Funded Projects

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: MCH Public Health Catalyst Program

Grant Title: Building Maternal and Child Health into the Indiana University School of Public Health curriculum to prepare leaders in the field

Project Director(s):

Cecilia Obeng, PhD
Trustees of Indiana University, School of Public Health
1025 E. 7th Street
Bloomington, IN  47405
Phone: (812) 855-3936
Email: cobeng@iu.edu

Problem:

The State of Indiana has an urgent need to build the workforce in maternal and child health. Statistics on women's and children's health in Indiana place the state within the lowest rank of middle-western states on almost every metric, and in some instances, among the worst in the nation.

Plan:

The School of Public Health is applying for Track 1-MCH to enable us to cultivate and deliver curriculum geared towards preparing students from diverse backgrounds for leadership positions in MCH programs. As a philosophical construct and in practice, we plan to target minority ethnic and racial groups, especially those historically excluded from participation in MCH leadership roles in mainstream American society, and those with rural or inner-city backgrounds. We therefore plan to develop a diverse MCH workforce, encouraging students of color, and those with diverse sexual orientations (LGBT). We plan to provide students with the necessary first-hand knowledge and professional leadership skills for active participation in Indiana and USA's Title V MCH programs. Our new MCH program's overall aim is to train diverse MCH leaders who acquire strong skills in technology to promote healthy habits and behaviors that involve families.

Goals and Objectives:

Our targeted goals include:

  1. Creation of a core curriculum that surveys the history of maternal and child health centering on ethnic, racial and class disparities in the health of women and children;
  2. Recruitment of graduate students (especially from ethnic and racial minorities, rural and inner city Indiana residents, and people of low socio-economic background) with the view to training and cultivating leaders who can support MCH issues in their respective communities;
  3. Development of a community-based practicum experience to create, nurture and facilitate a critical number of leaders who possess management skills in tackling MCH-related issues; and
  4. Creation of MCH-focused student-led organizations to facilitate students' personal and organizational leadership skills.

Besides anchoring the MCH foundational course and other courses in strong pedagogical and theoretical roots, we anticipate using skill-based instruction which is found to be of great help in communicating health knowledge and skill. Our team has expertise in MCH course delivery, research and outreach to various communities in related areas such as intimate partner violence, LGBTQ+ parenting, reproductive justice, birthing practices that intersect in important ways with MCH.

Evaluation and Anticipated Impact:

We will collect and analyze statistics on metrics of program strength in order to graph the development of program activities such as the number of student group events, course enrollment, etc. Evaluation of benchmarks will play a key role in understanding the utilization of the proposed program. It is anticipated that after their training, and by the fifth year, students would have also acquired considerable expertise in cultural congruency to provide service to the MCH groups throughout Indiana, the United States, and the world.