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

Highlighting MCH Workforce Development

Division Highlights

The DMCHWD Welcomes the 2016-2017 Trainee Ambassador Group!

The DMCHWD welcomes the following ten (10) current and former trainees to serve on the 2016-2017 Trainee Ambassador Group (TAG)!

  1. Allison Muzzey, Leadership Education in Adolescent Health
  2. Alyssa Bosold, Centers of Excellence in Maternal & Child Health
  3. Emily Pietrantone, Pediatric Pulmonary Centers
  4. Holly Hodges, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
  5. Meg Versteegen, Catalyst
  6. Michelle Gin, Leadership Education in Adolescent Health & Schools of Public Health
  7. Nathan Fields, Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
  8. Raven Wright, Pipeline
  9. Shelly Johnston, Nutrition
  10. Yuka Asada, Schools of Public Health & Nutrition

The goal of the TAG is to foster connections between trainees across the MCH Training Program, provide trainees with leadership development opportunities, and strengthen the link between trainees and MCHB. Trainee ambassadors attend monthly virtual meetings to collaborate, conceptualize, develop, and lead trainee engagement activities.
From March – December 2017, Ambassadors will showcase their trainee experience via the DMCHWD’s ‘In Trainees Words’ spotlight. Ambassador posts will be indicated with the label ‘Time with TAG’. The March ‘Time with TAG’ spotlight features Emily Pietrantone. Emily recently completed her traineeship at University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Pediatric Pulmonary Center. To read about Emily’s trainee experience, click here.

In April 2017, three Ambassadors will attend the Making Lifelong Connections (MLC16) Conference to be held in Seattle, WA. The theme of the 2017 conference is MCH Leadership in Times of Change. The Ambassadors will lead an interactive plenary session on the value of mentoring for MCH trainees and will give attendees a sneak preview of a mentoring initiative currently in development by the TAG.
To learn more about the 2016-2017 Ambassadors and the TAG overall, click here.

Program Highlights

Healthy Tomorrows

Updated Infographics

What does the data tell us about Healthy Tomorrows? A newly released infographic holds the answers.

The Healthy Tomorrows Program, in cooperation with Altarum Institute, has created an infographic to highlight investments in the program since 1989, and demonstrate the impact, reach, and sustainability of projects after federal funding ends. The data shows that grantees have been highly successful in leveraging federal dollars to secure additional funding. Part of their success can be attributed to outcomes documented in project evaluations, sustainability planning in the first year of funding, and strong organizational and community support. The diversity of funding sources for Healthy Tomorrows grantees reflects an interest in funding community-based programs in both the public and private sector. This infographic was made possible with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Economic Analysis Tip Sheets

In October 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) engaged Altarum Institute to provide Technical Assistance (TA) to the Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP) grantees on conducting an economic analysis of their projects. Economic analysis aids grantees in demonstrating the value of their Healthy Tomorrows interventions to key partners, thus supporting the need for sustained funding to produce positive health outcomes. Altarum provided TA to eight HTPCP grantees, during a 9-month pilot period, on how to use their evaluation data to conduct an economic analysis that would be appropriate for their projects, including a Return on Investment (ROI) analysis, a Cost Effectiveness Analysis (CEA), or a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA). The projects involved in the pilot used a range of interventions to address a wide variety of health issues, and had different data sets, funding histories, and evaluation capacities. Altarum provided TA to grantees, tailored by program type and capacity level, to prepare them for the ROI process. With higher capacity grantees, Altarum followed-up on the identification of measurable outcomes, the availability of data on identified outcomes, and the entry of data into a cost template to calculate ROI based on the value/impact of these outcomes.

Through the project, a two-page project summary and a series of tip sheets have been developed to provide concrete pointers on conducting an economic analysis. Tip Sheet #1 provides an overview of the reasons why a project may want to perform an economic analysis. Tip Sheet #2 discusses preparing for and conducting a program evaluation. Tip Sheet #3 discusses preparing for an economic analysis. Tip Sheet #4 discusses conducting and promoting an economic analysis.

Public Health Pronto MCH Navigator – Public Health Pronto

Public Health Pronto is the MCH Navigator's newest microlearning project that allows you to participate in short bursts of learning throughout the year to improve your public health skills.

