Emerging Nutrition Leaders in Maternal and Child Health 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.

The Emerging Nutrition Leaders in MCH Training Institute (ENL) is a year-long program designed to train future nutrition 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, Tulane University 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 2020-2021 cohort will kick-off with a virtual meeting in June (date pending participant availability). Participants will be encouraged to attend the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) Annual Meeting (June 14 to 16, currently planned for virtual platform). There is no registration fee for the Emerging Nutrition Leaders in MCH Training Institute. Upon completion, participants will be awarded a certificate and 70 continuing professional education units approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Activities to prepare for the meeting may occur in May 2020.

The first phase 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 phase of the Institute, participants will reflect on what they have learned and apply skills, including the writing of a public policy brief. Individualized coaching will also be provided to participants. Faculty will be available throughout the Institute to continue building the nutritionist’s leadership skills, provide guidance and mentoring.

To be eligible to apply for the Emerging Nutrition Leaders in MCH Training Institute, 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 a 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.*
  • Demonstrate 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 2020 to May 2021**;
  • Be willing to commit to a virtual meeting in June 2020 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.


To apply, please submit the following information:

* 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.

**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.