March 20, 2020
Four faculty members in the Department of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health have received an Innovative Teaching Award from the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health (ATMCH). The team – consisting of Clinical Assistant Professor Oscar Fleming, MSPH, Assistant Professor Meghan Shanahan, PhD, Professor Rohit Ramaswamy, PhD, and Professor and Department Chair Carolyn Halpern, PhD – is one of 4 recipients of funding from ATMCH that will produce innovative and creative educational offerings in the field of maternal and child health.
The team was selected for the project titled, “Integrating MCH & Implementation Practice Education.”
The project centers on the design of a new required course for the Maternal, Child and Family Health (MCFH) concentration of the Gillings School’s Master of Public Health program. The course, “Introduction to Implementation Research and Practice in Maternal, Child and Family Health,” will provide an overview of the core theories and methods in implementation research and practice. The course will introduce and help students learn to apply several key frameworks and tools through realistic case studies and exercises.
Implementation science comprises research and practice. Implementation research seeks to understand the multifaceted variety of factors that impact the use of evidence-based public health programs and services, such as those found in the field of MCH. Implementation practice leverages this research to support changes in practice at the individual, agency, community and policy levels in order to improve the delivery of programs in a way that will enhance health outcomes for individuals and populations. Implementation research and practice are linked and complementary, but there is often a gap in educational opportunities that fails to adequately link them.
This project is designed to bridge this gap by preparing students to be implementation practitioners with a solid understanding of the foundational science and an ability to identify and apply relevant methods to the implementation challenges and opportunities they will face in practice. The team at the Gillings School will develop a course that includes case studies, guest lecture and projects for implementation in fall of 2020, which will be evaluated and improved for future MCH students.
“It is an honor to have been chosen from among so many applicants,” said Fleming. “With this award, we look forward to enhancing the learning experience of MCH students and contribute to their evolution into effective implementation scientists capable of identifying and effectively responding to the many implementation challenges limiting the impact of public health programs.“
ATMCH is a not-for-profit membership organization that aims to grow and support excellence in teaching maternal and child health across multiple academic settings. It offers a forum to support the cadre of current and future faculty, aiming to enhance knowledge and skills essential to teaching maternal and child health. In previous years, ATMCH has also awarded funding for similar projects to MCH faculty at the Gillings School, including Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, Anita Farel, DrPH, and Andra Wilkinson, PhD.
The course design is currently underway, and the team is expected to complete the project by May 31.
Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org.