By Arden Handler, DrPH, Deneen Long-White, PhD and Jaime Klaus, MA
For the second year, the National MCH Workforce Development Center is supporting the MCH Paired Practica program. The program supports MCH undergraduate students from the MCHB-funded Howard University Pipeline Program and MCH graduate students/recent graduates from the 13 schools of public health with MCH training programs as they participate in internships designed by state Title V agencies. Each graduate/undergraduate student pair works as a team to complete a scope of work related to health transformation. A unique feature of the MCH Paired Practica program is the pairing of graduate and undergraduate students in a mentoring relationship as a way to build the skills of both sets of students and to introduce both undergraduates and graduates to an MCH career pathway in state Title V agencies. All students participating in the MCH Paired Practica program receive training in leadership, team building, and mentoring as well as exposure to a variety of resources and learning modules focused on Title V, the Affordable Care Act, and methods and approaches for health transformation. State preceptors also receive support from Pipeline staff to facilitate a strong start and completion of the agreed on work plan.
In summer 2015, the Center is supporting seven "paired practica" teams located in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Rhode Island. MCH graduate students hail from Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, Tulane University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill schools of public health. Sample projects include: helping a state to implement the State Title V Roles in Health Reforms including ACA: A Title V State Access to Care Assessment Tool; assisting a state in conducting outreach to the next generation of more tech-savvy parents of children and youth with special health care needs while gathering information from parents about their experiences with health transformation; and working with a state to develop a Title V health transformation and systems dashboard.
"Paired Practica" opportunities will be available for summer 2016 as well, and the Center is hoping to expand to support 10 state sites with increased participation from students and states in the western region of the United States. The recruitment process for potential state sites has already begun, and the application will be available in fall 2015. For information about the MCH Paired Practica program, please visit: http://mchwdc.unc.edu/ or contact Arden Handler at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Pipeline Core of the National MCH Workforce Development Center, contact email@example.com.