If you liked the 5-Minute MCH program, this is for you! We have improved the format, while keeping the emphasis on just-in-time, incremental, communal learning that can be accessed on-the-go to match your fast-paced work life.

This program addresses the eight Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals and three Health Transformation cores (in collaboration with the National MCH Workforce Development Center), putting key public health concepts into alignment with MCH priorities by using an easy-to-follow modular format designed to increase your knowledge and skills through 5-minute intensive learning sessions available through the web portal. Exit Disclaimer

Grantee Highlights

MCH Training Program Leaders Honored With 2017 AMCHP Awards

Rylin Rodgers (pictured right) (LEND) received the Merle McPherson Leadership Award for her exemplary contributions to further family/professional collaboration within the state Title V program and AMCH. Dr. Lew Margolis (pictured left) (Centers of Excellence) received the Vince Hutchins Leadership Award for his leadership in promoting a society responsive to the needs of women, children, youth and families. Congratulations to them both!

Diversity Competence: Broadening the Scope of Cultural Competence Education Using an Innovative, Self-reflective Training Curriculum at the University of Miami

Dr. Kira Knight, M.D., M.S.Dr. Kira Knight, M.D., M.S., is the Diversity Fellow at the University of Miami’s Mailman Center for Child Development, an initiative funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), under the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), to enhance diversity and cultural competence university-wide. Embracing her role as a diversity and leadership fellow, she has created an innovative e-learning cultural competence program tailored to train and develop faculty, residents, fellows, LEND trainees, and medical students throughout the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Health System in Miami, Florida.

Recognizing the demanding need for cultural competence in today’s diverse society, she is eager to foster change by building on diversity-valuing knowledge, attitudes and skills that channels inclusion and an appreciation for common humanity. To accomplish this robust goal, Dr. Knight has carefully analyzed U.S. and international literature surrounding the concepts of cultural competence and health disparities. She recognized key gaps in the literature, notably the narrow application of cultural competence to only racial and ethnic minority populations. Diverting from these former cultural competency training models, she created an e-learning, hybrid training series exploring cultural competence in relation to intersectionality and other marginalized groups – groups where individuals may be racially and ethnically similar to their healthcare providers, however still face implicit biases and discrimination that result in poorer health outcomes and disparities.

In keeping with this broad view, a key focus of the curriculum is to train future healthcare professionals about health disparities at the intersection of disability and other minority status (e.g., race/ethnicity and sexual orientation).  This 7-module online series is paired with in-person interactive workshops, challenging participants to face their implicit biases, become aware of their intersecting cultural identities, and broaden their understanding of the cultural complexities, gaps, and inequalities of the diverse population we serve.

Stanford Launches New Developmental-Behavioral Primary Care Initiative (DBPCI)

Mark Wolraich, MDThe Developmental-Behavioral Primary Care Initiative (DBPCI) is an exciting joint effort of the Stanford University School of Medicine Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) and Packard Child Health Alliance (PCHA), Stanford Children's Health's network of primary care providers (PCPs).  DBPCI addresses the gap between the high prevalence of developmental and behavioral problems and the small number of medical subspecialists trained to handle them. The overall goal is to empower the medical home to do more developmental and behavioral care.  In our conceptual framework, we are moving away from traditional "referral-consultation" towards a collaborative "service-support" model in how DBP works with participating PCHA practices.  Our specific strategies include integrating developmental-behavioral pediatricians into the practices, providing PCPs enhanced feedback and access to our DBP faculty, mentoring the growth of medical home care coordination capacities, helping practices design and implement quality improvement projects tailored to improve developmental and behavioral screening and care, and innovative educational efforts targeting both PCPs and their staff.

We are committed to measuring outcomes for this project, in hopes that it may become a model not just for DBP but for other specialties as well.  Our primary measure will be PCP clinical engagement in developmental and behavioral issues with their own patients, as reflected in their own ICD-10 coding patterns after involvement compared to pre-participation.  Because of our commitment to teaching and to the development of leadership among our trainees, one of our DBP fellows, Yair Bannett M.D. (pictured right), is spearheading the research effort with our program director, David Ansel (pictured left).  We also have plans to examine the impact of DBPCI on patient/family functioning, satisfaction, PCP knowledge and happiness, provider productivity, and workplace climate in participating practices.

