mentorship
Carolyn Halpern, PhD, professor and chair of maternal and child health received the John E. Larsh Award for Mentorship during the School’s commencement, May 7. She was selected as a faculty member who best exemplifies mentorship and commitment to students. Read story. (May 2016)

Ongechi selected as Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholar
Kavita Singh Ongechi, PhD, has been selected as a Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholar for 2016-2017. She plans to work with female Ebola survivors regarding stigma associated with surviving the disease. Read story. (Mar 2016)

Research shows link between schistosomiasis and HIV
Kavita Singh Ongechi, PhD is a co-author of a paper, titled “Association between Schistosoma haematobium exposure and human immunodeficiency virus infection among females in Mozambique”, published online in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. (Mar 2016)

Impact Awards
Christine Tucker, PhD, is one of seven from the Gillings School to receive the Graduate Education Advancement Board Impact Awards for 2016. Read story. (Mar 2016)

Innovative ideas shared at GillingsX event
MCH students, Rebecca Bartlett and Jean Lambert Chalachala, were among five speakers at GillingsX event sharing their innovative approaches to public health. Read story. (Mar 2016)

Community Engagement Fellowship Award
Students Stacey Klaman and Kea Turner will create a breastfeeding curriculum for women with substance use disorders. Read more (Mar 2016)

Research in Ghana featured in Endeavors
Project Fives Alive, led by Kavita Singh Ongechi, PhD, has investigated the best methods to reduce mortality in children under the age of 5. Read story. (Mar 2016)

Singh-Ongechi promoted to research associate professor
Kavita Singh Ongechi, PhD, has been promoted to the rank of research associate professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health. Read story (Mar 2016)

Alumna named in Reuters article on Zika virus
Denise Jamieson, MD, MPH (MCH’92), a birth defects expert serving on the CDC’s Zika Virus Response Team, is quoted in a recent Reuters article discussing evidence linking Zika virus to negative birth outcomes. (Feb 2016)

Tucker receives teaching award in MCH
Christine Tucker, PhD, has been named by students as the recipient of the Gillings School 2016 Teaching Award in MCH. Read story (Feb 2016)

Gillings School’s breastfeeding training program wins accreditation
The Mary Rose Tulley Training Initiative is first breastfeeding training program to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Read story. (Jan 2016)

CDC invites Bharathi Zvara, PhD to serve on National Health Interview Survey Expert Panel (Jan 2016)

Doctoral student publishes in AIDS Care
Stacey Klaman, second-year doctoral student in MCH, is the second author of “Personal health records for people living with HIV: a review” published online in AIDS Care. (Feb 2016)

National MCH Workforce Development Center helps plan improvements in NC child health
Local and regional agencies along with community partners met to improve birth outcomes and overall health status of children in North Carolina. Read story. (Jan 2016)

Food Systems Leadership Institute one of top 10
MCH faculty member, Claudia Fernandez, DrPH, is one of the founding members of the FSLI program named to top 10 continuing education programs with a strong leadership focus. Read story. (Jan 2016)

MCH faculty members to lead $4.5M grant for evaluation of family planning in Africa (Jan 2016)

Implementation science course begins
MCH launches its first course on implementation science for global health. Professors Herbert Peterson, Sandra Naoom and Joumana Haidar will teach online this semester MHCH 890.971 “Implementation Science for Global Health”. See syllabus. (Jan 2016)

Student, alum publish in International Health
Current master’s student, Zainab Alidina, and alumnus, Rajeev Colaco, DrPH (MCH ’10), are first and second authors, respectively, on paper published Nov. 26, entitled “Taking local ownership: government and household contribution to indoor residual spraying in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania”, in International Health journal. (Dec 2015)

MCH staff member receives School Staff Excellence Award
Kathy Biancardi, public communications specialist in the Department of Maternal and Child Health and assistant to the director of UNC’s World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center, accepted the 2015 Staff Excellence Award at a Schoolwide event on Nov. 12.

