For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

About the Drexel Maternal and Child Health Program

What is the MCH Program?

The Drexel Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Program was established in 2015 as part of the initial cohort of MCH Public Health Catalyst Programs funded by the Division of MCH Workforce Development of the Health Resources Service Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).

In 2020, the program received its second round of HRSA/MCHB funding as a Track 2 MCH Public Health Catalyst Program.

As a multidisciplinary coalition of academics, clinicians, and students, the MCH Program provides MCH training and opportunities to strengthen and diversify the MCH workforce.

The MCH Program offers students, faculty, and working professionals MCH opportunities in: Education (MCH courses, MCH Graduate Minor, MCH Online Certificate), Research, Practice, and Leadership.

Table of Contents:

Our Mission

The mission of the MCH Program at the Dornsife School of Public Health is to promote education and research, inform policy, and train leaders to improve the health and well-being of women, children, and families.

The MCH Program aims to enhance the MCH curricular infrastructure and related opportunities at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health so as to increase number, diversity, and capacity of the future MCH workforce through public health graduate education.

  • Deliver MCH educational and leadership training activities for students, faculty, and professionals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Support collaborative MCH research and partnerships.
  • Mentor & support students interested in MCH research and careers.
  • Inform and impact MCH-related policy, programs, and practice.

Maternal and Child Health Research Topics

The Dornsife School of Public Health conducts research related to maternal health and the health of children, including the following areas of interest:

  • Maternal Health and Birth Outcomes
  • Child and Adolescent Health, including Children with Special Health Care Needs
  • Environmental Factors Influencing MCH Status/Outcomes including Social Determinants of Health
  • Disaster Preparedness and MCH Populations
  • Global Maternal and Child Health
  • MCH Program Evaluation

For more research interests and study resources related to the health of pregnant women, mothers and infants, visit Drexel University Libraries' Maternal and Child Health Resource Guide.

Grant Funding

MCH Program faculty receive grant funding from a wide array of sources including Health Resources and Services Agency (HRSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Department of Education, National Science Foundation (NSF), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and others.

Program Activities

Drexel's Maternal and Child Health Program explores a broad range of maternal and child health topics through our monthly newsletter and activities:

  • Courses and degree programs including MCH graduate minor and MCH online certificate
  • Groups such as MCH Journal Club and MCH student groups
  • Events such as MCH speaker series, leadership workshops, annual MCH student career networking session, and annual symposium (most recently held in May 2022.)
  • Research and dissemination of MCH knowledge via manuscript submissions and conference participation
  • Collaborations between and support for MCH students, faculty, and community agencies such as workforce development projects

Our Team

The MCH Program is a multidisciplinary team of faculty and students throughout Drexel. Faculty members represent the Dornsife School of Public Health (spanning the departments of Community Health & Prevention, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Health Management & Policy, and Environmental & Occupational Health) as well as the College of Nursing and Health Professions, College of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, and Kline Law School.

In addition, we partner with MCH professionals and policymakers in the region and students and alumni are actively engaged in the program.

The MCH Program aims to develop and support interdisciplinary collaborations across Drexel colleges/schools and local organizations to provide robust MCH training for our students.

MCH Program Faculty

Renee Turchi

Renee Turchi, MD, MPH, FAAP – MCH Program Director
Clinical Research Professor, Community Health and Prevention
Dornsife School of Public Health

Zekarias Berhane, PhD
Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Dornsife School of Public Health

Jennifer Breaux, DrPH, MPH, CHES
Associate Teaching Professor, Community Health and Prevention and Director of Undergraduate Education
Dornsife School of Public Health

Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor and Chair, Community Health and Prevention
Dornsife School of Public Health

Vanessa Durand, DO
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

Susan Fuchs, MS, IBCLC
Clinical Instructor, Director of Human Lactation Program
Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions

Alison Groves, PhD, MHS
Assistant Professor, Community Health and Prevention
Dornsife School of Public Health

Rita Guevara, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Drexel University College of Medicine

Irene Headen, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor, Community Health and Prevention

Nora Lee, PhD
Assistant Research Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Dornsife School of Public Health

Beth Leonberg, MS, MA, RDN, CSP, FAND, LDN
Associate Clinical Professor, Nutrition Sciences; Director, Dietetics Education Programs; Interim Vice-Chair, Nutrition Sciences
Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions

Jessie Kemmick Pintor, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy
Dornsife School of Public Health

Alexis Roth, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor, Community Health and Prevention
Dornsife School of Public Health

Suruchi Sood, PhD
Associate Professor, Community Health and Prevention
Dornsife School of Public Health

Yanick Vibert, DO
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Drexel University College of Medicine

MCH Program Staff

Renee Davis, MD, MPH – Program Coordinator

MCH Community Partners

Below are some examples of MCH organizations we partner with for educational, research, and practical opportunities. Many students interested in MCH have completed their practical experiences at one of our partner sites.

Examples of MCH Community Partners include:

Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Division of Maternal, Child, and Family Health Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Family Health Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Region 3 Office of Regional Operations St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia & CHOP Policy Lab PA Medical Home Program, PA Chapter, American Academic of Pediatrics Philadelphia Community Action Network (CAN) Maternity Care Coalition
Children First (formerly Public Citizens for Children and Youth) Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children AccessMatters Health Federation of Philadelphia
Public Health Management Corporation Partners in Health/Engage Philadelphia Nurse-Family Partnership Project HOME
Mariah Mennano

Partner Spotlight

Mariah Mennano, BS, MPH '21, spent three months completing her co-op at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in the division of Maternal, Family, and Child Health.

She was on a team that conducted a Zika surveillance system, tracking women who were infected and tracking children for several months afterward.

Of all the infants they followed with Microcephaly, a condition where the head circumference is smaller than normal and that can be caused by a variety of factors, including the Zika virus, they found that none were ultimately related to Zika.

“Dornsife does such a good job of helping you find connections,” Mennano said. “A lot of the programming that Dornsife does is all very much grounded and rooted in social determinants of health and that health is a human right. That’s something I’ve been able to dig a lot deeper into at Dornsife. I feel like I live in Philadelphia and understand the community."

Contact Us

For more information about the MCH Program contact:

Dr. Renee Davis
Program Coordinator & Senior Research Associate