DBPCI launched with a small number of pilot practices in October 2016 with plans to gradually roll out to our entire primary care network in coming years.

For more information regarding DBPCI, contact

MN Act Early Library Outreach

Lucy WasserburgMNLEND Community Fellow Lucinda (Lucy) Wasserburg is sharing Act Early materials with county libraries around the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan region. Lucy felt that libraries would be a great access point for  families to learn about developmental milestones and took it on as a MNLEND project with MN Act Early Ambassador, Dr. Jennifer Hall-Lande.

Lucy scheduled meetings with coordinating librarians of youth programs of three large metro county library systems. They discussed ideas for displaying and distributing Act Early materials, such as hanging developmental milestone posters in nursing rooms, displaying developmental milestone trivia questions with brochures about development at checkout stations, and reading “Amazing Me” books at family story times.

One large metropolitan county, Hennepin, includes libraries throughout Minneapolis, and has 41 library branches where Act Early materials now are reaching thousands of families, many of whom are from culturally diverse communities. Lucy continues to follow up with the heads of youth services at the various county libraries to determine how to make Act Early materials most accessible to family visitors. Lucy’s great systems-level thinking, creative initiative and “take action” approach exemplifies how MN Act Early and MNLEND collaborations are making a positive difference in our community.

Trainee Highlights

Trainee Ambassador GroupEmily Pietrantone “Time With TAG”

As a graduate student in the Master of Science in Nursing program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), it was a privilege for me to be the 2015 graduate nurse trainee at the UAB Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC). Through the traineeship, I gained valuable experience in regards to leadership, advocacy, professionalism, and family-centered care that I can now further utilize as a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

The PPC traineeship taught me the importance of utilizing the strengths of multiple disciplines and developing a holistic view of the pediatric patient and his or her family. Working among dietitians, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, nurses, physicians, and social workers demonstrated to me the strengths of each discipline and benefits of utilizing their fortes. It was a special privilege to work with leaders in each field who were previous PPC trainees themselves! Hearing firsthand from patients and families was also an honor, and the stories they shared revealed their struggles, triumphs, and perspectives what truly matters in health care delivery.

The traineeship highlighted the importance of quality improvement, research, education, and advocacy, and I was provided mentorship, resources, and experiences to enrich my growth in these areas. With multidisciplinary input, I helped initiate and lead a quality improvement project developing an educational tool to increase patient knowledge of cystic fibrosis related diabetes (CFRD). The tool increased patients’ knowledge of CFRD by more than 40 percentage points, and the findings will be disseminated through a poster presentation at the upcoming National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners national conference. The traineeship further revealed to me the burden of chronic disorders on patients and families, especially in pediatric pulmonary care. Through a literature review, I investigated theories and interventions to improve a patient’s self-management of his or her care and presented my findings in a formal presentation. I was able to later also present the information to both undergraduate and graduate nursing students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Lastly, I was given the wonderful opportunity to lead the development and execution of a continuing education event for area school nurses. This project allowed me to work with PPC trainees of other disciplines to provide a free opportunity for further education for frontline nurses in pediatric care. The professional growth that came from being involved in these projects and initiatives would have been impossible without the support and funding that the traineeship provided.

Finally, the privilege of working among patients with chronic pulmonary illness through the PPC has deepened my love for pediatric chronic care and desire to support those living with these illnesses in the pursuit of long, healthy, prosperous lives!

Jada Boyd "Health Equity in Physical Therapy"

Jada Boyd standing in front of a conference poster displayPhysical therapists have a responsibility to treat each patient with respect, dignity, and compassion. Physical therapy can have a lasting impact not only on the individuals served, but also on the therapists as well. I plan to apply the knowledge that I have gained from my experiences and through my aspirations to actively make an impact on the lives of others. Most recently, my experience in the Maternal Child Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy, and Research Network (MCH-LEARN) at Kennedy Krieger Institute has influenced my perception of healthcare as related to health disparities and the importance of achieving health equity. For instance, although life expectancy and health has improved over time, some populations are treated inequitably due to cultural and socio-economic factors. During the summer component of my internship at Kennedy Krieger Institute, I participated in a research project at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where I contacted patients who attended their “After Care Clinic” to receive feedback on their experiences and necessary improvements. First, this revealed that providers were concerned about and valued patients’ care. Second, I gained insight on treatment methods for sickle cell anemia and its unique prevalence among the African-American community. I conducted research on the feasibility of a rehabilitation program that could help manage pain in sickle cell patients to avoid overuse of prescription pain medicine. This is important because some health care providers suspect drug-seeking behavior when patients request pain medication. While this may be true, this perception of mostly African-American patients may not be the case for all African-American patients. In fact, one patient expressed that she felt the need to dress in business attire to appear more professional before going to her health care provider. Could these perceptions influence patient utilization of health care and contribute to health disparities?  How can I as a health practitioner help reduce such perceptions?

