By Nisa Hussain
Program Analyst, Workforce and Leadership Development
By Cindy San Miguel
Assistant Director, Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health
Workforce Development Center - Cohort 2017
Looking back, 2017 was another successful year for the National MCH Workforce Development Center (the Center) and AMCHP's involvement with the Center's Cohort 2017. Last January, the Center accepted seven states into the cohort with an overarching goal of addressing complex health transformation challenges in their respective states. Their projects ranged from aiming to improve care coordination service delivery to reducing the number of low-risk cesarean deliveries among first-time mothers. The Center equipped these state teams with the necessary tools, skills, and resources that would allow them and their partners to succeed. Alongside the experienced Center staff, several AMCHP staff served as coaches to coordinate team meetings, leverage partners' strengths, and facilitate Center tools.
An in-person meeting was held in Chapel Hill in March 2017 to kick off the cohort with educational trainings and team building exercises. The following months included ongoing coaching, monthly training webinars, and in-state consultations with coaches and relevant experts. By September, states had the opportunity to reflect on their accomplishments and share their success stories in a celebration webinar.
Two major accomplishments of 2017 were the teams' use of innovative systems change tools and development of new interdisciplinary collaborations to strengthen state Title V programs. With another successful opportunity to provide leadership and health transformation skills to states under the Center's belt, the Center staff and AMCHP are gearing up for Cohort 2018 to kickstart another year of health transformation and workforce development.
Strengthening the Workforce Pipeline: The Title V MCH Internship Program
The aim of the Title V MCH Internship Program is to provide future MCH professionals with experience working in state Title V agencies, with mentorship and guidance from Title V agency preceptors. 2017 was the fourth consecutive year of the Title V MCH Internship Program, which is an initiative of the National MCH Workforce Development Center. Ten state Title V agencies each hosted two MPH student summer interns to carry out projects focused on improving the health of women, children, and families. Students were exposed to the innerworkings of state Title V agencies and received training and content-based workshops on leadership, building collaborative relationships, and on the purpose and structure of Title V.
By hosting and mentoring student interns throughout the summer, state Title V agencies received valuable help in implementing projects and grant deliverables that moved the agencies' priorities forward. Based on interviews, Title V staff indicated that they overwhelmingly benefited from hosting MCH summer interns. One Title V staff member remarked, "The team of students was wonderful, and they supported our MCH program in an important project. [It] would have taken much longer to complete without the interns adding to and enhancing our capacity."
Examples of state projects implemented by MCH interns:
- Gap Analysis of Interconception Care through key informant interviews
- Development and implementation of training modules to increase staff quantitative skills
- Assessment and summary report of family utilization of state public health department social media and website
- Development of resources and marketing materials to increase breastfeeding
- Assessment of newborn screening practices across state
For summer 2018, 11 state Title V agencies have been selected to participate in the pipeline program, and the student application period is currently open until February 9, 2018. Information and application materials are available here.
State Title V agencies that wish to host MCH students in the future or would like to learn more about the program should contact Arden Handler at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cindy San Miguel at email@example.com.