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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Leadership, Legacy, and Community: A Retreat to Advance MCH Scholarship & Practice

Web Site: University of Illinois at Chicago Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Arden Handler, DrPH
University of Illinois at Chicago
M/C 923 School of Public Health/Community Health Sciences 1603 W. Taylor Street
Chicago, IL  60612-4394
Phone: (312) 996-5954
FAX: (312) 996-3551
Email: handler@uic.edu


Leadership, Legacy, and Community is a yearly MCH Leadership Retreat designed to enhance the leadership skills of the intergenerational, interdisciplinary MCH workforce.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Develop an annual professional development retreat that addresses the continuing education needs as well as supports the inherent strengths of interdisciplinary, intergenerational MCH professionals. Objective 1: 100% of retreat registrants will participate in a high-quality professional development program that supports the achievement of the goals outlined in the MCHB strategic plan and the MCH Leadership Competencies 3.0. Objective 2: In each project year, the retreat will register at least 70 interdisciplinary, intergenerational MCH professionals, 20 MCH students, and 10 family leaders.


1) Convene National Retreat Planning Committee between 1-3 times each year to develop the theme, content, and structure of the retreat. 2) Identify an appropriate retreat venue which facilitates the learning in the program. 3) Review existing MCH and leadership literature to identify the most current and cutting edge leadership trainings and MCH content to include in the retreat. 4) Explore next steps around new MCH paradigms and what is needed to translate this knowledge into practice and include in the retreat. 5) Recruit an interdisciplinary, intergenerational group of MCH professionals to attend the retreat. 6) Evaluate the extent to which the retreat meets the needs of program participants. 7) Encourage ongoing dialogue between retreats using a listserv, Facebook, and blog.


Coordination with Title V and other MCH-related organizations is incorporated into retreat planning and the diverse National Retreat Planning Committee.


Throughout the retreat planning process, the UIC MCHP will monitor and document achievement of grant objectives. Attendees will complete evaluation forms for each session they attend and for the overall retreat. Retreat speakers and facilitators will also be asked to complete evaluation for all retreat sessions.

Experience to Date:

During the past year, the UIC MCH Program developed and delivered the 4th annual UIC MCH Leadership, Legacy, and Community Retreat: A Retreat to Advance MCH Scholarship and Practice. 100 MCH professionals including academics and practitioners gathered in Chicago to develop the first ever MCH Leadership and Legacy Community of Practice, to develop leadership skills around breaking down silos, and to learn advocacy skills to support women, children, and families in this difficult economic climate. Evaluation findings indicate the retreat met the needs of MCH professionals and over half of the participants continue to participate in the Community of Practice. The Community of Practice meets quarterly by phone to address some of the most cutting-edge issues that MCH professionals experience today.

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