MCH Student eNewsletter

February 2022


1. Student Spotlight: How is Alexis Chavez Building MCH Knowledge and Skills through her Work and Online MCH?

#UMNMCH student Alexis Chavez (she/her) (MPH 2022) wrote this reflection on how her role as one of the co-editors of the National MCH Trainee Blog has contributed to her Maternal and Child Health (MCH) knowledgebase. In this piece, Alexis shares how her work with MCH students as a blog editor incorporates skills presented in MCH Competencies and the L.I.F.E Framework Model.

2. National MCH Trainee Blog: Ruth Enkuselasse Berhanu on Competency #2–Self Reflection

Ruth Enkuselasse Berhanu is the author of the newest blog post featuring Competency 2: Self-Reflection. Ruth is an MPH student from Boston University concentrating in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Maternal and Child Health. In Fall 2020, she was a practice fellow partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Health, where she focused on promoting a healing-centered work environment, an initiative under the Title V Priority 5-Year State Action Plan. In her post, Ruth describes the importance of healing-centered approaches. “When healing-centered approaches are not implemented in our work environments, public health workers are distant and disconnected, leaving no room for full collaboration and creativity when designing interventions for vulnerable populations they work with.” Read about Ruth’s experience here.

Center Events

The Center is proud to co-sponsor the following events:

3. Skills Institute #3: Working with and Advocating for Families Caring for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) or Chronic Conditions

February 8, 2022 | 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CDT

Our third workshop will focus on working with and advocating for families caring for children and youth with special health care needs. We welcome Pat Lang, Coordinator of the Health Information Center at PACER Center, as our guest speaker, and Laurel Cederberg as our student facilitator. This workshop is for MCH and PHN students only. Fellows from LEND and LEAH have also been invited to attend.


4. 16th Annual UMN Women’s Health Research Conference: Reproductive Justice and Person-Centered Care

February 15, 2022 | Exact time forthcoming

The Women's Health Research Conference is a half-day event that features plenary panel presentations, panel discussion, and a poster session on women’s health research. It draws interdisciplinary women’s health researchers, health care providers, students, and community public health professionals for a day of learning, networking, and research dissemination.


5. Bright Spots Mini-Lab: Rapid Qualitative Data Analytic in Public Health Practice

January 18, 2022 | 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM CDT

In this workshop, originally commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Professor Johnny Saldaña provides a brief literature review of rapid research in health care by some of the field's premier writers (James Beebe, Cecilia Vindrola-Padros, etc.). Key principles and methods of rapid qualitative assessment will be addressed, along with summary and synthesis techniques. Participants will simulate exercises in thematic analysis.


6. Reproductive Justice Book Club: Intersectionality–Why Reproductive Justice is Crucial for Black and Indigenous Women and Other Women of Color

February 21, 2022 | 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM CDT

Please join the Center as we host our second session of the Reproductive Justice Book Club and explore the concept of reproductive justice–from inception to action! In this second discussion session, Dr. Jaime Slaughter-Acey, Dr. Rachel Hardeman, and MCH student Dr. Erin Marten will be your guides as you discuss and cover intersectionality in the reading selection, Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts.


-Access readings

7. Skills Institute #4: “The Čaŋlí Coalition Toolkit: A Policy Framework”

February 28, 2022 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT

Our last workshop of the school year will feature MCH alumni Rae O’Leary (MPH 2019), a Public Health Research Analyst at Missouri Breaks, as our guest speaker, and Mackenzie O’Kane as our student facilitator. Rae will share a toolkit she developed for the anti-tobacco Canli Coalition of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which can be adapted to advocate for other public health issues. This Workshop is for Center MCH and PHN students only.



8. Management of Severe Hypertension in Other Care Settings

February 8, 2022 | 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM CDT

The Minnesota Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MNPQC) is collaborating with Project ECHO to host free monthly education calls for its Hypertension in Pregnancy and Postpartum Period Initiative. In this session, LeeAnn Hubbard, MD from HealthPartners, will discuss and address topics regarding the rural hospital perspective and collaboration with the emergency department.


