1. MCH Workforce Development
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Funded Projects

USF 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):

Cheryl Vamos, PhD, MPH
Professor and Director of Academic Graduate Programs
Department of Community and Family Health
College of Public Health
University of South Florida
13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC 56
Tampa, FL  33612
Phone: (813) 974-7515


To address the complex inequities in the social determinants of health and pervasive poor maternal and child health (MCH) outcomes, the US health care and public health systems are faced with two grand challenges: a shortage of diverse MCH professionals and a loss of leaders due to staff attrition or retirement. Thus, there is a critical need for highly effective and inclusive MCH workforce training programs that can develop a cadre of culturally competent and diverse MCH professional leaders. To fulfill this need, the USF Center of Excellence (CoE) in MCH will develop an emerging group of highly skilled and diverse MCH leaders to achieve optimal MCH outcomes and to advance MCH education, science, and practice.

Goals and Objectives:

The purpose of the USF CoE is to provide didactic and experiential public health training in MCH that leads to masters and doctoral graduate degrees and advances MCH workforce capacity.

Goal 1: Recruit and engage culturally diverse and underrepresented minority students into graduate level training programs in MCH.

Goal 2: Offer a didactic and experiential MCH curriculum that encompasses: life course theory and methods; comprehensive historical, legislative, and public health knowledge regarding Title V and related programs; cultural diversity and cultural competence; interdisciplinary education and practice; advocacy; health literacy; research and evaluation; and emerging MCH public health issues.

Goal 3: Establish and strengthen academic-community practice partnerships with Title V agencies and MCH-related community organizations to provide technical assistance (TA), continuing education, collaboration, dissemination and translation of best practices for collective impact.


Implementation of an interprofessional MCH workforce training and mentorship program. Activities include:

  1. Employ a multi-pronged recruitment and selection process;
  2. Deliver didactic coursework, experiential learning through placements with Title V/MCH organizations, and leadership development activities;
  3. Match scholars to academic and community mentors with MCH leadership expertise;
  4. Coordinate MCH-focused applied research, evaluation and/or quality improvement projects;
  5. Support dissemination activities through student-faculty collaboration; and
  6. Participate in ongoing collaborations, TA, and continuing education activities with Title V/MCH organizations and workforce stakeholders. We have a strong, long-standing collaborative network locally, statewide, regionally, and nationally, including: USF MCH Pipeline, multidisciplinary USF Centers, the Florida Network of MCH Training Programs (UF-Pediatric Pulmonary Center; University of Miami-LEND), the Southeast MCH Collaborative (USF, Tulane, Emory), Family Leaders Network (state-wide), Federal and State Healthy Start programs, Florida Department of Health, Prenatal and CSHCN programs, and others.


Robust mixed methods process and outcome evaluation plan. Impact: A competent MCH workforce capable of improving health systems and addressing the social determinants of health across the life course.

Date Last Reviewed: