Skip to main content

Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice Header Logo Center

Menu Search & Directory

Darcell P. Scharff, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Behavioral Science and Health Education
College for Public Health and Social Justice

Director; Public Health Practice
Director; The REACH Center

Courses Taught

MCH 5000; MCH 5960; PUBH 371; BSH 500


Ph.D., Saint Louis University
R.N., Charity Hospital School of Nursing, New Orleans
M.Ed., University of New Orleans
B.S.N., Louisiana State University

Research Interests

Cultural competence; health disparities; maternal-child health; workforce preparedness.

Scharff is the Director of SLU's REACH Center: Research and Equity in Action for Child Health.

Publications and Media Placements

  1. Rotter B, Elliot M, Recktenwald A, Scharff, DP. The effect of dose of the St. Louis Healthy Start Program and prenatal care adequacy on birth outcomes. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. 2016, 6(2).

  2. Kelly CM, LaRose, J, Scharff, DP. A Method for Building Evaluation Competency Among Community-based Organizations. Health Promotion Practice. DOI: 10.1177/1524839913496427, August, 2014. This paper won the SOPHE Health Promotion Practice Journal paper of the year.

  3. Cooper, B. Scharff, D. Elliot, M. Haas, B. Impact of the St. Louis Healthy Start Program on Birth Outcomes. Maternal Child Health Journal. August 2013, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 1158-1165
Find Darcell Scharff on ResearchGate.

Honors and Awards

  • SLU Woman of the Year - 2009
  • SOPHE Trophy - 2015

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • American Public Health Association, member
  • Society of Public Health Education, member

Community Work and Service

Scharff is the evaluator for Nurses for Newborns. In that role she work closely with the staff to develop and carry out an evaluation plan according to the guidelines set forth by the HRSA Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HOMVEE) program.

She regularly collaborates with local community agencies (e.g. St. Louis Maternal, Child, and Family Health Coalition, St. Louis Connect Care, St. Louis County and City Health Departments, American Cancer Society, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, The St. Louis American, The St. Louis Regional Health Commission, and Mid America Transplant Services). She sits on the St. Louis Maternal, Child and Family Health Coalition FLOURISH cabinet that is charged with developing plans to reduce infant mortality in the St. Louis region. 

In 2001, Scharff founded the volunteer-run Mother to Mother Telephone Support program, which provided support to pregnant and post-partum women who experience perinatal mood disorders. Now known as the MOMS Line, the program has expanded its metropolitan reach after shifting management to SSM Health in 2016. It continues be the only peer-support program in St. Louis for pregnant and new moms who are experiencing depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.