UAMS, One of Eight Groups Selected to Participate in Maternal/Child Health Peer Collaborative

By Heidi Charton
Program Coordinator
DISCOVER Maternal Child Health Leadership;
Sarah Rhoads, DNP, APN
Assistant Professor, Department of Ob/Gyn
Center for Distance Health

UAMS’ Center for Distance Health is one of eight groups from around the country selected to participate in the 2011 year-long effort – The Diversity in MCH Training Peer Learning Collaborative.  Participants gathered for the kick-off meeting in Bethesda, Md., for a day-and-a-half intensive learning experience in December 2010. 

Core members Sarah Rhoads, Stacie Ford, Edwina Walthall, and Heidi Charton represented Arkansas at the kick-off. The group’s focus is on expanding under-represented minorities in maternal and child health professions, as well as on expanding the accessibility of continuing education initiatives to under-represented minorities.  Other Team UAMS members include Barbara Smith, Matthew Hewes, Rosalyn Perkins, Adam Rule, and Kesha James.

The Arkansas participants, already with eight years experience providing continuing education to rural health care providers through the ANGELS (Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System) program, have been able to offer their ideas to strengthen the work of other participants in the collaborative.

“We expect this effort to assist rural health care providers obtain continuing education in their area using new methodologies to UAMS such as live streaming,” Rhoads said. “We anticipate that readily available evidence-based education, will allow providers with the skills to implement new research into their rural practices.”

The other seven teams from around the country include the University of Arizona’s MCH Program and Pediatric Pulmonary Center; University of California, San Francisco’s Nursing Leadership in Adolescent and Young Adult Health Program (NLAYAH); Maryland MCH Programs (co-led by Kennedy Krieger Institute Family Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Morgan State University Public Health Program); University of South Dakota’s Sanford School of Medicine, Center for Disabilities, South Dakota Leadership in Neuro-developmental Disabilities (LEND) Program; and University of Wisconsin’s Pediatric Pulmonary Center and Wisconsin LEND Programs.

The Collaborative is sponsored by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Training Branch and is facilitated by the MCH Training Resource Center in partnership with the National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC).