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Funded Projects

Center of Excellence in MCH Education, Science and Practice

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: Centers of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Education Science and Practice

Project Director(s):

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

Goals and Objectives:

Project Description

There are disparities in health and unmet needs among an increasingly diverse MCH population. Rural and racially or ethnically diverse populations are more likely to live in poverty, lack affordable housing and health insurance, and experience greater health disparities compared to those living in urban communities, particularly with respect to differences in rates of maternal-fetal health outcomes, chronic disease risk, access to housing and parent support services, and poor mental health status. They are also more likely to live in communities that do not offer access to services provided by health professionals with training in the specific needs of MCH populations. The current MCH public health workforce does not reflect the diversity of the MCH population it serves, and faces a leadership gap. More than half of state public health practitioners are not involved in the planning, administration, or evaluation of Title V services. Additionally, 24% of MCH professionals expect to retire or leave their positions in the next 5 years and 28% plan to leave their agency within 1 year. The goal of our MCH training grant is to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes among MCH populations by training the current and future generation of MCH leaders. To accomplish this, we provide leadership training and consultation to the current MCH public health workforce through continuing education, research, and technical assistance (TA). We also train the future MCH and public health workforce through an interprofessional didactic and experiential learning curriculum. We participate in projects to improve MCH workforce diversity, facilitate trainee networking, and conduct an MCH leadership institute to assure there are adequate numbers of future public health leaders who are knowledgeable and highly skilled in MCH. Our work is done in collaboration with community partners, other MCHB-funded training grants on our campus, and other MCH training grants nationally.

Project Services and Activities

Each year we will:

  • train at least 14 long-, 20 medium- and 25 short-term trainees;
  • develop training opportunities and build capacity within Tribal and rural communities;
  • provide qualitative/mixed-methods research trainings for trainees and community partners;
  • collaborate with other MCH Center of Excellence (CoE) training grants on research and training activities related to the health of justice-involved mothers and their children;
  • provide MCH skills leadership to trainees through a leadership institute, peer mentoring, a student interest group, deployments, and communicating with professional audiences;
  • conduct MCH research/evaluation and disseminate our results widely; and
  • provide TA to local, state, and national health departments, Title V, and other MCH programs.

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, interprofessional education, and TA on the current and future public health MCH workforce and on agencies funded through Title V or that serve MCH populations. While our activities benefit the entire nation, we specifically focus on 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).