Evaluating Maternal and Child Health and Leadership Competencies of Emerging MCH Leaders: The MCHC/RISE-UP Experience

Harolyn M.E. Belcher, Jacqueline D. Stone, Jenese A. McFadden, Tyler A. Hemmingson, Cary Kreutzer, Lisa G. Harris, Barbara Y. Wheeler, Joanne Van Osdel, Margaret Avila, Beatrice Yorker, Beth R. Hoffman, Jocelyn O. Turner-Musa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examines maternal and child health core competencies and leadership characteristics of undergraduate students following participation in the Maternal and Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement-Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP). MCHC/RISE-UP is a 10-week public health leadership program designed to promote diversity in public health workforce through mentored research, community engagement and advocacy, and clinical experiences for undergraduate students. Description: The MCHC/RISE-UP is a national consortium of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities including, (1) Kennedy Krieger Institute (Kennedy Krieger, lead institution) partnering with Morgan State University, a Historically Black University, (2) the University of South Dakota partnering with Tribal Serving Institutions; and (3) the University of Southern California Children’s Hospital-Los Angeles and their partner institution, California State University Los Angeles, a Hispanic Serving Institution. Assessment: Eighty-four junior and senior undergraduates and recent baccalaureate degree students who participated in the MCHC/RISE-UP worked on 48 maternal and child health projects. Following the MCHC/RISE-UP, students demonstrated statistically significant improvements in all maternal and child health core competencies. Transformational leadership characteristics also increased (mean increase 9.4, 95 % CI 7.2–11.8; p < 0.001). At closing interview, over twice as many students endorsed a public health career goal compared to program admission (17.9 vs 57.7 %; p = 0.022). Conclusion: Multi-institutional collaborative public health leadership programs may extend the reach and recruitment of diverse students into the maternal and child health field. Experiential, didactic, and mentored learning opportunities may enhance student integration of maternal and child health competencies and transformational leadership characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2560-2567
Number of pages8
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Diversity
  • Leadership
  • Maternal and child health training
  • Mentorship
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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