Study finds tensions between medical homes and being patient-centered (Nov 2015)

Paper reports link between health insurance coverage and skilled birth attendance in Ghana
Shane Khan, doctoral candidate, published online November 2 in Maternal and Child Health Journal results of a national study on the National Health Insurance Scheme and skilled birth attendance. Kavita Singh, research assistant professor of maternal and child health, is his co-author. (Nov. 2015)

Alum, faculty publish shaken baby prevention effort
Adam Zolotor, MD, DrPH (MCH ’11), an associate professor of family medicine, is lead author with Meghan Shanahan, PhD (MCH ’10), research assistant professor of maternal and child health, and others in article reporting results of statewide abusive head trauma  prevention program in JAMA Pediatrics. (Oct. 2015)

Faculty co-author MCH journal paper on preterm birth
Christine Tucker, Julie Daniels, Diane Rowley and Carolyn Halpern publish in November issue of Maternal and Child Health Journal. (Nov. 2015)

Doctoral students publish in Journal of Adolescence
Four doctoral students, Sophia Choukas-Bradley, Shoshana Goldberg, Laura Widman and Bianka Reese, published online, a paper on ideal romantic relationship behaviors, in Journal of Adolescence with faculty member and chair, Carolyn Halpern. (Oct. 2015)

Student presents at mental health conference
Master’s student, Zainab Alidina, spoke at the 9th World Conference on Mental Health September 10 in Columbia, SC. Her talk was entitled, “From well-meaning to well-being: bridging the gap in mental health awareness in Tanzania”. (Sep. 2015)

MCH faculty lead evaluation project in Ethiopia
Kavita Singh Ongechi, PhD, PI, and Ilene Speizer, PhD, co-PI, will evaluate a quality improvement approach to promote maternal and newborn outcomes. [Read more] (Sep. 2015)

Halpern associate editor Journal of Adolescent Health
Publication for the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine names Halpern as associate editor for public health and policy. [Read more] (Aug. 2015)

MCH students complete UNC-IntraHealth program
Three maternal and child health students participated in the UNC-IntraHealth Summer Fellows Program. [Read more] (Aug. 2015)

Alumnae recognized for contributions to child health
Three MCH alumnae receive North Carolina Pediatric Society award for excellence in the pediatric field. [Read more] (Aug. 2015)

Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute leads Breastfeeding Family-Friendly Cities initiative
Chapel Hill and Carrboro event August 10 supports campaign. [Read more] (Aug. 2015)

IntraHealth summer fellow blogs about abuse during childbirth
Rebeccah Bartlett, MCH master’s student and Rotary Peace scholar, posts to VITAL on experiences and lessons learned. (Aug. 2015)

Doctoral candidate receives University Cancer Research Fund grant
Kristin Black has been awarded a $20,000 UCRF grant to support her dissertation work exploring potential disparities in the reproductive health of black and white breast cancer survivors. [Read story] (July 2015)

GSK Ribbon of Hope grant goes to School-affiliated group
NC Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center is a collaborator on grant to support certification/endorsement process for child-care health consultants to improve child-care environments. [Read more] (July 2015)

Alum’s study finds excess tobacco marketing targeted low-income, African-American areas
Joseph Lee, PhD (MPH MCH ’08) published findings, “A systematic review of point-of-sale tobacco marketing disparities”, online July 16 by the American Journal of Public Health. [Read more] (July 2015)

WHO-CC hosts international symposium
Global Implementation Conference in Dublin. [Read more] (June 2015)

Trainee’s poster wins ribbon at PAA conference
A poster, presented by doctoral student Shoshana Goldberg, received a blue ribbon at the Population Association of America meeting. [Read more] (May 2015)

Students  research, implement findings for GGIL
Holly Krohn, Elizabeth Thomas and Wisnu Triaggono worked with Orange Co. Health Department as part of the spring GGIL course. [Read more] (May 2015)