9. Fathers and Perinatal Health

February 9, 2022 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

This workshop is brought to you by Wayside Recovery Center with support from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) in hosting a free public education Project ECHO series. This presentation will use the relevant literature on factors affecting the mental health of men, with a focus on fathers during the perinatal period, to assist mental healthcare professionals in supporting families more holistically, and facilitating more positive outcomes for mothers and children. The workshop includes first-person accounts, via video, of the challenges that fathers can face with anxiety and depression in the perinatal.


10. Learning to Play and Playing to Learn in Home Environments

February 9, 2022 | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT

In this home visiting series webinar, participants will discuss the benefits of home visits and how they support families with nurturing their child’s curiosity and initiative while creating a foundation for lifelong learning. This session includes a hands-on play experience and participants are encouraged to have playdough. This webinar will have English and Spanish captioning.


11. Transgenerational Trauma

February 10, 2022 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

This workshop is brought to you by Wayside Recovery Center with support from DHS in hosting a free public education Project ECHO series. This presentation focuses on the role of transgenerational trauma in the mental and physical health and wellbeing of BIPOC mothers. A review of existing research will be offered to highlight the impact of structural bias in various social sectors on maternal and infant health. Participants will learn five social justice-oriented strategies that they can adopt to minimize the effects of systemic oppression for women and infants, in particular.


12. Biostatistics Community Outreach and Engagement: Working With K-12 Students

February 17, 2022 | 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM CDT

The Health Equity Work Group (HEWG) has the pleasure of hosting Dr. Mark Fiecas, Assistant Professor in the Division of Biostatistics at the UMN School of Public Health, Sarah Samorodnitsky, Biostatistics Ph.D. student, and Rachel Zilinskas, Biostatistics Ph.D. student for the HEWG Spring General Meeting. Dr. Fiecas, Sarah, and Rachel will discuss their work with the Saint Paul Public Schools, exposing students to data science, environmental health science, and public health through a co-created curriculum.


-Read more about this initiative

13. Supporting Instruction for Dual Language Learners (DLLs) with Disabilities

February 22, 2022 | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT

In this inclusion series webinar, discover ways to create culturally and linguistically responsive environments. Explore what research says about strategies that support language and literacy development for children who are DLLs and also have a disability. This webinar will have English and Spanish captioning.


14. Fathers Are Not Born, They Are Made

February 23, 2022 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

This workshop is brought to you by Wayside Recovery Center with support from DHS in hosting a free public education Project ECHO series. This presentation will examine the psychosocial, psychological and physiological transitions undertaken as men move into their fatherhood role; and what it all means for mothers and children, specifically how to use this knowledge to inform how mental healthcare professionals can engage and support fathers as assets for healthy mother and child outcomes.


15. Doulas Are So Much More

March 3, 2022 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

This workshop is brought to you by Wayside Recovery Center with support from DHS in hosting a free public education Project ECHO series. Doulas Shanika Clarke and Michelle Henderson will discuss their experience as doulas and how this work has intersected with their careers in healthcare and the criminal justice system.


16. Addressing Inequities in Hypertensive Care

March 8, 2022 | 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM CDT

The Minnesota Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MNPQC) is collaborating with Project ECHO to host free monthly education calls for its Hypertension in Pregnancy and Postpartum Period Initiative. In this session, the Center's Dr. Jaime Slaughter-Acey will discuss the BIPOC patient experience and inequity-driven differences in maternal outcomes.


Center Faculty Publications and News

17. Center Faculty, Staff, and Students in the News

Dr. Rachel Hardeman, associate professor and founding director of the Center For Antiracism Research For Health Equity, is featured in UMN’s School of Public Health News for her research findings in Over-policing linked to higher odds of preterm birth.

Bold=Center faculty, staff, or student

MCH Competency Corner

18. Competency #6: Negotiation and Conflict

Each month, we highlight MCH Leadership competencies for our students to learn more about. Negotiation is a cooperative process where participants try to find a solution that meets the interests of all involved parties. Conflict resolution is resolving or managing a dispute by sharing each party's points of view and addressing their interests to produce a satisfying outcome. Leadership in public health requires knowledge and skills in negotiation and conflict resolution to address differences among stakeholders, health care providers, communities, managers, providers, and families.

