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Valerie Pineiro

Valerie Pineiro, MPH ‘20

Valerie Pineiro headshot

Current position: Program Coordinator at The Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey

Valerie Pineiro, MPH graduated from Dornsife School of Public Health in 2020 with a major in Community Health and Prevention (CHP) and a minor in Maternal and Child Health (MCH).

During her time at Dornsife, Pineiro completed her Integrated Learning Experience (ILE) at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in the Teen and Young Adult Clinic, working on a research study on side effects of arm implant birth control.

What drew you to MCH?

Pineiro says, “My interest in MCH began during my undergrad at LaSalle University. Senior year, I took a reproductive health for health practitioners course, and I loved it and thought it was so interesting. I learned so much and when I decided to go for my master’s degree, I wanted to find something that fit into reproductive health and children’s health."

"The MCH minor at Dornsife was the perfect fit for me. MCH is so important yet underserved, and not talked about enough. We need more people talking about MCH and maternal mortality and morbidity.”

How are you using your current MCH training?

After graduating from Dornsife, Pineiro started a position as a Program Manager for the Child Protective Program at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children where she managed a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant. VOCA grants provide victims with funds to cover funeral, medical, and crime scene cleanup costs, among other things. In this role, Pineiro worked closely with patients and families, managing VOCA distribution funds and hiring positions to support programming.

Pineiro is now a Program Coordinator at The Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey. The Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey is one of three MCH consortiums across New Jersey, licensed and funded by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

As a Program Coordinator, Pineiro helps disseminate COVID-19 testing and vaccination information with the goal of increasing COVID-19 education in lower income areas.

Pineiro says, “In my current position, my favorite part about the role is the community engagement aspect. For example, we attend community events and do site visits to increase COVID-19 education. It is important to get to know the community you’re serving, and I love physically meeting up with people and getting to know the northern New Jersey community.”

How did your time as a MCH trainee at Dornsife influence your career?

Pineiro says, “The people involved with MCH at Dornsife make you want to get more involved in MCH and remind you of the reasons why you’re doing the work that you do. Both Dr. Turchi and Dr. Davis are amazing. They continue to reach out to me and push me to be more involved in MCH work. We are blessed to have people that are going to reach out to you and encourage you, even after you graduate.”

Advice to current and future MCH students?

Pineiro has two important pieces of advice for current MCH students.

To start, she says to keep up to date with what is happening in the town, city, county, etc. that you want to work to have the best information available and to stand out in interviews. She says, “People that are hiring love when you do your research and know about the organization or problem you’re going to work to fix. Just a quick Google search will do. Know what is going on in the community and be able to have a conversation about it. Something so simple, and you can stand out to your future employer.”

Second, Pineiro says “The job search is tough, but don’t get discouraged during the job hunt. It took me time to find my current job, but you will find the right fit and it will work out.”