1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

GW Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Leadership, Education, and Advancement in Undergraduate Pathways (LEAP) Training Program (GW-LEAP into MCH)

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: LEAP

Project Director(s):

Karen McDonnell, PhD
George Washington University
950 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC  20052
Phone: (202)994-6823

Goals and Objectives:

The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWSPH) is applying for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Leadership, Education, and Advancement in Undergraduate Pathways (LEAP) Training Program. The proposed GW MCH Leadership, Education, and Advancement in Undergraduate Pathways (LEAP) Training Program (GW-LEAP into MCH) will become the first MCHB funded Undergraduate Training Program in the nation's capital, and will provide coordinated opportunities for GW undergraduate students and faculty, as well as agencies, organizations, and communities in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area.

The GWSPH is a vanguard in undergraduate public health education and is poised to create a successful and sustainable MCH training program. GWSPH is located in HHS Region 3 and affords a comprehensive university fully accredited by CEPH and Middle States CHE. The purpose of the training program is to create a future generation of MCH professionals from diverse backgrounds to provide culturally and linguistically competent care for a growing underserved and underrepresented US population. GW-LEAP into MCH will be integrated within the GWSPH MCH program and the newly funded MCHB Center of Excellence (GW MCH CoE). The GW-LEAP into MCH will build a sustainable educational infrastructure and unique focus on recruiting diverse undergraduate student cohorts to fill a critical gap by building and maintaining a diversified workforce that is reflective of and prepared to address the distinct needs of MCH populations. We have developed an innovative and integrative training program for interested undergraduate students at GW to develop their interest, knowledge, self-efficacy, skills, and opportunities to be best prepared for graduate MCH public health or related MCH health profession program. The GW-LEAP into MCH will provide students from underserved or underrepresented backgrounds with opportunities for training and engagement to ultimately improve levels of representation, reduce health disparities, foster health equity and increase the capacity of the MCH workforce to meet the needs of a diverse MCH US population.

The primary of the goals of the GW-LEAP into MCH are as follows:

  1. Recruit and support undergraduate trainees from diverse, underserved, and/or underrepresented backgrounds to: Increase the number of undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds exposed to learning opportunities in MCH; Promote development and interest in careers in MCH; and, Increase their cultural responsiveness and skills in addressing health disparities in underserved communities.
  2. Foster development of interdisciplinary leadership and research skills training at the undergraduate level in MCH public health and MCH-related health professions in preparation for careers in MCH.
  3. Provide mentorship and internship opportunities to undergraduate students through preceptorships with MCH professionals, graduate students, and MCH/Title V organizations in preparation for graduate/post-graduate education/training in MCH.
  4. Increase access to MCH undergraduate education and training through innovative and alternative methods.


Evaluation will be integral to the successful implementation and outcome of the training program and will entail process and outcome evaluations and process monitoring to provide the opportunity for continuous quality improvement.

Date Last Reviewed: