Modification published on 02/22/2013
Modified 2/22/13 –Funding availability clarification added to:
Executive Summary (page ii) and Section II. 2. Summary of Funding (page 4)
The Maternal and Child Health Bureau will award a cooperative agreement to support a LCRN focused on improving the understanding of the socio-environmental determinants of health experienced at different life course stages for the maternal and child health (MCH) population through engagement of researchers, practitioners, policymakers and consumers in a collaborative, innovative, and multidisciplinary research project. The LCRN is designed to accelerate the translation of the life course theory to MCH practice and policy and foster its rapid adoption into clinical and public health practice through systems integration and collaboration with entities that have a common goal of improving MCH outcomes (e.g., Title V programs, state and local health departments, community safety net programs and other public health programs serving underserved communities).
The life course theory posits that multiple determinants, such as healthcare, nutrition, stress and supports, and environmental exposures, operating over the life course are the real drivers of MCH outcomes. The improvement of these outcomes requires rethinking of current practice, policy, and investment strategies including workforce development. For example, what does the life course perspective tell us about how we should invest in MCH? The LCRN will develop a translational research agenda and, similar to other research networks that MCHB supports, carry out the research agenda through other funding sources.
The LCRN will:
Advance the research agenda on MCH life course health development in identifying the influences of early growth and development, childhood disease, poor nutrition, cultural and economic intricacies, and social and psychosocial disadvantage across the life-course in the healthy development of the MCH population;
Foster collaboration among network members through ongoing interaction, sharing of information and tools, and development and implementation of research studies;
Facilitate the process for the development, selection, and implementation of scientific research studies focused on how the social and physical contextual factors in childhood underlie socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in shaping various life course pathways for the MCH population;
Advance and implement critical research that will address the gaps and priorities identified by the LCRN, through both MCHB and other funding sources;
Accelerate the synthesis, analysis and translation of existing and future knowledge so that it can be applied to practice and effective health policy at the state and national levels; and
Coordinate the dissemination of findings to health professionals, policymakers, family members and the greater public.