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 January 2021, the group has over 60 members. About a third (33%) are undergraduate or high school scholars; about 28% are master's scholars (MPH, MSW, MS, MHA); about 26% are in doctoral programs (PhD, DrPH); and about 12% are in post-doctoral positions. 

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

zoom meeting group screen shot

Current projects involving the MCH Equity Scholars address a range of topics: 

  • COVID-19 and stressors during pregnancy
  • Educational initiatives for the MCH workforce
  • Parent-child relationships and parenting behavior
  • Doula programs in prison settings
  • Postpartum anxiety
  • Racial inequities among Medicaid beneficiaries
  • Structural and institutional racism as determinants of health inequities
  • Legislation and interventions on racism as a public health crisis
  • Maternal and infant health legislation

How to get involved

The MCH Equity Scholars meet monthly. Meetings are an open forum that is scholar led and without a set agenda in which we typically introduce and welcome new members, 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. A new feature includes “Lessons from the Field” where local community partners 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. 


Meetings are scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of the month during the spring term. 

10-11 a.m.

Complete the intake form for more information. 

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