Workforce Training

Given the importance of a skilled MCH workforce, we invest in programs and resources through the MCH Training Program.

The program supports continued professional development of practicing MCH professionals and graduate and undergraduate education and training of students interested in pursuing maternal and child health careers.

Which programs do we fund?

MCH Navigator

The MCH Navigator exit disclaimer icon provides free access to competency-based learning materials to assist professionals and students gain knowledge and skills to perform their daily work.

The website links to over 400 highly vetted trainings – over 100 that offer CE credits – on topics ranging from program planning and management to epidemiology and evaluation.

The site also includes:

  • Learning opportunities on how to gain skills necessary to advance the 15 National Performance Measures;
  • An automated self-assessment tool that develops a personalized learning plan; and
  • A series of microlearning programs that deliver learning in manageable bursts. MCH Navigator materials can be used individually or as part of a group for professional development.

MCH Workforce Development Center

The MCH Workforce Development Center supports capacity building for State Title V program leaders and staff.

The center helps Title V agencies to lead and/or engage in current MCH public health policy and programmatic imperatives around health transformation.

The Center’s training focuses on three topics:

  • Systems integration;
  • Change management and adaptive leadership; and
  • Evidence-based decision making.

The Center offers state and territorial Title V leaders and their partners training, collaborative learning, coaching and consultation, based on the needs of individual states/territories.

Collaborative Office Rounds

Collaborative Office Rounds (COR) supports small discussion groups (in-person or virtual) that meet regularly over sustained periods to address the mental/behavioral health aspects of pediatric care.

The groups are jointly led by pediatricians and child psychiatrists, and participants include practitioners, fellows, and residents.

Although they vary, all groups aim to help primary care providers to address the day-to-day psychosocial issues of children, adolescents, and their families and increase collaboration between primary care providers and developmental-behavioral pediatricians and child psychiatrists.

State and Community Based Programs

The Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP) supports innovative, community-based initiatives to improve the health status of infants, children, adolescents, and families in rural and other underserved communities by increasing their access to preventive care and services.

The HTPCP funds programs that incorporate preventive health, communication, education, coordination and integration of care, and access to psychosocial supports into their innovative models of care.

In addition, grantees in community practice often support the development of family-centered, culturally competent pediatric clinicians and public health professionals. Currently, HTPCP funds 40 grants across 22 states.

Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program

The Pediatric Mental Health Care Access (PMHCA) program promotes behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care by supporting the development of new or the improvement of existing statewide or regional pediatric mental health care telehealth access programs. 

These programs provide tele-consultation, training, technical assistance, and care coordination for pediatric primary care providers to diagnose, treat and refer children with behavioral health conditions.

PMHCA increases the availability and accessibility of pediatric primary care providers to access tele-consultation on behavioral health conditions from teams comprised of child and adolescent psychiatrists, licensed mental health professionals, and care coordinators.

PMHCA also provides evidence-based training and technical assistance to pediatric primary care providers to increase the early identification, assessment, treatment, and referral of children and adolescents with behavioral health conditions.

What types of graduate education and training do we fund?

Centers of Excellence in MCH Education, Science and Practice

The Centers of Excellence in MCH in Education, Science and Practice (CoE) strengthen and expand the MCH workforce by training graduate and post-graduate public health students in MCH.

Administered within accredited Schools of Public Health, these programs support the training of public health professionals for leadership in MCH through exposure to necessary knowledge and skills needed to build public health capacity, through practical experience, and through collaboration with communities and Title V MCH partners.

Through the Centers of Excellence Programs, MCHB also supports doctoral-level training in MCH Epidemiology and promotes career pathways into MCH academia through postdoctoral fellowships and support for junior faculty in maternal and child health.

CoE graduates work as leaders in governmental public health agencies, academic institutions, community-based organizations, and other not-for-profit organizations.

MCH Nutrition

The Leadership Education in MCH Nutrition program establishes and enhances nutrition centers of excellence to improve access to comprehensive, community-based, nutrition-centered, and culturally competent coordinated care by increasing the availability of practitioners trained in MCH nutrition that are able to meet the needs of MCH populations.