Doctoral student wins Sexuality Studies Award

Shoshana Goldberg, MPH (’12) MCH doctoral candidate, will receive the Sexuality Studies Graduate Research Award based on her excellent research at the Lavender graduation May 3. [Read more] (May 2015)

Alum publishes online in Lancet
Adrien Lokangaka, MPH (MCH ’14), a Rotary Peace Fellow as a student, published online in the Lancet as a member of the African Neonatal Sepsis Trial group concerning work related to his master’s project. [Read more] (May 2015)

Doctoral student receives UNC’s Bryan Award for public service
Kristin Black awarded Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award for work with ACCURE study. [Read story] (April 2015)

FHI 360 fellowship goes to doctoral student
Amelia MacKenzie is one of three SPH students selected as FHI 360-UNC Global Health Research Fellow. [Read more] (April 2015)

Doctoral student awarded training grant

Kathryn Houk selected as trainee on T32 training grant funded by National Institutes of Health. [Read story] (April 2015)

Dean announces intent for MCH chair appointment
Dean Rimer announces her intent to appoint Carolyn T. Halpern, PhD. as chair of maternal and child health. [Read story] (April 2015)

Parcesepe successfully defends dissertation

“Interpersonal violence and HIV sexual risk factors among female sexworkers in Mombasa, Kenya: The influence of alcohol harm reduction and early initiation of sex work” by Angela Parcesepe. (April 2015)

Pollock successfully defends dissertation
“The impact of child maltreatment on the development of alcohol and substance use: comparing the trajectories of alcohol and substance use from adolescence to adulthood between victims and non-victims of child maltreatment” by McLean Dickinson Pollock. (April 2015)

Former faculty member, interim chair passes

Elizabeth L. Watkins, MCH professor for 13 years dies March 19. Read obituary. (March 2015)

AMCHP video reports MCH PHLI outcomes
Claudia Fernandez, DrPH, clinical assistant professor in MCH, is PI and director of the MCH Public Health Leadership Institute. (March 2015)

Alum publishes study on smoking disparities among same-sex couples and tobacco retailer density
Joseph Lee, MPH (MCH ’08) and doctoral candidate in health behavior, published online in Nicotine & Tobacco Research. [Read more] (March 2015)

Impact of financial downturn, budget cuts on health services for women and children

Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, led study on maternal health service use and outcomes among Medicaid-enrolled pregnant women of state in Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. [Read more] (March 2015)

Doctoral student, alum examine developmental origins of chronic inflammation

Leslie deRosset, MPH and current doctoral student, with alum Kelly Strutz, PhD (MCH ’13) review the relationship between birth weight and c-reactive protein in Annals of Epidemiology epub ahead of print. (February 2015)

Alum develops transgender clinic in Cincinnati

Lee Ann Conard, RPh, DO, MPH (MCH’99), assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center leads transgender clinic. Read child’s experience in Cincinnati Enquirer. (February 2015)

Doctoral student finalist for Triangle Global Health Emerging Leader Award
Smisha Agarwal, second-year doctoral student and Fellow at FHI360, is one of three finalists. [Read more] (January 2015)

Data resource available for others to use – reported by alumnus in International Journal of Epidemiology. (September 2014)

Doctoral student co-author on immigrant health care enrollment study [Read more] (September 2014)

MCHPHLI offers essential leadership training [Read more] (August 2014)

Study confirms impact of HIV and malaria upon maternal mortality in Mozambique [article] (July 2014)

Alumna, Chisara Asomugha, MD, MSPH (’02), FAAP,  published on patient protection and the Affordable Care Act in The Lancet. (July 2014)

MCH students awarded global internships through Gillings Global Gateway partners [More] (June 2014)

Alum, Chipman recipient passes

Russell Howard Richardson, MSW, MSPH (MCH ‘69) passed away July 23. He served as the Southeast Regional Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and was appointed by Jimmy Carter to the Governor’s Special Council on Family Planning. For this work, he was recognized in 1975 with the Sydney S. Chipman Award. He also was Director of the Regional Training Center in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Emory University where he retired as Professor Emeritus in 1989.

