Cilenti to lead $1.74M HRSA grant to support maternal and child health workforce development

June 29, 2016

The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Maternal and Child Health has been awarded a one-year, $1.74 million cooperative agreement from the Division of Workforce Development, part of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Dr. Dorothy Cilenti, headshot

Dr. Dorothy Cilenti

The award, which will support workforce development for state maternal and child health program leaders and staff members, will be led by Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, clinical assistant professor of maternal and child health and adjunct clinical assistant professor of health policy and management at the Gillings School and director of the National Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Workforce Development Center.

As the national training hub for MCH workforce development, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill established the National MCH Workforce Development Center in 2013 specifically to advance identified national, state and territorial priorities in MCH workforce development as the means toward improvements in population health.

With this additional funding, the center and its diverse partners in practice and academia will focus upon offering training, capacity building and coaching in three key topic areas around health transformation – systems integration, change management and adaptive leadership, and evidence-based decision making. The center’s goal is to equip the MCH workforce more fully to meet challenges inherent in a dynamic, unpredictable and rapidly transforming environment.

“Our formal and informal academic-practice partnerships, which have enabled bolstering of state capabilities and prepared graduate and undergraduate students through applied learning opportunities to assume future public health leadership roles, have been key to the center’s success,” Cilenti said.

The project has potential to receive an additional four years of funding, totaling $8.7 million. At the end of a five-year period, the center would aim to have provided capacity building and technical assistance to MCH leaders and staff in 50 states and jurisdictions, with a focus upon application of skills in the context of maternal and child health. Training and hands-on learning experiences within MCH agencies also will be provided to at least 40 students during the five-year project period.

More information about the MCH Workforce Development Center is available online.


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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu

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