Leadership Education in Pediatric Nutrition

Project Profile

MCHB Program: MCH Nutrition Training Program
Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham
Location: Birmingham, AL
Region: 4
Project Director:

Aida Miles
Phone: 205-638-6856
Email: aidamiles@uabmc.edu



The challenges faced by mothers and children in Alabama are complex, persistent, and on the rise, with multiple burdens relating to nutrition and long-term health. Improving access and delivery of nutrition care to this vulnerable population on multiple fronts is essential to improving population health. Shifting demographics, and the growing population of children and youth with special health care needs, intensify the need for nutrition professionals trained in corresponding competencies. Providing community-tailored, interprofessional, health equity informed, didactic, experiential, and leadership experiences in maternal and child health (MCH) nutrition to the next generation of diverse practitioners is a core component of this training program.

Goals and objectives:

The purpose of the Leadership Education in Pediatric Nutrition (LEPN) program at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, is to enhance the nutritional status of mothers, children and families through training future and current MCH nutrition professionals to provide care in diverse clinical, community and public health settings, taking into account the social determinants of health and prioritizing health equity.We have four overarching goals:Goal 1- Train a diverse group of health professionals to serve as future MCH-nutrition leaders in clinical, community and public health settings, to address the emerging needs of the MCH population.Goal 2- Create opportunities for continuing education (CE), consultation and technical assistance (TA) to support state Title V agencies and other local, state, and national organizations serving MCH populations.Goal 3- Throughout the training period, incorporate the values and principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the training curriculum, experiential activities, and research.Goal 4- Throughout the training period, develop, disseminate, and evaluate evidence-based curricula, teaching models, research articles and other educational resources to enhance MCH nutrition in response to new developments in the field.Goal 5- Throughout the training period, collaborate with other MCH and MCH-nutrition programs to address MCH workforce needs and advance the field of MCH and MCH nutrition.


The curriculum uses a health-equity lens to foster the development of MCH/Pediatric nutrition leadership attributes in trainees while improving MCH nutrition services. Trainees acquire MCH nutrition competencies in various settings, with a strong emphasis on clinical skill development working with vulnerable pediatric populations.


The evaluation uses process and project outcome measures to assess/track the project goals. Accomplishments of Long-Term Trainees are assessed at 2, 5, and 10 years after training.