1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

UIC-SPH Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health (CoE-MCH)

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Arden Handler, DrPH
University of Illinois School of Public Health (UIC-SPH)
1603 W. Taylor
Chicago, IL  60612
Phone: (312) 996-5954


At the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the field of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and in particular, the Title V/MCH Block Grant funded state public health agencies and their partners that serve women, children, and families, continue to face numerous challenges. While there have been dramatic improvements in the health status of the MCH population over the last century, health problems such as obesity, opioid/other substance use/misuse, depression and other mental health issues, gun violence, and maternal mortality and morbidity have gained prominence. New threats such as global infectious diseases have emerged, and disparities and inequities in health outcomes, whether measured by race/ethnicity, insurance status, income, gender, or ability, remain persistent. Within a continuously changing healthcare landscape, state Title V/Maternal and Child Health agencies are challenged to work at the systems level to monitor women and children's health status, to develop and promulgate best practices, and to seed innovative approaches to addressing seemingly intractable inequities. As such, state Title V agencies and their partners need flexible adaptive leaders with command of an array of tools to ensure that all women, children, and families have access not only to a high quality health care delivery system but also to multi-sector strategies and interventions that can meet their needs across the life course.

Goals and Objectives:

With these needs in mind, the mission of the UIC-SPH CoE-MCH is to provide graduate students and working professionals with rigorous evidence-informed curricula and programming steeped in social justice, practical experience, and collaboration with Title V, its partners, and local communities. The program is designed to develop leaders with vision, creativity, and a commitment to life-long learning and action, to improve the health and well-being of women, children, and families including children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).

To accomplish this mission, the UIC-SPH CoE-MCH engages in the following activities:

1) Implementation of skills-based MPH and PhD MCH and MCH Epidemiology curricula that prepare diverse future MCH professionals to design, implement, and evaluate scientifically based, family-centered, culturally competent interventions;

2) Provision of leadership, professional, and career development opportunities across the MCH workforce continuum;

3) Delivery of technical assistance, and engagement in multiple collaborations to build the analytic and leadership capacity of state Title V agencies and their partners, and to assist a multidisciplinary MCH workforce to respond to complex problems in a changing environment;

4) Implementation of an MCH Student Interest Group; and,

5) Support for students and faculty to engage in and disseminate cutting-edge scholarship across the life course.


Continuous program monitoring is used to document adherence to all objectives and planned activities. Multiple outcome evaluation tools determine the extent to which the UICSPH CoE-MCH is successful in achieving its objectives.

Date Last Reviewed: