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Center Publications

This commentary explores various public health interventions that have been implemented in North Carolina to advance the well-being of children aged 0-8. Despite improvements across social determinants of health, North Carolina’s youngest residents still experience poor outcomes and significant racial disparities. In discussing these challenges, future strategies are recommended at policy and programmatic levels, particularly in supporting public health infrastructure responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term effects on children and families.

This report describes the Center’s Cohort Program and lessons the Center has learned about effective ways to improve “collaborative” or “shared” leadership skills in MCH. It describes how the Cohort Program effectively merges a practical skill-based curriculum, work-based learning in teams, and coaching. Participants reported that these dimensions were helpful to their skill development and ability to use shared leadership skills to address their state-level MCH challenges.

 


Cross-sector collaboration is needed to address root causes of persistent public health challenges. We conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies describing theories, models, frameworks and principles for cross-sector collaboration and synthesized collaboration constructs into the Consolidated Framework for Collaboration Research (CFCR). Ninety-five articles were included in the review. Constructs were abstracted from articles and grouped into seven domains within the framework: community context; group composition; structure and internal processes; group dynamics; social capital; activities that influence or take place within the collaboration; activities that influence or take place within the broader community; and activities that influence or take place both in the collaboration and in the community. Community engagement strategies employed by collaborations are discussed, as well as recommendations for using systems science methods for testing specific mechanisms of how constructs identified in the review influence one another. Researchers, funders, and collaboration members can use the consolidated framework to articulate components of collaboration and test mechanisms explaining how collaborations function. By working from a consolidated framework of collaboration terms and using systems science methods, researchers can advance evidence for the efficacy of cross-sector collaborations.

 

The systemic nature of factors affecting maternal and child health merits action by multiple sectors partnering with families. Decision makers are increasingly seeking to ensure active participation of all stakeholder groups in developing and implementing community strategies. The current study found the Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory effective for helping coaches work with community action teams to improve their collaboration over time. The instrument was easy for participants to complete and yielded findings about specific collaboration factors that teams were able to use. Community leaders may find North Carolina’s experiences useful for comparison as they build and track their collaborative capacity.

 

This article describes how implementation science informed the design of a national training and technical assistance (TA) center, and how implementation best practices have been used to improve the quality of training and technical assistance services offered to states/jurisdictions.

System dynamics (SD) methods, from qualitative causal loop diagramming to quantitative simulation modeling, have the potential to be powerful tools for engaging community stakeholders interested in improving health. However, the extent to which SD drives collective action to improve community health is unclear. The objective of this review was to understand how often, why, and how SD has been used by cross‐sector community collectives

As part of the National MCH Workforce Development Center, an innovative internship program placed MCH undergraduate and graduate students in summer practica in state Title V agencies. Graduate student mentoring of undergraduates and leadership and professional development training and support are key features of the program. The objective of this paper is to report on the results of the evaluation of the MCH Paired Practica Program in its pilot years, 2014–2016.

Public health practitioners can use Behavior Over Time (BOT) graphs to spur discussion and systems thinking around complex challenges. Multiple large systems, such as health care, the economy, and education, affect chronic disease rates in the United States. System thinking tools can build public health practitioners’ capacity to understand these systems and collaborate within and across sectors to improve population health.

An assessment of the National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center (the Center) was conducted to describe (1) effects of the Center’s training on the use of collaborative leadership practices by MCH leaders, and (2) perceived barriers to collaboration for MCH leaders. The Center provides services to strengthen MCH professionals’ skills in three core areas: Change Management/Adaptive Leadership, Evidence-Based Decision Making, and Systems Integration.

Title V Workforce Development in the Era of Health Transformation
Maternal and Child Health Journal (November 2017)
The National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center at UNC Chapel Hill (the Center), funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, provides Title V state/jurisdiction leaders and staff and partners from other sectors with opportunities to develop skills in quality improvement, systems mapping and analysis, change management, and strategies to enhance access to care to leverage and implement health transformation opportunities to improve the health of women and children.

 

Title V Workforce Development in the Era of Health Transformation
Maternal and Child Health Journal (November 2017)
The National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center at UNC Chapel Hill (the Center), funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, provides Title V state/jurisdiction leaders and staff and partners from other sectors with opportunities to develop skills in quality improvement, systems mapping and analysis, change management, and strategies to enhance access to care to leverage and implement health transformation opportunities to improve the health of women and children.