JANUARY 28, 2011
Pies named a champion in the field of maternal and child health
Cheri Pies, clinical professor at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, was honored with a “Champions in the Field of Maternal and Child Health” award by the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health (HRSA-MCH) Bureau. Pies, who has been a leader in women’s health for 30 years, received the award in recognition of her design and development of promising practices for addressing health disparities in the MCH population.
In particular, Pies was praised for adapting the Life Course Perspective (LCP) to the MCH field, designing innovative learning opportunities for workforce development with regard to educating about the Life Course Perspective, and forming the Life Course Working Group, which disseminates lessons learned about the implementation of the LCP from policy, research, education and practice perspectives to state and local partners. The LCP combines the concepts of health equity and social determinants of health to look at health over a person’s lifespan as an integrated whole, rather than as a series of disconnected stages.
“I was thrilled and deeply honored to receive this award and recognition from the State of California and HRSA,” said Pies. “The Life Course Perspective offers us an important opportunity to make a paradigm shift in the way we do our work in MCH—moving from the medical model of prenatal care as the panacea to a broader and more realistic focus on the social determinants of health.”
The “Champions in the Field” awards were given out by the HRSA-MCH Bureau in honor of the 75th anniversary of the creation of Title V of the Social Security Act, a landmark piece of legislation that is the foundation of current partnerships between Federal and State governments to help ensure the health of the nation. Awardees were nominated by state MCH directors, with only one nominee coming from each state. Pies will receive her award letter and certificate during a special presentation at the next statewide Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Action meeting in May 2011.
Pies has served on the faculty since 1993. Her research interests include reproductive health and ethics, the use of qualitative research methods including PhotoVoice and participatory action research, the implementation the Life Course Perspective into MCH education and practice, leadership education in Schools of Public Health, and lesbian and gay health issues. Until September 2010, Pies served as the director of the Family, Maternal and Child Health Programs for Contra Costa Health Services. Under her leadership, the county health department developed unique ways to reach out to the community, instituted a 15-year Life Course Initiative, and conducted an extensive series of PhotoVoice projects with community members to hear their concerns and priorities for change.