Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Women's Integrated Systems for Health (WISH) DL Initiative

Web Site: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, MSW
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
NC Institute for Public Health, CB #8165; 400 Roberson
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-8165
Phone: (919) 843-5427
FAX: 919-966-0478


Public health and mental health systems need to be better integrated to improve women's health across the lifespan. The WISH project will deliver distance-based training to public health and mental health providers to better integrate service delivery for women of childbearing age

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Convene the technical experts and organizational leadership to develop a Knowledge Path for the national MCH Library, refine the curricula plan and determine training methodologies by Spring 2011. •Objective 1: Finalize all course material including learning objectives, lectures, interactive content and readings/assignments by May 2011 Objective 2: Engage guest lecturers to record professional grade audio narrated powerpoint presentations using sound studio facilities during March-May 2011 Objective 3: Design a course platform that supports a dynamic, interactive online format by end of Year 1. Goal 2: Develop a competency map with an online individual competency assessment tool and personalized learning plan by Year 2. Objective 1: Adapt the current competency assessment tools available through the Southeast Public Health Training Center to reflect the two major competency frameworks for MCH professionals by May 2012 Objective 2: Review existing courses and training materials that address ATMCH and MCH Leadership competencies, and adapt ASKSPHERE as a portal for generating personal MCH learning plans by August 2012. Objective 3: Goal 3: Establish infrastructure for a sustainable national portal for continuing education for a public health approach to women's mental health by Summer 2011. Objective 1: Complete WISH marketing plan that builds on existing SPHTC, MCH and CMIH continuing education and marketing capacity and communication strategies by the end of Year 1. Objective 2: Integrate all administrative, curricula, technical, instructional design, and participant services features of an open access, self-guided WISH orientation course and academy into SPHTC and Blackboard by end of Year 1. Goal 4: Pilot the WISH orientation during Year 2 and the WISH academy during Year 3. Objective 1: Launch the self-guided, online WISH orientation by end of Winter 2012 Objective 2: Recruit and enroll 25-30 participants in WISH academy in Fall 2012. Objective 3: Goal 5: Implement continuous quality improvement to monitor, evaluate and disseminate information about WISH and sustain a Community of Practice in women's mental health during Year 3. Objective 1: Monitor and evaluate participant experiences with the new curriculum during Years 2 and 3. Objective 2: Develop website to disseminate to regional provider and consumer audiences Objective 3: Convert WISH course content to online skills course in MCH by the end of Project Year 2.


Develop curriculum materials and CE courses, design and execute marketing plan, create open access portal for WISH orientation and enroll first cohort for WISH academy, evaluate efforts, disseminate findings and ensure sustainability.


The program will be coordinated by the SPHTC of the NC Institute for Public Health, in collaboration with the UNC Department of MCH and the Center for Maternal and Infant Health.


The evaluation strategy for WISH encompasses three interrelated areas of program evaluation-process, outcome and impact evaluation-focused on learners, organizations and the field of MCH.

Experience to Date:

Steady progress has been achieved in Year 1 of the WISH initiative. An interdisciplinary technical advisory was convened to refine the conceptual model for the project and all CE products. Based on the recommendations of this group of public health and mental health practitioners, academics, policy advocates and consumers, modifications to the work plan were finalized, the topics and speakers for a 6-webinar series were selected, and an outline for an MCH Knowledge Path based on a national reproductive health framework was adopted. During 2011, a webinar series featuring national, state and local speakers was created to launch the project and introduce major issues and strategies for advancing integrative community approaches to optimize mental and physical health among adolescents and women of reproductive age. All six webinars have been evaluated and are archive accessible through a project portal supported by our project partner, Every Woman Southeast ( As such, WISH is contributing to and benefiting from the growing infrastructure and capacity of Every Woman Southeast, started in 2010 with the goal of developing a multi-state, multi-level partnership to share and develop expertise on preconception/interconception care, policies, research, programs, social marketing, and evaluation to improve the health of women and infants in the Southeast region of the US. WISH Orientation modules have also been initiated to be launched during 2012.

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