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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Leadership Education Excellence in Pediatric Nutrition

Project Director(s):

Bonnie A. Spear, Ph.D.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Pediatrics Adolescent
1616 6th Ave. S
Birmingham, AL  35233-1788
Phone: (205) 939-6299
FAX: (205) 975-7307
Email: bspear@peds.uab.edu


With the significant increase in childhood obesity, more trained providers are needed in prevention and treatment with an emphasis in behavioral counseling. Providing training for nutrition professionals to assume leadership roles is critical in meeting the nutritional needs of the MCH population.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: To support family-centered, culturally competent, community-based nutritional care for the MCH population by providing long-term leadership training of nutritional professionals. Objective 1: To annually provide didactic, clinical, public health, research training that is culturally diverse and family centered to long, medium and sort-term nutrition trainees. Goal 2: To develop and provide two continuing education opportunities to the provider community which focuses on MCH nutrition. Objective 1: To provide an Intensive Course in Pediatric Nutrition, annually. Objective 2: To provide a Child and Adolescent Weigh Management and Behavioral Counseling Institute, annually. Objective 3: To provide CE presentations as requested. Goal 3: To provide technical assistance/consultation/collaboration to MCH agencies and health professionals at the national regional, state and community levels. Objective 1: To remain an integral member of the UAB MCH Collaborative Network and work with other faculy and trainees of MCHB funded progams. Objective 2: To provide > 10 TA activities for to Title V and MHC agencies at the state, regional and national level. Objective 3: To provide TA activities for members of the MCH community at the local, state and national levels


The MCH nutrition Project brings together the numerous UAB, State, Regional and national MCH resources, the UAB MCH Collaborative Network and the MCH Nutrition Consortium to implement this training program. Long-term training includes a two semester didactic curriculum in conjunction with other MCHB training programs and includes experiential activities and involvement in community programs. The MCH Collaborative Network and the MCH Nutrition Consortium provide trainees with opportunities to interact with trainees from a variety of disciplines and develop research skills through research roundtables and discussion. Trainees also complete primary and tertiary care clinical training and participate in community based initiatives (e.g., obesity task forces, HEAL- school-based intervention). Additionally, the project sponsors an Intensive Course in Pediatric Nutrition and developed and implemented a Child and Adolescent Weight Management and Behavioral Counseling Institute that will involve other MCH nutrition training programs nationwide. This institute will provide advanced training that has been identified as a need in the pediatric community. Special emphasis will be placed on training individuals to work with children with special health care needs.


This project is linked closely with the other 4 MCH Training Programs at UAB, the UAB MCH Collaborative Network, ASU MCH Pipeline program, MCH Nutrition Consortium, local-state- regional-and national Title V agencies and Alabama Department of Public Health to provide long-term training, CE activities and Technical Assistance.


The evaluation is multi-faceted. Long-term trainees are evaluated according to their individualized training plan, checklists, pre/post clinical evaluation and presentations. Intensive Course participants complete evaluations of the program as well perceived skills. Counseling Institute participants have pre- post-evaluation of taped interviews, peer evaluation of interviews and self-perceived skill level pre/post and 6 months post. CE and TA are evaluated by recipients.

Experience to Date:

Over the past year, 1) We have recruited 3 long-term trainees who completed their MS in clinical nutrition. They presented research posters at the National Dietetic convention SAHM . 2) The Alabama MCH Collaborative Network continues to meet monthly to work on joint projects, provide training opportunities for trainees/fellows, plan joint seminars as well as continue to support our Diversity Collaborative. Joint classes address the MCHB leadership competencies and the variety of training experiences have allowed trainees to interact with other disciplines and other programs across the state. 3) Continue to collaborate with the Univ of Tenn MCHB training program, to teach a semester course entitled Community Based Leadership; for Healthy Lifestyles. This allows trainees to interact with trainees from other programs. 4) The Intensive Course in Pediatric Nutrition was held February 20-23. We had 115 participants from 17 states with 45% from public health, 50% clinical & 5% other. 5) We have ended the behavioral counseling course and began to collaborate with Training programs from Univ. Tenn, Univ. MN, & Baylor College Med to develop a leadership training program for emerging public health leaders (EML). This training includes 6 months of leadership modules with monthly phone calls to discuss, an advocacy project and individual leadership coaching. 11 EML are part of the first cohort and began July, 2011. 6) Numerous book chapters and publications have been completed.

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