Competency 1: MCH Knowledge Base/Context
Maternal and child health (MCH) is a specialty area within the larger field of public health, distinguished by:
- Promotion of the health and wellbeing
of all women, children,
adolescents/young adults, and
families, especially in geographically
isolated and economically or
medically vulnerable populations.
Particular attention is directed to the
MCH population domains: maternal/
women's health, adolescent/young
adult health, perinatal/infant health,
children with special health care
needs, child health, and crosscutting/
- A focus on individuals as well as the
families, communities, populations,
and systems of care in communities
that support these individuals.
- A life course perspective as an organizing framework that acknowledges distinct periods
in human development and presents both risks and opportunities for interventions to
make lasting improvements.
MCH leaders will demonstrate a working knowledge of:
- MCH populations and the history and current structure of the key MCH programs
serving these populations, including state Title V programs.
- The core values and strategic objectives with a special focus on:
- Individuals and populations
- Life course, including key transitions and intergenerational influences on health
- Cultural competence
- Family-professional partnerships
- Organizational/interagency partnerships
- Community-based systems of services
- Health equity and elimination of health disparities
- Evidence-based practice
- The services available through major MCH programs and their limitations and gaps.
- Key policies that affect MCH populations.
- The underlying principles of public health, population data collection, and analysis as well as the strengths, limitations, and utility of such data.
- The role of federal, state, and local government in ensuring equitable healthcare for
women, children, youth, families, and children and youth with special health care needs
- The synergistic relationship between programs focusing on particular populations or
communities and those focusing on individual health service delivery.
Foundational. At a foundational level, MCH leaders will:
- Describe MCH populations and provide examples of MCH programs, including Title V programs.
- Describe the utility of a systems approach in understanding the interaction of individuals, groups, organizations, and communities in health outcomes.
- Use data to identify issues related to the health status of a particular MCH population group and use these to develop or evaluate policy.
- Describe health disparities within MCH populations and offer strategies to address them.
- Evaluate critically evidence-based programs and policies for translation of research to practice.
- Understand the value of partnering with family- and community-led organizations
to identify ways to engage families and community members in efforts to improve
programs, policies, and practices.
Advanced. Building on the foundational skills, MCH leaders will:
- Demonstrate the use of a systems approach to examine the interactions among individuals, groups, organizations, and communities.
- Assess the effectiveness of an existing program for specific MCH population groups.
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