Lois McCloskey

Lois McCloskey, DrPH

Clinical Professor, Community Health Sciences - Boston University School of Public Health



My public health career began 30 years ago as an applied anthropologist and educator of community health workers in Nepal. The work inspired my lifelong concern with the health care of women and their infants, particularly in communities that are under-served. In both international and domestic settings, my work focuses on the disconnects between the lives of women and the health care systems meant to serve their needs across the life course and proven strategies for engaging and activating women to be full partners in their reproductive health care and planning. I am currently supported by the NICHD and NIDDK to study the barriers to follow-up testing and prevention for women with gestational diabetes, a harbinger of risk type 2 diabetes mellitus later in life. At BUSPH I serve as Associate Chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences, Co-Director of the MCH Certificate, and Director of the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, a Center dedicated to the education of a diverse MCH workforce, ready to lead. As an educator, I specialize in practice-based courses that engage students in the application of their skills and knowledge in real life organizations, addressing real life challenges. Currently I teach “Implementing Community Health Initiatives: A Field-based Course in Leadership and Consultation” and “Sexual and Reproductive Health Advocacy: From Rights to Justice” I completed an MPH in population, family and international health and a DrPH in perinatal epidemiology and health services research at UCLA School of Public Health. Upon graduation, I co-founded the Institute for Urban Health Policy and Research for the Boston Department of Health and Hospitals and served as its Senior Research Scientist for 7 years before joining the faculty of Boston University. During my tenure at the Institute, I led research and community action initiatives designed to mobilize community residents, health professionals, academics, and policy-makers to eliminate racial disparities in infant death and pre-term birth. Our findings led to fundamental changes in how perinatal health services are delivered to women of African descent in Boston. I directed the launch of a study abroad program, “IHP: Health and Community”, dedicated to comparative study of health, systems and culture in four countries. I co-founded the Women’s Health Committee of the MCH Section of the American Public Health Association, am a member of the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health, and serve on the peer review panels of the Women’s Health Journal, the Maternal and Child Health Journal, the Journal of the Poor and Under-served, and Public Health Reports, BMC Health Services, and BMC Pregnancy and Birth.

Other Positions

  • Director, Community Health Sciences - Boston University School of Public Health
  • Co-Director, Maternal & Child Health - Boston University School of Public Health


  • University of California, Los Angeles, DPH/DrPH Field of Study: Population/Family Health Science
  • University of California, Los Angeles, MPH Field of Study: International Health
  • Wheaton College, BA Field of Study: Anthropology


Classes Taught

  • SPHMC785
  • SPHMC802
  • SPHMC840


  • Published on 6/15/2024

    Murray Horwitz ME, Brédy GS, Schemm J, Battaglia TA, Yarrington CD, McCloskey L. Primary Care After Pregnancy Survey: Patient Preferences, Health Concerns, and Anticipated Barriers. Matern Child Health J. 2024 Jun 15. PMID: 38878260.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 3/4/2024

    Safon CB, McCloskey L, Estela MG, Gordon SH, Cole MB, Clark J. Access to perinatal doula services in Medicaid: a case analysis of 2 states. Health Aff Sch. 2024 Mar; 2(3):qxae023. PMID: 38756922.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 12/20/2023

    Safon CB, McCloskey L, Gordon SH, Cole MB, Clark J. Medicaid Reimbursement for Doula Care: Policy Considerations From a Scoping Review. Med Care Res Rev. 2023 Dec 20; 10775587231215221. PMID: 38124279.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 4/5/2023

    Horwitz MEM, Edwards CV, Athavale P, McCloskey L, Cabral HJ, Benjamin EJ, Handley MA. The STAR-MAMA RCT: Bilingual Mobile Health Coaching for Postpartum Weight Loss. Am J Prev Med. 2023 Oct; 65(4):596-607. PMID: 37028566.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/1/2022

    Amutah-Onukagha N, Abrams JA, Stewart CK, Black A, Rhone TJ, Kheyfets A, Nicholson V, Jeanty J, McCloskey L. Black maternal health scholars on fire: Building a network for collaboration and activism. Health Serv Res. 2023 Feb; 58(1):202-206. PMID: 36278805.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 6/9/2022

    Eilisha Manandhar, Sophie Brown, and Lois McCloskey. University of Minnesota, June 9, 2022. https://genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/reproductive-health/. Covid-19 Exposed Racial Inequities in Reproductive Health. Gender Policy Report, Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy. University of Minnisota. St. Paul. 2022; (June 2022).

    Read At: Custom
  • Published on 5/26/2021

    Safon C, McCloskey L, Ezekwisili C, Feyman, Gordon S. Doula Care Saves lives, Improves Equity, and Empowers Mothers: State Medicaid Programs Should Pay for It DOI: 10.1377/hblog20210525.295915. Health Affairs Blog. 2021.

    Read At: Custom
  • Published on 5/9/2021

    Lois McCloskey, Ann Celi, Chloe Bird, Linda Goler-Blount, Judith Bernstein. Mothers Need a Continuous System of Care even after Babies are Born. Newsweek. 2021.

    Read At: Custom
  • Published on 3/8/2021

    McCloskey L, Bernstein J, The Bridging The Chasm Collaborative, Amutah-Onukagha N, Anthony J, Barger M, Belanoff C, Bennett T, Bird CE, Bolds D, Brenna BW, Carter R, Celi A, Chachere B, Crear-Perry J, Crossno C, Cruz-Davis A, Damus K, Dangel A, Depina Z, Deroze P, Dieujuste C, Dude A, Edmonds J, Enquobahrie D, Eromosele E, Ferranti E, Fitzmaurice M, Gebel C, Blount LG, Greiner A, Gullo S, Haddad A, Hall N, Handler A, Headen I, Heelan-Fancher L, Hernandez T, Johnson K, Jones E, Jones N, Klaman S, Lund B, Mallampalli M, Marcelin L, Marshall C, Maynard B, McCage S, Mitchell S, Molina R, Montasir S, Nicklas J, Northrup A, Norton A, Oparaeke E, Ramos A, Rericha S, Rios E, Bloch JR, Ryan C, Sarfaty S, Seely E, Souter V, Spain M, Spires R, Theberge S, Thompson T, Wachman M, Yarrington T, Yee LM, Zera C, Clayton J, Lachance C. Bridging the Chasm between Pregnancy and Health over the Life Course: A National Agenda for Research and Action. Womens Health Issues. 2021 May-Jun; 31(3):204-218. PMID: 33707142.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 3/7/2021

    McCloskey L, Bernstein J, Goler-Blount L, Greiner A, Norton A, Jones E, Bird CE. It's Time to Eliminate Racism and Fragmentation in Women's Health Care. Womens Health Issues. 2021 May-Jun; 31(3):186-189. PMID: 33691995.

    Read At: PubMed

News & In the Media