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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health

Web Site: University of Washington Project Exit Disclaimer

Grantee Product(s):

Project Director(s):

Colleen E Huebner, PhD
University of Washington
Health Services Department / School of Public Health Post Office Box 357230
Seattle, WA  98195-7230
Phone: (206) 685-9852
FAX: (206) 616-8370
Email: colleenh@u.washington.edu


This program develops leadership in public health to advance the health and well-being of families and children in the NW and nationally. We achieve this by creating new knowledge about current problems and by collaborating with community and governt partners to improve systems, program, policies.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Train effective leaders in MCH by combining explicit leadership skill and interdisciplinary training with rigorous, research-based study in the Public Health Science of Health Services or Epidemiology Objective 1: The MCH Program will educate 30 Master of Public Health students ("long-term trainees") in its in-residence or Extended Degree MPH (distance learning option) programs per year and graduate approximaely 15 each year. Objective 2: Within 5 years, 90% of graduates will be in positions of leadership. Objective 3: The MCH Program will demonstrate its commitment to developing long-term field leadership training through representation in regional and national efforts to define and promote MCH leadership and workforce competencies. On average, 2 faculty per year will participate in these activities. Goal 2: To support the continuing education and development needs of MCH practitioners in the NW by serving as a regional resource for continuing education, distance learning, consultation, and TA in MCH. Objective 1: Provide at least 12 instances of technical assistance to MCH agencies per year. Objective 2: We will continue to publish the "Northwest Bulletin: Family and Child Health" and distribute it to MCH practitioners throughout the Northwest (at least 2 issues per year). Objective 3: In the next 5 years, the UW MCH Program will collaborate with other MCH-SPH programs on professional deelopment materials. Goal 3: Assist our Title V partners, community and child advocates in Region X and other Northwestern states through information sharing and data development. Objective 1: Each year, two faculty participate as expert advisors to Title V initiative. Objective 2: All students in the Program will be given training in lobbying, media skills, and the use of data for public education. Goal 4: Develop and disseminate new knowledge through research and analysis of known and emerging problems that affect MCH populations and othr hlth policy issues related to service for children and families. Objective 1: On average, MCH faculty will publish at least 3 peer-reviewed articles per year in important areas of MCH. Objective 2: More than one-third of student theses will be published or presented at peer-reviewed professional or scientific conferences. Objective 3: On average, each core faculty member will serve as a manuscript or conference reviewer for 4 or more scientific articles or meetings per year. Goal 5: Program Faculty will build awareness of the importance of MCH Public Health in the health and well-being of children, families and communities and increase support of MCH funding, including training. Objective 1: The MCH Program will maintain an advisory board that includes one or more parents of a child with special health care needs to ensure our outreach and public education efforts are meaningful to this segment of the population. Objective 2: The Program will be a voice for MCH public health in policy activities at the state, regional, and national levels.


Our main training activity is graduate education of public health specialists leading to the degree of Master of Public Health (MPH). At the University of Washington, an MPH with an emphasis in MCH requires two years of coursework and a thesis. A practicum experience in a public or community non-profit agency is also required. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds including medicine, psychiatry, nursing and social work. Our core faculty spans pediatrics, nursing, social work, obstetrics, nutrition, physical therapy, epidemiology, and child psychology. The majority of our students specialize in the Department of Health Services, the remainder in the Department of Epidemiology. In addition to the in-residence program, we offer an MPH through the eMPH Program, as a part-time, three-year program. Most eMPH students are full-time employees of public health agencies located throughout the Western States. Two other pathways are available. Advanced students in Health Services can choose a concentration in MCH that allows them to focus elective credits in a specific subpopulation or content area and pursue a dissertation study under the mentorship of a core member of the MCH faculty. A less intense alternative is a certificate in MCH. The certificate is designed for students outside the MCH Concentration (e.g., General Studies) and students in degree programs outside the School of Pulic Health (e.g., Nursing or Psychology)


MCH faculty provide consultation and technical assistance to a variety of public and community agencies at the local, state, national, and international level. The faculty organizes and participates in continuing education programs for professionals from many MCH-related disciplines. Through membership in community and governmental committees, and task forces, through public statements, and by working with various legislative bodies, faculty serve as advocates for mothers, children, and families


Ongoing and comprehensive evaluation with input from students, alumni, community stakeholders and faculty peers. Confidential written student evaluations of core classes. Annual student-faculty retreat. Electronic survey of graduates that follows their leadership development. Yearly alumni reception for faculty, administrators, and current students to hear from graduates. University faculty evaluate courses routinely. Periodic evaluations by the School of Public Health and the Graduate School.

Experience to Date:

The MCH Program admitted its first class of students in 1985. Since then we have graduated 232 MPH students who have pursued a variety of professional activities. Some have gone on for further academic training; some work for public health and community agencies; and some are faculty member and/or researchers. Currently 23 long-term trainees are enrolled in the MPH program 19 in the in-residence programs and 4 through the Executive Degree Program; 2 students are pursuing an MCH topic within the doctoral training program of the Department of Health Services, and 4 are enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program in MCH.

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