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 3)
Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) grant funds are awarded to establish and enhance nutrition centers of excellence to improve MCH by promoting the healthy nutrition of the mother, child, and family. The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nutrition Training Program improves access to quality health care by providing graduate education to nutritionists designed to: 1) foster leadership in administration, systems integration, continuous quality improvement, education, and nutrition services with a public health focus, for populations of women and children (infants through adolescents) and families; (2) the development and dissemination of curricula, teaching models, and other educational resources to enhance MCH nutrition programs; and (3) the continuing education, consultation and technical assistance in nutrition which address the needs of the MCH community with a special focus on Title V programs, community-based programs, and other Federal programs, such as the US Department of Agriculture’s WIC and Summer Feeding Programs.
Unlike other master’s level nutrition training programs, MCH Nutrition students receive specialized training in core MCH public health principles, epidemiology, environmental approaches to population intervention, leadership skills, and the development and evaluation of nutrition-related, cost-effective interventions for specific populations. Training is also provided in identifying and designing outcome evaluations and in evaluating the potential physiological and biochemical mechanisms linking diet and nutritional status with risk or disease status. Training is designed to provide both clinical and public health approaches to working with the MCH population. Nutrition as a discipline focuses on life course for the population, and is a critical link between public health and chronic disease prevention. The program closely supports HRSA Strategic Goals: Goal 1, improve access to quality care and services, Goal 2 strengthen the health workforce, and Goal 4 improve health equity.
Nutrition as a field is recognized as a critical factor in health promotion and disease prevention and a vital contributor to reducing the alarming rates of pediatric obesity in the US. The increase in prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity in the US since the 1960s has been well documented. Overweight and obese children are more likely to develop risk factors that can lead to respiratory, metabolic and cardiovascular illness over their life course. The MCH Training programs have addressed the obesity epidemic in numerous ways. Some examples are: working with the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on the development of national obesity guidelines; developing the credentialing test for the pediatric nutrition specialty of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; developing competencies for graduate nutrition programs; serving on the national AAP Bright Futures Steering Committee and serving on various Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committees on Obesity and Prevention. This MCH Nutrition investment is training the Nutrition leaders of the future for the country.