Webinar: “Place, Race, Poverty and Our Youngest Children”

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Place, Race, Poverty and Our Youngest Children: Critical Roles for Public and Primary Health Care in Achieving Health Equity

featuring Charles Bruner, PhD, former Director of the Child and Family Policy Center (CFPC)

Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: 1440 Canal Street in Room 1831A, 18th Floor (Group viewing location)

Join the American Public Health Association, the Tulane Prevention Research Center, and the Tulane Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health for an interactive discussion about how to achieve health equity by focusing on the factors that influence early childhood health.

Because of limited space for the live webinar (powered by ReadyTalk), those on Tulane’s downtown campus are encouraged to watch the webinar at a group viewing on Tulane’s downtown campus: Room 1831A, 18th floor, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans LA 70112.

A recording will be available online after the event. To register for the webinar and view on your own, click here.

About the Webinar: The P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Science (Protective factors, Adverse childhood experiences, Resiliency, Epigenetics, Neurobiology, Toxic stress, and Social determinants of health) all point to the critical importance of the first years of life to lifelong development. Both primary care child health practitioners and public health entities can play particularly important roles during this period – advancing health equity and reducing physical, social, emotional, and educational disparities. This webinar will draw upon the P.A.R.E.N.T.S. science research and a growing array of exemplary primary care and public health practices to improve young child health trajectories – and describe their particular relevance to addressing disparities in healthy child development by place, race, and poverty. It will present opportunities for advancing such practices through state and federal policy and through community action.Charles Bruner, Ph.D., will present his own research and research syntheses on early childhood policies. Charlie has over 40 years of experience as a researcher, state legislator and policy maker, and child advocate in promoting evidence-based policies to better respond to the needs of vulnerable children and families. He will share his current work specifically focused upon young children and health equity, from a family engagement and community-building perspective.

About the Speaker: Charles Bruner recently retired as Director of the Child and Family Policy Center (CFPC), which he founded in 1989 to “link research and policy on issues vital to children and families.” Prior to that, he served 12 years in the Iowa General Assembly, the last eight as a state senator. He holds a B.A. from Macalester College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in political science. Bruner currently leads a Health Equity and Young Children Initiative, funded by the “Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He consults with national foundations and state and federal policy makers and advocates for developing more comprehensive and holistic responses to vulnerable children – with a particular focus upon young children and their families.

To register for the webinar, click here.

The Tulane Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number T76MC04927 and title Maternal and Child Health Public Health Training Program. The Tulane PRC is a member of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research Centers Program, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under cooperative agreement #U48DP005050. Funding for this seminar was made possible in part by the CDC and HRSA. The views expressed in written seminar materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, HRSA, or CDC, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

April 17, 2017 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

MAC Student Opportunity Summer/Fall 2017


Position: Practicum (potential to continue into a paid Research Assistant Position) Educare New Orleans Local Evaluation Partnership 

The Mary Amelia Women’s Center is the Local Evaluation Partner for Educare New Orleans, an early childhood program, and we are looking for a practicum or research assistant for the 2017-2018 school year. Preference will be given to graduate-level students who are available for consecutive semesters. 

Students must meet the following criteria: 


Students must be able to work starting May 2017 and must be available through fall 2017. Ideally a student would start this project as a practicum in summer 2017 and would continue on as a research assistant through May 2018. Looking for someone who can commit at least two semesters. Commitments will include work during the week, especially mornings to conduct student assessments. Weekly schedule is flexible. 


 Ability to communicate clearly verbally and in writing 

 Proficiency in Microsoft Office 

 Interest in social determinants of health and early childhood 

 Interest in working with children and their families 

 Works well with people from a variety of backgrounds 


 Provide logistical and administrative support to the research team including but not limited to: o Assistance with data collection (child screenings/assessments, focus groups with parents) 

o Coordination of participant enrollment and tracking 

o Completion of research requests related to the project including document development, data entry, etc. 

o Organization and preparation of data collection materials and supplies 

o Assistance with data management and analysis related to the project 

 Assist in other project related tasks 

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Practicum Application (available http://womenshealth.tulane.edu/pages/detail/53/Contact-Us, one page cover letter, resume, and 2 references) 

Please submit the required documents online http://womenshealth.tulane.edu/pages/detail/53/Contact-Us 

Feel free to email Lauren Futrell Dunaway lfutrell@tulane.edu with additional questions.

*Please indicate interest by Friday, April 14, and apply by Friday, April 21, at the latest*



April 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Renewed by coaching

Several of our MPH students attended the annual meeting of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), held this year March 4 – 7, in Kansas City, MO. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Thea Lange, BA

Although attending the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) Annual Conference helped me develop new skills and knowledge to bring back to New Orleans, the highlight of my experience was an impromptu coaching session.

I have always appreciated the value of coaching and mentoring programs but, prior to this experience, I have never attended a conference that offers coaching sessions to its attendees. When I learned that coaching was available at AMCHP, I immediately signed up. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one excited about the opportunity. I was put on a waitlist and assumed I would have to wait until next year for my coaching session.

Luckily, on Monday afternoon I received an email telling me that a slot had opened up!  Too busy with skills-building sessions to prepare for my coaching appointment (but unwilling to pass on the opportunity), I walked in underprepared. To my surprise, that didn’t matter. In fact, my session was more fruitful because I didn’t have time to overthink.

During the session, my coach asked me a series of questions about my professional and personal aspirations. Through mirroring my tone and body language, she helped me feel confident about my plans for the next few years. Speaking with her gave me a renewed sense of purpose and passion for the work I am doing. I left the coaching session and AMCHP excited to get back to New Orleans and get to work.


Thea Lange is a second-year MPH student, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She received a bachelor degree in Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College and continues to integrate her undergraduate background into her public health work. Her interests include early childhood education, criminal justice reform, and trauma-informed care.

April 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

Health Equity in Maternal and Child Health

Several of our MPH students attended the annual meeting of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), held this year March 4 – 7, in Kansas City, MO. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Alexis Robles, BA

The 2017 AMCHP Conference in Kansas City was the first conference I attended as a graduate student at Tulane University. I was made aware of this conference through my internship in health equity with the Louisiana Office of Public Health – Bureau of Family Health. The theme of the AMCHP Conference was Engagement with Intention: Inclusivity, Diversity, & Non-Traditional Partnerships. This theme fit perfectly with my work as the BFH Health Equity Intern and I submitted a proposal to present on undoing implicit bias, which was accepted as a poster presentation. The theme of the overall conference was incredibly important to me and inspiring. Public Health professionals from across the country gathered to discuss and share information on diversity, equity, and inclusivity in Maternal and Child Health.

I was exceptionally lucky to be able to participate in the Radical Justice 101: Building the Capacity of MCH to Advance Racial Equity: Putting Concepts into Action daylong session. This session struck me with its participant diversity as it included public health professionals from all different backgrounds, from pediatricians, Title V coordinators, and epidemiologists, to doulas, students, and community health workers. From these different professional backgrounds, we all came together to focus on individual and organizational skill building as it relates to health equity. It was inspiring to see the collaboration across states, professions, gender, races, and languages in the room as we discussed the heavy but necessary topic of racial justice, racial equity, and health equity. Overall, I left this session inspired to join the MCH public health community and with much needed skills on talking about race constructively and authentically engaging both community and partners on social justice issues.

This session combined with the overall theme and accompanying sessions at this conference left me inspired and hopeful for the future of diversity and equity in MCH. I have a renewed passion and sense of purpose to continue this work in my personal and professional life. This conference was an invaluable opportunity to learn and grow while seeing firsthand the quality of work being produced across the nation.

Alexis Robles is a third-year MPH student with a concentration in Community Health Sciences and a certificate in Program Management, with an interest in Maternal and Child Health.  She plans to graduate in May 2017. Her professional background is in community health, particularly with vulnerable and sensitive populations and health policy. Her research interests include health equity, health disparities, racial equity, and social justice. Alexis loves watching horror and sci-fi films and collecting indie bath and body products. She spends her free time with her rescue dog visiting as many parks as possible.

