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Funded Projects

Partners in Excellence for Leadership in MCH Nutrition

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: MCH Nutrition Training Program

Project Director(s):

Dena Herman, PhD, MPH, RD
University of California, Los Angeles
650 Charles E Young Drive S.
Los Angeles, CA  90095
Phone: (310) 825-8196


CA is the largest, most culturally-diverse, and fastest growing state in the nation; all public health issues targeted by HP 2020 are magnified here. Immigration patterns have increased the number of vulnerable women/children, disproportionately from ethnic minority groups throughout the West, resulting in an increased need for PH nutrition services. In these 13 states there are few institutions which offer PH graduate and doctoral training; it is important that UCLA and its Partners (UW, OHSU, CSU, ASU), continue to serve as a Regional Resource.

Goals and Objectives:

We have identified 2 major goals: 1) Graduate education: Prepare nutrition graduates and professionals from other MCH disciplines for leadership roles in nutrition education, service, research, administration and advocacy for the MCH population; 2) Methodology, Continuing Education (CE): Serve as aWestern Regional and National Resource for Title V and other programs with a similar mandate and provide consultation, CE and technical assistance (TA) to meet the needs of MCH nutrition professionals. Objectives for goal 1 include: 1) Support 5 MCH nutrition trainees/year, who are, or will be, RDs, for 2 yrs. of their graduate training (MS; MPH; DrPH; PhD). 2) Recruit at least 25% of supported trainees from underrepresented groups. 3) Target other PH students as future nutrition advocates. Objectives for goal 2 include: 1) Promote leadership among Title V/other public health (PH) nutritionists by enhancing the 13-state Western MCH Nutrition Leadership Network (NLN) begun in 1999. 2) Collaborate with the other MCH Training Programs in the West by sharing resources/leveraging our strengths in 2/year graduate education, CE or research activities, using distance learning (DL) technology. Activities: Recruit a student at each institution for up to 2 years of support (min.15 total) - preference given to doctoral degrees. Recruit potential applicants who represent cultural diversity. Include training in leadership and cultural competence. Build on unique strengths of each program to enrich courses, CE, collaborative research activities. Focus CE activities on identified needs/emerging issues: childhood obesity, life course, developmental origins of disease, etc. Provide an annual training forum for current NLN members, ongoing CE/TA; periodic webinars; develop and disseminate educational resources. HP 2020 Objectives: Maternal, Inf. and Child Health; Nutrition and Wt. Status; Adol. Health; Access to Health Services; PH Infrastructure; Physical Activity; Social Determinants of Health


Each Partner has relationships with State Title V through field placements, consultation, TA/other activities. The NLN provides coordination with the State agencies in the other 8 states in the west. Bimonthly conference calls including all 5 institutions allow planning and coordination; periodic conference calls/meetings with other cohort grantees continue.


Tracking process/outcomes for MCH and Nutrition Performance Measures. Outcomes: Graduates with nutrition leadership roles; graduates remaining in the MCH field. Annotation: The project purpose is to improve the quantity and quality of PH nutrition services within MCH programs by serving as a regional and national resource for Title V and related programs through 1) supporting/mentoring PH nutritionists from diverse backgrounds, with comprehensive/rigorous training in PH and MCH nutrition, 2) providing on-going professional development of PH nutrition leaders via an active and responsive program of CE/TA.

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