Category: Jobs/Internships/Fellowships

CDC’s Millennial Health Summit to End Health Disparities

Kera (CoE in MCH Student) with others at the summitAs a public health nerd, who follows the Center for Disease Control and Prevention with as much love and fervor as National Football League fans, I was excited to notice a flyer posted on campus about a free conference at the CDC. The Millennial Health Leaders Summit is a two day intensive training for graduate and medical students to network, learn, and explore case studies about addressing health disparities. My heart dropped when I read that only two representatives would be chosen to attend. “What are the odds that a first year master’s student would be selected?” I thought disparagingly. The application was simple: in 300 words or less answer “What will be the most important public health issue confronting communities that experience health disparities in 2025? What will you be doing in 2025 to address and reduce these disparities?” I wrote my essay in a caffeinated stream of conscience. My deep-seated anger at the smear campaign on Planned Parenthood and the ongoing war in America to limit women’s access to reproductive healthcare finally had an outlet. The essay I constructed is without a doubt my personal manifesto.

One month later I forwarded an email with the subject line of “Congratulations on your acceptance to the Millennial Health Summit” to my adviser with my own addition on the top in all capitals that simply stated, “I GOT IT” followed with six exclamation marks.

I attended the Millennial Health Summit just three months later. I met several Maternal and Child Health majors from across the country. We compared classes, professors, and how our programs were set up. It was a fantastic networking opportunity with the students and presenters from around the country. I learned so much from this conference but here are my top three takeaways from the Summit:

  • Cross Collaboration is key. There was an urban planner who pointed out all of the ways that the poor planning of our cities creates obesity. One cannot fight obesity with just education. We have to work with urban planners, architects, and the department of transportation to create environmental change. He also pointed out if you can partner with the department of transportation to create more bike lanes or parks you have made your city healthier without even touching your public health budget!
  • Advocacy requires both qualitative and quantitative data. Paula “Tran” Inzeo from Family Living Programs, a health promotion specialist from Wisconsin conducted a breakout session, stating “you can have the data, but it is real people’s stories and voices that have the power to move mountains. The example was in their advocacy work to open alternative court systems in Wisconsin. They had all the facts and figures detailing how mass incarceration was a problem in Wisconsin; however, it was the voice of a veteran who had been helped directly by a substance abuse court that helped him get his life back on track with alternative sentencing of mandatory substance abuse treatment and community service rather than jail time.
  • I learned so much through the process of getting there. This is my biggest word of advice to master’s students- apply and try. Just try. I really did not think that I would be selected and even if I had not my 300 word essay is by far the piece of writing from my graduate career. I submitted it as my sample writing for several job applications that I was subsequently offered. More importantly it provided me with an opportunity to think beyond graduate school. It made me stop and think about what issue is most important to me, what aspect of that work do I want to be doing, and what position do I want to host in ten years. Once you think deeply about your priorities you can be selective with your time and energy. You can draft a plan of attack on how to get to your dream job. I highly recommend anyone of any profession to do this writing exercise for their professional development.

Written by Kera Beskin, MPH Candidate 2017 


Life After Graduation as a Presidential Management Fellow

Bree Medvedev , CoE Alumna As a student in the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Concentration at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), like many others, I frequently wondered about my career after graduate school. I knew that I wanted my professional life to reflect my desire to give back to a society that had given me so much, but I was unsure of which path to take.

Late last summer, I stumbled upon the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) Program. The PMF Program is a highly selective leadership program designed to recruit outstanding recent advanced degree graduates for a two-year developmental fellowship with the federal government. As a Fellow, you engage in challenging work assignments, receive excellent training and professional development opportunities, and learn the ins and outs of national programs and initiatives that are crucial to the well-being of our country. I knew immediately that this was the opportunity I had been looking for that would allow me to merge my desire to be a public servant with my graduate education in public health!

