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Trainee Ambassador Group

In 2015, the Maternal & Child Health Bureau’s (MCHB) Division of MCH Workforce Development (DMCHWD) established an ongoing vehicle for working collaboratively with trainees of the MCH Training Program through the Trainee Ambassador Group (TAG).

OVERVIEW

The goals of the TAG are to foster connections between trainees across the MCH Training Program, provide trainees with leadership development opportunities, and strengthen the link between trainees and MCHB.

Through the TAG, MCHB is:

  • Strengthening the link between trainees and MCHB
  • Increasing awareness about the importance of utilizing and engaging trainees
  • Increasing current trainee awareness/knowledge about the full range of training programs •
  • Improving communication and collaboration among trainees within and across training programs
  • Facilitating connections between current and former trainees
  • Providing trainees with additional leadership development opportunities

The TAG provides trainees with the opportunity to conceptualize, develop, and lead efforts to facilitate trainee connections via activities such as a mentoring program, trainee forums, and collaborative research projects.

For information about the inaugural 2015-2016 TAG cohort, please visit the archive.

In 2017, ambassadors will attend monthly virtual meetings to collaboratively create trainee-focused products such as developing an online mentoring resource, making conference presentations, and facilitating peer discussions.

MEMBERS

The TAG is composed of trainee representatives from a range of the DMCHWD’s graduate and undergraduate education programs including:

  • Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH)
  • Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND)
  • MCH Nutrition
  • MCH Pipeline
  • Pediatric Pulmonary Centers (PPC)
  • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP)
  • Centers of Excellence in MCH (formerly the Schools of Public Health (SPH)
  • MCH Catalyst
ELIGIBILITY

All TAG members must be current trainees or trainees that have graduated within the last 3 years. Applicants should demonstrate strong communication, cultural competency, and leadership skills as well as experience with mentoring (as a mentee or mentor) and experience organizing activities or programs. A 12-month commitment availability is required for all TAG members.

APPLICATION

Trainees are required to submit an application form, professional resume, and recommendation letter. Application materials for the 2018 cohort will be made available in the fall of 2017.

The 2017 Trainee Ambassadors

Allison Muzzey

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH)

Allison Muzzey is in the second year of her Master’s program in Sociology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, concentrating in Medical Sociology. She is currently a second year LEAH fellow at Indiana University School of Medicine. She conducts research on adolescent sexual health, focusing on sexual and gender minorities and sexual coercion among adolescent women. Allison will pursue her PhD, continuing her research on sexual and gender minority health. Going forward, she plans to use this research to develop programs and interventions for sexual and gender minority adolescents.


Alyssa Bosold

Centers of Excellence in Maternal & Child Health (CoE)

Alyssa Bosold is a first-year Health Services MPH student at the University of Washington School of Public Health, with a concentration in maternal and child health. Prior to starting her Master’s program, Alyssa worked as a Public Health Associate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As an Associate, Alyssa assisted with STD and TB Prevention at the Florida Department of Health in Broward County. In addition, Alyssa volunteered as a health advocacy intern with Planned Parenthood for three years, and in 2013 served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, working with pregnant and parenting teens on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana. Alyssa’s passion is reproductive health and family planning, and she hopes to continue working in this field upon graduating from the UW.


Emily Pietrantone

Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC)

Emily Pietrantone is a pediatric nurse practitioner certified in both primary and acute pediatric care. She currently serves patients and families through the Hospitalist Service of Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. A recent graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she completed the Pediatric Pulmonary Center 2015 traineeship. Emily is passionate about pediatric chronic care, and she has a special interest in investigating and promoting techniques to increase patients' self-management of their chronic pediatric illnesses. To this end, she has participated in and led various quality improvement projects. As a member of the Trainee Ambassador Group, Emily hopes to continue her leadership development while fostering connections with other trainees and traineeship programs.


