1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health 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):

Lois McCloskey, DrPH
Boston University
801 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA  02118
Phone: (617) 358-3146

Goals and Objectives:


In 2020, the MCH workforce is confronted by a disturbing paradox: Even as key indicators of health for women, children, and youth are worsening and racial inequities widening, field staff feel unprepared important skill areas. Recent surveys of MCH workers point to particular needs in the areas of budget and financial management, systems and strategic thinking, change management, influencing policies related to social determinants of health, developing a vision for healthy communities, and incorporating health equity and social justice principles into programming (PHWINS, 2018). In addition, there are alarming turnover rates in the workforce, with over 70 percent staying in positions for five years or less (shorter than a Title V needs assessment process).


Through curricular and extracurricular training activities, we will serve MCH trainees and their peers in interprofessional practice. Through T.A. initiatives we will serve the existing MCH workforce, with particular attention to Title V programs. Our initiatives in practice-based teaching and practice fellowships will serve our governmental and community partners. Ultimately the CoE is dedicated to eliminating health inequities among women, children and families locally and nationally.


  1. We will equip trainees with knowledge and skills to meet current and emerging demands. The MCH curriculum at BUSPH will support trainees to ground their practice in the life course perspective, experience in leadership and change management, systems thinking; and practice culturally humble community partnerships. Faculty research in strategic MCH priority areas (opioid/substance use an effects on mothers and infants; obesity prevention; mental health; and women’s health over the life course), forms the foundation for all MCH trainees to engage in research during their MPH.
  2. We will collaborate with other MCHB-funded programs at B.U. and with social work, education, pediatrics to offer a range of interprofessional (IPE) training activities, including practice based course in immigrant health (at border) and IPE conferences each year.
  3. We will recruit strong cohorts of MCH trainees each year- at least 30-35, with one- third from URM communities.
  4. The BUSPH CoE will support MCHiA, the student interest group at BU to lead a national network of emerging and early MCH professionals.
  5. We will provide technical assistance and coaching to Title V programs in three states (MA, NH, TN) as we co-design on line, interactive short courses for staff and community partners.
  6. We will engage students in our growing academic-community partnerships through MCH Practice Fellowships, and in our interchanges with other CoE’s and Catalyst Centers as we host webinars, build a practice-based teaching collaborative, and jointly evaluate a doula care initiative.


We will conduct monitoring and evaluation activities for the purpose of tracking our achievement of goals and objectives, continuous quality improvement, and to evaluate program impact on key stakeholders: students/alumnae, faculty, and partners.


We will share our research as well as CoE-based best practices, lessons learned, and findings of evaluations through peer-reviewed journals, national MCH conferences, and in non-academic venues (popular press social media, policy-makers).