The Maternal Child Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy, and Research Network (MCH-LEARN) facilitates local undergraduate freshman and sophomore students entry into graduate school in Maternal Child Health fields, i.e., public health and related fields such as pediatrics, MCH nutrition, MCH social work, MCH nursing, pediatric dentistry, psychology, health education, pediatric occupational/physical therapy and speech language pathology. The program targets local students of diverse backgrounds from area colleges and universities to all continued program involvement during the academic year after the summer internship.  

The ultimate goal of MCH-LEARN is to promote public health leadership and diversity in Maternal and Child Health graduate studies and careers. MCH-LEARN is designed for diverse  highly qualified undergraduate scholars with at least a 3.0 GPA, or better, on a 4.0 scale.  Targeting local scholars from the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan region interested in Maternal Child Health careers, the program provides public health research and community engagement experiences, mentorship, and professional development, especially in the area of promotion of health equality and elimination of health disparities.

MCH-LEARN leverages a leadership learning network formed by (1) Kennedy Krieger Institute Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program, (2) Historically Black Colleges and Universities, (3) Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine Leadership Education in Adolescent Health program and Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Family, Population and Reproductive Health, (4) Parents’ Place of Maryland, and the (5) Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities.


The MCH-LEARN is a:

  • 9-week summer program that begins May 28, 2018.
  • An academic year program involving monthly sessions during the academic school year, September 2018 - April 2019.

Scholars must commit to the summer and academic programming.

Orientation Week:  The program begins with Orientation for ALL scholars.  Orientation will take place at KKI/Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, MD (May 28-29, 2018) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA (May 30 - June 1, 2018). Housing and transportation will be provided for scholars to attend the CDC Orientation. There is no housing for the summer or academic year portions of the MCH-LEARN programming. 

Three public health leadership experiences are offered during the summer program.  Scholars may select up to two leadership experiences. Public health experiences offered to scholars are:

  • Community Engagement and Advocacy Experience:
    Students work with professionals in developmental disabilities, public health, and related systems on forming, implementing, and evaluating health care and disability legislation, regulations, and practice guidelines. The importance of engaging underrepresented communities is emphasized.
  • Clinical Track Experience:
    Students rotate through clinical experiences provided by Maternal and Child Health disciplines (pediatrics, psychiatry, neurology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, social work, psychology, speech/ language, special education, and nursing). In addition, students gain experience in providing community based healthcare and community support systems for underserved groups.
  • Research Experience:
    Students work with research mentors on a wide range of public health, prevention, treatment, and epidemiological studies. Students receive training in analyzing national datasets and developing and implementing community-based participatory research.


  • $3,500 stipend for the 9- week summer program and small stipend for the academic year participation. 
  • Students participate in a comprehensive educational and applied public health learning experience that will enhance the student’s abilities to successfully transition to an MCH- related graduate, or professional, school and a career in the MCH field. 
  • Students have opportunities to learn about and discuss public health topics related to the MCH field and social determinants of health.
  • Students will present their research, and/or MCH public health topic, at the end of the summer and at a national conference. 
  • For the MCH-LEARN program, no housing is available for the summer internship or academic year programming.  


Applications for the 2019 program will open November 1, 2018.

Thank you for your interest.

For More Information

For additional program information, please contact