Cynthia L Salter

  • Assistant Professor
  • Faculty in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and the Center for Global Health

I chose to pursue a doctoral degree after working for many years with a community-based program focused on improving birth experiences and maternal health outcomes for women in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. In my work with the Birth Circle community-based doula program, my staff and the women we served often were invited to participate in maternity care research, yet the research questions under investigation did not always align with our interests or our needs. This discrepancy pushed me to return to research so that I could develop research questions that reflect the priorities of women in our local communities. My initial research into birth trauma explored the experiences and perceptions of maternity care clinicians and has deepened my commitment to a human rights approach to maternity care. As a member of the BCHS faculty, I continue my research into maternity care and birth experiences, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. I also am a member of the Maternity Health Equity Scholars program and I serve on the Allegheny County Health Department Infant Mortality Collaborative. In 2020, I became the Interim Director of the Center for Global Health and began teaching core Global Health courses, directing the Global Health Certificate and managing the Coverdell Fellowship. This year I also will teach a seminary in maternal health.


1985 Ohio Wesleyan University, BA Journalism and English

1996 The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, MPH International Health

2019 The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, PhD Behavioral and Community Health Sciences


Introduction to Global Health

Concepts and Methods in Global Health

Translating Global Health Education into Practice

Seminar in Maternal & Child Health