Maternal & Child Health Equity Scholars

Founded in the fall of 2018 by EPI's Dara Mendez, this group has served as a platform for learners and early-career researchers to exchange ideas, network and collaborate on projects related to health equity, reproductive justice and maternal and child health. Resources and opportunities discussed and shared among the group focus on anti-oppression scholarship, critical race theory. The group also works in collaboration with local community and governmental partners on practice and policy interventions addressing race-based health inequities.

This group is designed for scholars at all levels. As of March 2022, the group has over 90 members. Almost a quarter (23%) are undergraduate or high school scholars; about 41% are master's scholars (MPH, MSW, MS, MHA); about 20% are in doctoral programs (PhD, DrPH); and about 6% are in post-doctoral positions. Furthermore, about 19% of the MCHES network are not affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh, participating remotely from institutions like Boston College, Brown University, Gateway Health Plan, National Institutes of Health, University of North Carolina, and West Virginia University. 

The group is also multidisciplinary, including scholars from various schools and departments at Pitt, including: Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Communications, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Medicine, Neuroscience, Nursing, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Psychology, and Social Work.

Maternal and Child Health Scholars - Final Meeting of 2020

Topics at Previous MCH Equity Scholar Meetings: 

  • Establishing a Fetal Infant Mortality Review for Allegheny County
  • Donor milk for childbearing people with breast cancer
  • Pennsylvania’s 2021 Report Card from the March of Dimes
  • Sleep and postpartum health
  • Structural racism measures in perinatal health research

How to Get Involved

The MCH Equity Scholars meet monthly. Meetings are typically an open forum that is scholar led and without a set agenda. In addition to introducing and welcoming new members, we discuss scholar-led current or proposed work for feedback or insight from the group, discuss career and professional trajectory and opportunities, and learn about Dr. Mendez’s ongoing projects and opportunities for collaboration. We also feature "From the Field” presentations where local community partners and researchers share insight on their career paths, emerging initiatives and opportunities for collaboration.

If you are interested in being added to our email list so you can receive information about future MCHES meetings, as well as other related professional and educational resources, complete our intake form

If you have questions about the MCH Equity Scholars, feel free to email the group coordinator, Sarah A. Sanders, (BCHS doctoral student) for more information.