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Funded Projects

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nutrition Training Program

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: MCH Nutrition Training Program

Project Director(s):

Jamie Stang, PhD, MPH, RDN
University of Minnesota
Suite 300 West Bank Office Bldg, 1300 South 2nd Street
Minneapolis, MN  55454
Phone: (612) 626-0351


There are disparities in health and unmet needs among an increasingly diverse MCH population. Rural residents, people of color and residents of disadvantaged communities experience greater rates of obesity, anemia, preterm birth, low birthweight, and chronic diseases than their suburban and/or white peers. They are also more likely to live in communities that do not provide access to healthy foods or MCH-specific nutrition services. The current public health nutrition workforce does not reflect the diversity of the MCH population it serves. More than half of state nutritionists are not involved in the planning, administration or evaluation of Title V services. In addition, as many as half of state-level public health nutrition leaders are planning to retire in the next 5 years, potentially leaving a leadership gap. The goal of our MCH nutrition training program is to reduce health disparities and to improve health outcomes among MCH populations by training the current and future generation of MCH nutrition leaders. To accomplish this, we provide leadership training and consultation to the current MCH and public health nutrition workforce through continuing education, research and technical assistance. We also train the future MCH and public health nutrition workforce through an interprofessional, didactic and experiential learning curriculum. We participate in projects to improve MCH nutrition workforce diversity, facilitate trainee networking, and conduct a MCH nutrition leadership institute to assure there are adequate numbers of future public health nutrition leaders who are knowledgeable and highly skilled in MCH nutrition. Our work is done in collaboration with community partners, other MCHB-funded training grants on our campus, and other MCH nutrition training grants nationally. Project Services and Activities. Each year we will: train at least 6 long-, 10 medium- and 20 short-term trainees; provide a maternal nutrition conference with distance education, reaching > 600 people; plan and co-sponsor a MCH nutrition session at a Native American nutrition conference; collaborate with 3 other grants to provide leadership training/coaching for mid-career public health nutritionists serving MCH populations; collaborate with other MCH nutrition training grants to develop and administer a MCH nutrition leadership assessment tool, which will collect aggregate data on our trainees; participate in diversity collaborative, trainee peer mentoring and trainee exchange programs; conduct MCH nutrition research and disseminate our results; and provide technical assistance to local, state and national health departments, Title V programs and other MCH organizations. Population Served. Our focus is on improving the health of MCH populations in rural and disadvantaged communities and communities of color. Thus, we focus our leadership training, continuing education and technical assistance on the current and future MCH and public health nutrition workforce and on agencies that are funded through Title V or serve MCH populations. While most training grant activities benefit the entire nation, the program focuses on identifying and meeting the needs of HHS Regions V (MN, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH), VII (IA, NE, KS, MO) and bordering states of Region VIII (ND, SD) and all 38 states east of the Rocky Mountains.

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