After enduring an application and interview process that spanned several months, I was thrilled to see my name on the Finalist list in March for the PMF Class of 2015. I would now be able to apply for PMF-specific positions across the country in every department and agency of the government.

I already knew that I wanted work at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and began to apply for several positions. In June, I was offered a job in Washington, DC under the Office of the Secretary as a Program Analyst in the Office of Budget.

Everyday at HHS is different then the one before and I am able to use the critical thinking, policy analysis, and advocacy skills I gained throughout my time at UIC to develop, analyze, and implement wide-reaching health policy decisions within the MCH field and beyond. Motivated colleagues who share a passion for promoting and improving the health of the nation surround me. There are ample trainings available to me that not only help me build technical skills important to my position, but overarching leadership skills that will further my career in the federal government.

Each day I am proud to go to work, knowing that I am affecting positive change in the health of Americans across the country. The PMF program has given me an opportunity to develop my career in public service and pursue my passion of improving the public health of my fellow citizens.

If you are searching for an opportunity that will challenge you and allow you to develop in your role as a public servant, I recommend checking out the PMF program. The application for the Class of 2016 will be open from September 28-October 13. Good luck!

By Bree Medvedev, MPH
Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Alumna, Class of 2015

*The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the PMF Program, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. Government.


MCH Student Practicum Experiences 2015

We were able to connect with two Center of Excellence (CoE) in Maternal in Child Health (MCH) Masters students who completed their field practicums over the summer. We asked them to share their experiences and tell us what coursework helped them prepare for the programs.  Read their stories below.

Student internship program. Picture of the student and her preceptorMCH Epidemiology (EPI) Student Participates in Graduate Student EPI Program (GSEP) in Oregon

I had the privilege of participating in the Graduate Student Epidemiology Program (GSEP) at the Health Authority in Portland, Oregon. The GSEP internship is managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and allows students to partake in MCH Epidemiology projects in state, local or tribal government settings. This summer, I worked on two projects that allowed me to use my classroom knowledge in a real world setting.

My first project focused on an analysis of Oregon youth participating in the “Choking Game,” a strangulation activity in which adolescents cut off oxygen to the brain in order to achieve temporary euphoria. Oregon is the only state conducting statewide surveillance on Choking Game participation, and our research is the first to focus on children at highest risk of injury or death – youth who participate alone. My work consisted of a literature review, statistical analysis using STATA, and draft manuscript to be considered for publication in a national journal. I will also be presenting our findings at the 2015 APHA Annual Meeting.

My second project, a cost-benefit analysis of flu vaccines administered through School Based Health Centers (SBHC), pushed me to use my analytical skills in a new realm – business and finance. My analysis demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of SBHCs across Oregon and the financial formula spreadsheets I produced can be leveraged by other states to illustrate the importance of their own SBHCs.

Over the summer, it became evident that my UIC training had prepared me to tackle these projects in an efficient and capable manner. My epidemiology, biostatistics, and MCH courses provided not only the skills necessary to complete assigned tasks, but the knowledge to apply my skills to real-world research questions. In addition, I came away with the following lessons learned:

  1. Focus on the details, but never lose site of the big picture. Learning to review the data and understand how it made sense in the big picture helped me conceptualize my findings and bridge the gap between research and broader health policy.
  2. Collaboration is key. While the majority of my work was completed with my preceptor, it was necessary to seek additional insight and feedback from other subject matter experts. Effective communication and collaboration skills are essential for future public health professionals, and I saw firsthand the value of strong working relationships.
  3. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. At the beginning, I was often nervous that my approach was flawed and found myself wishing for a non-existent answer key. With the support of my mentor, I became more comfortable taking leaps, making guesses and learning to make mistakes, which helped me grow and become more confident in my abilities.

By Alexandra Ibrahim, CoE in MCH EPI student

 

Cindy San Miguel, CoE student with leadership award MCH Student Participates in MCH Paired Practica Program in Michigan

I completed the National MCH Workforce Development Center’s Paired Practica at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in the Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) division. The practicum focuses on developing the next generation of MCH professionals by pairing a graduate student from a Maternal Child Health Program with an undergraduate student from Howard University.

