Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 324–334 | Cite as

The MCH Navigator: Tools for MCH Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning

  • Holly Grason
  • Colleen Huebner
  • Alyssa Kim Crawford
  • Marjory Ruderman
  • Cathy R. Taylor
  • Laura Kavanagh
  • Anita Farel
  • Joan Wightkin
  • Deneen Long-White
  • Shokufeh M. Ramirez
  • Julie Preskitt
  • Meredith Morrissette
  • Arden Handler
Notes from the Field

Abstract

Maternal and child health (MCH) leadership requires an understanding of MCH populations and systems as well as continuous pursuit of new knowledge and skills. This paper describes the development, structure, and implementation of the MCH Navigator, a web-based portal for ongoing education and training for a diverse MCH workforce. Early development of the portal focused on organizing high quality, free, web-based learning opportunities that support established learning competencies without duplicating existing resources. An academic-practice workgroup developed a conceptual model based on the MCH Leadership Competencies, the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals, and a structured review of MCH job responsibilities. The workgroup used a multi-step process to cull the hundreds of relevant, but widely scattered, trainings and select those most valuable for the primary target audiences of state and local MCH professionals and programs. The MCH Navigator now features 248 learning opportunities, with additional tools to support their use. Formative assessment findings indicate that the portal is widely used and valued by its primary audiences, and promotes both an individual’s professional development and an organizational culture of continuous learning. Professionals in practice and academic settings are using the MCH Navigator for orientation of new staff and advisors, “just in time” training for specific job functions, creating individualized professional development plans, and supplementing course content. To achieve its intended impact and ensure the timeliness and quality of the Navigator’s content and functions, the MCH Navigator will need to be sustained through ongoing partnership with state and local MCH professionals and the MCH academic community.

Keywords

Workforce Continuing education Leadership Education Public Health Professional Title V programs 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to the numerous MCH colleagues who contributed their time and expertise to the development of the MCH Navigator in multiple ways, including by participating in focus groups, serving on vetting panels, and disseminating information about the new resource. There are too many to identify individually; it has truly been a “MCH community effort.” That said, we want to extend special thanks to three colleagues who participated in the MCH Navigator Workgroup along with us—Beverly Mulvihill, Jeanette Magnus, and Violanda Grigorescu. We also wish to acknowledge and thank the students who engaged with us to get the work of transforming ideas into reality done. They are: Susannah Anderson; Ashley Belton; Rachel Brzezinski; Andria Cornell; Sara Daleiden; Margaret Hicken; Joseph Lee; Jessica Nelson; Todd Schrecengost; Heather Skanes; Nicole Steffens; and Kathy Vetter. Finally, we share our appreciation for the skill and patience of the technical team—Randy Miller and Robert Peck—who translated the paper version of the portal into the MCH Navigator website. The views expressed are the authors’ and not necessarily those of the Health Resources and Services Administration or the US Department of Health and Human Services.

References

  1. 1.
    Levi, J., Kaiman, S., Juliano, C., & Segal, L. (2008). Blueprint for a healthier America: Modernizing the federal public health system to focus on prevention and preparedness. Washington, DC: Trust for America’s Health. http://healthyamericans.org/assets/files/Blueprint.pdf.
  2. 2.
    Grason, H., Kavanagh, L., Dooley, S., Partelow, J., Sharkey, A., Bradley, K. J., et al. (2012). Findings from an assessment of state Title V workforce development needs. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 16(1), 7–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Patton, M. Q. (1994). Developmental evaluation. American Journal of Evaluation, 15, 311–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Patton, M. Q. (1997). Utilization-focused evaluation: The new century text (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Maternal and Child Health Leadership Competencies. (2009). Version 3.0. http://leadership.mchtraining.net/?page_id=184. Accessed 5 September 2013.
  6. 6.
    The Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice. (2010). Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals. http://www.phf.org/programs/corecompetencies. Accessed 5 September 2013.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holly Grason
    • 1
    • 2
  • Colleen Huebner
    • 3
  • Alyssa Kim Crawford
    • 4
  • Marjory Ruderman
    • 2
  • Cathy R. Taylor
    • 5
  • Laura Kavanagh
    • 1
  • Anita Farel
    • 6
  • Joan Wightkin
    • 7
  • Deneen Long-White
    • 8
  • Shokufeh M. Ramirez
    • 9
  • Julie Preskitt
    • 10
  • Meredith Morrissette
    • 1
  • Arden Handler
    • 11
  1. 1.Division of Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services AdministrationU.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Population, Family and Reproductive HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health ServicesUniversity of Washington School of Public HealthSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Mathematica Policy ResearchWashingtonUSA
  5. 5.Gordon E Inman College of Health Sciences and NursingBelmont UniversityNashvilleUSA
  6. 6.Department of Maternal and Child Health, The Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  7. 7.Department of Community and Behavioral HealthLouisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public HealthNew OrleansUSA
  8. 8.Department of Health, Human Performance and Leisure StudiesHoward University College of Arts and SciencesWashingtonUSA
  9. 9.Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  10. 10.Health Care Organization and Policy, School of Public HealthUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  11. 11.University of Illinois School of Public HealthChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations