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Advancing Science, Innovation and Quality Improvement

Grantee Spotlights

Healthy Tomorrows Spotlight on “Clinic in the Park” a One Stop Shop for Health

Healthy Tomorrows info booth at a public parkGrantee: Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP)

“Clinic in the Park” is an innovative community-based program which integrates community health and primary care to provide preventive health care services to children and youth in Orange County, California. Clinic in the Park operates at a local farmer’s market during community gatherings and events. The clinic provides preventive health services to many newly insured children and their families including those related to general nutrition and behavioral health screenings.

In a recent interview with the National Center for Medical Home Implementation (NCMHI), Clinic in the Park medical director Phyllis Agran, MD, MPH, FAAP described this HTPCP project as an “enhancement to the pediatric medical home model.” Children who receive preventive services through the program are encouraged to share information provided with their primary care pediatric clinicians. As a strategy to enhance this information sharing, Dr. Agran and her team are planning to pilot medical “passports” which are used for data tracking and subsequent coordination with the child’s primary care clinician and pediatric medical home team.

A woman demonstrates good oral hygeine to a group of childrenThe clinic is also working with the local chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to promote coordination between Clinic in the Park and pediatric practices. Letitia Clark George, MPP, Executive Director of the AAP Orange County Chapter, works in partnership with the clinic team to encourage outreach and coordination with pediatric practices throughout the county.

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Healthy Tomorrows Spotlight: Holyoke Health Center

Starting a Community Healthy Weight Clinicchildren learning about healthy eating

Grantee: Vincent Biggs, MD
Project Name: Let’s Move Holyoke 5-2-1-0
Location: Holyoke, Massachusetts

In 2008, Dr. Vincent Biggs started a healthy weight clinic, located at the Holyoke Health Center, in the Pediatrics Department. As a result, hundreds of families in this culturally and economically diverse town have benefited from nutritional counseling, physical activity recommendations and referrals to community resources.

The healthy weight clinic has seen most participating families make significant lifestyle changes. Patients are eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, getting more physical activity and viewing less screen time. As a result, over a third of the clinic’s patients have decreased their body mass index (BMI). In a recent 5-month group session nearly 50 percent of the participants decreased their BMI.

Components of the Clinic:

  • Staffing: pediatrician, dietitian, case manager and medical assistant
  • Healthy Living Plan (HLP): an assessment tool which is a healthy weight plan
  • Individual Visits: Including Medical Assessment (24 hour diet recall, nutrition evaluation, specific nutritional education, goal setting, referrals if needed)
  • Group Visits: collaborative approach to learning about healthy habits which typically includes five to eight families (cooking demonstrations, topic discussions: such as preparing healthy meals and snacks, using alternative ingredients to make meals healthier, portion size, the value of fruits and vegetables and limiting sugar-sweetened beverages)

Biggs is documenting his expertise in creating and running the Holyoke clinic in a Healthy Weight Clinic Guide, which is expected to publish this spring. The purpose of the document is to guide any clinic interested in starting a healthy weight clinic. For an advance lesson on some of the top tips Dr. Vincent Biggs has to offer, visit the website. Exit Disclaimer

Division Highlights

2013 MCH Training Program Data Now Available!

Here are some 2013 performance measure highlights…

Q: Are long-term training graduates continuing to serve MCH populations through interdisciplinary work?

YES! LEAH, LEND, and PPC program graduates work in an interdisciplinary manner to serve the MCH population.

Fiscal year 2013 data shows that even 5 and 10 years post-graduation over 75% of training graduates met the performance measure.


Gateway to Success: Cultivating the Public Health Nutrition Workforce

ASPHN 2015 Annual Meeting

ASPHN 2015 Annual Meeting in sessionSeveral of our nutrition grantees and trainees were in attendance at this year’s ASPHN (Association of State Public Health Nutritionists) Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. Discussions focused on trends and future needs in the field of public health nutrition and how State Public Health Nutritionists can be prepared to successfully meet those needs. Participants went home with new ideas not only for how to prepare for the changes happening in their workplace but also for how to develop new leaders in public health nutrition who are prepared to address the changing trends in the field. 

