Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 1789–1796 | Cite as

Evaluation of Training Program for the Maternal and Child Health Workforce at Tulane University

  • Amelia J. BrandtEmail author
  • Bert R. Cramer
  • Shokufeh M. Ramirez
  • Carolyn Johnson


Objectives Despite significant investments in Maternal and Child Health (MCH), the United States still lags behind other countries in key MCH indicators. A well-trained workforce is needed to improve MCH. The Division of MCH Workforce Development of HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau provides funding to schools of Public Health to support Centers of Excellence in MCH, which is focused on preparing the next generation of MCH leaders through specialized training and mentorship. One such center, the Tulane Center of Excellence in MCH (CEMCH), is housed at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. This study evaluated the perceived effectiveness and acceptability of the CEMCH leadership training program. Methods A mixed-methods approach was used, consisting of semi-structured interviews and quantitative surveys which were analyzed through inductive methods based in grounded theory and non-parametric methods respectively. Results Results indicated an overall high level of program satisfaction by all stakeholders. Mentorship and personal attention emerged as an important benefit for both former and current Scholars. The opportunity to gain real-world understanding of MCH work through program activities was an added benefit, although these activities also presented the most challenges. Community stakeholders generally did not view the program as providing immediate organizational benefit, but recognized the distal benefit of contributing to a well-trained MCH workforce. Conclusions for Practice These results will be used to inform other MCH training programs and strengthen Tulane’s CEMCH. A well-trained MCH workforce is essential to improving MCH, and high-quality training its foundation.


Education Training Maternal and child health Maternal and child health workforce Leadership Title V 



The authors express their appreciation to the numerous stakeholders who volunteered their time to complete interviews for this study. This work would not be possible without their contributions. This research was funded by Title V of the Social Security Act, managed in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (T76MC04927).


  1. Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. (1992). Meeting needs, building capacities: State perspectives on graduate training and continuing education needs of Title V programs. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  2. Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. (2017). 2016 Title V workforce assessment. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  3. Belcher, H. M., Stone, J. D., McFadden, J. A., Hemmingson, T. A., Kreutzer, C., Harris, L. G., … Turner-Musa, J. O. (2015). Evaluating maternal and child health and leadership competencies of emerging MCH leaders: The MCHC/RISE-UP experience. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 19(12), 2560–2567. Scholar
  4. Dodds, J., Vann, W., Lee, J., Rosenberg, A., Rounds, K., Roth, M., … Margolis, L. H. (2010). The UNC-CH MCH leadership training consortium: Building the capacity to develop interdisciplinary MCH leaders. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 14(4), 642–648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fernandez, C. S. P., Noble, C. C., Jensen, E., & Steffen, D. (2015). Moving the needle: A retrospective pre-and post-analysis of improving perceived abilities across 20 leadership skills. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 19(2), 343–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Halfon, N., Larson, K., Lu, M., Tullis, E., & Russ, S. (2014). Lifecourse health development: Past, present and future. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 18(2), 344–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Joshi, A., & Amadi, C. T. (2015). Assessment of CEPH-accredited institutions offering public health programs in the United States: A short report. Frontiers in Public Health, 3, 290. Scholar
  8. National Association of County & City Health Officials. (2016). Statement of policy: Foundational public health services. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  9. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Designing qualitative studies. Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, 3, 230–246.Google Scholar
  10. Patton, M. Q. (2008). Utilization-focused evaluation. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Ragins, B. R., Cotton, J. L., & Miller, J. S. (2000). Marginal mentoring: The effects of type of mentor, quality of relationship, and program design on work and career attitudes. Academy of Management Journal, 43(6), 1177–1194.Google Scholar
  12. RESOLVE - Public Health Leadership Forum. (2014). Defining and constituting foundational capabilities and areas V1. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  13. Save the Children. (2015). State of the worlds mothers 2015: The urban disadvantage. Fairfield, CT.Google Scholar
  14. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Procedures and techniques for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing.Google Scholar
  15. UNICEF. (2016). The state of the worlds children 2016. New York.Google Scholar
  16. United States Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]. (n.d.). Title V maternal and child health services block grant to states program: Guidance and forms for the Title V application/annual report. Rockville, MD: United States Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  17. United States Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2014). Healthy people 2020 leading health indicators: Maternal, infant, and child health. Rockville: United States Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  18. Walsh, C., Larsen, C., & Parry, D. (2009). Academic tutors at the frontline of student support in a cohort of students succeeding in higher education. Educational Studies, 35(4), 405–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. World Bank. (2016). World development indicators. Washington, DC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amelia J. Brandt
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bert R. Cramer
    • 2
  • Shokufeh M. Ramirez
    • 1
  • Carolyn Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral SciencesTulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Disaster Resilience Leadership AcademyTulane University School of Social WorkNew OrleansUSA

Personalised recommendations