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 Guide for Senior Managers

​​Leading State Maternal and Child Health Programs: A Guide for Senior Managers

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​This manual is organized into chapters dedicated to "the big picture," or the theoretical framework of maternal and child health, and "the ABC's," which delve into the day-to-day operational aspects of MCH programs.



​I want to thank you and congratulate you on your new leadership role. In the words of a former AMCHP president, Dr. Maxine Hayes, MCH means Making Change Happen – and you have now become a part of the Making Change Happen team.

​Managing state programs for maternal and child health (MCH) and children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) can be challenging. However, always remember you have the most incredible opportunity to make a lasting and positive impact on the health of the women, infants, children, youth, children with special health care needs and their families in your jurisdiction.

One thing you should know is that you are not alone in this new role. There are many people who are here to help you along the way, including your peers across the country, federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) staff, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) members and staff, the National MCH Workforce Development Center, academic and research centers, and informed families, to name just a few. Just come with your questions because we have answers.

Over the past half decade, AMCHP observed significant changes in the landscape of MCH. These include implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), several state agency reorganizations, shrinking state and federal budget resources, and, most recently, the transformation of Title V. With the turnover of state Title V leaders and many retiring, it is important to continue to ensure a "baseline" of maternal and child health services for the next generation of leaders of state MCH and CYSHCN programs. At AMCHP we want to make sure our new generation of MCH leaders will continue to Make Change Happen. Women, children and families are counting on us to be there with them, for them, work on their behalf, across the life course so that current and future generations are reflected in healthy children, healthy families and healthy communities. ​

We see this guide as the key to Making Change Happen for MCH leaders in their first six months of the job. We want this to be a tool for you and other new MCH professionals at all levels as it provides a great foundation for working in Title V. We hope you find this guide to be a useful reference as you are learning your role and Making Change Happen in your MCH program.

Welcome to the maternal and ch​ild health community!

Millie Jones, MPH
AMCHP President
December 2014​


*In this document, we use "MCH" to denote all family health programs, including maternal and child health and children with special health care needs.