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Highlighting MCH Workforce Development

Division Highlights

Highlighting MCH Workforce Development

The Division of MCH Workforce Development (DMCHWD) addresses current and emerging MCH workforce needs by engaging with and providing support to MCH leaders in practice, academics, and policy. This month, DMCHWD is pleased to share highlights on MCH Workforce Development.

MCH Timeline websiteMCH Timeline

Did you know that the first federally funded long-term MCH training programs were established in 1947? Learn about the history of MCHB-funded programs and more using the recently updated MCH Timeline, which traces the history of maternal and child health in the U.S. from the 1790s up to the present time. Timeline pinpoints are categorized under Public Health and Medicine, Government and Policy, or Milestones.

The MCH Timeline can be used as an orientation tool for those new to the MCH profession, MCHB grantees, and MCH trainees and students. It has been designed for use as a rich resource and source of inspiration for those interested in the MCH field.

The DMCHWD Welcomes the 2019 Trainee Ambassador Group!

The 2019 Trainee Ambassador Group (TAG)  is composed of the following ten (10) current and former MCH trainees:

  1. Marissa Black, MCH Nutrition
  2. Breanna Chachere, Centers of Excellence in Maternal & Child Health (CoE)
  3. Emily Denight Kelly, Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH)
  4. Sandhyaa Iyengar, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) & Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND)
  5. Seun Kutse, MCH Pipeline
  6. Bella Mazzetti, MCH Public Health Catalyst
  7. Sabrin Rizk, MCH Pipeline & LEND
  8. Lauren Schwerzler, CoE
  9. Suzanne Stern-Brant, Pediatric Pulmonary Centers (PPC)
  10. Catherine Yount, LEND

The goals of the TAG are to foster connections between trainees across the MCH Training Program, provide trainees with leadership development opportunities, and strengthen the link between trainees and MCHB. Ambassadors attend monthly virtual meetings and work collaboratively to create trainee-focused products.

The 2019 TAG is piloting a new trainee volunteer role, the TAG Connection and Engagement Leader (CEL). TAG CELs will help connect trainees in their local university’s training programs to MCH and TAG-related initiatives, news, and opportunities.

DMCHWD Internship

The Division contributes directly to workforce development by hosting interns in the winter/spring, summer, and fall. More information about the DMCHWD internship is located on the Student Internship Opportunities webpage. Applications for the 2019 summer internship should be received by 11:59 P.M. on January 25, 2019.


Program Highlights

The MCH Navigator Has Relaunched Its Online Self-Assessment!

Updated Content. This tool now tracks knowledge and skills across the 2018 MCH Leadership Competencies.

  • Continue to track learning over time. Results of this update are comparable with those from the previous tool.
  • Access previous results through the tool itself and compare to your current, personalized learning plan.

Streamlined Features. The tool has been streamlined in response to user feedback. It remains the one-stop shop for understanding all aspects of the MCH Leadership Competencies.

  • Be guided through a streamlined process and a reduced number of questions, while still reflecting on all 140 sub-competencies and their importance to your work.
  • Receive a more focused learning plan, both in length and in number of learning opportunities provided.

Continue to use the tool across all 12 competencies at once (the entire tool requires approximately 1 hour) or by individual competency (each competency takes approximately 5 minutes). Learn about the importance of the self-assessment process and how the tool can be used as an interactive learning opportunity itself.

Register or log back in at
https://www.mchnavigator.org/assessment  Exit Disclaimer
to increase your MCH acumen!

Redesign changes aim to shorten the tool and personalized learning plan while still maintaining a comprehensive review of the 12 MCH Leadership Competencies. Major areas of change include:

  1. Main Menu:  Streamlined current language for brevity and added a section helping users to understand the importance of the self-assessment process and how it should be viewed as a learning opportunity itself. 
  2. Competency Pages:  Streamlined the amount of questions that users have to fill out, while still addressing all sub-competencies and perceived level of importance. 
  3. Personalized Learning Plan:  Streamlined the plan, both in length and in the number of learning opportunities provided while still customizing learning based on user’s knowledge and skills. 


MCH Workforce Development Center - Now Accepting Student Applications for the 2019 Title V MCH Internship Program!

The National Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Workforce Development Center is accepting student applications for the Title V MCH Internship Program from January 7th, 2019 through February 8th, 2019. The aim of the Title V MCH Internship Program is to provide future MCH professionals with experience working in state Title V agencies, with mentorship and guidance from Title V agency preceptors. The ‘team’ aspect of the program allows students to engage and contribute together under the guidance of the agency preceptor and also to learn new knowledge and skills from each other.

