July 26, 2021

The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) has received a $1.97 million award from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, which will renew funding of the department’s National MCH Workforce Development Center for another five years.

As the national training hub for workforce development in maternal and child health, UNC-Chapel Hill established the Center in 2014 to advance identified national, state and territorial priorities in MCH workforce development as the means toward improvements in population health.

Dr. Oscar Fleming

Dr. Oscar Fleming

Dr. Dorothy Cilenti

Dr. Dorothy Cilenti

This funding will renew the center’s work with Title V agencies and their partners, which are organizations designated by HRSA to provide for the health and well-being of mothers, children and families. Led by Assistant Professor Oscar Fleming, DrPH, and Associate Professor Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, the center offers 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.

In 2020, the Center saw seven state teams participate in training initiatives with 95 total individuals, and its 2021 cohort features six state teams participating with 59 total individuals. It has also paired 24 students at state Title V agencies with summer internships over the past year. The Center hosted a four-day Skills Institute event in November 2020 focused on launching a 5-year action plan, followed by another in March 2021 focused on using skills and tools to define health equity in organizations and take action to advance health equity.

“We are excited to have another opportunity to collaborate with states and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau to advance equity, accelerate solutions that work, and modify the upstream causes of poor health among women, children, families and communities,” said Cilenti. “Only through learning and working together will we be able to achieve the best health possible for everyone.”

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


Contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@unc.edu.

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