On April 3, 2019, The UIC Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, along with the IL LEND Program, visited the offices of Senator Duckworth and Senator Durbin to share the impact that these two MCHB-funded workforce development programs have on maternal and child health populations. Below are the reflections of two MCH trainees, Izzy Litwack and Channon Campbell following these visits.
Izzy Litwack, MPH Candidate
When I first began my MPH journey with the Center of Excellence (CoE) in Maternal and Child Health (MCH), I had no idea what that really meant. I had never heard of Title V before, and did not understand what a “training center” entailed. Throughout my two years in the MCH concentration, I have been exposed and integrated into the field of maternal and child health and I am confident I will continue to benefit from my involvement with the CoE-MCH. When I was asked to go to the offices of Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth, I was honored to be given the chance to educate key stakeholders on all that the CoE-MCH taught me. Walking into the offices of such important people brought out so many feelings: nervousness, anxiety, and excited jitters. However, being able to stand side-by-side with Cindy and Arden, my classmate Channon, and the fantastic people from the LEND program took much of that away. I felt like I was able to share with others who are experts in maternal and child health and showcase one of the best maternal and child health training centers. I am so thankful to for the opportunity to explain to Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth’s teams why the UIC Center of Excellence has prepared me to enter the public health work field, the impact it has had on MCH communities in both Chicago, Illinois and Region V, and why this training center will continue to thrive!
Channon Campbell, MSN, MPH Candidate
As my program comes to a close, I have been reflecting on just how fulfilled and enlightened I have felt throughout my journey at the University of Illinois at Chicago, (UIC) School of Public Health, Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health (MCH). There was nothing more I wanted than to be in the Maternal and Child Health concentration at UIC and when that was finally realized, I was elated. Continuing on through this program with the distinction of being a MCH Trainee has not only changed my life but has also allowed me to impact the lives of others. It has prepared me to better serve MCH populations across Illinois and beyond. It is truly a privilege to be an MCH Trainee at UIC’s Center of Excellence. When I was asked to attend the offices of Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth to shed light on and the Center, I felt great pride and honor to be able to speak about not only what I have learned but also all that the Center of Excellence does. While I was extremely nervous, I was also very excited, especially hearing my advisors, professors and peers speak to their experiences and work they do. The teams, Senator Duckworth’s and Senator Durbin’s, looked to us as critical information providers on key issues impacting maternal and child health, the necessity of our program and how integral we, LEND and the Center of Excellence, are in preparing the MCH workforce and serving these populations. It was also affirming to hear that many of the initiatives supported by our senators are some of issues and topics near and dear to my heart, such as equity for black mothers and vaccinations. This program has provided me with the knowledge and tools to be among the best public health professionals, especially in maternal and child health, and I know that the Senators’ teams felt and understood this. We communicated with confidence that this training center matters and is pivotal to the health of MCH populations. I am so very thankful for this opportunity and grateful to be an MCH Trainee at UIC.