Funded Projects

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: MCH LEAP

Grant Title: University of South Florida MCH Pipeline Training Program

Project Director(s):

Cheryl Vamos, Ph.D.
Project Director
University of South Florida
13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.,
MDC 56
Tampa, FL  33612
Phone: (813) 974-7515


With the challenges of the evolving healthcare system and the urgent need to address health disparities through the lens of social determinants of health in Florida and beyond, we need to ensure that there is a competent, passionate and reflective MCH workforce available to improve healthcare across our communities. These diverse trained professionals represent the engine' for improving the health of mothers, children and their families, including fathers and children with special healthcare needs. Therefore, we propose a 24-month training program for 3-cohorts (12 trainees/cohort) of undergraduate students (N=36) from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities that recruits, trains, guides and prepares them to apply for MCH graduate programs and join the MCH workforce. Program Goal(s): Goal 1: Recruit and support cohorts of undergraduate students from economically and educationally disadvantaged and racially/ethnically diverse backgrounds into a high quality training program that prepares them for a successful trajectory into maternal and child health (MCH) graduate training and professions; Goal 2: Implement an innovative training program through didactic, experiential, mentoring and peer exchange modalities that exposes students to MCH leadership, broad public health perspectives, interdisciplinary training and practice, and cultural/linguistic competencies; Goal 3: Collaborate broadly with MCH Long- Term Training Programs, HRSA and Title V stakeholders and other MCH community members; and Goal 4: Develop and disseminate innovative curricula and research to advance MCH training and practice.


This innovative MCH training program for undergraduates will: (1) utilize an inclusive and multimodal recruitment strategy for undergraduate students from economically and educationally disadvantaged and underrepresented racial/ethnic minority backgrounds; (2) provide curricula (didactic and experiential) that reflect leadership, public health, interdisciplinary, cultural/linguistic competence, and emerging issues in MCH; (3) match trainees with MCH faculty, MCH scholars, and health profession graduate students for mentorship and peer exchange; (4) require trainees to be engaged in MCH-focused applied research and dissemination activities; and (5) support trainees financially for these academic and experiential learning opportunities.


The USF MCH Pipeline Training Program has a strong collaborative network to link academia with practice locally, statewide and regionally, including coordinated efforts with: MCH Long-Term Training Programs (e.g., USF MCH Center of Excellence and others across southeast collaborative); multidisciplinary MCH Centers at USF; USF Health; USF Student Affairs; and other community-based MCH partners (e.g., ReachUP and Children's Medical Services).


The program will be evaluated annually using a mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) approach that includes initial, intermediate, and long-term outcomes and MCHB performance measures that align with the overall goals of this project: (1) increase diversity in MCH workforce; and (2) improve health and reduce health disparities