Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health

Project Profile

MCHB Program: Centers of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Education Science and Practice
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Region: 9
Project Director:

Alice Kuo, MD, PhD, MBA
Phone: 310-794-2202


Goals and objectives:

The UCLA Child and Family Health (CFH) Program is a Center of Excellence in MCH Education, Science and Practice. With this proposal, we will continue our work to equip future MCH leaders with the skills, competencies and knowledge they will need in order to advance and elevate the field of maternal and child health. Now more than ever, we must foster the development of MCH leaders who can harness the health care system's growing focus on accountability for population health outcomes and pull it toward an equal focus on accountability for addressing the upstream perinatal and early life experiences that establish lifelong health trajectories for every individual and for all populations, especially those who are most vulnerable to poor health outcomes. By optimizing health trajectories early in life there is a great opportunity to shift lifelong health care cost curves for the entire population so that current struggles to control costs for chronically ill adults can gradually give way to a life course-oriented health investment strategy with a higher long-term rate of return.


The changing epidemiology of child health points to several specific gaps that we intend to address through the UCLA CFH Program. First, we must continue to educate our students about the changing epidemiology of child health and about how MCH measurement systems must be upgraded to fully understand the practice and policy implications of the new face of child disability. Second, our students need to understand and be skilled in addressing the challenges of financing and organizing systems of care for MCH populations with a focus on levelling persistent and growing social gradients with particular emphasis on emerging threats to child health development and family well-being. Finally, our field's commitment to quality improvement as a real-time change-oriented alternative to more traditional evaluative methods must take on the new challenge of collaborative improvement in multi-sector systems.

Proposed Services:

The CFH program will train at least 20 long-term, 50 medium-term and 100 short-term trainees each year in MCH. The CFH program will also administer the MCH certificate in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. These trainees will have opportunities to network through the MCH Student Interest Group, be mentored by CFH faculty, and participate in research projects with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, American Academy of Pediatrics and other community partners.

Population Served:

Children and families in Los Angeles County and Southern California