Holly Hodges

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP)

Holly Hodges is a first year Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow at Harvard University/Boston Children’s Hospital. She grew up in Mississippi and attended medical school at Baylor in Houston, Texas. She completed Pediatrics training at Harvard/Boston Children’s Hospital followed by a year as Chief Resident during which she focused on resident and medical student education. She is currently a member of the Teaching Academy at Boston Children’s Hospital, serves on the Graduate Medical Education Committee, and plans to continue to invest in improving resident education in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics during her fellowship. She is a member of her institution’s Autism Clinical Outcomes Workgroup which seeks to improve the care of patients and their families through education of hospital staff, community advocacy, and development of clinical practice guidelines. Her fellowship research will seek to describe the presenting characteristics and functional outcomes following early intensive behavioral interventions for infants and toddlers diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder via the DSM-5 criteria.


Meg Versteegen

Catalyst

Meg Versteegen is a second year Health Policy and Management student in the Doctor of Public Health Program at the State University of New York in Albany. She is an active member of the maternal and child health student interest group, and her research interests include preconception health, breastfeeding & infant feeding, oral health, and overall health and wellness promotion. Meg has her MS in Nutrition and is a Registered Dietitian who has worked in a variety of healthcare settings, with advanced training in weight management and nutrition support. Her ultimate goal is to work on programs and policies that can make a positive health difference in local communities.


Michelle Gin

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) & Schools of Public Health (SPH)

Michelle Gin is a full-time Health Educator at the Minnesota Department of Health as well as the part-time National Student Program Coordinator for Physicians for Social Responsibility. She has earned her MPH from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health with Interdisciplinary Concentrations in (1) Public Health Policy (2) Health Disparities. Michelle was a pre-doctoral fellow through the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) grant. Her research focused on demographic and protective factor differences among Minnesota youth’s reasons for abstaining from sexual intercourse. Michelle has two major interest areas: (1) development of school-based intervention programs to promote healthy choices around adolescent reproductive health and (2) the humanitarian and environmental health consequences from nuclear weapons and radiation. For several years, she has worked in the U.S. and abroad to strengthen nuclear radiation regulations and abolish nuclear weapons through national and international policy.


Nathan Fields

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND)

Nathan Fields is a first year Master’s student at Vanderbilt University where he is earning his degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Severe and Profound Disabilities. He is also a first year LEND trainee. Prior to attending Vanderbilt, Nathan lived in East Asia four and a half years where he partnered as support staff with a local organization that served children with special needs from birth to young adults. In the future, Nathan hopes to partner with caregivers in enriching quality of life experiences for children from hard places with special needs. 


Raven S. Wright

Pipeline

Raven Wright will be graduating May 2017 from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee (UWM) with a Bachelor in Science of Nursing. Throughout her undergraduate experience, Raven has had numerous of opportunities to work with patients with mental and physical impairments as well as various clinical exposures that demonstrated effective clinical reasoning and applied principles of professionalism. While overseas in Malawi Africa, Raven adapted communication skills based on individual, family, and community needs and lead patient educational discussions. For the last 2 years, she has collaborated with students from diverse academic disciplines, as the peer-lead, to develop a MCH “Project of the Year.” This project essentially moved the MCH pipeline back to the middle school level and mentored at-risk youth in hoping for their future and planning for college. One of the biggest lessons Raven has learned, thus far as a MCH-PTP student, is the importance of self-awareness and to continue developing her strengths. Raven believes the MCH-PTP has unremittingly clarified how she can be influential and change the world!


Shelly Johnston

Nutrition

Shelly Johnston is a recent graduate of the University of Washington Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics with a Master of Public Health (Public Health Nutrition). During her time at UW, Shelly worked with the UW Center for Public Health Nutrition to complete a qualitative analysis of breastfeeding policy adoption in Washington State clinics. She also served as an MCHB Nutrition Leadership Trainee and collaborated with fellow trainees to initiate a peer network program. Her research interests include breastfeeding policies, local/national food system policies, and strategies to support families during the first 1,000 days of life.


Yuka Asada

Schools of Public Health (SPH) & Nutrition

Yuka Asada is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute for Health Research and Policy (IHRP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In this position, she works on a mixed methods USDA Cooperative Agreement project, where she conducts qualitative research on child nutrition and health policies related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. She recently completed a PhD in MCH UIC, as well as an internship with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office in Copenhagen, Denmark.

CONTACT

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