Grant Status: Active
Grant Title: Central Texas Maternal and Child Health Program
Maria Perez-Patron, PhD
Texas A&M University Health Science Center
1266 TAMU, 219 SPH Administration Building
College Station, TX 77843-1266
The current public health needs of Texas include increasing the MCH public health workforce to reduce health disparities and improve health for women, children and families. The Texas A&M School of Public Health (SPH) is well equipped to train the next generation of public health professionals. However, we do not currently have a formal MCH program. The purpose of this application is to request support for the creation of an interdisciplinary program in maternal and child health at SPH. The proposed Central Texas Maternal and Child Health Program will offer educational and training opportunities for students to provide them with the appropriate skills to address the MCH needs of Texas. The primary objectives of the program are to 1) Increase student interest in the MCH field through the development of MCH coursework, seminar series and a student organization; 2) Provide trainee scholarships to select MPH, MSPH, and DrPH students for interdisciplinary training and direct research experiences; 3.1) Collaborate with the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Census Research Data Center, and a local Prenatal Clinic to develop practicum opportunities. 3.2) Use our partnerships to improve our program in order to address local, regional and state MCH needs. 4.1) Expand the program through recruiting additional faculty. 4.2) Expand the program through additional MCH courses and offering a MCH online course; 5) Develop a formal concentration in MCH; 6) Track the hiring of trainees into local, regional and state organizations that address MCH in Texas. The proposed program will expose SPH students to the MCH field through didactic coursework, seminars and a MCH student organization. In addition, we will provide five annual scholarships to select program trainees. These students will be provided with funding to travel to a MCH related conference. We propose to create practicum opportunities for trainees through coordinating with our partners; the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Census Data Research Center, and the Prenatal Clinic in Bryan Texas. By funding these practicum opportunities we will reduce financial and feasibility issue which may have limited these opportunities in the past. Our proposed MCH educational activities and direct research experience training coupled with placement at our partner sites will fully prepare our trainees to enter the MCH field. Increasing the Texas MCH workforce will help to achieve the Healthy People 2020 objective of improving the health of women, infants, children, and families. SPH is dedicated to improving public health and is enthusiastic about expanding efforts to focusing on MCH. Our program goal is to address the current MCH public health needs in Texas. Quarterly quality improvement analyses will evaluate the progress of our program. This will include assessment of program procedures, student interest and recruitment, student accomplishment in practicum positions, placement of students MCH positions, and the impact of our program to address the MCH workforce needs of Texas. Quality improvement data will be used to continuously improve and if needed revise our strategies to meet our program goals.