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 Family Leadership Development as Part of Workforce and Leadership Development at AMCHP

By Sharron Corle, MS
Associate Director, MCH Leadership Development & Capacity Building, AMCHP 

Jessica Teel, MS, CHES
Program Manager, Workforce & Leadership Development, AMCHP

Like many segments of the public health workforce, the MCH workforce is experiencing tremendous changes – on-going budget cuts, accreditation, an aging workforce, implementation of health care reform, etc., – bringing about the need for new skills, capacity and practice needs. At AMCHP, the Workforce and Leadership Development (WLD) team is committed to building the MCH leaders of tomorrow! Our team is enthusiastic about working with members and staff to identify and share resources related to succession planning, talent management, and retention; support leadership development; facilitate opportunities for peer exchange; and increase the use of the MCH Leadership Competencies and evidence-based training and development practice within all AMCHP training and development activities.

AMCHP workforce development efforts focus on improving MCH outcomes by supporting and enhancing the skills and competencies of the MCH workforce with a focus on leadership development and mentoring. While our efforts largely target individuals either employed by state and local government health agencies, we also work to develop family leaders and those individuals that work as part of larger efforts (community, national organizations, health care delivery system level, etc.) to improve maternal and child health.

AMCHP leadership development efforts have focused on two key programs: the New Director Mentor Program (NDMP) and the Family Scholars Program (FSP). NDMP and FSP provide leadership development opportunities for new Title V and family leaders. Both programs are grounded in the MCH Leadership Competencies and are guided by a three-pronged, evidence-based framework consisting of formal and informal learning opportunities, peer-to-peer networking, and mentoring and coaching support. The NDMP pairs a new Title V administrator (MCH, children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), Title V director) who has been in their position three years or less with a more seasoned Title V administrator to develop specific skills and gain knowledge that will enhance professional and personal growth, including leadership capacity. Likewise, family leaders participating in the FSP are matched with a family mentor and partake in a 10-month leadership development journey geared for family representatives interested in developing their leadership skills, understanding of Title V, network of family leaders, confidence in advocating on behalf of Title V, and how to increase family involvement within Title V programs in their state. AMCHP believes that developing families as leaders is critical to help them understand how to bring about positive change in the lives of their families but also to enable them to ensure that state MCH programs are relevant to the families they serve.

Two AMCHP committees support the WLD program work, the Workforce and Leadership Development Committee (WLDC) and the Family and Youth Leadership Committee (FYLC). The WLDC focuses on issues state Title V programs face in recruiting, training, and retaining staff, and also works toward developing strategies that support and enhance the skills and competencies of the MCH workforce with a focus on leadership development and mentoring. The FYLC provides leadership and guidance to support the development and implementation of effective programs, strategies, and policies that advance family and youth involvement in MCH issues, including CYSHCN, at the local, state, and national levels.

For more information about the AMCHP Workforce and Leadership Development Team, contact Sharron Corle, associate director, MCH leadership development & capacity building at (202) 266-3036, or Michelle Jarvis, program manager, family involvement at (202) 775-1472, or Jessica Teel, program manager, workforce & leadership development at (202) 266-3054.