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 The Life Course Metrics Project

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Four States Accepted into AMCHP's 2015/16 Life Course Indicators Intensive Technical Assistance Project!

AMCHP is pleased to announce the ​​​four state team accepted into the Life Course Indicators Intensive Technical Assistance Project: 

  • ​​Georgia
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico

​This Intensive Technical Assistance opportunity includes the following components:

  • Analytic assistance in calculating a subset of the life course indicators
  • Virtual learning events that focus on communicating health disparities and social equity issues, including information from leading national experts in the fields of life course, health equity, and communication
  • Expert consultation around communication of the implications for equity components of life course indicators
  • Peer-to-peer learning network to support each other (SharePoint collaborative site, conference calls)
  • Travel funding for 2 team members to attend an in-person meeting to design an analysis and communications plan.
  • Individualized feedback to state teams to help identify key messages and design products
  • Regular, facilitated check in calls where state teams can share challenges and best practices.
  • Creation of at least one communications product (policy or issue brief, fact sheet, presentation, etc.) 

​First Round of Life Course Indicator Intensive Technical Assistance Completed by 8 States!

Teams from Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, and Wyoming completed the first round of AMCHP's Life Course Indicator Intensive Technical Assistance in February 2014. States involved in this technical assistance opportunity received analytic assistance calculating a subset of the life course indicators and expert consulatation to create a communications product from the results of their analysis. Life course communications products developed by the teams include presentations, infographics, brochures, fact sheets, and interactive resources. Please see the links below for examples of completed products:


As MCH programs develop new programming guided by a life course framework, measures are needed to determine the success of their approaches. In response to this emerging issue, AMCHP launched a project designed to identify and promote a standardized set of indicators that can be applied to measure progress using the life course approach to improve maternal and child health. This project was funded with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

A National Expert Panel guided the framework for the project, and the selection of the final set of indicators took place over a 12-month collaborative process with seven state teams: Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska and North Carolina. The teams distilled 413 proposed indicators down to approximately 100 by assessing the indicators on three data and five life course criteria (view the indicators proposed but not selected or the indicator wish list). The final set of 59 were selected by a voting procedure at an in-person meeting in June 2013, where states discussed supporting written narratives for each indicator after consulting state expertise and the literature. Throughout July, AMCHP invited public comments on the draft final set of indicators, and these comments were used to refine and clarify the indicators. For more background on the project, view this annotated slide deck.

The Final Set

  • Online indicator tool: Visit this page to browse the 59 indicators by category, domain, or data set. Complete narratives for each indicator will be added throughout October and November - please check back regularly for updates.

  • Printer-friendly indicator set: Want an easy snapshot of the indicator set to print or share with your colleagues? Download this PDF of the indicators.

  • Indicator set in excel: The excel file of the indicator set includes the same information in the online tool and printer-friendly version and also includes national comparison data, notes on calculation, and allows the user to sort the indicator set by similar measures in other indicator sets, among many other options.

  • ​Indicator narratives in pdf form - The linked pdf has all 59 indicators in one document to enable you to download and print all at once. For individual indicator narratives, please use the online indicator tool.

Tools for Use

  • The "Short List": State teams selected, through a nominal group process, 13 indicators from the set of 59 that they felt best captured the breadth and robustness of the final set. Users can start by calculating these indicators, and programs can use this set to communicate with policymakers and stakeholders outside of the MCH program.

  • FAQ: Have questions about the indicators? AMCHP is collecting frequently asked questions about the indicators and posting the answers in the FAQ. Don't see your question? E-mail Caroline Stampfel at

  • Data Resource Portal: AMCHP has compiled links to several data sources, query systems and resources for ease of access by data users. We will continue to add to this resource in the coming months.

  • Webinar on the Final Set: During this webinar, presenters provided an overview of the Life Course Metrics Project and it's process, sharing key decision points and methods for engaging the MCH community.  Representatives from state MCH programs, including MCH epidemiology, shared their perspectives on participating in the proje​ct, the challenges, and lessons they learned, and how the life course indicators will influence their work and future efforts. The webinar concluded with a discussion on the implications of the life course indicators for the field of MCH and beyond. Click the link to access a recording of the webinar and speaker slides.​

  • Tip Sheets:

    Concentrated Disadvantage: LC-06  is one of the more complex indicators to calculate, interpret, and communicate. The linked tip sheet provides information about how to analyze concentrated disadvantage and what to make of your results.​​​

    Racial Residential Segregation: LC-16 is calculated using American Community Survey data and requires one to calculate the Dissimilarity Index (DI). The linked tip sheet provides information about how to calculate and interpret the DI.

    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES): LC-01 and LC-02 are calculated using two different data sources, the National Survey of Children's Health and the Behavoiral Risk Factor Surveillance ​System. This tip sheet provides more information about how the two indicators differ and how states are using these indicators.

    Talking About Life Course:​​
     This tip sheet provides language and strategies to assist those using the indicators to communicate with stakeholders about life course. The sheet includes key messages and ideas for visualization of some of the key concepts of life course. 
  • ​​​​Crosswalk of Title V Performance Measures and Life Course Indicators:​ AMCHP has created a resource to identify which new Title V National Performance Measures have a corresponding Life Course Indicator. ​​​

  • Coder's Corner: Sample SAS code from AMCHP and actual code collected from others who are calculating the indicators.​

    Racial Residental Segregation (LC-16)
    ACES Among Adults (LC-02)

Next Steps​

AMCHP looks forward to collaborating with members and partners in the use and application of the indicator set.

Staff Contact

Caroline Stampfel, MPH
Associate Director, Epidemiology and Evaluation
(202) 775-1473