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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Berkeley Awarded Grant for Center of Excellence and Postdoctoral Program in Maternal and Child Health

Maternal and Child Health Program at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health’s Maternal and Child Health Program was awarded a five-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau, in June 2015. The School will receive $520,000 per year to fund its Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health in Education, Science and Practice, as well as a new postdoctoral program in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology. The grant will be overseen by Dr. Cheri Pies, a clinical professor of maternal and child health at UC Berkeley. The postdoctoral training portion of the project will be directed by Dr. Brenda Eskenazi, Jennifer and Brian Maxwell Professor of Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology and Dr. Kim Harley, associate adjunct professor of maternal child health.

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[Photo: Dr. Cheri Pies]

The goals of the Center of Excellence will be prepare graduates to lead Title V and other MCH organizations and to promote and protect the health status of diverse MCH populations, and to prepare public health and health care professionals to be 21st-century leaders in the field of MCH with a culturally competent, multidisciplinary, community-oriented, ethical, and cost-effective vision of maternal, child, and adolescent health. The CoE will work closely with Title V and other MCH programs at the state, local, national and global level to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities and the barriers to health that affect MCH populations.

The postdoctoral program is part of MCHB’s efforts to continue the development of new and emerging leaders in the field. “This postdoctoral program, and the ones that will be in place at Johns Hopkins and University of South Florida, will offer exceptional learning, research and teaching opportunities for both DrPH and PhD graduates,” says Dr. Pies. “They will foster collaboration between faculty and students at the institutions as well as a learning community of MCH professional that are part of the Centers for Excellence in MCH.”

Fellows will be selected to address key national research priorities in the field of MCH, including health disparities, ACA implementation and changes in health outcomes; issues of children with special health care needs; healthy weight and nutrition; adolescent health; and disparities in maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. Recruitment will focus on fellows who are diverse in terms of interests, prior training, background and experiences, and who are committed to reducing health disparities in racially, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse communities. Final selection is currently underway at UC Berkeley for the first pair of fellows. Two additional fellows are anticipated to be recruited for the fall of 2017. Anyone who wishes to be notified of future opportunities should contact mchprogram@berkeley.edu.