Office of Epidemiology and Research, Division of Research

Advancing Applied MCH Research

Maternal and Child Health Measurement Research Network (MCH-RN)

Funded Projects Search


Project Number: UA6MC26253
Grantee: University of California Los Angeles
Department/Center: Pediatrics/Child Health Policy
Project Date: 9/1/2013
Principal Investigator: Neal Halfon

Final Report



  • Women/Maternal
  • Prenatal
  • Perinatal/Infancy (0-12 months)
  • Toddlerhood (13-35 months)
  • Early Childhood (3-5 years)
  • Middle Childhood (6-11 years)
  • Adolescence (12-18 years)
  • Young Adulthood (19-25 years)


PROBLEM: Measurement is essential to identifying needs and documenting health and health care trends, as well as for planning, implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions, programs, clinical services and policies at the local, state and national level. MCH administrators and practitioners at all levels are currently faced with unnecessary variation in access to usable data, and to tools for interpreting and applying those data to programmatic, systems and policy problems. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: 1) Establish and Continue to Develop Maternal and Child Health Measurement Research Network. 1.1 Develop the goals, strategy, organization and governance structure of the network. 1.2 Develop a web platform for the MCH-MRN that supports social networking functionality and a dynamic electronic compendium of measures. 1.3 Develop and strengthen the network by incentivizing learning and collaboration opportunities for members and responding to emerging needs. 2) Formulate Maternal and Child Health Measurement Research Agenda. 2.1 Develop an MCH conceptual and strategic measurement framework to guide the review of existing measurement tools and techniques and the development of an MCH measurement research agenda. 2.2 Conduct review of measurement tools and techniques and identify gaps. 2.3 Refine measurement research priority areas into an actionable MCH measurement research agenda. 3) Collaborate in the development, validation and implementation of new MCH health measures that address identified gaps, using external public and private funding sources. 3.1 Scan for measurement development funding opportunities and cultivate collaborative measurement development projects 3.2 Conduct targeted dissemination of MCH Measurement Research Agenda to public and private funders 3.3 Support network nodes on development of collaborative proposals to fund specific MCH measure development, adaptation and testing activities. 4) Translation of Network Findings to Practices, Policies and Processes. 4.1 Conduct environmental scan of current data uses, needs and capacities of Federal, State and County agencies and programs serving MCH populations. 4.2 Populate and support the active use of a dynamic electronic compendium of measures (MCH Measurement Portal). 4.3 Conduct MCH measurement translation collaborative improvement network (CoIN). METHODOLOGY: The MCH-MRN will work to develop and advance a research agenda to enhance measurement capacity among Title V and related programs. Network nodes will inform the development of the research agenda by producing research on priority measurement topics. An innovative website will include a social networking function to support collaboration among network members and provide a platform for knowledge capture and dissemination, as well as an MCH Measurement Portal comprised of measures and tools meeting specified criteria. The MCH-MRN will develop a Collaborative Innovation Network among select MCH programs to promote collaborative learning and use of the Measurement Portal. The MCH-MRN will identify and leverage funding opportunities to support implementation of the research agenda. COORDINATION: Along with MCHB, funded partners UCLA, CAHMI, AMCHP and CityMatCH will comprise the project Steering Committee which will provide project direction and oversight and execute key activities and deliverables. A group of national experts on MCH measurement and measurement application will comprise the Advisory Committee which will review and provide input on all major project processes and deliverables. A broader group of MCH researchers and practitioners will participate in the network via topics specific network nodes. EVALUATION: MCH-MRN activities will be documented via administrative records and other data sources that will assess network functionality, impact and sustainability, and identify publications and other products that result from network efforts. ANNOTATIONS: The MCH-MRN provides a strategic infrastructure for increasing the measurement capacity of Title V and related programs, thereby improving their ability to assess and optimize maternal and child health status and capacity. The MCH-MRN engages a wide range of local, state and federal stakeholders, and employs a highly collaborative process to design and build the network and develop and advance a measurement research agenda.


Listed is descending order by year published.

Bethell CD, Blumberg SJ, Stein RE, Strickland B, et al. Taking stock of the CSHCN Screener: A review of common questions and current reflections. Acad Pediatr. 2015;15(2):165-76.

Kogan MD, Dykton C, Hirai AH, Strickland BB, et al. A new performance measurement system for maternal and child health in the United States. Matern Child Health J. 2015. May;19(5):945-57.

Bethell CD, Newacheck P, Hawes E, Halfon N. Adverse childhood experiences: assessing the impact on health and school engagement and the mitigating role of resilience. Health Aff. 2014;33(12):2106-15.


Capacity & Personnel, Health Disparities, Life Course, Special Health Care Needs

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