My mentee and I worked on a project for the CSHCS’s Family Center, a parent-driven unit providing emotional support and resources to families of children and youth with special health care needs. Acknowledging that technological advances have created new opportunities for communication, our project focused on:

  • How the division communicates with families today,
  • What families feel about the current communication, and
  • What families want to see in the future.

We designed the entire analysis, from conducting a literature review, to gathering data and reporting final results. Twenty-eight families were recruited and administered a mixed methods survey (multiple choice and open-ended questions). We also created a database documenting the social media presence of the 45 Local Health Departments. Our findings were then presented to division leader, who are now working to implement our recommendations. I was surprised at how much I relied on my coursework throughout the summer. I had not worked with this population before, so I returned to lectures from my MCH courses to better understand the issues facing parents of children with special healthcare needs. The spring MCH Systems course (CHSC 511) was particularly helpful in preparing for the practicum. One of my other projects was to track the monthly budget for an epilepsy grant, and I used my budgeting slides from the spring Integrated Core course.

While it is difficult to narrow down, the top three things I learned this summer were:

  1. Mentorship is incredibly important. My practicum reminded me of the value of having a good support system. A lot of us will end up in leadership positions, and the experience of mentoring another student helped me prepare for future leadership roles.
  2. Care coordination is essential. We acknowledge care coordination as an issue in our courses, but working with families who have children with really complicated medical issues, allowed me to understand the burden families face when coordinating the multitude of services for their children.
  3. Remember to humanize our communities. Each individual makes up the community, and individual stories are indicative of what is happening at the broader population level. It was heartbreaking to see families’ day-to-day struggles, but also encouraging to know that when we do good public health work, we can improve families’ everyday lives.

By Cindy San Miguel, CoE in MCH student


Alumna Success Story–Jessica Bushar Providing Access to Crucial Health Information for Mothers

Jessica_Bushar_picture

Jessica Bushar, MPH
Research Director Text4baby
National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition

Jessica Bushar earned a Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology at UIC in 2010 and was a recipient of an award from Irving Harris Foundation. Following her graduation from UIC, Jessica was a Principal Research Analyst at NORC at the University of Chicago. In 2012, she began working at the National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) where she now holds the position of Research Director of Text4baby.

Jessica is passionate about her work on Text4baby, which partners with more than 1,200 local, state, and national partners to improve the health of mothers and babies by providing timely, vital health and safety information to mothers by via text message. The Text4baby program has reached over 800,000 pregnant women and new moms and provided them with over 116 million text messages. As the Research Director, Jessica spends much of her time at HMHB working with partners and staff to evaluate Text4baby’s impact and facilitate research informed quality improvement.

Jessica believes her degree in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology from UIC helped improve her qualitative research skills and gain the competencies needed to make her a well-rounded researcher – skills that have made it possible for her to excel at her position as Research Director of Text4baby. Jessica’s research is implemented in real time to make a widespread positive impact on the lives of moms and babies through easy to access, crucial health information.

Written by Cristina Turino, UIC Research Assistant and UIC MCH MPH Candidate


Practicum Experience 2014: Chicago Department of Public Health

IMG_7584 (4)So far, our time at the Women and Children’s Health Division at the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been very translational to what we learned in our first year at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health (UIC SPH).  We are conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment for the MCH population in Chicago under the guidance of CDPH Assistant Commissioner, Susan Hossli. To start, we gathered quantitative data in the form of vital statistics; this included infant mortality rates, low birth weight percentages, preterm deliveries, and teenage pregnancy rates for Chicago and the 77 community areas. We used the data to identify 18 community areas that have the poorest outcomes and we designated them as “Hot Spots.” These community areas are located on both the South and West Sides of Chicago.

