Jennifer A. Callaghan-Koru, PhD, MHS

At the WHO in Geneva.

PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2011
MHS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2008
BA, University of Virginia, 2002

Assistant Professor, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Health Administration and Policy (SAHAP)
Associate, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Department of International Health
Associate Editor, BMC Pediatrics
Board of Directors, Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition (2015-2018)

The overall goal of my research is to help address a key public health challenge:  Although effective interventions exist for many causes of morbidity and mortality, public health programs still struggle to deliver these interventions to the people that need them and to positively influence health behaviors, particularly among disadvantaged populations in low-income countries and in the United States.  I'm interested in developing and evaluating sustainable strategies to improve service delivery, building on routine health systems and community resources. I'm also interested in understanding what factors contribute to the adoption and sustainment of evidence-based practice among institutions and clinicians, and investigating effective strategies for dissemination and implementation of proven interventions. My work has primarily focused on improving outcomes and reducing disparities in maternal and child health, and I draw on methods from program evaluation, implementation research, and mixed-methods approaches. In 2017 I participated in the National Institutes of Health's competitive Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health.

Currently, I'm working with the Maryland Patient Safety Center (MPSC) to study the implementation of evidence-based practices to reduce unnecessary cesarean sections through the MPSC's perinatal quality improvement collaborative.  The 31 Maryland hospitals participating in the collaborative are working to implement a bundle of evidence-based practices developed by the Council on Patient Safety in Women's Health, "Safe Reduction of Primary Cesarean Birth."  I am also working with Save the Children-Bangladesh on two USAID-funded assessments of delivery strategies for maternal and child health interventions, including the scale up of universal cleansing of the newborn umbilical cord stump with chlorhexidine and a private community-skilled birth attendant model for remote, under-served areas.

Past work has included formative research for intervention design and evaluation of program quality, coverage, implementation, and equity in the areas of maternal and child health services and in diverse settings including Malawi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Baltimore, MD.

I teach courses in UMBC's Health Administration and Policy Program. In Fall 2018, I am teaching HAPP 300, Research Methods in Health, and an HAPP 398, Program Planning and Evaluation. 


Callaghan-Koru JA, Ruvalcaba E, Riekert K, Rand C, Eakin MN.  Home medication readiness for preschool children with asthma.  Pediatrics [accepted 2018].

Frumence GM, Chebet JJ, Callaghan-Koru JA, Mosha I, Chitama D, Killewo J, Winch PJ.  Development partner support to the health sector at the local level in Morogoro region, Tanzania.  Tanzania Journal of Health Research 2018; 20(2): doi

Callaghan-Koru JA, Estifanos A, Sheferaw ED, De-Graft Johsnon JJ, Rosado C, Patton Moliters R, Worku B, Rawlins B, Baqui AH.  Practice of skin-to-skin contact and exclusive breastfeeding in Ethiopia: results from a prospective evaluation.  Acta Pediatrica 2016; 105(12): e568-e576.

Callaghan-Koru JA, Chebet JJ, McMahon SA, Kilewo C, Frumence G, Gupta G, Stevenson R, Lipingu C, Baqui AH, Winch PJ.  A qualitative exploration of health worker and client perceptions of barriers to completing four antenatal care visits in Morogoro Region, Tanzania.  Health Policy and Planning 2016; doi:10.1093/heapol/czw034.

Koopman I*, Callaghan-Koru JA, Alaofin O, Argani C, Farzin A. Early skin-to-skin contact for healthy full-term infants after vaginal and cesarean delivery:  a qualitative study on clinician perspectives.  Journal of Clinical Nursing 2016; 25:1367-1376.

Chebet JJ, McMahon SA, Greenspan JA, Mosha IH, Callaghan-Koru JA, Killewo J, Baqui AH, Winch PJ.  “Every method seems to have its problems”—Perspectives on side effects of hormonal contraceptives in Morogoro Region, Tanzania.  BMC Women’s Health 2015; 15(97): doi: 10.1186/s12905-015-0255-5.

