CityMatCH Learning Network

The CityMatCH Learning Network consists of a quarterly series of calls/webinars available to the entire MCH community, providing training and technical assistance on emerging MCH issues and the most identified needs of CityMatCH members.

Learning Network Schedule (2018)

Andy Wessel from the Douglas County Health Department (Omaha, NE) presented "Changing the Public Conversation on Health: How to Use Framing to 'Decode' Social Determinants and Health Equity."

Recording available

Despite the foundational role that health plays in everyone's quality of life, the field of public health is not well understood by the general public and decision-makers.  This webinar will describe how the Douglas County Health Department in Omaha is applying research from FrameWorks Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to build stronger support for prevention and equity approaches.  

 Participants will explore: 

  • Why our messages frequently fail to translate the importance of public health to people outside the field
  • How to use well-researched values and explanatory metaphors to "decode" our work on social determinants and health equity
  • Why "naked numbers" are problematic and how "social math" can help our audience better understand the significance of data
  • How these framing practices can be applied to MCH advocacy.     


Learning Network Schedule (2017)

Healthy Start in Housing – September 26, 2017

Listen to the Webinar


Heavenly Mitchell, MPA, Boston Public Health Commission; Gianna Hanson, MSW, Metropolitan Development & Housing Authority Nashville, TN; Lillian Maddox-Whitehead, MS, Metro Public Health Department, Nashville, TN; Rose Anderson-Rice, Generate Health, St. Louis, MO

This webinar discussed housing issues around the country affecting birth outcomes, and what Boston is doing with their Healthy Start in Housing program to address it.

What is Healthy Start in Housing?

The Boston Public Health Commission and the Boston Housing Authority formed a joint initiative called Healthy Start in Housing (HSiH) to help high at risk pregnant women (or women pregnant with a child who has a complex condition requiring specialty care) secure and retain stable housing. The goals of HSiH are improved birth outcomes and improved health and wellbeing of women and their families. Key strategies are the provision of housing and intensive case management services aimed at housing retention and engagement in interventions geared toward the achievement of the family's identified goals.


Moms’ Mental Health Matters: An Evidence-Based Initiative to Address Perinatal Depression and AnxietyAugust 15, 2017

Audio Recording. Links mentioned in audio:

Presenter: Triesta Fowler, M.D., Medical Officer, Office of Communications, NICHD

Description: The Moms’ Mental Health Matters (MMHM) initiative is led by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). NICHD is one of 27 Institutes and Centers at NIH. MMHM uses evidence-based materials to raise awareness of depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy, the signs of these conditions, and the importance of getting help. This presentation will describe the formative research used to develop the initiative and discuss opportunities to utilize the materials in the community.


Dissemination and Implementation Science and Local Public Health: An Introduction August 7, 2017

Audio Recording

Presenter: Nathan Fleming, MD, MPH, is a Pediatrician and Population Health consultant. He works as a Pediatric Hospitalist addressing medical needs of infants and children while helping families to connect with community resources.

As local public health professionals, we know that existing evidence-based practices are never perfectly suited to the populations we know and serve.  For example, a program may work well in an East-coast city but not so well in the Midwest, or it may work with established minority populations but not so well with newly arrived immigrants. When a program or practice is implemented in a new place, what helps it succeed? When modifications are needed, how do we know whether we have sufficient fidelity? And how can our implementation contribute to the evidence base so that other communities can benefit from what we’ve learned? These questions are addressed by the science of dissemination and implementation (D&I). D&I science, which is closely related to Knowledge Translation and Diffusion of Innovation, has been applied in the public health arena in recent years, and local health departments are perfectly positioned to participate in and learn from this new and very practical kind of research. 


How Local Health Departments Can Support Families Impacted by Zika VirusJune 20, 2017

Listen to the Webinar.

The June CityMatCH Learning Network featured Jennifer Bolden Pitre from Family Voices. Ms. Bolden Pitre, M.A., J.D., National Program Coordinator, shared information about the Zika work being done at Family Voices, a national organization working to achieve family-centered care for all children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities. The focus of this presentation was on how Family Voices can provide support to local health departments in serving families impacted by the Zika Virus, including providing linkages to care for families and providing psycho-social support. Also presenting were Sherry Santa from Texas Parent to Parent and Rachel Jew from the Texas Department of State Health Services.


