Maternal and Child Health

About the Leadership Training Program

Overview of the Training Program

The purpose of the MCH Training Program is to “improve the health status of women, infants, children, youth and their families.” The vision of the Program is that “all children and families will live and thrive in healthy communities served by a quality workforce that helps assure their health and well-being.”


Both MCH academic and continuing education programs view leadership as essential for promoting health and preventing disease. The MCH Leadership Training Program offers a training approach that is interdisciplinary and collaborative, and that is directed at understanding and practicing the values of health equity, cultural competence, and family centeredness.

The goals of the Program include:

  1. Assuring a workforce that possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to meet unique MCH population needs;
  2. Preparing and supporting a diverse MCH workforce that is culturally competent and family centered;
  3. Improving practice through interdisciplinary training in MCH;
  4. Developing effective MCH leaders;
  5. Generating, translating and integrating new knowledge to enhance MCH training, inform policy, and improve health outcomes; and
  6. Developing broad-based support for MCH training.

The MCH LeadershipTraining Program also seeks to improve the training of public health professionals in MCH through enhanced exposure to the schools of public health competencies. These competencies include:

  1. Demonstrating the attainment of MCH leadership competencies
  2. Incorporating the public health principles of health promotion/disease prevention into professional activities
  3. Demonstrating understanding of public and private systems of care
  4. Demonstrating administrative management and strategic planning
  5. Participating in advocacy and legislative processes
  6. Applying principles of coordinated, family-centered care to practice
  7. Applying principles of culturally competent care to practice
  8. Establishing and maintaining community-based linkages
  9. Applying interdisciplinary team skills
  10. Demonstrating effective education and communication skills
  11. Utilizing information resources and technology

The University of South Florida Maternal and Child Health Training Program focuses on three main areas:

  1. Training of all MCH Students: Assure that all MCH academic classes focus on the MCH concepts of cultural competence, family-centered care, and interdisciplinary practice; and encourage all MCH-related field placement sites to become more culturally competent and family-centered.
  2. Continuing Education Programs: Development and delivery of continuing education programs locally and throughout the state.
  3. MCH Student Leadership Scholars: Identification of and specialized curriculum and activities for selected doctoral and master’s students.

Scholar Requirements

In addition to focusing their academic studies in MCH, Scholars will be required to take part in a specialized curriculum.

The overarching theme of the MCH traineeship is increasing leadership in maternal and child health. To be a leader in Maternal and Child Health requires specific knowledge, skills, personal characteristics and values.

Within the leadership development framework and the overall focus of the MCH Training Program, the MCH Traineeship will focus on three main content areas:

  1. Cultural Competency
  2. Family-Centered Care
  3. Interdisciplinary Practice

In each semester of the program, Scholars will focus on these  areas through multiple approaches. These approaches include attendance at monthly research-to-practice seminars, full-day conferences on each of the focus areas listed above, and involvement in seminars on leadership.

By the end of the Traineeship, Scholars will have a strong understanding of, and experience in, these core areas of Maternal and Child Health. Additionally, each Trainee will be involved in an individualized plan, including an assignment with both a Community Mentor and a Faculty Mentor.