Another experience that shaped my perception of healthcare took place in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The physical therapist took into account both the mental and physical aspects of her patients at her private practice, “Integrated Therapy.” My interest was to observe the techniques used to treat people in the Caribbean and compare it to my other experiences. Her integrative approach to physical therapy targeted the disability directly and also incorporated multiple therapeutic techniques like massage with natural healing oils to help her patients recover. I learned that diversity extends beyond the type of patients we treat and should also be included in the therapeutic treatments employed to meet the needs of specific populations. The United States has a growing and diverse population, and inclusion of people of varying cultures in healthcare such as physical therapy can offer innovative ideas, different perspectives, and increase cultural factors that can improve health outcomes within our nation.

In order to learn more about the role of research in addressing ways to prevent, treat, and aid people in recovering from rehabilitative conditions, I applied and was accepted into the MCH-LEARN program at Kennedy Krieger Institute and also accepted into ASCEND (A Student-Centered Entrepreneurship Development) training model at Morgan State University, funded by the National Institutes of Health. These programs have introduced me to public health and strengthened my understanding of health disparities. During my internship at Kennedy Krieger Institute, we discussed the social determinants of health such as living condition, workplace, and social environment that influence the health outcomes of a patient. It has instilled in me a sense of awareness and sensitivity to for all individuals. It has shown me that as a future health practitioner, it is my responsibility to contribute to health equity. My varied academic background in public health and physical education has contributed to my understanding of the holistic approach in treating an individual.

Upon receiving the Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, I will use my academic, research, practical, and personal experiences to advance therapeutic approaches to help reduce health disparities in underserved groups. Like those before me, I plan to contribute to diversifying the field by mentoring students from underserved high schools to make them more aware of the physical therapy profession. I also want to organize my own sports camp for children including those with physical disabilities. The camp will utilize motivational speakers, introduce the children to health careers, and teach them the importance of fitness, adequate nutrition, and teamwork.

Jada is involved with the MCH Pipeline Program through MCH-LEARN at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD. She is studying for her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a concentration in Pre-Professional Physical Therapy, and will graduate in May. Jada will begin her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program at Duke University in the fall 2017. She has received the Helen Kaiser Physical Therapy/Diversity and Leadership Scholarship, for a total of $60,000, to support her in the DPT Program.

Kelly Umana

I am an undergraduate student at the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland College Park currently pursuing a Public Health Science Degree. I have always been interested in Maternal and Child Health and had dreamed of having an opportunity to work at the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Fortunately, I had the privilege of obtaining an internship at the Division of Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development during my Fall 2016 semester. Throughout my time at DMCHWD, I was able to gain knowledge on federal processes such as grant cycles, grant reviews and the outreach each program at DMCHWD has. I was also able to participate in several trainings that enhanced my knowledge on maternal and child health leadership competencies. These trainings have broadened my application of public health skills on a day to day basis in the health workforce environment.

I worked on several tasks and projects for the division. Specifically, I worked with the Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to develop a Diversity and Health Equity Guide for the program. I was able to analyze several progress reports and devise a thematic analysis on cultural and linguistic competence of specific programs under HTPCP. I also developed a data summary presentation for fiscal year 2014 of the Pediatric and Pulmonary Centers program through conducting research and statistical analysis on raw data and using the Discretionary Grant Information System, a federal electronic system. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to attend several conferences such as the Bright Futures Conference and AUCD Conference.

My experience at DMCHWD has led me to continue my education in pursuing a degree in Maternal and Child Health. The division shows great team leadership, mentorship and provided me with several learning opportunities to one day become an MCH leader. Thank you DMCHWD staff for being a supportive and inspiring team!

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