Emerging Leaders in MCH Nutrition Training Institute

What an exciting time for Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and public health nutrition – a time of great challenges and opportunities! Our health care system is transitioning from one that focuses on sick care to one that is more prevention oriented; a system where nutrition services will play a pivotal role. This is occurring at a time when a large number of nutrition leaders will be retiring and leaving the workforce. The future success of public health/MCH nutrition services depends on identifying and training emerging leaders, so that they are positioned to assume the forthcoming leadership roles.

Photo of participants of the Emerging Leaders in MCH Nutrition Training Institute 2014-2015 Emerging Leaders in Nutrition 2014-2015***

The Emerging Leaders in MCH Nutrition Training Institute is a year-long program designed to train future leaders in the area of MCH Nutrition. It is made possible by a joint collaborative effort of MCH Nutrition Training Programs at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Minnesota and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

The Institute is a 12 month program, with the option to extend for 6 months to serve in a mentoring capacity for new participants. The 2015-16 cohort will begin with a face-to-face meeting on June 15, 2015 in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN). New participants will be invited to attend the meeting. Activities to prepare for the meeting may occur in May 2015.

A stipend of $800, to help defray travel costs associated with attending the meeting, will be available to a limited number of participants who demonstrate need.

The first half of the Institute will consist of a leadership assessment, readings and participation in monthly conference calls which will focus on leadership skill development, centered on the MCH Leadership Competencies. In the second six months of the Institute, participants will work in teams on a policy brief project. Individualized coaching will also be provided to participants. Faculty will be available throughout the Institute to continue building the nutritionist’s leadership skills and provide guidance on the policy brief project. There is no registration fee for the Emerging Leaders in MCH Nutrition Training Institute.

To be eligible to apply, participants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be identified as an emerging nutrition leader, which is defined as someone who has been employed as a community/public health nutritionist for not less than three and not more than ten years;
  • Be a Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, or licensed/certified nutritionist/dietitian;
  • Work in the area of MCH within a state or local public health agency or a community based organization;
  • Work in a state or territory east of the Rocky Mountains.*
  • Have demonstrated leadership at work, within a professional organization or in the community;
  • Have Internet access;
  • Be CERTAIN of availability to participate in the Institute for the entire 12 months, from May 2015 to April 2016**;
  • Be willing to commit to a face-to -face meeting in June 2015 and approximately 5 hours a month for Institute activities, which will include readings, monthly coaching and conference calls, completion of an MCH nutrition project, and other activities as determined by the cohort; and
  • Have supervisor/agency support for participation.
Applications and all supporting documentation
due by March 31, 2015.

To apply, please submit the following information:

photo of Heidi ChurchFor further information on the Emerging Leaders in MCH Nutrition Training Institute, contact  Heidi Church by email or by phone, 773-459-3700.


  • Krista Casazza, PhD, RD, LD – University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Diane Anderson, PhD, RD, CSP, LD – Baylor College of Medicine
  • Jamie Stang, PhD, MPH, RD, LN – University of Minnesota, School of Public Health
  • Marsha Spence, PhD, MS-MPH, RD, LDN  – University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Margaret Tate, RDN, MSM – J Tate Consulting, LLC

* States and territories eligible to apply include Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The Western Leadership Nutrition Network, coordinated by MCH Nutrition training programs at UCLA and UC Berkeley is currently providing leadership training to the western states (additional information is available at http://www.mchnutritionpartners.ucla.edu/western-nln/western-mch-nutrition-leadership-network.

**Needing to drop off from the Institute for emergent situations may be unavoidable at times; however, if you are not certain of your availability during this entire period of time, we encourage you to refrain from applying. For example, if you are in the midst of a major transition in your life (personal or work-related), this may not be the best time for you to apply. The Institute functions as a cohort, and if any member of the cohort is missing, the group is unable to function effectively.

***Photo Caption: Row 1 seated: Peggy Leung-Strle, MS, RD, LDN, CLC; Lauren M. Hosterman RD, LDN; Mandy Burbank, RD, LRD; Meredith Evans MS, RD, LD; Bre Haviland, MS, RD, LD, CLC; Row 2 standing: Kimberly James, MS, RDN, LD; Karen J. Trbovich, MS, RD, CDN; Molly B. Killman, MS, RD, LD; Betsy Haughton, EdD, RD; Bonnie A. Spear, PhD, RD; Diane Anderson, PhD, RD, CSP, LD; Marsha Spence, PhD, MS-MPH, RD, LDN; Not pictured: Aida Miles, MMSc, RD, LD, CSP, CNSD; Jamie Stang, PhD, MPH, RD, LN; and Margaret Tate, RD, MS

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