1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Georgia State University Maternal and Child Health Certificate Program

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: Maternal and Child Health Public Health Catalyst Program

Project Director(s):

Emily Graybill, PhD
Center for Leadership in Disability
Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc.
75 Piedmont Ave NE, Suite 514
Atlanta, AZ  30303
Phone: (404) 413-1424


Health disparities by race and ethnicity in Georgia and across the United States (US) persist despite substantial financial investment in health programming aimed at their elimination. Georgia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the nation with the rate for black, non-Hispanic women three times higher than that of white, non-Hispanic women. The infant mortality rate for black, non-Hispanic infants is more than double that of white, non- Hispanic infants. Children with special healthcare needs who are black are less likely to have a medical home, receive early intervention services, or receive proper transition supports to adult services. Disparities by race, socio-economic status, and disability are exacerbated by a workforce that does not represent the diversity of the population it serves. The work force is largely unprepared to use data to inform public health interventions that are aimed at eliminating health disparities.

The Georgia State University (GSU) School of Public Health (SPH) has the unique capacity to address these needs with its success in recruiting and graduating underrepresented racial and ethnic Master of Public Health (MPH) students. The proposed GSU MCH Certificate program funded through Track 2 of the MCH Public Health Catalyst Program will leverage existing faculty expertise in MCH instruction, research, and program implementation from all departments within the GSU SPH. Catalyst funding will support the development of a sustainable, interdisciplinary MCH curriculum and infrastructure to prepare a workforce that is racially and ethnically representative of Georgia's MCH population. The GSU MCH Certificate courses will be embedded into MPH concentrations allowing students to concurrently earn the certificate while completing their degrees, saving time and tuition costs. Graduates will have the skills and social justice orientation needed to achieve our collective goal of eliminating health disparities across Georgia and the US.

Goals and Objectives:

We propose five goals with measurable objectives and timelines:

  • Goal 1: Develop courses for the new MCH Certificate;
  • Goal 2: Recruit four annual cohorts of students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to participate in the program;
  • Goal 3: Ensure that graduating students demonstrate competencies to engage in culturally and linguistically competent, evidence-based public health work;
  • Goal 4: Prepare students for employment in MCH organizations or for advanced academic programs;
  • Goal 5: Implement a sustainability plan for the MCH Certificate program and the MCH Student Group.

Activities to be Undertaken to Meet Track 2 Catalyst Project Goals:

  1. Establishment of the GSU MCH Certificate program with four new courses (to follow a current MCH Foundations course that is taught annually) and an MCH student interest group;
  2. Coordination through regular meetings of MCH Certificate faculty and staff with the Georgia Department of Public Health (GaDPH), the Georgia LEND, and the MCH Center of Excellence at Emory; and
  3. Evaluation through documentation of the process and outcomes for each goal and objective, emphasizing student satisfaction with the program, mastery of the MCH Leadership Competencies, and long-term outcomes as students matriculate into the workforce.