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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Leadership Education Excellence in Pediatric Nutrition

Project Director(s):

Krista Casazza, PhD, RD, LD
Associate Professor
Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1600 7th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL  35233
Phone: 205.638-6856
FAX: 205.975-6503
Email: kcasazza@peds.uab.edu


The food environment at home, child care, and school strongly influences the food choices and nutritional intake of the MCH population. More trained nutritional professionals are needed to assume leadership roles for prevention and treatment of nutritional problems in the MCH population.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: To recruit long-term trainees at the graduate level to prepare them for leadership roles in improving nutritional care for MCH population. Goal 2: To develop, enhance, and improve interdisciplinary, family-centered, culturally competent, community-based nutritional care for the MCH population by providing long-term leadership training. Goal 3: To enhance the knowledge, skills, and leadership competence of the MCH workforce in the area of MCH nutrition thereby improving the quality of health for the MCH population by providing > 3 CE events. Goal 4: To provide TA/consultation/ collaboration to MCH agencies and provides at the national, regional, state and community levels, that is responsive to agency needs. Goal 5: To foster an environment for the conducting and dissemination of collaborative research by Nutrition trainees, core Nutrition faculty, and extended faculty.


The UAB MCH Nutrition curriculum incorporates biological, developmental, social, economic and environmental factors through didactic, clinical and community experiences that foster development of leadership attributes in trainees while improving services for the MCH population. The curriculum is based on the Life Course Framework of building on risks/protective factors and critical periods of life. Faculty and trainees develop, implement, and evaluate an Individual Training Plan (ITP) that focuses on 5 domains: didactic, clinical, public health/community, research, and advocacy/policy. Community involvement (e.g., Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) school-based intervention, State Obesity Task Force, child policy councils) , CE/TA (Intensive Course in Pediatric Nutrition, distance/on-line education, Adolescent Update), and Advocacy (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Council on Future Practice). Also, collaboration with 3 MCH training programs to train future PH nutrition leaders through the Emerging Nutrition Leader Institute, and the promotion of diversity through "Community of Practice" are all integral parts of the training program.


Project coordinates with (selected): Alabama MCH Leadership Network, State Title V agencies, MCH State Partnership, Rural Health Institute, Alabama PH Training Centers, Minority Health Center, MCH Nutrition Training Programs, ASTPHND, and AAP-Bright Futures.


The evaluation uses both process and project outcome measures to evaluate and track the project goals and objectives across all program components including progress on PMs and quality of care. CE and TA are evaluated by participants, with advisory boards (project and youth) providing guidance. Trainees complete surveys at 1, 5, 10 years post-training to document leadership experience. Curriculum is modified using quality improvement methods.

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