For more information visit https://mchwdc.unc.edu/mch-internships/ Exit Disclaimer
or contact Cindy San Miguel at csanmig2@uic.edu

View the Title V MCH Internship Program Flyer


Grantee Highlights

Michigan Child Collaborative Care Program (MC3) - Connect Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program

The Michigan Child Collaborative Care Program (MC3) provides access to mental health consultation for primary care providers (PCPs) treating children, youth and pregnant women. This includes same-day phone consultation for PCPs with University of Michigan Child, Adolescent, and Perinatal Psychiatrists (CAPPs); remote tele-psychiatric evaluation of patients and families requiring a more in-depth assessment; coordination of care and brief treatments using a statewide network of masters prepared Behavioral Health Consultants (BHCs); group case consultation wherein multiple providers can discuss a number of cases in a single session and web-based mental health education for enrolled providers.

MC3-Connect, a partnership between the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, will enrich the current MC3 Program in the following ways:  

  1. EXPANSION: Expansion throughout the state of Michigan including to tribal populations of rural Upper Peninsula (UP), and those in “the thumb” and surrounding counties of the Lower Peninsula; minorities in underserved urban and rural counties; and Hispanic and Latino seasonal migrant workers from these areas. The expansion will also incorporate school-based Child and Adolescent Health Centers (CAHCs) in Michigan.
  2. EDUCATION: Using the MC3 infrastructure, additional trainings using webinars and group case-consultations will be developed, tailored, and delivered to school-based health providers, PCPs, and medical trainees with content based on the didactic domains most needed. Michigan State University (MSU), a land grant university with seven community campuses and hundreds of clinical sites across the state of Michigan, will train the next generation of providers. Webinars will be developed in: suicide assessment/safety planning, substance use, autism, trauma and preschool mental health.
  3. LINKAGE: MC3-Connect will link the MC3 program to other current initiatives at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University (MSU), and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) that provide training for clinicians in evidence-based interventions. In this way, MC3-Connect will serve as a “hub” leveraging these available programs to its expansive network of providers.
    : MC3-Connect will harness the power of the MC3 BHCs to assist school-based Child and Adolescent Health Center providers in incorporating mental health and substance use screening into their practice workflow, and to connect at-risk youth to community and MC3 resources.
    Primary Care
    : MC3 faculty and staff currently work with primary care providers to implement workflow procedures that include mental health and developmental screening, and when appropriate, referral to MC3. The MC3-Connect screening in primary care will expand support for Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) screening of postpartum mothers in pediatric offices, with referral of high-risk women for MC3 phone consultation. Additionally, the MC3 team will work with pilot PCP sites to screen for high-risk mother-child dyads using the Relational Health Screen Tool to enhance resilience and promote attachment security. This screening/intervention tool is commonly used in dyads where there is a history of maternal trauma, mental illness, or addiction to prevent intergenerational transmission of trauma and resulting physical, emotional and psychiatric issues in children.
For additional information on the Michigan Child Collaborative Care-Connect Program, contact Debra A. Pinals, MD, Project Director at PinalsD@michigan.gov.    


logo for Brenner-Wake-ForestDeveloping a Pediatric Telemental Health Network for Rural Alabama (PMHCA)

The Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) is a recent recipient of one of HRSA’s grants to develop a Pediatric Mental Health Care Access (PMHCA) Program. The Department of Mental Health, led by Commissioner Lynn Beshear, provides extensive services to Alabamians with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders.

The purpose of the PMHCA Program is to promote behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care by supporting the development of new or improvement of existing statewide pediatric mental health care telehealth access programs. To implement the Program, a collaboration was formed between ADMH and Children’s of Alabama, a private, not-for-profit medical center providing specialized medical care for ill and injured children.

Children’s of Alabama, through the Ireland Center, provides a full array of behavioral health services in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Services are delivered by a multidisciplinary team of child/adolescent psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, therapists, and nurses. Children’s of Alabama also operates the Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC), located in the emergency department of the hospital. PIRC is a confidential psychiatric response center designed to assist patients, their loved ones and/or caregivers, and community providers in finding the appropriate level of mental health care. These services are provided via telephone or in person by licensed mental health clinicians trained to assess a child or teen’s mental, emotional, and behavioral needs and recommend the best treatment options. Children’s of Alabama is ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and offers an array of both inpatient and outpatient services. Other collaborators include the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health Evaluation Team, and the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The Project is led by Jane Duer, M.Ed., ECSE, who has been employed by ADMH for six years as the Coordinator of Early Intervention Services. Jane is co-author and Project Director for the Alabama Pediatric Telemental Health Network, and in that role provides oversight, contract management, and administrative liaison with HRSA. Susan Griffin, LICSW, PIP, CHCQM, with Children’s of Alabama, is the Project Manager, and has responsibility for daily oversight and implementation of the Program, ensuring that all clinical and administrative activities of the Program are carried out, and that all performance expectations and goals are clear and met according to the program description.

The Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program has two main elements to be implemented over the next five years:

  • To develop a clinical network of pediatric primary care practices who will work closely with the Children’s of Alabama mental health team to deliver telemental health (Clinical Telemental Health Network). The Network will provide direct consultation and guidance using a team of mental health professionals and primary care providers, as well as mental health consultations for patients via videoconferencing for comprehensive health care management. The model will capitalize on the long established pediatric periodicity schedule of preventative and interventional care for a child from birth through adolescence.
  • To provide/conduct broad group education of primary care providers and other health professionals via the Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model (Group Telementoring). Through this evidence-based telementoring program, interactive relationships will be formed with many providers across Alabama to disseminate subspecialty knowledge. Children’s of Alabama is partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics to replicate the ECHO model. Educational programming will be open to primary care providers as well as other behavioral health professionals, Department of Public Health social workers, school counselors and nurses, and other interested individuals. Children’s of Alabama will also provide continuing education credits for participating professionals.

Children’s of Alabama has established internal mental health teams who will be providing both the telementoring and telemedicine components of the Program. Curriculum content is being developed to enable the Program to commence its first ECHO session in the third quarter of 2019. The Program is modeled after a telemedicine project that was implemented between Children’s of Alabama through Dr. Tommy Vaughan, a child/adolescent psychiatrist, the Department of Mental Health, and Dr. Marsha Raulerson, a pediatrician in rural Brewton, Alabama. This model has served over 500 children during the past 15 years and will be the basis for development and expansion of telehealth activities outlined for the Program. Current activities include conducting a needs assessment with pediatricians statewide, assisted by the Alabama chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Evaluation Team, as well as identifying pediatricians in Alabama’s rural counties who wish to partner with us to join the Pediatric Telemental Health Network Program. This five-year project represents a unique collaboration between many stakeholders who are serving the children of Alabama, and whose goal is to improve access to quality behavioral health care services for Alabama’s underserved children, particularly in rural areas of the state.

Trainee Highlights

Julie Miller

Nutrition Trainee, University of California, Berkeley

Julie is currently pursuing her doctorate in public health with an emphasis in public health nutrition. Her research investigates nutritional strategies for disease prevention and health promotion among infants. This blog highlights her experience becoming a Certificated Lactation Educator Counselor through the UCSD Extension Lactation Educator Counselor Training Program.

Breastfeeding is one of the world’s greatest public health interventions. As a registered dietitian and DrPH student, I knew of the benefits of breastfeeding but little about how to support and interact with breastfeeding mothers. In order to address that gap in knowledge, I enrolled in the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Extension Lactation Educator Counselor Training Program in fall 2018. Thanks to the generous support of the MCH Nutrition Trainee Grant, I completed the online course and am now officially a Certificated Lactation Educator Counselor.  

The UCSD program prepares health professionals and other interested people to become breastfeeding educators. The program is comprehensive. In addition to providing education on how to promote breastfeeding, the program teaches students how to interact in the breastfeeding situation, assist breastfeeding mothers, identify and address breastfeeding issues, and provide emotional support to breastfeeding mothers. Topics include anatomy and physiology of lactation, prenatal education, hospital care during the postpartum period, common concerns and solutions, and breastfeeding equipment. Over the course of eleven weeks, students watch online lectures, complete homework assignments, take quizzes, visit breastfeeding classes and support groups in the surrounding community, and for the final project, create breastfeeding education lesson plans.

Breastfeeding is not a one-woman job. To succeed, it requires support from government, communities, the healthcare system, workplaces, and families. I would highly recommend this program. Although it is rigorous and time-consuming—ten hours per week for eleven weeks—it is worthwhile. There is a dire need for trained breastfeeding counselors and educators, and the UCSD program helps satisfy this need.


Trainee Ambassador GroupErika Dennis “Time With TAG”

My time as an Ambassador on the 2018 Trainee Ambassador Group (TAG) has been well served, and I enjoyed working closely with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau Division of MCH Workforce Development (DMCHWD). As I take a moment to reflect, this experience is one that I will never forget and I am truly honored to have been a part of this leadership development opportunity. For the past year, I have witnessed the collaborative efforts of my colleagues on the TAG. Each Ambassador offered a new and unique perspective that allowed the TAG to develop priority goals that we strived to accomplish throughout the year. Virtual collaboration and networking with my colleagues was a vital component for the success of the 2018-2019 cohort. Lastly, I want extend warm thanks to our mentors from the DMCHWD, for their time, willingness, and enthusiasm that allowed the ideas of Ambassadors to come to fruition.


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