After we compiled quantitative data for Chicago and the Hot Spots, we created a demographic picture of each neighborhood, which included socioeconomic status, overall health, education attainment, insurance, income, housing, poverty, crime, food access, and educational resources. These topics touched on what we learned in the Determinants of Population Health class, a new introductory class in the pilot core (IPHS 494). We learned that health is not only affected by biological factors, but also where you live, learn, play, work, pray, and age. It is also pivotal to understand that factors affecting health run the entire life course, as well as transcend generations.

Following the quantitative data, we prepared a systems analysis for each community area. The systems assessment analyzes the available resources in one’s neighborhood; this includes, but is not limited to Healthy Start programs, FQHCs, Healthy Families, Better Birth Outcomes, family case management, hospitals, clinics, birthing hospitals, WIC, family planning, behavioral health programs, and dental programs. This process was very informative because we gained a holistic view of the healthcare environment in the Hot Spot community areas.

We took Community Health Assessment (CHSC 431) in Spring 2014, and it was the perfect primer for this practicum. The knowledge, skills and tools we gained in that class proved essential for our success in this practicum. In CHSC 431, we learned the basics of a community health assessment: what it is, how the process works, where to find the appropriate and credible data, how to identify priority issues, how to obtain and analyze qualitative data, and then how to disseminate the information to community groups and key stakeholders. Another useful class prior to this practicum was MCH Delivery Systems: Services, Programs, and Policies (CHSC 511). In this course, we were introduced to the concept of what a health care delivery system is. We learned about the service delivery system for women, infants, children, and children with special health care needs. Our cumulative project over the semester was to synthesize and analyze the MCH delivery system for various states.

For a holistic view on the health status of Women and Children in Chicago, it is necessary to have a mixed-methods approach for data acquisition. Quantitative data is important to provide a snapshot of the health status, but qualitative data provides a full narrative of the gaps in access to a healthy life. We are currently scheduling focus groups on the West and South Sides of Chicago with consumers, service providers, and community based organizations. The focus groups will complete the needs assessment, and then a Strategic Plan for the City of Chicago will be formulated based on the data and gaps in services found in the needs assessment.

This practicum has been a learning opportunity since we have seen our coursework play out in a practical setting. It is exciting to see our work with the needs assessment play such a large role for the Department of Public Health. This project was undertaken with the hopes of influencing future programming and decision making within the city for healthy mothers and babies.

By Joanna Tess and Dan Weiss, UIC MCHP Students

 


IAIMH Dolores Norton Student Research Award

Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health (IAIMH)
2013 Dolores Norton Student Research Award

This award is presented each year to recognize a promising doctoral student or post-doctoral scholar in the field of infant and toddler social-emotional health, development, and intervention.  The award honors Dolores Norton, known to most as “Dodie,” who is the Samuel Deutsch Professor Emerita at the School of Social Service Administration of the University of Chicago.  Professor Norton has been an extraordinary mentor to a generation of graduate students who learned from her the importance of early child development, the roles of community and culture in early child development, the principles of family support practice, and the ways research can inform practice.  Dr. Norton devoted her research career to understanding children and families living in conditions of poverty and to understanding children and families through the complex lens of an ecological systems framework.

The award provides a $5,000 stipend to support research on an open topic regarding 1) social-emotional development or mental health during the zero to five age period, 2) behaviors, beliefs, and mental health of expectant parents or parents of young children, and/or 3) interventions for infants, young children, or families.   The award is open to doctoral students or postdoctoral fellows enrolled in or affiliated with an educational or research institution in Illinois. Area of discipline is open.

Applications will be reviewed by the Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health Research Committee.  The recipient will be chosen based on the quality of the study proposed and the potential for contribution to the scholarly literature and to practice.  The award will be presented on October 25 at the ILAIMH annual meeting (awardees will be notified in advance, and will be given complimentary registration for the meeting, as well as a year’s membership in ILAIMH).  Awardees will be expected to present a progress report after one year that indicates how they used the funds and the progress of their proposed project. Awardees are also expected to present on their project to the ILAIMH membership, either as a research poster at the 2014 annual meeting, or in a brief report in the ILAIMH newsletter.

