Johns Hopkins University


Name of Program

The Johns Hopkins Maternal and Child Health Leadership Training Program

Contact Information

Donna Strobino, PhD
Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University
615 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205-2103
Phone: (410) 502-5451
FAX: (410) 502-5831

Web Site:

Mission Statement

The goal of the JH MCHLTP at the Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH) is to improve the health of women, infants, children, adolescents, children with special health care needs and their families, women of reproductive age and fathers. This goal is accomplished through the implementation of MCH education for all students at BSPH; education and preparation of MCH professionals to assume leadership positions in research and practice; provision of continuing education (CE), technical assistance (TA) and professional consultation to MCH programs; development and dissemination of new knowledge; advocacy for the MCH population; and education in women’s health.

Degrees/Certificates Offered

The Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health (PFRH) offers a professional Masters degree, the Masters of Science in Public Health (MSPH), and an academic Masters degree, the Masters of Health (MHS).  It also offers a professional doctoral degree, the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) and a PhD. PFRH offers certificates in Maternal and Child Health and Adolescent Health, both of which are open to all degree students and the MCH certificate can be completed with distance courses offered online.  PFRH also provides leadership for two concentrations, (Child & Adolescent Health (CAH) with the Department of International Health and Women’s & Reproductive Health (WRH)) for students in the school-wide MPH program. The DrPH is a joint school-wide and PFRH program, offered to full-time and part-time students. The PFRH degree programs prepare graduates for careers in academic, research, public health practice, program and policy settings to address critical MCH problems.

Non-degree and Continuing Education Opportunities or Programs

The JH MCHLTP co-sponsors events such as the Annual Symposium on Women’s Health and Room to Grow: Journey to Cultural and Linguistic Competency.

Individual faculty members undertake presentations such as: the webcast for the MAPHTC on domestic violence by Decker; a presentation by Strobino on Preterm Birth & Low Birth Weight among African American Women at the NIH Academy in Bethesda, MD; the webinar by Minkovitz about grant writing for trainees and junior faculty at the 2013 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting and similar sessions at the Home visiting research network meeting and for the AAP young investigator’s awardees; the plenary and conducted workshops by DiPietro at the Gravens Conference for the Physical and Developmental environment of the high risk infant sponsored by NICHD.

Online courses and modules are developed to reach part-time students as well as the MCH workforce through enhancement activities for the MCH Navigator Learning Portal such as modules about leadership and working with three State MCH programs (Maryland, Oklahoma, and Tennessee) to produce a Prezi presentation on strategies for using the Navigator.

Examples of Current Research

Fetal Neurobehavioral Development & Postnatal Continuity (Janet DiPietro & colleagues): This project spans the past 20 years and is focused on understanding neurobehavioral development in the human fetus and identifying the factors that may influence it.  It also seeks to identify how the prenatal period sets the stage for postnatal child development.

Maryland MOLST for Pediatric Patients (Pamela Donohue, Elizabeth Harvey, & colleagues): Maryland is the first state to require consideration of Medical Orders of Life Sustaining Treatment eligibility for all pediatric patients.  This research studies the impact of the law and regulations on pediatric clinicians, their patients and families, and systems of care.

Strengthening the health sector to reduce reproductive coercion and intimate partner violence (Michele Decker in collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh): This cluster RCT evaluates a family planning clinic-based intervention to facilitate help-seeking to reduce intimate partner violence victimization and reproductive coercion, increase use of long-acting reversible contraception, and prevent unintended pregnancy.

Faith-based Adolescents Involved in Total Health (Terrinieka Williams, Sam Illangasekare): Focused on those areas of Baltimore where the adolescent pregnancy rates are the highest, this study aims to understand what is currently being done in the churches of these communities to address pregnancy prevention and to identify the potentials and barriers for effective interventions.

Well-being of Adolescents in Vulnerable Environments (Kristin Mmari (Co-PI), Michele Decker (Co-PI), Beth Marshall, Robert Blum, & colleagues): The WAVE study explored the relations between health and environment in 5 low income urban communities of Ibadan, Johannesburg, Baltimore, Shanghai and New Delhi. The study–focused on 15 to 19 year old youth–had two components, the first of which included photo essay, focus group and interview and the second, using respondent driving sampling, explored health, risk exposure, social contexts and protective factors among the most vulnerable youth in these communities.

Cookshop Longitudinal Evaluation (Kristin Mmari (PI), Beth Marshall, Susan Gross, MaryCatherine Augustyn, David Paige):  This study examines the impact of a nutrition education program, Cookshop, on the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in regards to healthy eating among low-income elementary school students and their parents in New York City.

Use and Impact of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among US Children (Christina Bethell, Narangeral Gombojav): This study facilitated the design and development of the NHIS Child CAM Supplement and an extensive meta-data and micro-data analysis to evaluate the validity and value of NHIS-CAM data and to assess use of this data to address key hypotheses and knowledge gaps in children’s use of CAM and associations with conventional care and medical expenditures.


Unintended Birth, Fetal and Infant Loss and Maternal Depressive Symptoms (Pamela Surkan, Donna Strobino, Parul Christian, Keith West and the Javita1 research team): This longitudinal study examines the relation of unintended pregnancy, fetal and neonatal loss, maternal prenatal and postpartum complications and child gender with prenatal and postpartum maternal depressive symptoms among women in Bangladesh.

Examples of Partnerships & Collaborations

Evaluation of Improving Services for Children and Youth with ASD/DD Cynthia Minkovitz, Kristin Mmari (evaluators for Parents Place and in partnership with Parents Place): The goal of this project is to improve services for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD) in Maryland.

Promoting Early and Lifelong Health: the Problem of ACES, the Promise of Resilience (Christina Bethell):CAHMI initiated and is partnering nationally on an agenda setting activity on the topic of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), what is known and what remains to be learned about risk factors, contributors, and interventions to prevent and address them.

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Research Network (Anne Duggan (PI), Cynthia Minkovitz, Sarah Crowne): The goal of this project is to establish a home visiting research network infrastructure with active participation of: a) nationally recognized home visiting researchers and research educators; and b) stakeholder groups who use such research in policy and program decision-making.

Mercy Hospital Community Benefit Initiative: A Look at Low Birth Weight Outcomes in the Baltimore Region Donna Strobino, Mary Webb, Robert Atlas, Jennifer White, Caroline Anderson and Elizabeth Harvey): This collaborative project with Mercy Medical Center (MMC) examines factors contributing to low birth weight among women delivering a live birth at MMC in 2010-11. It is one component of a larger assessment and community-benefit activity intended to address needs of the surrounding community.