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The Pipeline Program of the National Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Workforce Development Center is designed to enhance training and networking opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students in MCH Leadership Training Programs.   By providing Pipeline participants with the tools to effectively serve the MCH population within the context of health reform and the Affordable Care Act, we will advance the capacity of the Title V workforce to implement policies, programs, and systems that optimize the health and well-being of women, children, and families. 

MCH Workforce Development Center activities will support the existing training infrastructure for graduate and undergraduate students in the ‘pipeline’ as they become MCH leaders.  In addition to enriching practice opportunities for MCH students to engage with state and territorial Title V agencies during their training, the Pipeline Program will enhance curricula and training tools to increase knowledge and skills in four areas: Quality Improvement; Systems Integration; Change Management; and, Access to Care.  Toward this end, the National Center will collaborate with the network of academic MCH training programs nationwide, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, and other key academic and practice contributors to further assess need and provide a strategic response.  By investing in the professional development of MCH graduate and undergraduate students today, we are providing the Title V leadership of tomorrow with the knowledge and skills to address future health and health system challenges.

Through the Pipeline Program, existing and new training materials and curricula will be shared with current MCH trainees, MCH training program alumni, MCH academe, and Title V professionals through mixed modalities and multiple communication channels, expediting the translation of new knowledge to practice and peer-to-peer learning within a community of practice.

Now Accepting Student Applications for Paired Practica

MCH Paired Practica Program Summer 2016—Seeking Student Applications

The National MCH Workforce Development Center, in cooperation with the University of Illinois at Chicago, Howard University, and UCLA, will host an MCH Paired Practica Program this summer.  Through the program, graduate students from SPH Training Programs will be paired with undergraduate students from Howard University and UCLA to work on health transformation projects identified by state Title V programs.  This year, participating states include Iowa, Washington DC (2 projects), New Jersey, Rhode Island, Alabama, Colorado, and North Carolina. 

​​For a student application, please visit the National MCH Workforce Center website


 People - Contact Info

 Pipeline Resources

 MCH Trainee of the Month

Jaimie Lea
MCH SPH Trainee from UNC-CH

Why MCH? What are my interests?
As an undergraduate student at UNC Chapel Hill, I was highly involved in the reproductive justice community, serving in a leadership position for a campus organization with a commitment to ensuring continued access to reproductive health care and the ability to make informed decisions about reproductive health for all people. After graduation, I worked as a high school science teacher for 3 years, but missed being plugged into the reproductive justice community. I decided to pursue MCH after teaching because the field combines so many of my interests, from the reproductive health continuum, to adolescent health, to access to health care and much more! I feel so lucky to be a member of a fantastic cohort of MCH students at UNC Chapel Hill, as I have had the opportunity to learn from them as well as the wonderful faculty. It can be a challenge to focus my interests as I constantly learn about new aspects of MCH. Currently, I am interested in quality improvement processes, life course theory and reducing health disparities.  

How has health reform affected me?
At a personal level, health reform has affected me and will continue to affect me by ensuring that I have access to health insurance. Health reform will also impact my career trajectory by beginning to change the landscape of public health and MCH. I had the amazing opportunity to be a fly on the wall when I volunteered at the National MCH Workforce Development Center’s Kick-Off Meeting in 2013. Through this experience, I learned about various challenges that health reform brings to the existing MCH workforce and the opportunities it presents for MCH trainees like me to become leaders in the field as it evolves. I feel that it is a very exciting time to be entering the MCH workforce, as there are so many opportunities to move MCH forward in the context of health reform with respect to access to care, systems integration, change management and quality improvement. 

Jennifer Schroeder (Pipeline Scholar)Jennifer Schroeder
MCH SPH Trainee from UNC-CH

Why MCH? What are my interests?
I realized I wanted to expand my MCH education after years of teeter-tottering between occupational health and safety for various theater organizations during the summers and being a family planning health clinic assistant, childcare subsidy worker, and doula in the winters. Inevitably, I wanted to combine these specialties and apply them to the MCH workforce. Within the family planning spectrum, I am particularly interested in emergency preparedness, disaster relief, and project management under Title V block grants.

How has health reform affected me?
As an MCH student I have been able to work as a contributor and leader in efforts to engage the community in health reform as an education specialist for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina (PPCNC). Our goal is to provide application assistance and education to the patients and local population.

The most surprising discovery, so far, was the realization that even though public health students clearly understand the ACA and its importance, many of my classmates at UNC were not sure where they fit in. All day long we talk about health reform but many students, who are mostly above the age of 26, have not thought about how this might affect them on a personal level. Can they apply? Should they apply? These were some of the questions I came across. Thus, one of our first community outreach aims was to directly support graduate students. Now, students can visit the local PPCNC clinic, Chapel Hill Public Library, or attend a scheduled event at the School of Public Health to get assistance.

Ultimately, the work happening in health care reform is one of those things that I will look back on as an older adult and think to myself, “I was a part of that!” Being a graduate student in MCH has made me a witness to this daily. I am excited to continue my work and studies in health reform and its application to MCH populations.



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The National MCH Workforce Development Center is funded by a cooperative agreement (#UE7MC26282) with the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau.