MCH Student eNewsletter

May 2022


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Notes from the Center

Congratulations 2022 #UMNMCH Graduates!

Congratulations to the Class of 2022 on your well deserved achievement. We wish you nothing but the best on your next adventure!

Thank You!

On behalf of all of us at the Center, thank you to Center RA Favi Ramirez, Reproductive Justice Book Club facilitator Erin Marten, blog editor Alexis Chavez, and MCHIG executive committee members Delaine Anderson, Taylor Lees, and Chinenyenwa Elile for all the time and talents you brought to the Center–and your MCH community–during your time with us. We are so grateful!

Last Chance to Register

Registration for the Center-hosted May 11th L.I.F.E. for Rural and Underserved Communities: Sharing Strengths, Building Workforce Equity and Shaping Future Professionals closes this Friday, May 6 at 5 pm CDT. Register for all of the Conference, come when you can!

We’re Going on Summer Break

This is the last student eNewsletter of the academic year! All of our newsletters go on hiatus over the summer. If you have events or announcements that you’d like us to share on social media, please email We’ll resume our regular newsletter schedule at the start of the 2022-2023 academic year. Enjoy the summer!

1. Congratulations to Alexis Chavez, MacKenzie O’Kane, Brianna Lundgren, Kaitlyn Traub, Claire Huber, Delilah Robb, Laurel Cederberg, Delaine Anderson, and Dr. Ruby Nguyen!

Kaitlyn Traub was selected to present the Association of Sexual Orientation with Experience of Teen Dating Violence among YRBS Respondents, 2015-2019 at AMCHP’s annual conference at the end of May 2022. Kaitlyn’s presentation will be included as part of a Student and Early Career Professional Roundtable Session.

–Nicollette Moore and Kaitlyn Traub, who were selected to share their project "Assessing Title V Capacity for Health Equity Work in Minnesota" during the L.I.F.E. for Rural and Underserved Communities: Sharing Strengths, Building Workforce Equity and Shaping Future Professionals Conference poster session on May 11, 2022.

Alexis Chavez, Brianna Lundgren, and MacKenzie O’Kane were selected to attend this year’s Making Lifelong Connections Conference for MCHB trainees. This year's meeting topic was “Weaving Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism into an MCH Career” and two presented on: National MCH Trainee Blog: Lessons Learned and Future Directions (Alexis), and Expanding Model Practices in County Jails: Measuring longitudinal changes in trauma-informed attitudes of jail staff (MacKenzie).

Alexis Chavez, Claire Huber, Delilah Robb, and Laurel Cederberg were selected to present at this year’s annual School of Public Health’s Research Day. The event provides students and faculty an opportunity to share their research, integrated learning experience, or their applied practice experience. Our fellow MCH students presented on: National MCH Trainee Blog: Lessons Learned and Future Directions (Alexis Chavez), Exploring Associations Between Adolescent Intimate Partner Violence and Contraceptive Use (Claire Huber), Human Papillomavirus Knowledge, Attitudes, and Cultural Beliefs of American Indian Men (Delilah Robb), Primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in preadolescent children: a prospective study (Laurel Cederberg).

Delaine Anderson, who was recently awarded the UMN President’s Student Leadership and Service Award and who has been selected to provide the SPH’s Student Commencement speech. Read about Delaine’s work in APHA’s recent Highlights from The Nation's Health (April 2022).

Dr. Ruby Nguyen, who was given the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Dr. Nguyen is the first tenured faculty member in the SPH to receive this award.

We are so excited to share your work and congratulate you each on your achievements!

Please send your news and awards to so we can celebrate you!

2. Student Spotlight: How did Myo Myo Aye support MPS in data analysis of the 2021-2022 project and develop a vision health plan for the city of Minneapolis?

#UMNMCH student Myo Myo Aye (she/her) (MPH 2022) wrote this reflection on how her role as a Research Intern with the Minnesota Vision Health Task Force at Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) has contributed to her career in MCH. Her work creating briefs at MPS highlighted the importance of describing the impact of young children’s vision health. In this segment, Myo shares how the project is improving early detection of vision concerns and access to treatment for young children in Minneapolis.