For additional information see his obituary. (July 2014)

Margolis receives McGavran award

Lewis Margolis, MD , associate professor of maternal and child health, received The McGavran Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizing career-long excellence in teaching by a faculty member at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. [complete article] (May 2014)

Out of the female closet: menstrual hygiene matters

Essay by Lakshmi Gopalakrishnan, MPH, Fulbright Scholar from India and maternal and child health graduate from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, shares thesis research project. [complete article] (May 2014)

Taylor recipient of 2014 Sidney S. Chipman Alumni Award [Chipman] (April 2014)

Study finds health disparities among North Carolina’s sexual minorities

A study by researchers at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health offers the first statewide evidence that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people in North Carolina have poorer health than their straight counterparts in the state. Joseph Lee, MPH (MCH ’08) and current doctoral student in health behavior, is a co-author [complete article] (April 2014)

The News & Observer  names Tar Heel of the week

Dana Hagele, MD, MPH, research assistant professor of maternal and child health, is recognized for her work against child abuse. [complete article] (April 2014)

Researchers study toxic metal levels in Vietnamese children 

Jonathan Kotch, MD, MPH, professor, and Viet Nguyen, MD, project coordinator, of maternal and child health, and Rebecca Fry, PhD, of environmental sciences and engineering, measured whole blood lead levels and levels of toxic metals in toenails of children in a Vietnamese smelting village. The findings were published online in BioMed Central Public Health. [Read more] (Mar 2014)

Wilkinson awarded research grant

Andra Wilkinson, MSPH, maternal and child health doctoral student, has received a $33,622 grant from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for her project “Sexual differences in long-term health implications of adolescent risk behavior.” Other members of her research team include Carolyn Halpern, PhD, professor and proposed interim chair of maternal and child health; Amy Herring, ScD, professor of biostatistics; and Eric Whitsel, MD, MPH, research associate professor of epidemiology. (April 2014)

Master’s papers presentation April 24

Eight master’s students will present their research papers 3:00 – 5:00 pm Thursday, April 24 in 133 Rosenau. (Apr 2014)

CGBI awarded planning grant

Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI), based in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Maternal and Child Health, will receive a one-year planning grant of $74,995 from the John Rex Endowment, the agency has announced. The funding will be used to explore prenatal and post-maternity breastfeeding support and care provided for the most vulnerable populations. [complete article] (Mar 2014)

Halpern proposed as interim department chair

Pending university approvals, Carolyn Halpern, PhD, will be appointed interim chair of the UNC Gillings School of Global Health’s Department of Maternal and Child Health, effective July 1. [complete article] (Mar 2014)

MCH to sponsor workshop on LGBTQ health disparities

A LGBTQ health disparities workshop, 2:00-5:00 pm Friday, April 4, 003/004 Michael Hooker Research Center, is designed to enhance participants’ understanding of sexual minorities in the United States and the health disparities they face. The training is available to any UNC graduate student or faculty member interested in gaining familiarity with LGBTQ-related issues in health. The workshop will use engaging activities and guest presentations to facilitate connections among participants and increased appreciation for LGBTQ-related concepts and terminology.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Department of Maternal and Child Health and the LGBTQ Health Sciences Alliance. It will be facilitated by Nicole Boyer, second-year MPH student, and Kat Turner, MPH, adjunct faculty in the Department of Health Behavior. There will also be a presentation by UNC alumna Cameron Hartofelis, MA, MPH. To sign up, please contact Nicole Boyer at (Mar 2014)

Read students’ blog from India

Several students and faculty from SPHG 690, Implementation Lab, currently are in India working on the Sahhay Project by FHI 360. MCH students, Sam Charm Eva Fernandez, Brianne Kallam and Jaimie Lea, are in the class. [Read blog] (Mar 2014)

Teaching Innovation Award winners announced

Lewis Margolis, MD, MPH, associate professor of maternal and child health, was selected by students as the department’s recipient of the School’s 2014 Teaching Innovation Award. Students remarked on his unique flexibility, responsiveness and genuine care as a teacher and adviser.