-Learn more about MCH competencies


19. Call for Applications: Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Fellowship

Deadline: February 28, 2022

APHL has been awarded five years of funding by the CDC to establish a paid Fellowship program in multiple disciplines. The funds come from the American Rescue Plan, specifically to address the national shortage of public health scientists that has been experienced during the pandemic. The eight Fellowship Tracks include Newborn Screening, Bioinformatics​, Biorisk Management, Environmental Health, Food Safety, Infectious Disease, Informatics, and Quality Management. A map of national laboratories (including Minnesota’s) can be obtained here.

-To apply

20. Call for Applications: 2022 Training Course in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology

Deadline: March 1, 2022

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), CDC, and CityMatCH will again offer a training course in statistics and epidemiological methods as part of their ongoing effort to enhance the analytic capacity of state and local health agencies. The training course is an intensive program that combines lectures, discussion, hands-on exercises, and opportunities for individualized technical assistance. Two webinars prior to the training will set the stage for the onsite course and several post-course webinars will serve to build upon and extend the in-person training.

-Learn more information

-To apply

21. Call for Applications: Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDDs) and Related Disabilities (MNLEND) Program

Deadline: March 1, 2022

MNLEND is a MCHB-funded 10-month interdisciplinary leadership training program in policy advocacy and evidence-based research and practices to develop new leaders to be skilled in systems-thinking, effective in interventions and practices, and able to improve quality of life outcomes for children and youth with NDD and related disabilities. UMN-Twin Cities graduate students, post-doctorates, outside community professionals, family members, self-advocates, and others who can demonstrate leadership potential and direct experience in NDD are highly encouraged to apply.

-Learn more information

-To apply


22. Newsletter: The Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity (CARHE)

CARHE's February newsletter focuses on engaging with equity during Black History Month 2022. This issue celebrates Black changemakers, provides events (including the February 4th Justice in Public Health: Engaging Research from Scholars of Color and the February 8th Health Affairs Racism and Health Virtual Symposium) and shares job opportunities that advance equity work. Make sure to follow CARHE on Twitter at @CARHEumn and sign up for CARHE newsletter here.

23. Social Media to Follow: AMCHP’s Twitter Account

Follow the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) Advocacy account on Twitter (@AMCHP_Advocacy) to get up-to-date info on the latest in MCH! This account is “the eyes, ears, and voice of AMCHP membership in Washington, DC.”

24. Article: Learning from Graduate and Undergraduate Public Health Virtual Internship Experiences with State Title V Agencies During COVID-19, Summer 2020

Read this article about how COVID-19 impacted the experiences of interns in the Title V MCH Internship Program. In this piece, qualitative and quantitative data are observed comparing the programs' virtual year in 2020 and 2017-2019 when internships were in person.

25. Article: A Call to Transform Maternal and Child Health Mentorship to Build Inclusivity, Honor Diversity of Experiences, and Tackle the Root of Health Disparities

Read this article about the importance of mentorship in the MCH profession. In this piece, authors Mishkin et al, express the importance of mentorship, express a call to action, and provide recommendations for MCH mentorship going forward.

26. Group Therapy: Boynton Health

Group therapy sessions are a safe, confidential space to share and explore concerns and learn new strategies for overcoming challenges. Group therapy sessions are open to all students, unless otherwise indicated, and will be held via Zoom this semester.

-Learn more

National Observances

27. Cervical Health Awareness Month

More than 13,000 women in the US are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year, but the disease is preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening. The Human Papillomavirus vaccines can help prevent infection from both high-risk HPV types that can lead to cervical cancer and low-risk types that cause genital warts. The CDC recommends all boys and girls get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12 as the vaccine produces a stronger immune response when taken during the preteen years.

-Learn more

28. Birth Defects Prevention Month: Healthy Communities, Healthy Babies

This year’s birth defects prevention month focuses on “Healthy Communities, Health Babies.” Not all birth defects can be prevented, but individuals can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by doing what they can to be their healthiest self both before and during pregnancy. The National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) advises five prevention tips on actions that can be taken on by individuals and by community organizers for healthy communities and healthy babies.

-Learn more and view five resource tips

The aims of the Center include providing continuing professional education in maternal and child health (MCH) and support for students in online and in-person MCH graduate programs at the University of Minnesota. Center and MCH Program faculty are involved in research and training in infant and child health, adolescent health, family health, health disparities, reproductive health, and women's health.

The Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number T76MC00005 for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health in the amount of $1,725,000. This information or content and conclusions of our outreach products are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

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