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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Center for MCH Leadership in Public Health

Project Director(s):

Mark S Friedman, Ph.D
Director, Office of Research
University of Pittsburgh
130 DeSoto St.
Pittsburgh, PA  15260-3100
Phone: (412) 383-2162
Email: msf11@pitt.edu


Our program addresses a variety of health and psychsocial problems experienced by women and children. Our primary mission is to prepare social work public health students to enter leadership roles in the MCH field to positive impact the health of these individuals.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Train social workers for leadership positions in maternal and child health systems Objective 1: Develop appropriate course requirements and sequencing for students with a primary interest in MCH, leading to an MPH degree in Behavioral and Community Health Objective 2: Provide structured MCH related work experiences and projects as part of student training Goal 2: Provide interdisciplinary training in public health as part of MSW-MPH program and to social work doctoral students as part of formal Center for MCH Leadership in PHSW Program with School of Soc Work Objective 1: Provide academic public health training leading to a PhD in Social Work as part of the formal joint program between the School of Public Health and Social Work Objective 2: Engage community-based MCH professionals in the teaching and mentoring of trainees Goal 3: Provide technical assistance in the areas of program evaluation, program planning and data management to local and regional maternal and child health programs Objective 1: Announce and promote availability of service Objective 2: Receive and screen requests Objective 3: Develop plan and provide technical assistance with faculty and student teams Goal 4: Provide support as appropriate to continuing education programs for social workers and other professionals in public health and maternal and child health positions Objective 1: Develop curriculum materials and continuing education training modules, which are appropriate for use in academic programs or in field-based continuing education sites Objective 2: Provide technical assistance to MCH systems (Title V agencies and others) through the form of advice and consultation on program planning, evaluation, and data management issues Objective 3: Conduct evaluation studies with student team involvement Goal 5: Conduct and promote applied research and program evaluations in conjunction with local and regional MCH programs designed to improve MCH policy development, program planning, and service delivery Objective 1: Manage and conduct a variety of MCH related applied research and program evaluation activities on which students receive practical experience Objective 2: Offer technical assistance to various public health and social welfare organizations


The program is based in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and provides academic public health training (leading to the Master's Degree in Public Health) to experienced professional social workers and to students in the MSW-MPH joint degree program. A major role of the program is also to provide technical assistance and consultation to Maternal and Child Health systems (Title V agencies and others). This technical assistance primarily takes the form of advice and consultation by faculty members and student trainee teams on program planning, evaluation, and data management issues. The project manages and conducts a variety of MCH related applied research and program evaluation activities on which students receive practical experience. The program provides limited support as feasible for continuing education for social workers and other MCH professionals in public health. This has been accomplished in recent years through financial support and coordination with other training programs.


The project has close working relationships with the MCH Title V Programs in the Allegheny County Health Department and PA Department of Public Health and collaborates with the HRSA funded Pennsylvania-Ohio Public Health Training in coordinating continuing ed activities for regional public health professionals. There has been enhanced collaboration with the School of Social Work and the MCH Leadership Training program.


We closely monitor recruitment of an appropriate number of students, targeting under-represented minorities, timely program completion, trainee employment and career development. Students regularly provide evalutive feedback to the program director. We also ask collaborating organizations for evaluative feedback on a regular basis. Continuing education activities are evaluated by questionnaires about the content, presentations, and an overall activity assessment.

Experience to Date:

We had 11 students in our training program of whom four graduated. We continued to collaborate with a wide variety of MCH agencies and organizations including but not limited to Pittsburgh Healthy Start, Inc., Primary Care Health Services, Magee Women's Hospital Tertiary Care Center for MCH obstetrics and high-risk pediatrics for infants. We provided technical assistance for LEND of Pittsburgh (Autism Disscemination Program), Pittsburgh Health Start, Inc., The National Healthy Start Interconceptional Learning Community, Center for Minority Health (University of Pittsburgh), Allegheny County Health Department, Alliance For Infants, Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center at Penn State, Pennsylvania Public Health Training Center, University of Pittsburgh. Finally, five publications and five theses.

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