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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Leadership Education Excellence in Pediatric Nutrition

Project Director(s):

Karyl A. Rickard, Ph.D., R.D.
Indiana University
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
Coleman 224
1140 West Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN  46202-5130
Phone: (317) 274-9910
FAX: (317) 278-3940
Email: krickard@iupui.edu


Nutrition is integral to the health of the whole child and has a vital role in assuring a bright future for children as health care moves to disease prevention and health promotion. The project advances pediatric nutrition and leadership skills of RDs/nutritionists and health professionals.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Leadership development in MCH Nutrition (pediatric focus), i.e., train RDs/nutritionists for leadership roles in MCH nutrition. Objective 1: Annually, provide 2 to 4 MCH nutrition (pediatric focus) fellowships, 6 to 12 months, 2 FTE, to RDs/nutritionists who show promise for becoming leaders in the MCH field. Objective 2: Annually, provide 8 RDs/nutritionists including fellows an e-learning Leadership in MCH Nutrition/Pediatric Nutrition Graduate Certificate Program, 9 months. Goal 2: Continuing education for the provider community Objective 1: Develop a network of state MCH nutrition leaders in the Midwest who will create and participate in networking, communicating and an annual meeting/continuing education related to cutting edge issues in MCH nutrition and leadership in collaboration with ASTPHND Objective 2: Develop Bright Futures in Practice: Nutrition online educational modules for nutrition and other health professionals -- yrs 1 & 2 develop online prototype and thereafter develop remaining age related modules in collaboration with other Leadership Education in MCH Nutrition programs (MN, AL). Objective 3: Host in Indianapolis one national/regional 4 day Institute entitled the Child and Adolescent Weight Management and Behavioral Counseling Institute, Director, Dr. Bonnie Spear---Year 5. Goal 3: National, regional and state consultation and technical assistance Objective 1: Annually, provide >25 consultations/technical assistance to national, regional and local organizations and agencies representing pediatrics, MCH, dietetics and education related to aspects of MCH and pediatric nutrition such as standards of care, assessment, education, training guidelines, research. Objective 2: Annually, participate, with the Riley MCH Partners in Leadership Education, in providing at least 25 consultations/technical assistance to state MCH and related communities


Core training occurs at Riley Hospital for Children (IN Univ Sch of Medicine), a 265 bed tertiary care referral hospital, in intensive care nurseries and age related units (infant through teen), developmental pediatric follow up program and other community based clinics. Clinical fellowships (6-12 mos) provide didactic (10 hrs/wk) and guided clinical experiences (30 hrs/wk) that assist RDs/nutritionists in obtaining MCH nutrition (pediatric focus) competencies related to mothers, infants, children, adolescents and special health needs. The last two months provide specialty competencies in one of three areas: (1) newborns in intensive care and high risk infants; (2) children with special health needs; and (3) adolescents with special health needs including diabetes. An online clinical e-learning certificate program (Leadership Development in MCH Nutrition (Pediatric focus, 9 mos) will be provided for RDs in their local setting. RDs/nutritionists and other health professionals in the nat'l/regional CE workshops will attain varying degrees of competence, depending on their background, education and experience. Competency levels range from awareness/orientation, to knowledge and skill development in leadership and cutting edge issues in MCH nutrition such as pediatric overweight and obesity.


Learning experiences are coordinated with MCH programs based at Riley Hospital (Comprehensive Development Pediatric Care for Infants and Children with Special Health Needs; IN Program for Inborn Errors of Metabolism), two other Riley MCH Leadership training programs, IN State Department of Health, MCH Program. Riley MCH Partners in Leadership Educn, a partnership of three MCH leadership training programs (MCH Nutrition, LEND, LEAH), facilitate state leadership training and consultation


Preceptors evaluate fellow's achievement of competencies wkly (informal), monthly and at the end of the fellowship. Fellows with faculty advisor create individual leadership development plans with timelines. Participants in CE workshops for leadership development complete pre/post reflection activities related to their ability to use leadership behaviors and practices. Beliefs related to leadership in health care before and after the workshops and shifts in assumptions are determined.

Experience to Date:

Two RDs/nutritionists completed a MCH nutrition (pediatric focus) fellowship (6 mos). Eight with fellows completed the e-learning 'Leadership in MCH/Pediatric Nutrition graduate certificate program (9 mos). A 'Midwest Leaders in MCH Nutrition Network' (n=22 leaders, 8 states) was created in partnership with ASTPHND for networking, sharing and CE related to cutting edge issues in MCH. Thirteen MCH Nutrition Network leaders participated in a 'Leadership in MCH' coaching program (6 mos) in collaboration with UIC (Kris Risley). Fifteen leaders in the MCH Nutrition Network attended the Annual Network Workshop/Meeting June 4-5 in Indianapolis. A regional 'Interdisciplinary Leadership Education for Health Professionals' workshop (3 days) was provided with LEAH and LEND for 15 interdisciplinary health professionals/fellows (RDs, MDs, RNs, Swers, psychologists). CE (plenary sessions & workshops) related to MCH/Pediatric Nutrition, leadership and family centered care was provided for a total of 1628 CE participants in 24 CE sessions (primary target audience: 8% state, 8% regional, 83% national). Technical assistance (TA) and collaboration was provided for 93 TA recipients with 990 collaboration activities (61% within state; 4% regional; 35% national) to MCH/Title V programs/populations, professional organizations and others. Of these, ~ 30 were provided with the Riley MCH Partners in Leadership Education for MCH and other related practice communities in the state.

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