April 4, 2017 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

Building Better Brains

Several of our MPH students attended the annual meeting of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), held this year March 4 – 7, in Kansas City, MO. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Francine Wood, BS

I jumped at the opportunity to attend the AMCHP conference. As a public health student, attending a public health focused conference was one of the milestones that I was encouraged to achieve prior to graduating. With this in mind, I was ecstatic to take advantage of all the sessions and networking opportunities available at the conference.

The first session, a skills building session, happened to be my favorite. The session, Building Better Brains: Using Partnership Early Brain Development to Impact Academic Success and Life-Long Health, focused on using the life course approach to improve the health outcomes during early childhood. The brain is not fully developed at birth and most of the structural development occurs between 3 – 5 years. Although, this is an important stage, brain development is an on-going process and development of different parts such as the frontal lobe can occur as late as age 25. Understanding these mechanisms as public health professionals is important but it is vital to explain the science of early brain development to stakeholders who impact the development of babies, children, teenagers and youth. One of the organizations that has been successful in driving positive change within these populations is the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS). The organization has engaged parents, legislators, government officials and other stakeholders to understand what promotes, derails and affects brain development using tools such as the Brain Architecture Game. GEEARS did not achieve its success in a silo, it partnered with the University of Georgia and had the support of the Georgia Department of Public Health. This shows the importance of leveraging partnerships both on the government and private level, and working towards a common goal.

Overall, the session was very insightful and it provided a practical application of the life course approach and other behavior change theories often discussed during my classes.

Francine Wood is a second-year MPH student in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioural Sciences concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in May 2017. Her interests include social and behaviour change communication, monitoring and evaluation, sexual and reproductive health, HIV and STIs.  She also loves travelling and immersing herself in new cultures, cooking and volunteering in her community.


March 29, 2017 at 10:42 am Leave a comment

Diversity, early childhood, and context

Several of our MPH students attended the annual meeting of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), held this year March 4 – 7, in Kansas City, MO. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Fiona Ritchey, BS

The AMCHP 2017 Conference in Kansas City was the first conference I’ve attended specifically geared towards Maternal and Child Health, and I loved it. Having attended APHA the previous school year, I was looking forward to seeing what a smaller, more focused conference would be like. The overall theme for the conference was Engagement with Intention: Inclusivity, Diversity, & Non-Traditional Partnerships. During my time at Tulane I’ve come to better understand some of the strengths and limitations of the public health field as it stands today, and I truly believe that maximizing our impact going forward requires engaging diverse, non-traditional partnerships with intention. There will never be enough money, buy-in, or brilliant ideas for us in public health to successfully go it alone, particularly for the big, structural changes that are needed to promote health equity and eliminate racial disparities. So it was inspiring and invigorating to be among researchers and professionals who’ve reached the same conclusions and are working on creative ways to tackle our toughest, most intransigent issues.

The first day of activities was technically the pre-conference, and included skills-building sessions in the morning and afternoon. It was so refreshing to have a smaller, interactive learning experience at a conference, rather than sitting in an enormous meeting hall and maybe getting to ask a single question. The first skills-building session I attended was called Building Better Brains, presented by several folks from Georgia representing different organizations working together to improve early childhood systems in the state. Early childhood development is my area of interest, so I was excited and interested to see the success of their collaboration in another southern state with relatively similar challenges. We played an interactive brain-building game with pipe cleaners, straws, and weights that successfully made childhood neurodevelopment very accessible to a lay audience. I got lots of contact information at the session and I’m excited to share the game with folks I work with in New Orleans.

