Future of MCH Training

In the next few weeks, we will be using this page to ask questions about the future of MCH Training. We hope you’ll participate in this national discussion. Specifically, we hope you will consider the following questions:

  1. How well have the MCH Training Programs done?
  2. What are the MCH Training Programs’ major strengths?
  3. What areas must they improve in?
  4. What have they missed the boat on?
  5. What are the assumptions and issues influencing MCH Training in the current and near future environment that need to be addressed in development of the strategic plan covering the next 5 years?

Please submit your thoughts in the “Comments” section. This information will help to inform the upcoming strategic planning process at the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.



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5 Responses to Future of MCH Training

  1. Connie Johnson says:

    As a trainee already working in the MCH field and pursuing a higher degree, LEND helped me to understand more about how communities work together, resources that are present in an existing community, while providing education in areas that would serve me (grant writing, research, poster presentation, etc) to do grassroots research projects and publish in my community. I continue to work in a school system, where I am able to use my skills to improve the quality of service delivery, research on models of practice for interventions, clinical decision making, and mentoring other therapists and students. I consider LEND to be a most valuable experience.

  2. Paula C. says:

    I am a new LEND Trainee, and so far I have found much value in the course. I am glad that Family Advocacy is one of the disciplines included in LEND. Being part of this program is helping me to grow both personally and professionally. I can’t think of anything to improve upon.

  3. Kathie LaFortune says:

    2. Strengths: Ability to bring folks from a variety of different disciplines together to collaborate and network towards solutions in serving children with ND. Especially important in rural areas such as served by URLEND.
    3. Improve: Greater representation of folks who actually control the money that impacts providers and programs: hospital administrators, politicians/policy makers, 3rd party payers.
    4. Missed boat: New requirement to work on projects dictated by the admin team of URLEND. Individual providers know best what the needs/potential projects are in their communities, wast of intellectual capital to work on projects not of their interest/expertise.
    5. Increase in “tracks” other than just autism. Greater national collaboration with other LEND programs surrounding topics/tracks of interest. Eg: autism track, mobility/accessibility track, assistive tech track, transition to adult services track.

  4. I am a new MCH trainee in Birmingham, AL. Our program is called the LECHN program which is Leadership and Education in Child Health Nursing.
    I am currently working as a faculty member for the University of South Alabama teaching Community Health. I feel that as a faculty member, it is important to be aware of the trends that are going on in the MCH field and to be able to teach students how to intervene in these issues that are in their own communities. The students need to know how to get involved, not just in hospital settings but in community settings as well. As we currently have a shortage of PhD prepared Nursing faculty, this program is helping to facilitate that in our area. The leadership skill development will help me as a faculty member and a community nurse to connect with other MCH providers in our area and across the state and nation. I am very proud to have received this fellowship and feel that as a new PhD student, I am surrounded by other fellows who are excited about their field of study and are willing to share their experiences with those who are just getting their feet wet in the program. It is like having a big support group. The faculty have been wonderful at mentoring the fellows and helping them to not only meet their academic requirements but to “think outside of the box” and get involved in activities such as this webinar. Enjoyed hearing responses from everyone! Susan G. Williams MSN, RN

  5. Catherine Wilson says:

    A Physical Therapist’s Shift in Focus:
    Broadening my Understanding of Individual, Population, and System

    The simplest response to a question about my occupation is: I am a pediatric physical therapist. A more thorough reply would reveal the rich opportunity I have had through the LEND program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Serving on interdisciplinary clinical teams has broadened my understanding and appreciation for the myriad of health professionals and the skill sets associated with their disciplines. I also appreciate the multiple levels at work around a child’s health; I interpret the family’s needs much more accurately using the MCH Pyramid as a tool to evaluate the situation through a broader lens. During my trainee experience, I have worked on various research and system-focused projects, including the development of a statewide Autism Alliance to address screening practices and community initiatives related to Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities. Conversations invaluable mentors throughout my two years in the LEND program, as well as participation in the MCH Leadership Consortium, Problem Based Learning Course, and Core Certificate in Public Health Concepts program, have profoundly impacted my perspective as a clinician, a leader, and a life-long learner. My experience as a LEND fellow introduced me to the world of public health and I am now pursing a Masters of Science in Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at UNC. In my academic, professional, and even personal life, LEND has been a life-altering experience.

    In the future, I think there should be a greater emphasis in the Training program on the importance of mentorship. I have been fortunate to have wonderful mentorship, and I confidently acknowledge that this mentorship has provided richness to an already strong program. I also consider myself fortunate to have been exposed to a myriad of experiences, at each level of the MCH Pyramid; trainee collaboration on initiatives at the national level may be challenging to coordinate, but could also serve as a learning experience on how to collaborate long-distances, a skill that will likely be helpful in our careers.

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