July/August 2012


Leadership and Workforce Development

By Stephanie Birch, RNC, MPH, MS, FNP

Throughout my career, I have been blessed to have a couple of leadership mentors who have modeled outstanding leadership behaviors. As mentors, they support my own development by providing excellent reading material and encouraging me to partake in regular training. The development of leadership skills takes intentional work and study over time. While certainly there are leaders who were born with natural talent, most leaders that I admire have worked diligently to develop their skills and abilities throughout their career. [more]


By Mike R. Fraser, PhD CAE

Leadership development is a critical issue for AMCHP. Why? Because the work of MCH involves the crux of leadership: setting a vision and motivating others to work toward that vision with shared purpose. State MCH leaders set a vision for maternal and child health in their states and lead others toward meeting that vision -- protecting and promoting the health of women, children and families. As such, the core definition of MCH leadership is "inspiring and bringing people together to achieve sustainable results to improve the lives of MCH populations." [more]


Leading in Turbulent Times

By Michael R. Fraser, PhD, CAE
Chief Executive Officer, AMCHP

A key aspect of successful leadership is resilience -- the capacity to "bounce back" from adversity and continue to lead despite obstacles and barriers to change. MCH leaders have demonstrated an incredible capacity for resilience given the many issues they face. With the myriad challenges (and opportunities) facing state MCH health programs, I thought it would be interesting to ask some of our AMCHP leaders for one strategy they use to lead in turbulent times. [more]


AMCHP Support for Mentoring Programs

By Melody Cherny
Program Associate, Children with Special Health Care Needs, AMCHP

Kate Howe
Program Manager, Child Health, AMCHP

Maritza Valenzuela
Program Manager, Adolescent Health, AMCHP

Mentoring relationships can provide MCH professionals with the opportunity to gain wisdom and input and evolve their thinking about the issues that affect them. A key feature of this relationship is that an experienced individual helps another achieve his or her goals and develop as a person (Center for Health Leadership & Practice, Guide for Mentors, 2003). Recognizing this benefit, AMCHP supports mentoring and workforce development through a variety of mechanisms. [more]


MCH PHLI: What Graduates Gained From Attending

The MCH Public Health Leadership Institute (MCH PHLI) is funded by the MCHB Division of Workforce Development through a five-year cooperative agreement. Since 2012, up to 30 mid- to senior-level MCH professionals participate each year in the institute. Jessica Foster and Gretchen Hageman completed the institute in 2011-2012. [more]


PLTl Empowers Wyoming Parents: Increasing Community Awareness of Children’s Health Issues

By Charla Ricciardi
PLTI Director and Child & Adolescent Health Coordinator, Wyoming Department of Health

Anne Siebert
MFH Parent Leadership and Engagement Coordinator

Maternal and Family Health (MFH), the Title V Agency in the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), recognizes the important role of families as equal partners in the decision-making process to improve the health and safety of children and the improvement of comprehensive early childhood system in Woming. In 2010, through MFH support, Wyoming piloted their first Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) site in Cheyenne. Wyoming now has three successful sites across the state (including the smallest U.S. community and the first American Indian Reservation to pilot PLTI) and more than 65 parent leaders have graduated from the 20-week program and completed individual community projects. [more]


Mindfulness and MCH: Cultivating the Art and Science of Inside-Out Leadership

By Christina Bethell
Professor of Pediatrics, OHSU School of Medicine and Director, The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative

Mindfulness is defined as the four-pronged capacity to 1) pay attention 2) on purpose 3) in the present moment 4) without judgment. Developing and practicing mindfulness is often referred to as "fitness for the mind" and has taken center stage in leadership training programs across the United States. As reflected in Congressman Tim Ryan's recently released book "Mindful Nation," the simple-sounding ability to be fully present and mindful in any moment is consistently associated with the cultivation of essential leadership skills -- literally rewiring our brains and biochemistry to promote clear thinking, relaxed responses and effective communication. [more]



Witnessing, Learning and Experiencing MCH Leadership at the AMCHP Annual Conference

By Aimee Eden, MA, PhD (c)

In August of 2006, I was a pregnant and (temporarily) uninsured graduate student with a two-year old daughter. In February 2012, I was a doctoral candidate (and mother of two!) attending my first AMCHP Conference. [more]

MCH PHLI: Business World Practices to Develop MCH Leaders

By Claudia S. P. Fernandez, DrPH, RD, LDN
Director and PI, The MCH Public Health Leadership Institute, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Maternal and Child Health Public Health Leadership Institute (MCH PHLI) is an executive education style program designed to significantly improve leadership skills of mid-to-senior-level leaders working in MCH fields. The program utilizes business world best practices to develop leaders that serve MCH audiences. One example of this business-world oriented leadership training is that a series of valid and reliable psychological assessment instruments form a core component of the program. [more]

