The Center of Excellence in MCH Education, Science & Practice

""Since 1983, the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal & Child Health Bureau (MCHB) has awarded a Maternal & Child Health (MCH) Training Grant to the Department of Health Care Organization & Policy in the UAB School of Public Health. We are one of 13 Centers of Excellence in MCH Education, Science, and Practice in the U.S.

Our purpose is to provide excellent MCH education and preparation for present and future MCH leaders from diverse backgrounds so that the health of children, families, and communities is promoted, preserved, and enhanced. Inter-professional training focuses not only on core public health and MCH skills, with a unique focus on policy, but also on leadership development and advocacy with a view to achieving optimal MCH outcomes and advancing MCH science, research, practice, and policy. Alabama is home to seven different types of HRSA/MCHB training grants.

What is MCH?

Maternal & Child Health is the collaborative discipline within public health that uses the tools of all public health disciplines to focus on assuring conditions that allow children and families to be healthy and reach full potential. It focuses on the determinants, mechanisms, policies, and systems that promote and maintain the health, safety, well-being and appropriate development of children and families in communities and societies.

The field is not just for those who have or are interested in children today; MCH is also about assuring the health and well-being of tomorrow's children and adults. After more than 75 years, MCH remains focused on the future.

"Sometimes when I get home at night in Washington I feel as though I had been in a great traffic jam. The jam is moving toward the Hill where Congress sits in judgment on all the administrative agencies of the government. In that traffic jam there are all kinds of vehicles moving up toward the Capitol.... For example, the Army can put into the street tanks, gun carriages, trucks.... There are the hayricks and the binders and the ploughs and all the other things that the Department of Agriculture manages to put into the streets. The handsome limousines in which the Department of Commerce rides.... The barouches in which the Department of State rides in such dignity. It seems so to me, as I stand on the sidewalk watching it become more congested and more difficult, and then because the responsibility is mine and I must, I take a very firm hold on the handles of the baby carriage and I wheel it into the traffic." — Grace Abbott, Children's Bureau, 1935


If you want an MCH concentration, here are the degrees you can pursue within the MCH Policy & Leadership Program (the MCH Training Grant):

Financial Support

Varying levels of funding for tuition assistance, stipends (DrPH only), and conference travel assistance is available to students in the MCH Policy & Leadership Program (the MCH Concentration) pursuing an MCH-focused MPH or DrPH Throughout the School of Public Health, an internship is required of students pursuing an MPH. Some students choose to concurrently pursue a global health certificate through the UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health.

MCH Student Group

All UAB students with particular interest in MCH are encouraged to join MCH SAGE and become an MCH SAGE Leader. It is a student-led organization sharing MCH knowledge and experience with the school, campus, and community. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

MCH SAGE Website

Faculty and Training

The MCH faculty is committed not only to both excellence in teaching and excellence in research. The MCH Policy & Leadership Program, through its faculty and students, provides continuing education and technical assistance to our MCH practice partners, including state Title V and Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) agencies in the Southeast/Public Health Region IX. An example of this type of partner collaboration includes the Pediatric Nutrition Training Modules, jointly developed by the Center of Excellence and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services/Children’s Rehabilitation Services.

Funds from the MCH Training Grant also support the Association of Teachers of Maternal & Child Health (ATMCH). The manager of the MCH Training Grant, Julie McDougal, serves as the ATMCH coordinator, and the director of the MCH Training Grant, Dr. Martha Wingate, serves as the ATMCH director. ATMCH aims to grow and support excellence in teaching MCH across multiple academic settings. Specifically, ATMCH offers a forum to support the cadre of current and future faculty, aiming to enhance knowledge and skills essential to teaching in the field of MCH. All current and future faculty in all MCH academic disciplines across the U.S. and around the world are encouraged to join ATMCH free of charge.


For academic information or information about applying to one of our degree programs in the MCH Policy & Leadership Program (with an MCH Concentration), contact Brenda Campbell (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

For general information about the MCH Training Grant, contact Julie McDougal (manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Dr. Martha Wingate (director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

"This website was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health Program, grant number T76MC00008. Its content and information should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsement be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government."