Application deadline:  September 1, 2013

Application Guidelines:
Submit via e-mail (in MSWord or PDF) a brief narrative description (1500 words or less) of the proposed research project. The narrative should address the following questions:
1. What questions is the study attempting to address?
2. What are the core research methods being used?
3. In what way will the research provide a better understanding of the socioemotional development or mental health of children or the behavior or mental health of their parents in the birth to five period? What is unique or innovative about the proposed research?
4. What are the potential implications for the research for practice or in applied settings?
5. What faculty members are mentors for this research project?  Is the study a dissertation project?  Has the dissertation proposal already been approved by a faculty committee?
6. What is the timeline for completion of the project?  How much of the work has already been done, and how much remains to be accomplished during the period of the award?
7. Does the project have appropriate IRB approval?
8. How will the funds from the award be used? How, specifically, would the funding assist in the completion of the project? The funds may be used to fund all or a portion of the proposed project, such as research materials, software, training on research methods, payments to research study participants.  The funds may not be used to pay for student living expenses or conference travel.

Submit applications to Jon Korfmacher at jkorfmacher@erikson.edu

The awardee will be notified by October 1.

An announcement and presentation of the award will be made at the ILAIMH annual meeting on Friday, October 25, 2013. Questions about the award may be directed to Jon Korfmacher, Co-chair of the ILAIMH Research Committee at jkorfmacher@erikson.edu or 312-893-7133.

 

 


Training Opportunity for Graduate Students Interested in Children with Developmental Disorders

2012/13 ILLINOIS LEND PROGRAM TRAINING ANNOUNCEMENT

An Opportunity for Future Leaders Serving Children with Developmental Disabilities

The Institute on Disability and Human Development at UIC is excited to announce LEND training opportunities open to graduate students from the core disciplines of:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Child Psychiatry
  • Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Disability Studies
  • Family
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Self-Advocate
  • Social Work
  • Special Education
  • Speech Language Pathology

The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program, sponsored by the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, prepares future leaders who will serve children with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities (with a focus on autism) and their families.  The LEND Interdisciplinary Training Program is a one-year training program that incorporates both didactic and experiential learning in clinical and community-based settings. A stipend up to $5000 per year will be provided.  Trainees will gain experience in the coordination of culturally competent family-centered care, the provision of public health services, and the implementation of policy systems change.  The didactics take place over 2 semesters starting August 2012 and ending May 2013 with clinical/community training available through June 2013.

Deadline to apply is May 11, 2012.

Family/Self-Advocate trainees are individuals with a developmental disability and/or individuals who have a family member with a developmental disability. A high school diploma or equivalent is a requirement to be considered for the Family/Self-Advocate traineeship.  Priority is given to graduate students in the above disciplines and family/self-advocates; however, recent graduates working in the field may also apply.  In order to receive a stipend, a trainee must be a US citizen or permanent resident.

For more information about the LEND program or to complete an application, please visit the IL LEND website or contact the LEND Project Coordinator:

Leslie Stiles

vlazny@uic.edu

312-996-8905

Leslie Stiles, MS, RD, LDN

IL LEND Project Coordinator

University of Illinois at Chicago

1640 W. Roosevelt Rd. #205A

Chicago, IL 60608

312.996.8905


UIC Management Skills Academy

 

Please note that registration is closed.

Program Description:
The Management Skills Academy is a professional development initiative designed to strengthen the participant’s basic and intermediate level management skills. The curriculum encompasses 12 topics offered on a monthly basis for three hours in person at the UIC School of Public Health.  Sessions can be taken on a stand-alone basis or as a certificate program.  Sessions will be offered in a workshop format and will include an information-packed overview of the workshop topic as well as participatory learning activities such as case studies, role-playing, and group discussion. Participants will have the opportunity to build their knowledge base on management practices, policies and principles, sharpen comprehension of complex topics, and practice ways to apply new knowledge as a manager in a public health setting.