3. National MCH Trainee Blog

Alexis Chavez and Alyssa Pochkar

Blog co-editors from the UMN Center for MCH, Alexis Chavez (MPH 2022), and from the University at Albany, Alyssa Pochkar (MPH 2022), are the authors of the newest blog posts featuring, Competency 5, Communication, Competency 7, Cultural Competency and Competency 10, Interdisciplinary/Interprofessional Team Building. For the last two years, Alexis and Alyssa have worked together to run our student-led National MCH Trainee Blog. Along with pursuing their MPH and running the blog, Alexis and Alyssa have had the opportunity to pursue other professional efforts that contribute to and strengthen their MCH leadership competencies. In their post, Alexis and Alyssa reflect on their MCH work as well as their opportunity to work together from two different schools to host and run our national blog. Read more about their experiences here!

Cara Carter

Cara Carter is a pediatric pharmacist in West Virginia also pursuing her second-year in the UMN’s MCH Program. Cara is the author of the recent blog post featuring Competency 10, Interdisciplinary/Interprofessional Team Building. She has a passion for patient advocacy and aspiration to work for the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which is what inspired her to pursue her MPH. During her first year in MCH, she served as an intern at the Minnesota Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MNPQC). She shares, “While I learned about hypertension in pregnancy, including hypertensive urgency and hypertensive emergency, in both pharmacy school and residency, this was the first time I was able to apply this information in a preventative manner to public health at large versus the care of an individual patient.” Read more about Cara’s experience with her internship here!

Center Events

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

4. Reproductive Justice Book Club: Toolkits on Advancing the Human Right to Safe and Respectful Maternal Health Care and Queering Reproductive Justice

May 9, 2022 | 9:00 AM CDT

Join the Center for MCH for the last Reproductive Justice Book Club of the year!!! In this last session, we will explore some toolkits designed to help guide practitioners in their care for medically oppressed populations. Dr. Jaime Slaughter-Acey and Dr. Rachel Hardeman will be present to discuss the Black Mamas Matter Alliance Toolkit: Advancing the Human Right to Safe and Respectful Maternal Health Care and Queering Reproductive Justice: A Mini Toolkit. As always you can find supplementary materials and media on the webpage for those interested in more resources. Contact Erin at with questions.


5. Save-the-Date: 2022 Adolescent Health Summer Institute–Promoting and Protecting Adolescent Mental Health

July 18, 2022-July 20, 2022

As we move beyond covid, this is the opportune time to redefine effective strategies and best

practices and change the mental health landscape. During the virtual 2022 Summer Institute, explore trends and patterns in adolescent mental health, examine intersectional and social-ecological lenses that affect mental well-being, and move past traditional notions of self-care. Follow the Center's social media channels and check the Institute website for details, coming soon!

6. Save the Date: 2022 National Maternal Nutrition Intensive Course

August 1, 2022: In-Person Event | August 3, 2022: Virtual Webinar | September 1 - December 31, 2022: Fully Distance Program

This continuing education program focuses on the improvement of maternal and infant health through the delivery of risk-appropriate, high-quality nutrition services.

It is designed for dietitians, nutritionists, certified nurse midwives, registered nurses and nurse practitioners, physicians, and public health professionals who serve pre-conceptual, pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women. Registration details coming soon:


7. Sex Science Happy Hour

May 12, 2022 | 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM CDT

The UMN Institute for Sexual and Gender Health invites students to partake in its Sex Science Happy Hour. Join host, sex, and relationship expert Dr. Kristen Mark, and guest Dr. Katie Spencer to this in-person event as they bring informed science-based answers to questions surrounding sex.


8. Wayside Recovery's Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes)

Various dates | 12:00 PM CDT

With support from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), Wayside Recovery hosts a free public education Project ECHO series that focuses on fostering collaboration between patients, community, and health practitioners to deliver high-quality care to Black mothers, infants, and their families. To receive regular invites about future events in this series, sign up online. Upcoming events include:

  • May 18, 12:00 PM CT: Catalyzing Racial Equity: Elevating Voices, Addressing Depression, Toxic Stress, and Equity with Dr. Ebony Carter, Kelly McKay-Gist, and Teneisha Parks -Register

  • June 16, 12:00 PM CT: Beyond the Birth–Patient-Centered Care in the Fourth Trimester with Ellen Jirik and Christian Minter -Register

9. Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) 2022 Annual Conference

May 24, 2022-May 26, 2022

This year’s AMCHP conference theme is “Reflecting on our Past, Shaping our Future”. During this conference, participants will identify practices and policies designed to address the key challenges that MCH programs and families face and strengthen the partnership between local and state MCH programs and families. Developed in response to input from state MCH staff across the country, AMCHP’s annual conference is a critical investment in the ongoing professional advancement of MCH and CYSHCN professionals that aims to provide them with tools to overcome these key challenges and guide agencies in achieving its goals


10. WIC/FHV Maternal Nutrition Webinar

June 27, 2022 | 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM CDT

Presented by Dr. Jamie Stang, this presentation will focus on key areas of maternal health and nutrition. For more information about the presentation, including objectives and continuing education credits, please see WIC/FHV Maternal Nutrition Webinar Description for more details. Registration can be completed in the MDH Learning Center. The registration instructions will provide more detail on how to register for the webinar.

MCH Competency Corner

11. MCH Competency #9: Developing Others Through Teaching, Coaching, and Mentoring

Each month, we highlight MCH Leadership competencies for our students to learn more about. MCH leaders should be able to demonstrate foundational and advanced skills in teaching, coaching, and mentoring others. We design learning environments, help people set and reflect on their goals, and influence the professional growth of others.

-Learn more about MCH competencies


12. Recording: COVID-19 and Preterm Birth

Our sister Center of Excellence (COE) in MCH Education, Science and Practice at St. Louis University has recently conducted its first-ever virtual research spotlight. In this recording, panelists seek to address contradictory findings surrounding Covid 19 and preterm births.
Center of Excellence in MCH Education, Science and Practice Presents: "COVID-19 and Preterm Birth"

13. Brief: Perinatal Cannabis Use in the Era of Increasing Legalization–Considerations for State MCH Programs

Approximately 1 in 20 people report using cannabis while pregnant, making it the most used federally illicit substance by pregnant people in the U.S., according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In the era of accelerated cannabis legalization across the country, the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs

(AMCHP) has published an issue brief on perinatal cannabis use and key considerations for state MCH programs. The report provides background information on cannabis use among MCH populations and features state-based programs and policy approaches that Title V programs can adopt to address this growing threat to the health of pregnant and postpartum women and their families.

14. Website: Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) Resources

The goal of Review to Action is to promote the state-based maternal mortality review process as the best way to quantify and understand maternal mortality and prioritize interventions to improve maternal health. Most states in the U.S. have or are planning to implement an MMRC. Review to Action provides resources to enhance the quality and comprehensiveness of their process.

15. Digital Resources: Bedsider Providers–Research Roundup

Bedsider Providers support health care providers and make it easier to discuss birth control and sexual and reproductive health care with patients. They provide educational materials (available in English and Spanish), digital tools, and original content for all health care providers, including health educators, doctors, midwives, and other community organizations. In the March 2022 Research Roundup, Bedsider Providers has searched the journals and read the practice updates to round up the month’s top research and guidelines on birth control, sexual health, and more. Visit their homepage for more Research Roundups and other timely info.

16. Website: Sex Ed for Social Change

Sex Ed for Social Change (SIECUS) is guided by its vision of “an equitable nation where all people receive sex education, are affirmed in their identities, and have power to make decisions about their own health, pleasure, and wholeness.” In this series of virtual webinars, the latest sex education topics are discussed as leading experts in the field explore sex education as a vehicle for social change.


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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