Wanda Barfield, MD, MPH, FAAP

Wanda Barfield, MD, MPH, FAAP, is the Director of the Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is a retired Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service.

Dr. Barfield joined CDC in 2000 as part of its Epidemic Intelligence Service where she worked in neonatal and perinatal health. She was named Division Director in 2010.  Dr. Barfield’s research focuses on maternal/infant morbidity and mortality, early child health services utilization, improving access to risk-appropriate perinatal care, and advancing the quality of maternal, infant, and reproductive health data for public health action. She has published over 120 scientific articles in these areas.

As DRH Director, Dr. Barfield has led efforts to provide optimal and equitable health to women, infants, and families through improved surveillance and applied public health research during the critical junctures of population health; pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence.  She has built and strengthened numerous strategic partnerships with multiple MCH organizations.  Her division currently leads several activities to monitor maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity, prevent opioid use disorder and overdose among pregnant and postpartum women, and reduce the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and associated adverse infant health outcomes.  

She received her medical and public health degrees from Harvard University and subsequently completed a pediatrics residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and a neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship at Harvard’s Joint Program in Neonatology (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital, and Children’s Hospital, Boston).  Before joining CDC, Dr. Barfield served as a medical officer, pediatrician, and neonatologist in the U.S. Army.

In addition, Dr. Barfield is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Emory University School of Medicine.  She is a Fellow with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and is the CDC liaison to the AAP Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (SoNPM) and Committee on Fetus and Newborn (COFN).  She also serves as ex-officio member to the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality.  She continues to do clinical work in neonatology, providing care to premature and other critically ill newborns.