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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: MCH Public Health Leadership Institute (MCH-PHLI)

Project Director(s):

Claudia S Fernandez, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
421 Pittsboro Street, 426 Rosenau Hall, CB # 7445
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-7445
Phone: (919) 843-5560
FAX: (919) 966-0458
Email: claudia_fernandez@unc.edu


Traditional management & leadership skills are insufficient to meet today's complex challenges. The national MCH-PHLI uses innovative, valid methods to develop and evaluate sophisticated leadership skills in MCH professional staff and build capacity in MCH programs locally through nationally.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Develop sophisticated individual leadership skills in an annual cadre of MCH Title V and Maternal and Child Health community and public health professionals in mid-to-senior leadership positions. Objective 1: By the end of the intensive Fellowship year participants will demonstrate greater knowledge and behavioral examples of sophisticated leadership skills implementation, including their ability to influence, communicate effectively, and implement critical thinking and decision-making skills. Goal 2: Foster the ability of these MCH leaders to leverage those skills to impact the organizational systems of their home programs. Objective 1: By the end of the intensive Fellowship year participants will provide evidence of how they have impacted their home organization's culture, efficiency, alignment, and/or collaborations. Goal 3: Enhance the ability of these MCH leaders to leverage their organizations to create impact in their community and political MCH systems. Objective 1: Participants will leverage their organizations to impact their community, advocacy, and/or political MCH systems (implemented within 24 months) through their personal leadership projects and will share the results and outcomes of those plans with their MCH-PHLI Fellows cohort and MCH colleagues. Goal 4: Develop a strong network of MCH public health workforce professionals nationally. Objective 1: Fellows will become a Community of Learners, sharing a common identity as MCH-PHLI fellows, with a common vision for leading and managing their organizations, a common leadership language, and similar collaborative skill sets for managing during turbulent times. Goal 5: Build the capacity of MCH Title V, public health & community focused-leadership nationally through a parallel set of activities to address national organizational leadership capacity development. Objective 1: By the end of the collaborator-convening and curriculum approval phase, the MCH-PHLI team and collaborating organizations will have identified a set of tools to create that can be multi-purposed to support leadership development and capacity building. Objective 2: By the end of the third year of funding these tools will be used widely, both in the MCH-PHLI and throughout our collaborating organizations, by being implemented or offered at other regional or national venues in addition to being used in the MCH-PHLI program. Objective 3: By the end of the fifth Fellowship year, our collaborating organizations will benefit from the Fellows' impact plans, either via direct outcome benefits or via shared learning from their impact projects.


The MCH-PHLI is a year-long intensive leadership development program with 3 residential retreats coupled with a 10 customizable-component Continuous Learning System to extend intensive learning to the Fellows' home environment. The Institute provides extensive executive coaching for Fellows, mentoring, and a variety of co-created MCH leadership materials for collaborating Partners (AMCHP, CityMatCH, National Center for Cultural Competence, Family Voices) to disseminate. To date these have included 3 workshops on various leadership topics at the CityMatCH annual meeting and the AMCHP annual meeting. In 2011 six online modules were released to the participating partners. The modules cover a variety of topics and can be made available to their constituents as desired. Fellows design and complete a leadership impact project targeted at their sphere of MCH work/interest. Three of the four Partnering organizations sent Mentees to the program for additional leadership development. Partners will continue to send Fellows to the program in subsequent years to further build their organizational capacity. In 2011 (Aug) MCH PHLI provided a 3-day leadership retreat to the University of AZ LEND program and yearly provides ongoing leadership training to the UNC Leadership Consortium (LEND, Social Work, MCH, Speech & Hearing) programs, furthering the mission of the Institute.


The program is coordinated with the Department of MCH, Instructional and Information Systems in the UNC SPH, AMCHP, the National Center for Cultural Competence, Family Voices, and CityMatCH. Other groups include the UNC Leadership Training Consortium, and NC Title V.


Qualitative and quantitative data indicated a successful program launch. 95.3% of Fellows rated sessions as "Agree" or "Strongly Agree" for learning from the session, and 97.5% rated the same for both topic relevance and intention to put learning into practice. Ongoing impact evaluation assess Fellows' leadership skill attainment and impact through Personal Leadership Projects, via the Peer Coaching Program.

Experience to Date:

Progress since the last filed report (March '11): 24 Fellows graduated from MCH PHLI in May and 30 Fellows launched as Cohort #2. To date these Fellows have completed 2 or more of the required 4 executive coaching sessions. Ten of 15 scheduled webinars and/or phone-based sessions have been offered, with an average of 19.5 Fellows in attendance for each session. The Average Fellow has attended 4.57 of 8 required calls. Fellows have viewed 87 Just in Time training modules (2.9 each, on average, of 6 required); overall module scores ranging from 4.5-4.75/5-point scale. To date, 18 Fellows have obtained external mentor(s) with 23 professionals sent the mentor materials. Eighteen Peer Coaching call sessions have been held. On these monthly calls Fellows practice reflective questioning and listening skills. To date all Fellows have completed a pre- program skills self-assessment through this interface and 5 are using the online leadership diary. All Fellows have set development goals and all are working on their Personal Leadership Projects, to present at the November retreat. We are submitting a series of leadership skills-building articles based on MCH PHLI teachings. Also in development are papers describing program outcomes. We have created six Just in Time modules to share with our contributing partners--delivered in September 2011. These titles are available on the MCH PHLI website in a non-password restricted area allowing free access.

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