One session I was disappointed in was about cultural competence as a tool to reduce health disparities. While there was a fun, easy game at the beginning to encourage participants to think about the level of diversity in their lives, we got barely any time at all to discuss the results and why we might have found what we did. The presentation afterwards defined a trajectory of cultural competence that failed to address cultural humility, which I consider to be a key factor for predominantly white public health professionals that often work in communities of color. There was also an extended part of the presentation about “dimensions of different cultures” that basically reduced each culture to a stereotype. Luckily that afternoon I attended another session called Place, Race, Poverty, and Young children which provided a much more nuanced and contextual look at the role of race in early childhood systems and health disparities. Overall I think I gained some valuable knowledge and skills from AMCHP that will serve me as I enter the MCH workforce this summer. I’m excited to hear what my fellow scholars thought!

Fiona Ritchey is a second-year MPH student with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health and a certificate in Epidemiology. Her background is in psychiatric research, with a focus on mood and anxiety disorders. Her professional interests include early childhood development, mental health, policy, and health equity. Fiona is a cooking fanatic, and spends her free time researching recipes and cooking for friends and family.

March 28, 2017 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Practicum Opportunity with National HIV Behavioral Surveillance, Dept. of Prevention, Crescent Care (NO/AIDS Task Force)

Practicum/internship opportunity for MPH or MPH/MSW students


The CDC funded National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Program (NHBS) run by Crescent Care (NO/AIDS Task Force) in New Orleans is accepting applications for an internship with the NHBS research team. Interns will have the opportunity to participate in large-scale HIV behavioral research focusing in 2017 on men who have sex with men (MSM) in the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area. 

About NHBS: 

NHBS is a CDC funded national surveillance system which takes place in 20 cities around the U.S. It was developed by the CDC in 2003, to address the ongoing national HIV epidemic. NHBS data are used to provide a behavioral context for trends seen in HIV surveillance data, give an indication of the impact of the epidemic, gauging the effects of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which focuses on decreasing HIV incidence, improving linkage to care, and reducing disparities. Findings are used at state and local levels to assess key characteristics and changing aspects of epidemic locally and to support the development of effective prevention programs that are tailored to the needs of the local population. Surveillance is conducted in rotating annual cycles in three different populations at high risk for HIV: men who have sex with men (MSM), injection drug users (IDUs), and heterosexuals at increased risk for HIV infection (HET). Before each NHBS cycle, formative research is conducted to learn more about the populations and collect data to help with sampling procedures. MSM are sampled using venue-based, time-space sampling methods. NHBS staff first identify venues frequented by MSM (e.g., bars, clubs, organizations, and street locations) and days and times when men frequent those venues. Venues (and specific day/time periods) for recruitment are chosen randomly each month. IDUs and heterosexuals are recruited using respondent-driven sampling, a type of chain referral sampling. NHBS staff members select a small number of initial participants, or “seeds,” who complete the survey and recruit their peers to participate. Recruitment and interviewing continue until the target sample size is reached (source: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/systems/nhbs/). 

Project duties: 

Interns will join a research team during the formative and primary data collection stages of the MSM cycle. They will conduct: 

* Ethnographic research (Observations, brief street intercepts, key informant interviews, focus groups) 

* In-depth interviews (open ended, semi-structured, and hour long surveys) 

* HIV and HCV counseling, testing, and referrals (CTR) 


* Able to work with people from various socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds 

* Comfortable with conducting interviews that focus on drug use history, sexual behavior, and other HIV risk behaviors 

* Willing to undergo HIV and HCV counseling and testing training, using fingerstick testing 

* Available through completion of the cycle or substantial portion of primary data collection (expected date of completion: December 2017) 


This internship is an opportunity to support a national research project and learn skills in large-scale data collection in the field of public health. If not already CTR certified, interns will be trained in HIV testing and counseling. Upon completion of this practicum, interns will have gained experience in: field observations, key informant interviews, focus group interviews, primary data collection, large datasets, field based data collection, and uses of surveillance data to inform HIV programs and policies. Interns will also be given the opportunity to use the data collected for their own conference papers, publications, theses, etc. Previous interns have a track record of success. Since their time with NHBS, they have continued on to PhD programs, medical schools, CDC careers, and applied jobs in public health in New Orleans and around the world. 

To apply: Please send a cover letter and resume to narquis.barak@crescentcarehealth.org by April 1, 2017.

March 17, 2017 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

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