July Retreat: Opening Keynote and Plenary Sessions

Hi everyone!  We hope you will agree that the 3rd annual UIC MCH Leadership, Legacy, and Community:  A Retreat to Advance MCH Scholarship and Practice is going to be a program not to miss.  Below are the descriptions of the opening Keynote Address and Plenary sessions.  Very exciting!

Paradigm Shifts in Public Health and MCH:  An Historical Perspective on Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities

Maxine Hayes, MD, MPH, Washington State Health Officer, Department of Health

In this exciting keynote address, Dr. Maxine Hayes will provide the historical context in which maternal and child health public health has evolved over time and the important role that paradigm shifts have played in ensuring the health of women, children, and families.  In the late 1800s when safe milk was one of the most significant child health problems we faced, the first Milk Stations were established in an attempt to decrease infant mortality and morbidity caused by diarrhea.  Due to these stations and the advent of pasteurization in 1910, infant mortality decreased substantially because diarrheal disease was no longer a major problem.   While these initial MCH efforts evolved out of a social movement and a  a social justice framework, over time, the field of public health moved away from a social justice framework and increasingly emphasized  more of an individual approach to solving health problems.  However, over the last 10 -15 years, the field of MCH has begun to embrace the social determinants of health and to champion a social justice framework as a viable and necessary approach to improving MCH.

In this session, Dr. Hayes will discuss major paradigm shifts in public health/MCH including some of the successes, challenges, and opportunities.  This session is intended to highlight the importance, necessity, and value of the field of MCH returning to its roots in ways that are consistent with cultural norms and that takes into consideration our current economic and political climate.  A return to a social justice framework is necessary to ensure that we more effectively meet the changing health and well-being needs of women, children, and families as well as ensure  that we reach  and ultimately surpass the  Healthy People objectives for MCH.


Life Course, Health Equity, Social Determinants of Health:  New Approaches for a New Decade

Deborah Allen, ScD, Director, Bureau of Child, Adolescent and Family Health, Boston Public Health Commission

Increasingly, MCH programs are adopting a “lifecourse” approach to adverse health outcomes and persistent disparities in health.  Interest in lifecourse reflects renewed recognition of the role of social factors as predictors of health status.  But lifecourse is not just a return to the wisdom o f the past; it links the insights of early MCH social reformers to emerging science to explain how social conditions affect health and what we can do about it.  In this plenary, Dr. Allen will suggest key elements of a lifecourse approach, starting with theory and then engaging participants in discussion about the interplay of those elements in their own lives.   The big challenge for many, however, is not what lifecourse means, but what it means we should do.  Dr. Allen will share information about how life course has been operationalized in Boston,  pointing to specific strategies to move lifecourse from analysis  to action.

To learn more about the Retreat and to register online, visit our website at: