Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 422–429 | Cite as

The Pipeline Training Program in Maternal and Child Health: Interdisciplinary Preparation of Undergraduate Students from Underrepresented Groups

  • Kris Pizur-BarnekowEmail author
  • Paula M. Rhyner
  • Shelley Lund


The Preparing Academically Successful Students in Maternal and Child Health (MCH PASS) training program provided financial support and specialized training to occupational therapy (OT) and speech-language pathology (SLP) undergraduate students from underrepresented groups in maternal and child health. The project assisted undergraduate trainees to matriculate into graduate programs in their respective fields and facilitated application into long-term maternal and child health training programs. Sixteen trainees (8 OT and 8 SLP) participated in an undergraduate training program with an emphasis on interdisciplinary teaming, family mentoring, leadership development, public health and population-based research. Instruction occurred in community and classroom settings through didactic instruction and small group discussions. Fifteen of the trainees applied to and were accepted in graduate programs in their respective fields. Two trainees applied to a long-term MCH training program. Students reported increased knowledge about programs that serve women and children, the effects of poverty on health, interdisciplinary teaming and the daily routines of families who have a child with a special health care need. The MCH PASS program provided a unique opportunity for undergraduate students in OT and SLP to learn about public health with an emphasis on maternal and child health. The specialized preparation enabled students to understand better the health concerns of underserved families whose children have special health care needs.


Professional development Children with special health care needs Interdisciplinary training Training programs 



This project was supported by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources Service Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Grant #T16MC06953. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Health and Human Services and no official endorsement should be inferred.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kris Pizur-Barnekow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paula M. Rhyner
    • 2
  • Shelley Lund
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Health SciencesUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersUniversity of Wisconsin, MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

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