Other recipients include Steve Cole (EPID), Lori Evarts (PHLP), Rebecca Fry (ESE), Amanda Holliday (NUTR), Beth Moracco (HB), Kathy Roggenkamp (BIOS) and Karl Umble (HPM). See photos on Facebook. (Feb 2014)

AMCHP PULSE features workforce center

The January/February issue of AMCHP PULSE features the department’s recent award for development and implementation of a National MCH Workforce Development Center. [Read more] (Feb 2014)

Alum honored as NC health director of the year

Colleen Bridger, PhD, (MCH ’95) Orange County (N.C.) health director, received the N.C. Association of Local Health Directors’ Health Director of the Year award on Jan. 22. The recognition is given to an individual who has shown outstanding leadership in public health in the state and for leadership and involvement in local community and civic activities. [complete article] (Feb 2014)

Professor completes new book

Claudia Fernandez, DrPH, clinical assistant professor of maternal and child health at the School, has completed a new book, It-Factor Leadership: Become a Better Leader in 13 Steps, that was released January 1 by Fast Track Leadership, Inc. A hands-on guide to developing crucial leadership skills, the book covers topics including how to land a great job, build a high-performing team, develop an engaged work force and refine emotional intelligence. (Feb 2014)

Work selected as “Abstract of Distinction”

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition selected work by researchers from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the School of Medicine and from UNC-G as an Abstract of Distinction for its annual scientific and education meeting, Clinical Nutrition Week 2014, this month in Savannah, GA. Lead author, Tamar Ringel-Kulks, MD, MPH, research assistant professor in maternal and child health, presented “Fecal metabolomics profile in patients with food hypersensitivity and health controls” at the meeting. She and co-authors from School of Medicine Center for Functional and Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology and Center for Translational Biomedical Research at UNC-G are working on metabolite concentrations and composition differences between persons with food hypersensitivity syndrome as compared to healthy controls. The project was partially supported by NCTraCS. (Jan 2014)

Levy publishes in Journal of Urban Health

Jessica Levy, MPH (MCH ’06), a doctoral candidate, and faculty members Sian Curtis, PhD, research associate professor and Ilene Speizer, PhD, research professor, have published online in the Journal of Urban Health, a paper associated with her dissertation: “Assessing gaps and poverty-related inequalities in the public and private sector family planning supply environment of urban Nigeria”. (Jan 2014)

Doctoral student discusses mobile technologies in health care at World Islamic Economic Forum

Smisha Agarwal, first-year doctoral student in maternal and child health at the Gillings School, was an invited speaker at the ninth annual World Islamic Economic Forum, held in London Oct. 29-31. [complete article] (Nov 2013)

Labbok receives APHA Lifetime Achievement Award

Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH, Professor of the Practice of maternal and child health, received the Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association’s International Section. [Read more] (Nov 2013)

Cilenti receives $5.5M award to develop national workforce center

Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, clinical assistant professor in maternal and child health and senior investigator at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH) at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, has received a three-year, $5.5M award from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. The award, a cooperative agreement with the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Bureau, Division of Workforce Development, will establish the national MCH Workforce Development Center at UNC that will facilitate key programmatic areas implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [Read more] (Oct 2013)

Student publishes in Contraception

Leslie deRosset, doctoral student in maternal and child health, has published “Family planning intentions: a qualitative exploration of postpartum women of Mexican descent in North Carolina” in the November issue of Contraception. (Nov 2013)