The Maternal Child Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy, and Research Network (MCH-LEARN) is a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded program that facilitates local undergraduate freshman, sophomore, and rising junior scholars entry into graduate school in Maternal Child Health (MCH) 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 is designed for local scholars (no housing allowance during the Baltimore summer session) from diverse populations underrepresented in the MCH field who desire to learn more about MCH and participate in a summer internship with continued monthly experiences throughout the academic year.

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. MCH-LEARN is designed for 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 developmental disabilities and promotion of health equity and strategies to eliminate 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.

Previous Program Activities

2019 Planned Activities

The MCH-LEARN is a:

  • 10-week summer program that begins May 27, 2019.

Orientation Week: The program begins with Orientation for ALL scholars.  Orientation will take place at Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland on Monday, May 27 through Thursday, May 30, 2019.

Following Orientation, the scholars at the Kennedy Krieger Institute will begin their MCH-LEARN experience on June 3, 2019 and end on July 31, 2019 for the summer. MCH-LEARN scholars will resume monthly meetings in September and attend the Room to Grow: Journey to Cultural and Linguistic Competency conference on September 17, 2019.

ALL scholars participate in Tuesday, Research Seminars and Friday seminars on the CDC Winnable Battles through distance learning, beginning June 7, 2019. PLEASE NOTE THESE DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Each scholar participates in a public health research project and may also select up to one additional leadership experience. 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.

Program Benefits

  • $3,500 stipend for the 10-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 will be sponsored (travel, conference registration and housing are paid by MCH-LEARN program) to present at a national conference
  • For the MCH-LEARN program, no housing is available for the summer internship or academic year programming.  

All activities are subject to the availability of federal funds.

Application Information:

Applications for the 2019 cohort are closed.
  Please check back for information about the 2020 cohort application.


For More Information

For additional program information, please contact


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