The Well-Woman Project - March 16, 2017 from 1:00-2:30 PM CST

Listen to the Webinar.

Presentation by Dr. Arden Handler, Principle Investicator at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Center of Excellence in MCH

Please join us for the second CityMatCH Learning Network Webinar of the year! This webinar will focus on the Well-Woman Project, a joint collaboration between the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health (UIC) & CityMatCH. The Well-Woman Project aims to elevate women’s voices about what makes them healthy and able to receive well-woman care within their context of their lives, neighborhoods and cities. 

Dr. Arden Handler, the Principal Investigator at the UIC Center of Excellence in MCH and the Well-Woman Project’s Principal Investigator, will provide information about the project’s results and recommendations, with a particular focus on how these results can help local health departments improve women’s health and well-woman healthcare. 

Following Dr. Handler’s presentation on the Well-Woman Project, there will be time for participants to engage with one another on what is being done in their community to improve women’s health and health care. This will provide an opportunity for participants to share successes in improving well-woman care utilization and women’s health, as well as an opportunity to gain feedback on current challenges.  Join us to learn about the Well-Woman Project & learn about what others are doing in their communities to advance women’s health.



Reproductive Justice AdHoc Group - Reproductive Justice and Public Health

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 at 1:30 PM CST
Lynn Roberts
Assistant Professor Community Health and Social Sciences
The City University of New York
Monica Simpson
Executive Director
Sister Song
This webinar was hosted by CityMatCH's Reproductive Justice AdHoc Group, led by:
Kiko Malin
Director Family Health Services Division
Alameda County Public Health Department
Deb Kaplan
Assistant Commissioner Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Learning Network Schedule (2016)

Membership Action Group - Taking the Equity Lead in Our Institutions, with Kenn Harris  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 2 PM CST
Call Number: 866-740-1260
Passcode: 5529500
We are delighted to announce the third and final call for the 2016 Learning Network Series, Taking the Equity Lead in Our Institutions, with Kenn Harris. Join CityMatCH's Membership Action Group and 100+ of your colleagues for a call that aims to keep professionals informmed and thinking critically about Maternal and Child Health issues.














Kenn Harris, 
Project Director for the New Haven Healthy Start Program
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Mr. Kenn Harris began his professional career in community organizing and health and human services. He continued his professional career in community development while employed at the Boston Healthy Start Initiative, Boston, MA from 1992-1997. Healthy Start is a federally-funded urban health initiative to reduce infant mortality and eliminate health disparities. During his time at BHSI, Mr. Harris helped to establish a male involvement fatherhood program (“Father-friendly” Fatherhood Program), a companion program to the healthy start initiative.

Mr. Harris is currently employed at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven as Project Director for the New Haven Healthy Start program in New Haven, CT. He was the original project director for the New Haven Healthy Start program (1997-2003) and returned to The Community Foundation in 2008 after doing focused work on “race” and “racism”. He serves on the Management Team of the Male Involvement Network of New Haven, a male involvement and fatherhood program for non-custodial fathers and low income men, which he helped to establish over 15 years ago. His consulting business keeps him busy providing technical assistance to projects across the country on topics such as board development, coalition development, grant-writing, program development and implementation, and fatherhood program, which he does as time permits. He also provides technical assistance to churches interested in transformational leadership development and the establishment of health initiatives in areas of prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, MCH and cancer.


Completed Learning Network Sessions (2016)

Science Action Group Call - Local MCH Response to Zika
June 6, 2016 at 2 PM CST


Karen Thomas, MD, MPH
Epidemiology Program Manager
Florida Department of Health Palm Beach
Dr. Lorraine Boyd, MD, MPH
Medical Director
Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

These presenters spoke about how health departments are preventing and mitigating the effects of Zika, how they're communicating about Zika, and how they're using data to have the most impact with their programming.

Equity Action Group Call
March 30, 2016 at 2 PM CST
Kimberly Hooks, BSN
Community Health Nurse Specialist Supervisor
Arkansas Department of Health
Reducing Disparities through the work of Community Health Improvement Staff
Resources for this presentation:
Shannon Jones, III
Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services Department
Addressing Health Disparities and Improving Health Equity
Resources for this presentation:
Project Status: 
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