happy children, mother and child, and expecting mother and father

Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Nutrition

Web Site: University of Tennessee Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Betsy Haughton, Ph.D., RD
University of Tennessee
School of Nutrition
1215 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN  37996-4505
Phone: (856) 974-6267
FAX: (856) 974-3491
Email: haughton@utk.edu


Obesity, disparities, poor eating patterns, low breastfeeding rates, and sedentary lifestyles impact MCH health, especially young children. Graduate training, TA/collaboration and continuing education targeting family-centered and population-focused practices can address these problems.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Promote a culturally competent MCH nutrition workforce Objective 1: Graduate at least 2 master- and/or doctorate-level funded trainees and 8 non-funded trainees annually Objective 2: Webcast two day Promoting Healthy Weight colloquia for 50 on-site attendees and at least 200 on-line participants by 2009; 600 on-line participants by 2013 Objective 3: Provide Community Leadership for Healthy Lifestyles annually as an online graduate course for at least 15 students in the TN Public Health Workforce Development Consortium, on-campus, and the University of Alabama, Birmingham Goal 2: Support the MCH nutrition infrastructure through collaboration, technical assistance and consultation Objective 1: Collaborate with at least 2 Title V/MCH-related agencies as technical assistance and continuing education annually Objective 2: Collaborate annually with ASTPHND on its continuing education needs assessment, annual meeting planning, and scholarship program Objective 3: Provide at least 2 contributions to the MCH Nutrition Program website annually Goal 3: Generate and translate MCH nutrition research, particularly about overweight/obesity Objective 1: All funded trainees and at least half of other trainees will engage in 1 or more MCH nutrition-related research or scholarly projects supervised by faculty annually Objective 2: Publish a faculty average of at least 1 manuscript, technical report, book/book chapter, or electronic educational product annually. Objective 3: Submit at least 1 research presentation or manuscript by 100% of funded Master's trainees; at least 1 research presentation and manuscript by 100% of doctoral trainees prior to graduation Goal 4: Develop culturally and linguistically competent MCH nutrition leaders who use evidence-based family-centered care and population-based practices Objective 1: 100% of trainees improve their overall MCH leadership competence by at least one skill level category on the MCH Leadership Self-Assessment upon entry to and graduation from the program Objective 2: At least 90% of alumni demonstrate MCH nutrition leadership as academics, clinical, public health, or advocacy within 5 years of graduation


Graduate degree education and training in MCH/public health nutrition with concurrent and block field experience Biannual conference as webcast and archive on promoting healthy weight gain for infants and weight for MCH population using nutrition, physical activity and parenting skills across the Bright Futures developmental stages. Target audience: practitioners, trainees, researchers, family and community members. On-line graduate course on promoting healthy lifestyles using a community-based planning model. Based on the Blueprint for Nutrition and Physical Activity. Target audience: University of Tennessee students, University of Alabama-Birmingham trainees, and TN Public Health Workforce Consortium students. Collaboration with MCH training programs through the collaborative nutrition website, including online train-the-trainer module on cultural competence, Promoting Healthy Weight colloquia. Circulation of US DHHS Regions I-IV nutrition position announcements Collaboration with ASTPHND on its Trainining Needs Assessment and Annual Meeting Planning committees Dissemination of research by faculty and trainees Cultural competency workshops for trainees and all Nutrition graduate students Leadership development of funded trainees through faculty mentoring and Project activities; Leadership promotion of all trainees through completion of online MCH Leadership Skills Development Series and group discussions.


National Advisory Committee Knox County Health Department East Tennessee Children's Hospital Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities Field sites for graduate training MCH nutrition training programs ASTPHND and Regions I-IV state health departments


Trainee performance is evaluated as course grades, comprehensive oral or written final exams, joint assessment of field practice by trainees and preceptors, and analysis of fieldwork or thesis. Colloquia and continuing education will be evaluated in relation to learning objectives and outreach. Leadership will be evaluated as practice 5 years after graduation.

Experience to Date:

This year to date we enrolled 11 new trainees, continued 12, and graduated 7. Five funded trainees developed their leadership skills through Project activities. We provided a cultural competence workshop for 18 graduate students, 2 staff members, and 1 Project faculty and additional training for trainees. We continued the biannual Promoting Healthy Weight Colloquium series. Each colloquium focuses on a Bright Futures developmental stage and includes nutrition, physical activity and parenting content. Our Fall and Spring colloquia had 559 registrants (49 onsite; 201 online Fall; and 75 onsite; 283 online Spring). All colloquia are archived online. We provided TA/consultation for the ASTPHND training needs assessment and planning its annual meeting. We developed a collaborative diversity recruitment consultation project with Morgan State University in Baltimore. We collaborated with the University of Alabama-Birmingham's nutrition program by offering the online course for its trainees and our students and giving presentations at the Pediatric Nutrition Conference. We developed a collaborative Leadership Training Network for Emerging Leaders in MCH Nutrition who live east of the Rocky Mountains. Faculty and trainees published MCH research, participated in developing practice guidelines, and presented at professional meetings. Our alumni are MCH leaders, particularly in academics and public policy.

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