Staff Goes ALL IN for National Leadership Program

By Maritza Valenzuela
Program Manager, Adolescent Health, AMCHP

In May 2012, I completed a unique leadership development program with the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), a national organization established in 1987 to address the underrepresentation of Latinas in the corporate, nonprofit and political arenas. The NHLI mission is to develop Latina women as ethical leaders through training, professional development, relationship building and community activism. [more]




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Promoting Intergenerational MCH Leadership Development

By Kristina Risley, DrPH, CPCC
Continuing Education Director and Clinical Assistant Professor, Maternal and Child Health Program, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) MCH program trains MCH leaders through their MCH graduate program, as well as through a robust continuing education program. In July 2011 at the 4th annual UIC MCH Leadership, Legacy, and Community: A Retreat to Advance MCH Scholarship and Practice, the MCH program assessed the workforce needs of the diverse, interdisciplinary, intergenerational group of 100 retreat participants including MCH students, scholars, family leaders, and practitioners from across the country. [more]



This issue, Member to Member features several questions posed to two AMCHP leaders:

Katherine Bradley, PhD, RN
AMCHP President-Elect Administrator, Office of Family Health, Public Health Division, Oregon Health Authority


Valerie Ricker, MSN, MS
AMCHP Board Secretary Director, Division of Population Health, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention

1. How has being part of the committee changed your view of yourself as a leader?

2. How has being involved with AMCHP in more than one way impacted your work?

3. What are the skills you think are needed to be an effective MCH leader?

4. How has being involved with AMCHP contributed to your role as a mentor? [more]



Leadership and Advocacy

By Carolyn Mullen
Associate Director, Government Affairs, AMCHP

The fire alarms blared in the background. I yelled at the senator, "We have to evacuate the building now!" I took his constituents by the arm and led them out of the Hart Office building. A couple of minutes later my cell phone rang, "Bring the family to the Capitol, now, I want to hear their story, this is very important to me." I opened my mouth to protest because I thought that 10 minutes was enough time for him to chat with this family but it wasn’t. This was one of my first and most valuable lessons: even when the alarms sounded the perspective of the family trumps my own security when educating a U.S. senator. [more]



New MCH Leaders

See a list of new MCH Leaders/Partners. [more]

AMCHP welcomes new staff. [more]



Are you looking to get more involved with AMCHP? Check out the exciting opportunities below and make the most out of your membership!

Board Nominations: The AMCHP Governance Committee is currently accepting nominations for 2013 AMCHP Board positions. These leadership positions guide, direct, inform and contribute to moving AMCHP’s strategic directions and goals forward. The following are the open Board of Directors positions:

  1. President-Elect
  2. President
  3. Director At-Large (three-year term)
  4. Region I
  5. Region VI
  6. Region IX
  7. Region X


Committee Appointments: One benefits of being an active AMCHP member is the opportunity to participate as a volunteer leader on AMCHP Organizational and Board Committees. AMCHP committees assist the organization in carrying out its mission, goals and strategic plan. They serve to engage members in activities, provide advice and guidance to the Board and staff, and make recommendations for policy analysis and development. They are comprised of AMCHP members and staff liaisons, and may also include representatives from federal agencies and involve partner organizations when appropriate. [more]

Nominate Your Peers for a 2013 AMCHP Award

AMCHP recognizes leadership in maternal and child health in several ways, including awards presented to MCH leaders to honor their excellence in the field. These awards will be presented at the 2013 AMCHP Annual Conference, Feb. 9-12 in Washington, DC.

AMCHP is now accepting nominations for the following:

  1. John MacQueen Lecture Award for innovation in the field of maternal and child health
  2. Excellence In State MCH Leadership Award for an outstanding state MCH professional whose career has made significant contributions to the health of women, children and families in their state
  3. Merle McPherson Leadership Award for exemplary contributions to further family/ professional collaboration within a state Title V Program and AMCHP
  4. Vince Hutchins Leadership Award for leadership in promoting a society responsive to the needs of women, children, youth and families
  5. Young MCH Professional Award for significant contributions to state MCH programs in promoting and protecting the health of women, children, and families in their state and/or region




Learn about the upcoming trends in the MCH workforce here.



View and download resources about leadership and workforce development here.


Board of Directors

Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.



Meet the AMCHP staff.



Fourth National Conference of State/Territorial/Tribal Breastfeeding Coalitions
Aug. 4-6
Arlington, VA

National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media
Aug. 7-9
Atlanta, GA

Reproductive Health 2012
Sept. 20-22
New Orleans, LA

Alaska MCH and Immunization Conference
Sept. 27-28
Anchorage, AK

2012 International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS and Infant Survival
Oct. 5-7
Baltimore, MD

AAP National Conference and Exhibition
Oct. 20-23
New Orleans, LA

APHA 140th Annual Meeting and Exposition
Oct. 27-31
San Francisco, CA

18th Annual MCH EPI Conference Co-hosted with the 2012 CityMatCH Urban MCH Leadership Conference
Dec. 12-14
San Antonio, TX

SAHM Annual Meeting: Achieving Healthy Equity for Adolescents & Young Adults
Apr. 13-16, 2013