Tulane MCH Nutrition Leadership Training Program
Grant Status: Active
Training Category: MCH Nutrition Training Program
Donald (Diego) Rose, PhD, MPH, RD
1440 Canal Street Suite 2210 Mail Code 8319
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 988-5742
Need to be addressed: Adverse birth outcomes, such as preterm births and low birth weight babies, and other health problems of women, infants, and children are due, in part, to nutrition-related factors, such as obesity, poor diets, low breastfeeding rates, as well as inadequate physical activity. These problems are seen throughout the US, with higher rates among Black and Hispanic populations, and are particularly bad in the South and in Louisiana, which ranked as the third least healthy state for women, infants, and children. There is a need for additional Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nutrition professionals to address these problems, because the current workforce is shrinking. Proposed project: Our overall purpose is to expand and strengthen the MCH nutrition workforce so as to improve the nutritional health status of women, infants, children, youth, and families in Louisiana and the US. We will do this through sets of objectives and activities designed to meet three goals: (1) educate future MCH nutrition leaders with the competencies to address current and emerging problems; (2) develop and disseminate curricula and teaching materials to enhance the work of MCH nutrition programs at other universities; and (3) provide continuing education, consultation, and technical assistance to local and state organizations serving MCH populations. We will accomplish the first goal by enhancing our existing Master of Public Health (MPH) Nutrition Program. Our interdisciplinary education will incorporate a food systems approach into the training of future nutrition and health professionals. It will combine rigorous academics with innovative training opportunities in clinic and community settings that focus on the importance of food choice as a key to improving nutritional outcomes. In addition to 45 credits of coursework, our 2-year program will include a 300-hour practicum, an 80-hour research experience, three 20-hour observational rotations, teaching experience, communication at a professional meeting, and ongoing trainee meetings to develop leadership competencies. The second goal will be accomplished through dissemination of educational materials that we develop in teaching our graduate students. The third goal will be accomplished by offering colloquium, webinars, networking events and direct technical assistance and consultation to strengthen the existing MCH nutrition workforce. We will coordinate all of our activities with other HRSA-funded programs, the Louisiana Title V agencies and local and state community organizations that serve women, children, and their families. A comprehensive evaluation plan, including process, outcome, and impact evaluations will be used to measure progress towards meeting all goals and objectives.