Dr. McCarthy joined the staff of the fledgling ACH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in 1977 after completing a fellowship in neonatology at the University of Miami. She came to ACH with a master's degree in physiology and a post-doctoral fellowship and Ph.D. in pharmacology in addition to her medical degree.
In 1981 Dr. McCarthy founded the Institutional Review Board at ACH and served as its first chair. Four years later she founded and chaired the ACH Ethics Committee. These distinct programs, one focused on the science and one on the social aspects of medicine, reflect her longtime efforts to improve children's health both in the NICU and beyond the Hospital's walls.
Over the past three decades, Dr. McCarthy has been very active in community efforts that focus on children's health and well-being, including Healthy Start, Child Protection Team, Operation PAR and March of Dimes.