Dr. Cheri Pies, professor emeritus of maternal, child and adolescent health at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, has been selected by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to receive the 2018 MCHB Director’s Award. MCHB presents the award annually to selected individuals who have made noteworthy national level contributions to the health of infants, mothers, children, adolescents and children with special health care needs. This prestigious award recognizes Dr. Pies’s many contributions to the MCH field, and acknowledges the leadership and dedication she has demonstrated in supporting the health needs of women before, during, and after pregnancy, along with their families and their babies.
Dr. Pies is the former director of UC Berkeley’s Center of Excellence in Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health and the current principal investigator on the Best Babies Zone Initiative. She has received over $4.5 million dollars from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation since 2012 to lead the multi-site, multi-sector Best Babies Zone Initiative, aimed at reducing infant mortality through community transformation. Previously, Dr. Pies was the director of family, maternal, and child health programs for the Contra Costa County Health Services Department for 14 years. In this role, she oversaw a broad range of programs, projects, and staff designed to improve and promote the health of women, children, adolescents, and families at the local level.
Dr. Pies has dedicated much of her career to developing and implementing promising practices for addressing health disparities in maternal and child health (MCH) populations. Her research largely consists of implementing and evaluating practice-based approaches to the life course perspective. In addition, Dr. Pies has contributed significantly to qualitative research methods and participatory action research. She has also served as a faculty member at Berkeley’s School of Public Health since 1995 where she developed curricula for graduate students and practitioners that integrated the life course perspective and an understanding of the social determinants of health into MCH practice.
Dr. Pies received her MSW from Boston University and both her MPH and DrPH from UC Berkeley. Dr. Pies is also a recipient of the APHA MCH Section Award for Leadership & Advocacy and the MCHB MCH Champion Honoree award.