Funded Projects

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: MCH LEAP

Grant Title: UW-Milwaukee MCH Interdisciplinary/Interprofessional Pipeline Training Program

Web Site: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Victoria Moerchen, Ph.D.
Project Director
College of Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
3409 N. Downer Avenue
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI  53201-0413
Phone: (414) 229-2449
FAX: (414) 229-3366


The US has a critical shortage of health care professionals from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups to serve children and families from underserved populations, and this gap gets greater for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). The prevalence of CYSHCN in the City of Milwaukee is 23.5%, nearly double that of the state of Wisconsin (13.4%) and the nation (12.8%). To address this disproportionate need for a culturally diverse and representative healthcare workforce, this proposed UWM Pipeline Training Program will support and train undergraduate students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds (including racial and ethnic minorities) to prepare them for leadership and admission to graduate programs in maternal and child health fields. Program Goal(s): Goal 1): Annually recruit, retain, and promote 20 pre-major UG students (typically fresh/soph), 8 research UG students (typically junior), and 8 pre-graduate UG students (typically senior) from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds (including racial/ethnic underrepresented minority groups) in UG programs in the target MCH disciplines (OT, SLP, PR, nursing, social work, psychology, and nutrition, plus pre-public health, pre-medicine, and pre-dentistry) to be competitive to enter graduate programs in their respective fields. Goal 2): Annually, produce MCH Pipeline graduates who are experienced in and sensitive to cultural and linguistic diversity, knowledgeable of MCH issues and priorities, and prepared for leadership and entry into MCH fields. Goal 3): Develop and disseminate materials and curricula, with an emphasis on (a) self-assessment tools for competencies related to leadership, cultural and linguistic diversity and public health that are appropriate for UG, preservice trainees and (2) pre-college pipeline and peer-mentoring of under-served middle school students who are interested in health/health care.


The goals and objectives of this program are met through a comprehensive interdisciplinary program that takes a service-learning approach to achieving graduates who lead with cultural and linguistic competence, family-centeredness, an understanding of social determinants of health, health policy, and social justice. Trainees at all undergraduate levels receive peer and academic mentoring for careers in MCH. Upper-level students also receive research mentoring, life course training, advocacy training, clinical field experiences, ongoing interaction with long-term training programs, and support for graduate application.


This project is collaborating with and will continue to serve as a pipeline to WI-LEND and WI PPC programs. Regional agencies that specialize in health and MCH serve as fieldwork sites and provide speakers for the formative seminars that anchor the curricula.


Continuous quality improvement and progress towards goals and objectives will be monitored and evaluated using measures of trainee knowledge and competence, program outcome measures, and advisory board oversight as described in the logic model and work plan.