Nonyane BAS, Ashish KC, Callaghan-Koru JA, Guenther T, Sitrin D, Syed U, Malla H, Srestha PR, Pradhan YV, Khadka N, Shah R, Baqui AH.  Equity in knowledge, newborn care practices and use of facility- and community-based services during implementation of maternal and newborn care interventions:  results from the Bardiya district of Nepal.  Health Policy and Planning 2015; doi: 10.1093/heapol/czv077.

Hunter EC*, Callaghan-Koru JA, Al Mahmud A, Shah R, Farzin A, Cristofalo EA, Akhter S, Baqui AH. Newborn care practices in rural Bangladesh: Implications for the adaptation of kangaroo mother care for community-based interventions. Social Science & Medicine 2014; 122(0): 21-30.

Gupta S, Yamada G, Mpembeni R, Frumence G, Callaghan-Koru JA, Stevenson R, Brandes N, Baqui AH. Factors Associated with Four or More Antenatal Care Visits and Its Decline among Pregnant Women in Tanzania between 1999 and 2010. PLoS ONE 2014; 9(7): e101893.

Callaghan-Koru JA, Seifu A, Tholandi M, de Graft-Johnson J, Daniel E, Rawlins B, Worku B, Baqui AH. Newborn care practices at home and in health facilities in 4 regions of Ethiopia. BMC Pediatrics 2013; 13(1): 198.

Callaghan-Koru JA, Nonyane BAS, Guenther T, Sitrin D, Ligowe R, Chimbalanga E, Zimba E, Kachale F, Shah R, Baqui AH. Contribution of community-based newborn health promotion to reducing inequities in healthy newborn care practices and knowledge:  evidence of improvement from a three-district pilot program in Malawi. BMC Public Health 2013; 13: 1052.

Callaghan-Koru JA, Gilroy K, Hyder AA, George A, Nsona H, Mtimuni A, Zakeyo B, Mayani J, Cardemil C, Bryce J. Health systems supports for community case management of childhood illness: lessons from an assessment of early implementation in Malawi. BMC Health Services Research 2013; 13(1): 55.

Nsona H, Mtimuni A, Daelmans B, Callaghan-Koru JA, Gilroy K, Mgalula L, Kachule T, Zamasiya T. Scaling Up Integrated Community Case Management of Childhood Illness: Update from Malawi. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2012; 87(5 Suppl): 54-60.

Gilroy KE, Callaghan-Koru JA, Cardemil CV, Nsona H, Amouzou A, Mtimuni A, Daelmans B, Mgalula L, Bryce J. Quality of sick child care delivered by Health Surveillance Assistants in Malawi. Health Policy and Planning 2012; 28(6): 573-85.

Cardemil CV, Gilroy KE, Callaghan-Koru JA, Nsona H, Bryce J. Comparison of Methods for Assessing Quality of Care for Community Case Management of Sick Children: An Application with Community Health Workers in Malawi. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2012; 87(5 Suppl): 127-36.

Callaghan-Koru JA, Hyder AA, George A, et al. Health Workers' and Managers' Perceptions of the Integrated Community Case Management Program for Childhood Illness in Malawi: The Importance of Expanding Access to Child Health Services. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2012; 87(5 Suppl): 61-8.

Callaghan JA, Hyder AA, Khan R, Blum LS, Arifeen S, Baqui AH. Child supervision practices for drowning prevention in rural Bangladesh: a pilot study of supervision tools. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2010; 64(7): 645-7.

Hyder AA, Sugerman D, Ameratunga S, Callaghan JA. Falls among children in the developing world: a gap in child health burden estimations? Acta Paediatrica 2007; 96(10): 1394-8.


Nyangara F, Callaghan-Koru JA.  Guidelines for Documenting Program Processes for the Maternal and Child and Survival Program.  Washington, DC:  Maternal and Child Survival Program, 2015.

Hunter E, Islam M, Callaghan-Koru JA.  Lessons from the Ground:  A Collection of Case Studies.  Dhaka:  Save the Children Bangladesh, 2015.

Gilroy K, Hazel E, Callaghan JA, Bryce J. Guidelines for documenting program implementation and contextual factors in independent evaluations of the Catalytic Initiative. Institute for International Programs, Johns Hopkins University, 2009.

*Indicates author was a mentored student.