The 2015 Annual Meeting was packed with informative speakers. Including Michael C. Lu, MD, MS, MPH, Associate Administrator of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), who spoke to meeting participants via webinar.  Dr. Lu gave an overview of nutrition-related MCHB activities, followed by an open dialogue with attendees.  Click here to view the webinar. Exit Disclaimer

Jamie Stang, PhD, MPHMCH Nutrition Training Grant Project Director Jamie Stang, PhD, MPH, RDN, was also in attendance and presented an outstanding overview of the challenges and opportunities for the future of the public health nutrition workforce, supported with a wealth of statistics, facts and figures. Dr. Stang is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.  She encouraged a focus on increasing the diversity of the profession as well as to prepare for the challenges of an aging population and an ethnically diverse young generation. Dr. Stang shared proposed definitions of Community Nutrition as compared to Public Health Nutrition and highlighted the uneven distribution of public health nutritionists across the United States.  Dr. Stang also focused on the importance of addressing the competencies that are lacking in many public health nutritionist education programs.

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Pediatric Obesity Mini Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN)

Pediatric Obesity Mini Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network groupMCHB continues to support the Pediatric Obesity Mini CoIIN developed in partnership with ASPHN (The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists ) DMCHWD grantees, and Dr. Bonnie Spear. Four state teams (Arkansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin and Ohio) were selected for this Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN), which focuses on implementing policy and evidence- based practices in early child care and education settings that support healthy weight behaviors in children ages 2 to 5 years.

In addition to monthly webinars, this June state teams participated in a two day face-to-face meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. State teams were given the opportunity to participate in team building activities and state team work sessions. Collaborative discussions focused on increasing awareness of successful strategies and best practices related to improved nutrition, and physical activity, and reduced screen time. The meeting also included informative presentations and panels. Presentations on innovation and improvement programs, use of PDSA cycles, and evaluation of the CoIIN also helped support each states’ next step planning.

This CoIIN provides a case example of how to implement and adapt quality improvement (QI) methodology to achieve results and catalyze change.

Quality Improvement Updates at the Maternal and Child Health Bureau

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau continues to transform its culture into one focused on applying quality improvement (QI) methodology. MCHB recently celebrated the accomplishments of our year-long, staff-led Process Improvement (PI) Team, whose mission was to improve how we do our work. The overall goal of the PI Team was to clarify workflow and increase efficiency to support the Bureau's efforts to establish operational excellence.  It was comprised of 40 employees who worked across six sub-teams.  Many others within the Bureau contributed to the process improvement effort by participating in a focus group, or responding to a survey.

The MCHB-wide effort for process improvement focused on the following six areas: acquisitions and procurement, communications, front office approvals, funding opportunity announcements, inter-agency agreements, and rapid response to external requests. Each sub-team collected information from MCHB and other HRSA staff, and developed a flow chart to document the current and future procedures. Teams developed resources and made recommendations to improve these essential internal business processes.

MCHB looks forward to our first full year utilizing these new resources and tools (e.g., new checklists and new workflows) aimed to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness.  We look forward to revisiting our process improvement efforts in one year to evaluate their impact to the Bureau. In the meantime, MCHB will continue its transformation by focusing on innovation and by incorporating quality improvement methodology, led by dedicated and enthusiastic staff.

QI Project on Transitioning Youth to Adult Health Care

The Transitioning Youth to Adult Health Care for Pediatric Providers course and quality improvement (QI) activity is open again! The activity includes a wealth of resources to improve care of transitioning youth – including national clinical guidelines, videos, skills building tools for youth, and QI tools. It teaches learners how to use medical home and QI strategies to improve care of transitioning youth, especially those with special health care needs. The activity includes 11 web-based educational modules covering topics such as discussing benefits and services, developing a written transition policy, and identifying adult primary care providers and includes data collection for pediatricians who wish to pursue Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part IV credit, approved by the American Board of Pediatrics for 20 points. The activity is open to primary care and specialty care pediatricians across the country.

MCH Navigator Highlights

MCH NavigatorTrainings in Support of MCHB 2015 Goals:

The MCH Navigator is pleased to support the Maternal and Child Health Bureau's Division of MCH Workforce Development (DMCHWD) in focusing on goals from the Strategic Plan that are being highlighted in 2015. To complement this month's theme, The MCH Navigator has created a list of trainings specific to Science, Innovation, and Quality Improvement. Exit Disclaimer

A Strategic Plan for the Division of MCH Workforce Development:

2012-2020 National GoalsThe Division of MCH Workforce Development uses a nationally focused multiyear strategic plan to guide its work and offer guidance to other entities invested in the MCH workforce. Four major themes drive our 2012-2020 National Goals: MCH Workforce Development, Diversity and Health Equity, Interdisciplinary / Interprofessional Training and Practice, and Science, Innovation and Quality Improvement. Read more about our current investments and core values.



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