University of Alabama at Birmingham

 University_of_Alabama_at_Birmingham_Campus_from_Vulcan

Name of Program

Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership Program, Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Contact Information

Martha S. Wingate, DrPH
Email: mslay@nulluab.edu
Phone: 205-934-6783
RPHB 330-1720 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0022
Web Site: http://www.soph.uab.edu/hcop/mch

Mission of the Program

The mission of the MCH Policy and Leadership Program is to prepare present and future MCH leaders to promote, preserve, and enhance the health of children, families, and communities.

To improve the health status of women, infants, children, adolescents, and their families in the Southeast through research and by training current and future public health professionals for leadership in Maternal and Child Health.

Degrees Offered

  • Master of Public Health (MPH) in Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership (traditional and online)
  • Coordinated Master of Public Health (MPH) in Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership/Master Of Science in Nursing (MSN) (UAB School of Public Health and UAB School of Nursing) (traditional only)
  • Coordinated Master of Public Health (MPH) in Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership/Master of Social Work (MSW) (UAB School of Public Health and UA School of Social Work) (traditional and online)
  • Doctor of Public Health (Maternal and Child Health Policy Track) (DrPH) (traditional only)

Non-Degree Training Opportunities & Continuing Education

The UAB MCH program collaborates with the South Central Public Health Partnership (SCPHTC), which includes the HRSA-funded South Central Public Health Training Center (Tulane/UAB partnership) and the Alabama Public Health Training Center, to meet local, state, regional, and national identified continuing education needs of the MCH workforce through various modalities including satellite broadcasts and online courses. Course bundles on leadership, management, and communication are available free online and include continuing education credits for MCH professionals. (http://www.southcentralpartnership.org/training)

Examples of Current Research

UAB MCH faculty pursues a variety of research topics ranging from abortion and perinatal health to children with special health care needs and management issues. Research on practical international, national, and state issues is primarily directed at the improvement of the health of children and families, is utilized in many programmatic and policy decisions, and blends seamlessly with the MCH curriculum. Research is published in the American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Perinatology, Journal of Healthcare Management, Health Services Research, and Maternal and Child Health Journal, to name a few. 

For over a decade, the UAB MCH program has worked with Alabama’s CHIP program (AllKids) to collect information from parents and providers used to substantiate the numbers of children served and the continuing and growing need for the program. AllKids partners with faculty to conduct evaluations on utilization data of children with asthma, finding that on-going coverage of these children lowers costs and improves outcomes. 

The UAB MCH faculty works closely with the Alabama Department of Children’s Affairs on the Maternal, Infant, and Childhood Home Visiting program, First Teacher. Faculty and students have been involved with the development of indicators for measurement of progress related to federal benchmarks for the programs as well as evaluation design and data collection.

Partnerships & Collaborations

Consistent work over the past 15 years with Alabama’s CSHCN agency has resulted in improved data collection and overall improvement in the system of care for CYSHCN. Faculty members have also assisted with Alabama’s Family-to Family Health Information System for technical assistance and evaluation. As a testimony to the value the agency places on this relationship, one of our faculty was chosen as a “Champion in the Field of MCH” for Alabama in 2010. 

Faculty provide technical assistance to state MCH Title V agencies in a variety of ways including the state needs assessment process for the Block Grant, providing technical assistance with focus groups, survey development and administration, and strategic planning. 

The Alabama MCH Leadership Network, which consists of the six Maternal and Child Health Bureau-funded Leadership Training Programs in Alabama, work together to provide interdisciplinary MCH leadership education to trainees and fellows, continuing education to MCH providers, and advocacy through partnerships with the MCH community (www.al.mchtraining.net). 

Diversity in MCH Training: A Peer Collaborative. Faculty from the UAB MCH program together with faculty from the other MCH training programs on UAB’s campus participated in an intensive 9-month collaborative peer learning process to address challenges to racial and ethnic diversity within the training programs. Through learning opportunities, technical assistance, and collaboration with peers across the country, the team created a UAB Diversity Resource Inventory for prospective minority students. 

The Southeastern Regional Pediatric Disaster Response Surge Network is a voluntary network of health care providers, public health departments, volunteers, and emergency responders from the Southeast region. The purpose of this network is to provide regional pediatric surge capacity and resources in the event of large-scale emergencies or disasters that overwhelm local or state pediatric resources. Both faculty and students participate in the development of this network.