Community Health Sciences
Larelle Bookhart is a Bridge to the Faculty Scholar in the Division of Community Health Sciences. She completed her BSPH in Health Policy and Management and her MPH in Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. Additionally, Larelle is a Registered Dietitian and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Her areas of interest include nutritional risk factors (from pregnancy through early childhood) for adverse health outcomes and health care system factors that may reduce health disparities. She worked as a county-level director of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Halifax County, NC where she led and managed the program, while also providing direct nutrition services and counseling, breastfeeding counseling, and lactation management support.
Her doctoral research at Emory University in Nutrition and Health Sciences focused on the determinants of early infant feeding practices in hospitals. She has conducted research at the national and local level, including both qualitative and quantitative analyses to understand how health care system policies and practices may modify breastfeeding outcomes, particularly among historically marginalized populations. Her future research will build upon her previous research on early infant feeding practices and health care system support, while also expanding to examine maternal obesity and early childhood obesity. She plans to work with initiatives to improve maternal health outcomes. Her long-term goals broadly include developing clinical, community, and public health interventions that improve maternal and child nutrition and health.