Workshops:
Foundations of Managing an Organization
Introduction to Management Principles
March 24, 2011

Vision, Mission, and Strategic Planning
April 21, 2011

Building an Effective Board of Directors/Advisory Board
May 19, 2011

Increasing Your Management Effectiveness
Understanding Communication Styles
June 16, 2011

Building and Motivating Teams
July 21, 2011

Conflict Resolution
August 25, 2011

Overcoming Burnout
September 15, 2011

Managing Operations
Planning and Managing a Sustainable Budget
October 20, 2011

Project Management
November 17, 2011

Continuous Quality Improvement
December 15, 2011

Managing the 21st Century Organization
Increasing Impact through Collaboration and Partnerships
January 19, 2012

Using Social Media for Marketing and Advocacy
February 16, 2012

Click here to view a list of objectives for each workshop.

All the workshops are from 9am-12pm, except for the last session on February 16, 2012 which will be until 1pm.

Cost:
$50 per session
$450 for all 12 sessions if you register on-line by March 11th
$475 for all 12 sessions if you register on-line after March 21st

Scholarships Available for MCHP Students and Alumni:
Scholarships will cover the cost of all 12 sessions.  MAPHTC will be giving out 5 scholarships, 2 awards will be given to MCH/MCHP EPI students and 3 awards will be given to MCHP alumni. In order to qualify for the scholarships you must be currently enrolled in the UIC Maternal and Child Health Program or the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program or be an alumna of the Maternal and Child Health Program or the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program.  Ideal candidates would have 1-3 years of work experience and be able to attend all 12 workshops.

Application Requirements:
Please submit your resume and a short statement describing your interest in the program.  Your statement should be no more than 1-2 pages. Please address the following questions:  1) Why do you want to participate in this program?  2) What goal(s) are you hoping to achieve through this program?

Please email your resume and your statement to Jaime Klaus, MA, at jaimkl@uic.edu by February 25, 2011.  You will be notified if you received the scholarship by March 2, 2011.

Please note: Continuing education units (CEU’s) are not available for this program.

Sponsored by:  MidAmerica Public Health Training Center (MAPHTC), Greater Cities Institute at UIC, and the Maternal and Child Health Program.


IL MCH Coalition Seeks new Executive Director

The Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition (IMCHC) is looking for a new Executive Director!

IMCHC’s mission is to improve the health of women, families and children in Illinois. Its main objective is to identify and overcome the major barriers, which include poverty and racism, that prevent achievement of maternal and child health and well-being. Founded in 1988, the Coalition has provided leadership on maternal and child issues for over 20 years.

IMCHC currently leads five major projects and has 14 staff. The Illinois Premature Infant Health Network brings together physicians, hospitals and community and health organizations to increase quality health care access for premature infants and their families in Illinois. Covering Kids and Families project works to decrease the number of uninsured children and families. The Chicago Area Immunization Campaign increases immunization rates of infants, adolescents and adults. The Campaign to Save Our Babies, seeks to reduce racial health disparities in maternal and infant mortality. The Illinois Coalition for School Health Centers strives to improve the physical and mental health of children and adolescents in Illinois by fostering the development, stabilization and expansion of school health centers.   For more information you can review our website at www.ilmaternal.org.

Position Summary
The Executive Director will give direction and leadership toward the achievement of IMCHC’s philosophy, mission, strategy and its annual goals and objectives. The Executive Director will be responsible for the implementation of the strategic goals and objectives of the organization and, with the Board Chairperson, will enable the Board to fulfill its governance function. The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors.

To see the full job description on our website, visit:    phttp://tigger.uic.edu/sph/mch/documents/ExecutiveDirectorJobDescription.pdf