The Maternal Child Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy, and Research Network (MCH-LEARN) is a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded program that facilitates local undergraduate freshman, sophomore, and rising junior scholars entry into graduate school in Maternal Child Health (MCH) fields, i.e., public health and related fields such as pediatrics, MCH nutrition, MCH social work, MCH nursing, pediatric dentistry, psychology, health education, pediatric occupational/physical therapy and speech-language pathology. The program is designed for local scholars (no housing allowance during the Baltimore summer session) from diverse populations underrepresented in the MCH field who desire to learn more about MCH through research, clinical, and advocacy experiences. MCH-LEARN scholars participate in the summer public health research internship with continued monthly experiences throughout the academic year.

The ultimate goal of MCH-LEARN is to promote public health leadership and diversity in Maternal and Child Health graduate studies and careers. MCH-LEARN is designed for highly qualified local (Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan region) undergraduate scholars with at least a 3.0 GPA, or better, on a 4.0 scale who are interested in Maternal Child Health careers. MCH-LEARN provides public health research and community engagement experiences, mentorship, and professional development, especially in developmental disabilities, MCH, mental health, and promotion of health equity strategies to eliminate health disparities.

MCH-LEARN leverages a leadership learning network formed by (1) Kennedy Krieger Institute Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program, (2) Historically Black Colleges and Universities, (3) Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Bloomberg School of Public Health (4) Parents’ Place of Maryland, and the (5) Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities.

Previous Program Activities

2022 Planned Activities

The MCH-LEARN is a:

  • 9-week summer program that begins May 30, 2022.

Orientation Week: The program begins with Orientation for ALL scholars from May 30 through Friday, June 3, 2022.

Following Orientation, scholars will begin their MCH-LEARN experience on June 6, 2022 and end on July 27, 2022 for the summer. MCH-LEARN scholars will resume monthly meetings in September and attend the Room to Grow: Journey to Cultural and Linguistic Competency conference on September 20, 2022.

ALL scholars participate in Tuesday, Research Seminars, and collaborative MCHC/RISE-UP teams for Friday Professional Development and Advocacy seminars and CDC Winnable Battles.

Each scholar participates in a public health research project and may select up to one additional leadership experience. Public health experiences offered to scholars are:

  • Community Engagement and Advocacy Experience:
    Students work with professionals in developmental disabilities, public health, and related systems on forming, implementing, and evaluating health care and disability legislation, regulations, and practice guidelines. The importance of engaging underrepresented communities is emphasized. 
  • Clinical Track Experience:
    Students rotate through clinical experiences provided by Maternal and Child Health disciplines (pediatrics, psychiatry, neurology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, social work, psychology, speech/ language, special education, and nursing). In addition, students gain experience in providing community-based healthcare and community support systems for underserved groups. 
  • Research Experience:
    Students work with research mentors on a wide range of public health, health disparities, prevention, treatment, bench/wet lab, and epidemiological studies. Students may receive training to analyze clinical and national datasets.

Program Benefits

  • $3,500 stipend for the 9-week summer program and a small stipend for the academic year participation.
  • Students participate in a comprehensive educational and applied public health learning experience that will enhance the student’s abilities to successfully transition to an MCH- related graduate or professional school and a career in the MCH field.
  • Students gain opportunities to learn about and discuss public health topics related to the MCH field and social determinants of health.
  • Students will present their research or MCH public health topic at the end of the summer at Johns Hopkins and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention In-person/Virtual Showcase and Expo. Students will be sponsored to present at a national conference. Students also present at the LEND Program Research Symposium in April. 

Please Note:

All Center for Diversity 2022 summer programs will be in person. The format is subject to change based on COVID-19 pandemic status.

All activities are subject to the availability of federal funds.

For More Information:

For additional program information, please contact

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