The program improves access to quality health care by:

  • Providing MCH nutrition professionals with interdisciplinary graduate education and training with a public health focus and emphasis on MCH populations and services – education and training designed to improve workforce capacity and foster leadership in program development and administration, systems integration, education, and nutrition services;
  • Developing curricula, teaching models, and other educational resources to enhance MCH nutrition programs; and
  • Providing continuing education, consultation and technical assistance to local, state, and national organizations serving MCH populations while working in collaboration with State Title V and other MCH programs in order to address the needs of the MCH community.

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health

The Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) programs prepare maternal and child health leaders in adolescent and young adult health within at least five core health disciplines, including medicine, nursing, nutrition, psychology, and social work by providing interdisciplinary leadership training to health professionals at the graduate and postgraduate levels.

LEAH programs accomplish this objective of training the next generation of leaders by:

  • Preparing trainees/fellows for leadership roles in public health practice, clinical care, research, training, and support to improve youth-centered, community-based care for adolescents and young adults while enhancing the capacity of community and Title V state programs;
  • Integrating biological, developmental, mental and behavioral health, social, economic, educational, and environmental health training within a public health framework;
  • Emphasizing technical assistance, continuing education, and collaboration with state and local public health, education, youth development, and human service agencies and providers with a maternal and child health focus; and
  • Developing, enhancing, or improving evidence-based patient-centered, family-involved, culturally competent, community-based care plans and practices for adolescents and young adults.

Additional information about the LEAH program is available in the LEAH Training Program Brochure (PDF - 4.2 MB).

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics

The Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) Training program trains the next generation of leaders in developmental-behavioral pediatrics to enhance behavioral, psychosocial, and developmental aspects of pediatric care.

The program focuses on:

  • Supporting fellows in developmental-behavioral pediatrics by preparing them for leadership roles as teachers, investigators, and clinicians advancing the field, and
  • Providing pediatric practitioners, residents, and medical students with essential biopsychosocial knowledge and clinical expertise.

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) program provides interdisciplinary training to enhance the clinical expertise and leadership skills of professionals who care for children with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, including autism.

The 52 LEND programs:

  • Increase awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD);
  • Reduce barriers to screening and diagnosis;
  • Promote the use of evidence-based interventions for individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities; and
  • Train professionals to use valid screening tools to both diagnose and rule out ASD and other developmental disabilities.

MCH Public Health Catalyst Program

The MCH Public Health Catalyst Program provides MCH exposure to public health graduate students, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds who are also underrepresented in the MCH field, introducing them to careers in the MCH field.

The Catalyst programs implement activities based on their program track:

  • Track 1 – MCH Curriculum Start-Up: Develop and offer a graduate-level credit-bearing course focused on foundational MCH content.
  • Track 2 – MCH Curriculum Expansion:
  1. Expand current MCH curricular offerings, and
  2. Develop and offer a graduate-level public health degree, certificate, or concentration in MCH.

MCH Pipeline

The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Pipeline Training Program promotes the development of a representative health care workforce by recruiting diverse applicants (including racial and ethnic minorities) and training students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds into maternal and child health professions.

Pediatric Pulmonary Centers

The Pediatric Pulmonary Centers (PPC) program develops interdisciplinary leaders who seek to improve the health of infants, children, and youth with chronic respiratory and sleep-related conditions, including those with special health care needs, by promoting comprehensive, coordinated, family-centered, and culturally sensitive systems of health care.

The PPC training program accomplishes this through the following aims:

  • Provide interdisciplinary leadership training at the graduate and post-graduate levels in pediatric pulmonary medicine, nursing, nutrition, social work, and at least one additional discipline;
  • Engage with families as full partners to support family-centered practice, policies, and research;
  • Increase access to health services through innovative methods, such as telehealth, collaborative systems of care (i.e., medical homes), and distance-learning modalities;
  • Provide technical assistance, consultation, continuing education (CE), and subject matter expertise to facilitate academic-practice partnerships; and
  • Support diverse and underrepresented trainees and faculty, and increase the cultural competence and skills of trainees and faculty to address health disparities in underserved communities.

Contact Us

Division of MCH Workforce Development


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Related Resources

MCH Leadership Competencies

Date Last Reviewed:  September 2021