happy children, mother and child, and expecting mother and father

Advancing Science, Innovation and Quality Improvement!

Grantee Spotlights:

Photo of Gregory J. Redding, MD

Elizabeth R. Woods, MD, MPH

Children’s Hospital Boston Community Asthma Initiative - Boston, MA... Read More

Photo of Rebecca Shlafer, Ph.D.Peter Szilagyi, MD, MPH, FAAP

Well Care and Adolescent Immunizations in Rochester (WECAIR) - Rochester, NY.... Read More

Dr. Kara Gerger and child State House Advocacy DayHealthy Tomorrows grantee Dr. Kira Gerger at the State House Advocacy Day. The objectives outlined for the Healthy Eyes Healthy Futures Massachusetts project will result in earlier identification and treatment of vision problems in young children that may lead to developmental delay... Read More

Dr. Kara Gerger and child State House Advocacy Day

AAP Ohio Chapter Receives Healthy Tomorrows Grant to Support Quality Improvement Initiative. The Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics has a history of using quality improvement methodology to address important issues in child health, such as asthma, childhood obesity, and autism. Now, with the support of a Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children grant... Read More

Division Highlights:

Update on MCHB Quality Improvement

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau has steadily transformed its culture in to an organization focused on applying quality improvement (QI) methodology to its programs and to its internal operations. In 2012, MCHB adopted the methodology called the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) with the goals of facilitating collaborative learning and adoption of QI principles and practices to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes. In the past year, this CoIIN initiative has spread nationwide in the spirit of scaling up our QI efforts. A CoIIN, based on Peter Gloor’s Collaborative Innovation Network, is a team of self-motivated people with a collective vision, enabled by the Web to collaborate in achieving a common goal by sharing ideas, information, and work. Key elements of a CoIIN are collaborative learning, common benchmarks, coordinated strategies, rapid test cycles, real-time data to drive improvement, being a “cyber-team” and innovation. 1

Additional CoIINs have transcended other programs such as the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) which implemented the Home Visiting CoIIN in July 2013 to provide support for the delivery of maternal and early childhood services, including home visiting services. The purpose of this CoIIN is to facilitate the delivery and accelerate the improvement of home visiting and other early childhood services, both globally and as provided by MIECHV grantees, to obtain good results faster for low-income and other at-risk families served. The trend of utilizing the CoIIN and QI methodology continues to be integrated in other programs across MCHB as evidenced by QI language incorporated into funding opportunity announcements. Grantees are now being asked to strategize on how to solve public health problems using rigorous QI methodology and data to support results linked to performance.

The CoIIN methodology was also adopted to assist in solving issues internal to MCHB operations with program integrity and oversight in July 2013. This CoIIN, comprised of individuals across MCHB, has successfully developed tools to assist project officers with documenting quarterly formal communications and site visits to improve reporting and procedure adherence and knowledge. Individuals of this CoIIN were trained on QI methodology by the MCHB Quality Improvement Officer in order to facilitate the process of both gaining expertise in QI and applying it in real-time.

In July 2014, an abridged version of this QI curriculum was taught to staff for application of an MCHB-wide effort in Process Improvement in the following areas: Contract acquisitions, consolidated communications, front office approvals, funding opportunity announcements, inter-agency agreements, and rapid response to external requests. Teams have utilized quality improvement tools such brainstorming, process flow diagrams, fishbone diagrams, and writing aim statements and charters to analyze issues and create changes to solve them. This effort demonstrates how far MCHB has come from 2012 to understand the tenets of quality improvement, how to catalyze change, and how collaborative teams across the bureau can learn and adopt QI methodology to achieve results. The continued transformation of MCHB has energized the organization and encouraged staff to lead change by innovation and quality improvement.

1. Gloor PA. Swarm Creativity: Competitive Advantage through Collaborative Innovation Networks (2006). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Healthy Weight Research Network for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder And Other Developmental Disabilities

The Healthy Weight Research Network for Children with ASD/DD (HWRN-ASD/DD) was established in July 2013 with funding from the Maternal Child Health Bureau (1UA3MC25735-01-00) and is coordinated by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at UMass Medical School in collaboration with Tufts University School of Medicine.

National MCH Workforce Development Center:
A SUMMARY of Current Title V Workforce Needs (2014)

Major transformations in the health care and health financing sectors offer unprecedented opportunities for improving public health systems, state and community health care delivery, and, ultimately, health outcomes for MCH populations. Title V programs are uniquely positioned to help lead and influence major health system reform initiatives as they affect women, children and families. Yet state and territorial Title V MCH programs face many challenges in the implementation of health reform. With training and support, Title V programs are well-positioned to improve access to care, use quality improvement tools to drive transformation, and foster integration within public health and across organizational boundaries including primary care, community-based service delivery systems and other key sectors.

In Trainees' Words:

Rebecca Graves Ellison

MCH Nutrition Trainee, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

photo of Rebecca L. Ellison

Rebecca Ellison

My name is Rebecca Graves Ellison, and I am a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nutrition trainee at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I am pursuing a dual master’s degree to receive a Master of Science in Public Health Nutrition and a Master of Public Health with a Health Policy and Management concentration. Additionally, I will be completing the dietetic internship in Spring 2015 in order to obtain the registered dietitian credential. My long-term career goal is to work at the federal level addressing public health and policy issues, and I am specifically interested in public health nutrition and chronic disease prevention.

I had the privilege of spending seven weeks at the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) during my last summer of graduate school, working most directly with Denise Sofka, MPH, RD, Senior Public Health Analyst, Division of MCH Workforce Development and Michele Lawler, MS, RD, Deputy, Division of State and Community Health. This placement as an MCHB summer intern was an invaluable and rewarding experience, leading to immense personal and professional growth. For my major service project, I planned, implemented and evaluated a nutrition-focused strategic plan for the Bureau. The purpose of the MCHB five-year nutrition strategic plan is to increase the visibility of MCHB nutrition-related initiatives currently taking place across all divisions, and highlight ways MCHB nutritionists can collaborate with other federal agencies, as appropriate, and use evidenced-based, culturally appropriate, and integrated methods to address national nutrition-related problems, without duplicating other federal efforts.

I could not have completed this project without the generous help and guidance of the MCHB staff. The welcoming environment and supportive staff made me excited to come to work each day. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the Bureau, and this internship certainly exceeded my expectations. I was fortunate to work with and learn from Denise and Michele, and I am grateful for the wisdom gained from their guidance. Additionally, I am very thankful for the Bureau’s investment in trainees and support for student internship opportunities. I want to pay it forward by mentoring others and by serving the United States MCH populations at the federal level. I hope that other students and trainees have similar opportunities to work and serve at MCHB in the future!


The Healthy Weight Research Network for Children with ASD/DD

The Healthy Weight Research Network

for Children with ASD/DD

Pediatric Nutrition Obesity Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN)

2012-2020 National Goals

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