1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Translational Training, Education, and Leadership Program in MCH Nutrition & Childhood Obesity Prevention: The TRANSCEND Program

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: MCH Nutrition Training Program

Project Director(s):

Meg Bruening, PhD, MPH, RD
Arizona State University
500 N. 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ  85004
Phone: (602) 827-2266


Need: Proper nutrition is vital for growth and development, and for the prevention of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Health disparities such as those in obesity, food insecurity, and low breastfeeding initiation and duration rates tend to negatively impact maternal and child populations the greatest, resulting in significant and costly public health problems. Dietitians and nutritionists are uniquely qualified to provide relief to families in need by delivering critical public health services and nutrition education, using their training in life course development, social determinants of health, systems change, and prevention sciences. More training opportunities are needed to develop leadership skills and competencies among public health nutritionists and dietitians in order to address the public health needs of mothers and children, particularly those served by Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program. Given the changing demographics of the US, developing a diverse workforce with nutrition expertise is needed to use their skills and training to improve health and promote health equity among maternal child health populations. Proposed services and the population groups served. The overall purpose of the Arizona State University (ASU) Transdisciplinary Training, Education, and Leadership MCH Nutrition & Childhood Obesity Prevention (The TRANSCEND Program) is to provide high quality accessible, interprofessional, training, with a special emphasis on training of underrepresented nutritionists in order to serve Title V and related services, filling an educational gap in the Southwest. Related activities fall into four goals: 1)train a diverse group of long, medium, and short-term trainees, emphasizing leadership development for long-term trainees; 2)strengthen competency-based curriculum on MCH nutrition in the southwest region of the US; 3)address current and emerging MCH nutrition workforce training needs through continuing education and technical assistance; and 4)advance the MCH nutritional science and research. Activities include for these goals address the MCHB Training, Core and Capacity Building Performance Measures and include: 1) supporting an avg. of 6 long-term trainees/yr, with an avg. of 2 trainees/year from underserved backgrounds; 2)providing education and training that is structured around MCH and public health competencies to short-, medium-, and long-term graduate nutrition trainees; 3)providing continuing education to professionals through monthly seminars, the annual Building Healthy Lifestyles Conference, the annual Seed of Native Health Conference, and a journal club 3x/yr; 4)providing technical assistance in Arizona and the western region on childhood obesity, and other MCH nutrition-related topics; 5)collaborating with other MCHB Nutrition Grantees, particularly UMN and UCLA Western Partners to enhance the MCH nutrition network and provide quality improvement; 6)Disseminating education and resources; 7). Evaluating and monitoring of grant activities; and 8) Advancing the science and research related to MCH nutrition through the dissemination and translation of findings for implementation in MCH nutrition practice. IMPACT: The TRANSCEND Program will result in a more diverse public health nutrition workforce prepared to lead to improve public health outcomes for current and future maternal child health populations, enhancing the impact of Title V.

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