The maternal and child health (MCH) workforce has never been more critical to the nation’s public health system—this has become increasingly clear in the age of Covid-19. Indeed, the pandemic has cast a bright light on the need to accelerate improvement in equitable MCH health and well-being outcomes. And changes in the health care system and health needs of mothers, children, and families have made it even more critically important to leverage new technologies and translate emerging MCH evidence into practice.
These challenges add to the already complex environment the MCH workforce has been navigating, including recruiting and training a more diverse workforce to better serve America’s increasingly diverse population and equipping the next generation of MCH leaders to replace retiring MCH professionals.
To help the MCH workforce address these challenges, HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) has enlisted Altarum in a five-year project to support the Bureau’s research and workforce training programs, including grantees from universities and affiliated MCH research, service, and other learning institutions.
Altarum will support MCHB in strengthening the maternal and child health (MCH) infrastructure by convening and supporting information sharing and virtual collaboration; reporting and analyzing data on performance measures; implementing communications that support training and research activities; and disseminating information on new ideas and initiatives in MCH research, training, and workforce development.
The unique value Altarum brings to this program is our keen understanding of how each of these pieces is interconnected. For example, our data collection and analysis informs our stakeholder engagement efforts; the stakeholder input we gather informs our interpretation of data and the development of our recommendations; our tailored products and messages are connected to audiences through a range of communication channels; and our evaluation and measurement drives an ongoing feedback loop that informs continuous improvement.
Our team works closely to bring these program strategies, tools, and resources together. At every stage, we monitor, we analyze, and we evaluate for impact—all with an eye to HRSA’s mission of improving the health and well-being of America’s mothers, children, and families.
Altarum also brings 20 years of experience working with HRSA, MCHB programs, and state health agencies, including operating the Maternal and Child Health Training & Research Resource Center and the MCH Workforce Performance Center, and providing research and communications to the MCH Epidemiology and Statistics Program, among others.
Our cross-functional team includes research and data scientists with expertise in MCH, distance learning experts, public health communication professionals and facilitators, evaluation methodologists, and many others.
MCHB’s vision is an America where all mothers, children, and families are thriving and reach their full potential. This program is part of that vision and will help advance MCHB’s broader goals of improving access to quality health care and services, strengthening the health workforce, and improving health equity.