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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

UNC Schools Collaborate to Improve Women and Children’s Health Care through Breastfeeding

A generous gift from an anonymous UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health donor has established a fund that will strengthen collaborations across The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to advance the science and practice of breastfeeding. The fund supports a new position, Distinguished Scholar of Infant and Young Child Feeding, which was awarded to Dr. Alison Stuebe, associate professor of maternal and child health at the Gillings School and of obstetrics and gynecology in the UNC School of Medicine. Effective June 1, the position is based jointly in the schools of public health and medicine.

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[Photo: “By enabling more women to achieve their breastfeeding goals,” Dr. Alison Stuebe said, “we can improve health across two generations.” Photo by Al van Akker]

A recognized scholar, researcher, clinician, and teacher in the field of breastfeeding, Dr. Stuebe’s work bridges clinical and public health practice. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, she aims to develop and implement programs and policies in prenatal and postnatal care that help parents improve their own health and the health of their children.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to forge collaborations with colleagues across the University,” she said. “By enabling more women to achieve their breastfeeding goals, we can improve health across two generations.”

Since coming to the University in 2008, she has worked closely with the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, directed by Dr. Miriam Labbok, , Professor of the Practice of maternal and child health at the Gillings School, to develop and enhance quality of care, optimal breastfeeding and reproductive health through research, training and engaged scholarship.

“We are looking forward to the innovative, interdisciplinary collaborations that Dr. Stuebe will facilitate,” said Dr. Carolyn Halpern, professor and chair of the Gillings School’s maternal and child health department. “This is an exciting time for improving the health of children and the broader population.”

Dr. Stuebe, who is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty-certified in maternal fetal medicine, serves as associate director of research and program development at the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health, in the medical school, and as medical director of Lactation Services at UNC Health Care.

“The appointment of Dr. Stuebe bridges significant collaboration between our two excellent departments and Schools,” said Dr. Daniel Clarke-Pearson, distinguished professor and chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  “I am certain the synergy in research and education will greatly benefit women and children in North Carolina and beyond.”

“This gift and Dr. Stuebe’s appointment give us a remarkable opportunity to improve women’s and infants’ health and lives in N.C. and around the world,” said Dr. Barbara K. Rimer, dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the Gillings School. “We are so grateful to visionary donors who take on vital public health issues, such as breastfeeding, and make a real difference in people’s health.”