263367 Promoting careers for minorities in MCH: The HBCU-MCH Initiative

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:08 PM - 1:20 PM

Yvonne L. Bronner, ScD , School of Community Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Gillian Silver, MPH , School of Community Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Ifeyinwa Udo, MS , School of Community Health and Policy and School of Nursing, Morgan State University, Johns Hopkins University, and Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD
Over the past century, there have been dramatic improvements in MCH indicators, in particular infant mortality. While the overall infant mortality in the US has decreased several fold, there remains a disparity for African Americans equal to or greater than 100% depending on the community. A study by the IOM recommends increasing the number of minority health professionals as a key strategy to eliminate health disparities. Unfortunately, the MCH workforce remains predominantly Caucasian while the demographic profile of the clients served is increasingly diverse.

To address these issues, Morgan State University has established (in collaboration with the Consortium of African-American Public Health Programs) the HBCU-MCH Initiative, the primary goal of which is to increase the availability of research, education, training, and leadership development opportunities for future healthcare professionals in MCH within HBCUs, and thus increase the percentage of the MCH workforce that is African American.

The components of the Initiative include: An online MCH Certificate Program, with three classes and an internship. An MCH summer certificate training for HBCU faculty who will be instructors at their home school, oversee an environmental scan of MCH services in their local community(ies), and serve as advisors/mentors for students' MCH practica. A research seminar course with guest speakers for MSU graduate students interested in MCH.

The distal goal is to improve the health of African American mothers, children and families, and therefore reduce or eliminate the persistent health disparities between African Americans and the rest of the US population.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the current health status of US minority MCH populations and health disparities. 2. Define the current demographic makeup of the MCH workforce. 3. Describe plans in process to establish an HBCU-MCH Initiative, which would develop MCH training programs at the HBCUs with graduate public health programs. 4. Explain how an HBCU-focused initiative to educate graduate-level students in MCH would help to address racial/ethnic health disparities in the US minority MCH population.

Keywords: Workforce, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral candidate at Morgan State University (an HBCU) focusing on MCH issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.