University of California, Los Angeles


Name of Program

The UCLA Child and Family Health Training Program (CFHP)

Contact Information

Neal Halfon, MD, PhD
Professor and Director
UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities
10990 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Mischka Garel, MPH
Assistant Director, UCLA Child and Family Health Training Program
UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities
10990 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: (310) 312-9084

Mission Statement

The UCLA Child and Family Health Program (CFHP) seeks to optimize the health status of women, including women of reproductive age, infants, children, youth and their families by improving training, service to the MCH community, research, and advocacy.

 Goals and key objectives include:

1) Provide interdisciplinary graduate training that instills the knowledge, skills, and relationships necessary to plan for, organize, evaluate and improve systems of care to mothers, children and families;

2) Enhance existing continuing education curriculum for the current MCH workforce by offering an annual conference;

3) Strengthen relationships for professional consultation and technical assistance by conducting multiple projects with State, regional and local Title V agencies and other public and private MCH programs;

4) Expand research, policy analysis, and other scholarly activity that generates, translates, and integrates new knowledge to inform policy and enhance MCH training with an updated Data Center and data applications; and

5) Promote systems change and more effective advocacy for MCH populations.


CFHP activities include: Providing an interdisciplinary leadership curriculum; Supporting program faculty development and expansion; Providing continuing education to national, regional, state and local MCH workforce; Promoting MCH systems transformation at the national, state, and local levels; Expanding MCH Data Center and innovative uses of data for systems change; Promoting collaborative research and policy analysis on MCH populations; Promoting MCH Life Course Health Development research; Disseminating curricular and training innovations; and Enhancing systems change and MCH advocacy.

Degrees/Certificates Offered

  • Degrees: MPH, MS, PhD, DrPH
  • Concurrent Degrees:
    • MPH/MBA.
    • MPH/MPP,
    • MPH/MSW,
    • MPH/Urban planning MA,
    • MPH/Asian American Studies MA,
    • MPH/Islamic Studies,
    • MPH/African Studies MA,
    • MPH/JD
  • Articulated Degrees
    • MPH/Latin American Studies MA
    • MPH/MD
  • Certificate:
    • Global Health
    • Population and Reproductive Health
    • Child and Family Health (planned – coming soon)

Non-degree and Continuing Education Opportunities or Programs

  • Monthly Interdisciplinary Seminar Series that focuses on innovative and transformative topics across the field. This seminar series seeks to encourage collaboration and networking among trainees, faculty and the MCH community at large.
  • In 2015, we will be launching:
    • Child and Family Health Leadership Book Club
    • Child and Family Health Film Discussion Series
    • Child and Family Health GIS Roundtables

Examples of Current Research

Systems Innovation & Improvement

Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS)

The Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS) initiative is a partnership between the Center and the United Way Worldwide. The Initiative works with communities around the country to collect and map the school readiness of young children using the Early Development Instrument (EDI). This community engagement tool informs local efforts to improve early childhood services and systems. Participating communities receive maps with neighborhood-level data and EDI results showing the percentage of young children vulnerable on each of 5 key developmental domains found to measure school readiness and predict later school success. These domains are: 1) physical health and well-being; 2) social competence; 3) emotional maturity; 4) language and cognitive development; and 5) communication skills and general knowledge.

By combining EDI data collected by kindergarten teachers with health, economic, and other data on resources available at the census tract level, TECCS helps local communities map their needs and service gaps on a highly localized basis. This information becomes a roadmap for local action. TECCS helps communities establish or strengthen local coalitions and works with them to develop strategies for improving child outcomes. The community school readiness mapping process is repeated regularly to measure progress, identify emerging challenges, and guide local strategic planning and systems improvement efforts. This regular monitoring promotes accountability and ensures that resources are invested where they are needed most. The TECCS network offers a learning system designed to spread effective ideas for enhancing school readiness.

With support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and participating communities, the national roll-out of TECCS spread from 8 communities in the first year to more than 30 in the third year. There are also a number of statewide scale efforts emerging.

Research & Evaluation

Life Course Research Network (LCRN)

The Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities was awarded a three-year grant from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) to develop a Maternal and Child Health Life Course Research Network (LCRN). This exciting new project represents a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of how health develops over the life span.

LCRN is a virtual collaborative network of researchers, service providers, and thought leaders committed to improving health and reducing disease by advancing life course health development research. LCRN brings together diverse expertise and perspectives to examine the origins and development of health, and to inform meaningful and evidence-based changes in practice, systems, and policies affecting children and families. As a network, LCRN provides researchers, practitioners, and policymakers with a transdisciplinary and transformative mechanism for interacting, sharing information, and engaging in collaborative and innovative projects that advance life course health development research and enable evidence-based practice and policymaking. These projects are initiated and led by network members, with administrative support provided by LCRN staff at UCLA.

The specific goals of the LCRN are to:

  • Identify gaps in what we know about how health develops among individuals and populations
  • Develop and support the implementation of a research agenda that can fill those gaps
  • Promote methodologies and data that provide researchers with better tools and information
  • Illuminate clinical and programmatic changes that translate new knowledge into better health
  • Align local, state and federal policies with these realities

Examples of Partnerships & Collaborations

We partner with state and local Title V programs to mentor trainees, provide internships, serve in leadership training activities, and collaborate on research, planning, policy analysis, and systems improvement;

We also partner with the LA Unified School District & other MCH agencies to mentor trainees, provide internships, and collaborate on Technical Asssistance.