Senior Collaboration Manager at the National MCH Workforce Development Center
Adjunct Instructor, Department of Maternal & Child Health
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Launched in 2013, the National MCH Workforce Development Center has provided training and consultation to Title V agencies and partners in 43 states and two U.S. territories. Results from follow-up evaluations of the states and territories credit the center as crucial to progress on their health transformation projects.
The center provides training and consultation through multiple avenues: a six- to eight-month intensive cohort experience; customized one-on-one intensive training and consultation with individual states; a three-day Skills Institute; and an internship program that matches undergraduate and graduate students in MCH programs with Title V agencies.
The curriculum focuses on three areas identified as foundational for the health transformation efforts of the MCH workforce:
- change management and adaptive leadership
- systems integration
- evidence-based decision making and implementation
State teams work in concert with center coaches from professional and academic public health backgrounds on projects that focus on supporting state-level initiatives and tackling major challenges. The center also supports family engagement and health equity, including by encouraging family partner participation in the center’s learning activities and providing active health equity support.
The center evaluates the impact of its work through interviews with representatives from state/jurisdictional agencies at six-month and three-year intervals. Of the 35 state teams interviewed to date, 89 percent agreed or strongly agreed that the engagement with the center enhanced their Title V agency’s skills. Ninety-seven percent responded that working with the center increased the number of their collaborative efforts with partner agencies.
Here are two examples of how agencies applied what they learned:
Rhode Island, a participant in the first cohort (2014), used the center training as the foundation for a project to create a professional certification program for community health workers. In the three-year follow-up, the state credited the center’s work as key for developing the partnerships and planning necessary to bring the program into being. The state’s Certification for Community Health Workers went live in 2016, and 232 people are now certified community health workers.
In Guam, a 2015 cohort participant, the center provided foundational support for the development of an island-wide Developmental and Behavioral Screening Process (IDBSS) to identify at-risk children and connect them to appropriate services. The percent of Medicaid enrollees less than one year old who were screened at least once increased from 11 percent in 2014 to 44 percent in 2016. The territory’s Title V agency reports that it made heavy use of the center’s tools in developing the project and continues to use them in its work.
With the increased complexity of public health roles and the transition from program or disease-specific silos to cross-cutting MCH state structures, the center’s training model will continually evolve to address the needs of the jurisdictions and states it serves. If your state or jurisdiction has not yet engaged intensively with the center, consider joining our upcoming cohort in early 2020.