Skip Navigation Links
May/June 2019Expand May/June 2019
March/April 2019Expand March/April 2019
January/February 2019Expand January/February 2019
November/December 2018Expand November/December 2018
September/October 2018Expand September/October 2018
July/August 2018Expand July/August 2018
May/June 2018Expand May/June 2018
March/April 2018Expand March/April 2018
January/February 2018Expand January/February 2018
July/August 2017Expand July/August 2017
May/June 2017Expand May/June 2017
March/April 2017Expand March/April 2017
January/February 2017Expand January/February 2017
November/December 2016Expand November/December 2016
July/August 2016Expand July/August 2016
May/June 2016Expand May/June 2016
March/April 2016Expand March/April 2016
January/February 2016Expand January/February 2016
November/December 2015Expand November/December 2015
July/August 2015Expand July/August 2015
May/June 2015Expand May/June 2015
March/April 2015Expand March/April 2015
January/February 2015Expand January/February 2015
ArchiveExpand Archive
November/December 2017Expand November/December 2017
PulseTemplate
September/October 2015Expand September/October 2015
September/October 2016Expand September/October 2016
September/October 2017Expand September/October 2017
Special Edition - EPRExpand Special Edition - EPR
Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance MeetingExpand Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance Meeting
Title V Technical Assistance Meeting

 Roundtable Reveals Top Challenges in State MCH Data and Epidemiology

Jen Leone pic.jpgBy Jennifer Farfalla
Senior Epidemiologist, AMCHP

Bringing together epidemiologists to talk about needs and challenges at the state level is an insightful experience. In 2016 AMCHP held its first epidemiology roundtable discussion at our Annual Conference, where epidemiologists and other data-mind professionals discussed analytic needs of their states and suggested training topics. Building on that success, we held another epi roundtable at the 2017 Annual Conference, drawing more than 50 participants – many of whom were maternal and child health epidemiologists, while others were programmatic staff and Title V directors who wanted to discuss departmental data and epidemiology needs or ways to increase collaboration with epidemiologists.

One topic of discussion was the most pressing challenges related to data and epidemiology at state-level MCH programs. The most popular responses fell into four categories: workforce, data access/availability, Title V Block Grant support and analytic capacity. The chart shows some of the challenges explored in each category:

​Workforce
  • Filling epidemiologist positions and retaining talent
  • Salary challenges
  • States have no epi positions or funding for epi positions
  • ​Data Access and Availability
  • Addressing the opioid crisis with limited access to necessary data
  • Obtaining county-level or small-area estimate data
  • Timely access to data, particularly real-time data
  • Lack of current data-sharing agreements
  • Title V Support
  • Developing evidence-based or informed strategy measures (ESMs) and accessing data for these measures
  • Needs assessment training
  • ​Analytic Capacity
  • Opportunities to keep up a well-rounded epi skill set
  • Increasing skills in statistical software (SAS, STATA, SPSS, R)
  • Performing data linkages (Ex: Medicaid data linkages, maternal mortality and birth certificate data)

  • Using the Feedback

    AMCHP used the feedback from the 2016 epidemiology roundtable discussion to help inform topics for the in-person data trainings prior to the 2016 National MCH Epidemiology Conference in September. AMCHP staff plans to use feedback from the 2017 roundtable discussion to inform in-person trainings in 2017, as well as virtual trainings and grant-writing opportunities that will allow us to offer more support to MCH epidemiologists. A few specific ideas for AMCHP-sponsored epi trainings were:

    • Qualitative analysis and mixed methods training
    • Needs assessment 101 and an advanced needs assessment training
    • SAS trainings
    • Publishing to peer-reviewed journals
    • Program evaluation
    • Return on investment
    • Measuring social determinants and applying the analysis

    An unofficial evaluation of the room at the end of the roundtable discussions showed an interest in continuing to have these types of epi-specific events at the AMCHP conference. Be on the lookout for our epi event at AMCHP 2018!