The Department of Maternal and Child Health utilized two competitive grant awards to establish a distance education certificate and degree program in maternal and child health leadership. The initiative, MCH OLE! (Maternal and Child Health Online Leadership Education), is led by Anita Farel, DrPH, clinical professor and associate chair in the department and principal investigator for the grant programs.
Through MCH OLE!, the Department has developed and implemented a flexible online training program that confers a 10-credit Certificate in maternal and child health leadership and/or a 42-credit master’s degree in public health leadership and maternal and child health. It also will produce the core course for an online UNC Health Disparities Certificate, currently available only to residential students at UNC-Chapel Hill.
“As a collaboration of the School of Public Health’s Department of Maternal and Child Health, its Public Health Leadership Program, and its Instructional and Information Services Online Instruction Group,” Farel says, “this initiative blends the expertise of an established maternal and child health leadership training program with the School’s outstanding capacity for online distance training and student support.”
MCH OLE! project manager, Marcia Roth, MPH, notes that with the exception of one or two short visits to Chapel Hill, all learning will take place in participants’ homes and offices or at other campuses and offsite locations.
“MCH OLE! is an important new graduate training resource for practicing professionals throughout North Carolina, the southeastern U.S., and other areas without proximity to a maternal and child health leadership training program from an accredited school of public health,” Roth says.
Bert Peterson, MD, Kenan Distinguished Professor and chair of the department, is pleased that the program supports the efforts of other UNC system universities with related residential and online degree programs in health disciplines. “Given a global imperative and investment in improving the health of women, children and families,” he says, “MCH OLE! contributes substantively to improvements in the health of women, children and families in our state and around the world.”