Online Program

MCH pipeline program for undergraduates: Meeting the needs of minority students

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Alice Kuo, MD, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Alma Guerrero, MD, MPH, Department of Pediatrics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Bobby Verdugo, MSW, Department of Pediatrics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Faye Holmes, Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Developing an MCH workforce reflective of the diversity of the nation's population is crucial in addressing MCH problems in the U.S. Building a pipeline of trainees from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds is needed. Methods: In 2006, we were awarded one of four MCH Pipeline grants to encourage minority undergraduate students to entire MCH professions. We developed a comprehensive program with three components: a didactic curriculum, experiential internships, and mentoring by faculty. Our program evaluation study sample included 32 students from 2009-2011. An annual baseline survey on knowledge and attitudes in MCH, public health and career development topics was conducted. A follow-up survey was conducted one year later. Results: One-third of students were Latino and 20% were African-American, consistent with our local demographics. At the one-year follow-up, students' attitudes towards MCH topic areas showed statistically significant increases in 12 out of 17 topic areas (p<0.05). Students had significantly higher ratings at one-year follow-up of their perceived knowledge of child health, maternal health, public health, services and programs for children and families and cultural competency, as well as higher ratings in how MCH knowledge will have relevance for their future careers. Conclusions: Our program is changing student attitudes and knowledge in a favorable direction toward MCH careers and health topics of MCH populations, and impacting the academic and career guidance that students receive. By providing undergraduates with exposure to relevant MCH health competencies, our program gives students unique educational and experiential activities that are formative in guiding their career choices.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the needs of minority undergraduate students Identify strategies to improve students' knowledge of MCH issues Discuss how to encourage students to consider careers in MCH

Keyword(s): Public Health Education, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the training of health professionals at many levels, including undergraduate students, medical students, graduate students, fellows, and junior faculty. Among my interests include the training of professionals from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds.
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.