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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Leadership Training in Pediatric Nutrition

Web Site: University of California, San Diego Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Diane M. Anderson, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego
Pediatric Neonatology
6621 Fannin Street
MC WT 6-104
Houston, TX  77030-2303
Phone: (832) 826-1346
FAX: (832) 825-2799
Email: dianea@bcm.tmc.edu


The purpose is to train Maternal and Child Health (MCH) leaders in the unique nutrition management needs of medical high-risk infants. Three types of training programs will be offered. The programs will be targeted to the specific needs of trainees to facilitate their MCH leadership development.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: The goal is to provide skilled manpower to meet the nutritional demands of infants to ensure optimal quality of life. The MCH health care providers will become leaders in advocacy of nutrition care. Objective 1: Four registered dietitians will complete the three-month neonatal nutrition fellowship each year. Objective 2: Twelve nutritionists will participate in the one-week neonatal nutrition update practicum each year exposing them to experiences/discussions which will build their leadership and analytic capacity for assessment, planning, service delivery and evaluation. Objective 3: At least 150 MCH health care providers will attend the annual 3-day conference each year.


There are 3 programs to train Maternal Child Health (MCH) leaders in nutrition. Program 1 is the 3 month neonatal fellowship program for registered dietitians. Neonatal nutrition principles and their clinical applications are covered. The program consists of assigned readings with discussions and completion of case studies, presentations and projects. Leadership development activities are incorporated into the program. Clinical activities take place in the hospital and medical home clinics. The 2nd program is the 1 week neonatal practicum for dietitians who work with high-risk infants in the hospital or in community settings. Daily discussions with neonatologists and neonatal nutritionists to review nutrition support take place. Reference texts and pertinent articles are made available and practical experience in the newborn intensive care unit is provided. The 3rd program is a 3 day neonatal nutrition conference designed for MCH health care professionals. Networking occurs among this multidisciplinary audience. A syllabus containing each presentation is provided. Family centered care is a focus of all training programs. Prevention, assessment and treatment of pediatric obesity are incorporated into the programs. Recruitment of participants is by national advertisement of the programs. All programs will be evaluated and this information will be used to plan future programs. Continuing education credit is provided for each program.


Advisory Planning Committee: Federal MCHB, Texas Department of Health, Early Childhood Education, U Arkansas LEND, U of Iowa, Medical University of SC, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, UMN, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center-Honolulu. Leadership Activities: BCM Leadership in Adolescence Health Program and with the Leadership Education in MCH Nutrition Programs from Indiana University, University of MN, University of Tennessee, University of AL at Birmingham, University of California LA.


Written evaluations are submitted at the end of each training program and approximately 6 weeks after the courses are completed by the participants. These evaluations identify the strengths and weaknesses, and suggest needed changes for subsequent programs. How the participants are using the information presented at the training sessions in their work settings is described. Long-term trainees are tracked for 5 years to collect information for performance measures.

Experience to Date:

• 4 registered dietitians (RDs) completed the neonatal nutrition fellowship, 2 are employed as neonatal RDs, 1 is a state level WIC consultant, and 1 is interviewing for a MCH position • 13 RDs who work with medically high-risk infants completed the one week practicum • 190 MCH health care providers attended neonatal nutrition conference • All programs addressed unique nutrition management needs of medical high-risk infants. • All programs included MCH leadership development; and the prevention, assessment and treatment of pediatric obesity.

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