The MCHC/RISE-UP Program provides opportunities for enhanced public health leadership training in the area of maternal and child health focusing on social determinants of health, elimination of health disparities, and developmental disabilities. Grant funding for this program was awarded to Kennedy Krieger Institute by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a national consortium of institutions and universities that provides undergraduate scholars with three public health leadership experiences: (1) clinical, (2) research, and (3) community engagement and advocacy.

The consortium was built on the Leadership Education and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) and University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) training framework and includes:

  1. Kennedy Krieger Institute partnering with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  2. University of South Dakota partnering with Tribal Serving Institutions
  3. University of California, Davis (UC-Davis) MIND Institute partnering with UC-Davis Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

MCHC/RISE-UP’s ultimate goal is to promote a more equitable health system by introducing highly qualified diverse undergraduate and recent baccalaureate degree scholars (undergraduate juniors, seniors, and scholars who received their baccalaureate degree within 12 months of MCHC/RISE-UP program orientation), who have at least a 2.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale, to the field of public health.

All scholars interested in maternal and child health, reducing health disparities and promoting social justice, especially scholars from underrepresented populations in the field of public health, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Scholars should select the Consortium partner site location that is closest to their permanent residence:

  1. Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD
  2. University of South Dakota/Sanford School of Medicine Center for Disabilities in Sioux Falls, SD
  3. University of California in Davis, CA

Previous Program Activities

2020 Planned Activities

Orientation Week: The program begins with Orientation for ALL scholars. Registration, health screening, and seminars will begin at Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland on Monday, May 25 through Thursday, May 28, 2020. 

Following orientation, scholars at Kennedy Krieger Institute and University of South Dakota sites will begin their MCHC/RISE-UP experience on June 1, 2020 and end on July 29, 2020. Following orientation week, University of California-Davis scholars will begin their summer experiences on Monday, June 15, 2020 through July 29, 2020.

ALL scholars participate in weekly Friday seminars on the CDC Winnable Battles through distance learning, beginning June 5, 2020. PLEASE NOTE THESE DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Three public health leadership experiences are offered at each MCHC/RISE-UP site. Scholars may choose up to two (2) leadership experiences at their MCHC/RISE-UP location. Public health experiences offered to scholars are:

  1. Clinical/Community: Scholars rotate through clinical experiences provided by Maternal and Child Health disciplines (pediatrics, psychiatry, neurology, physiatrist, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, social work, psychology, speech/language, special education and nursing) (Kennedy Krieger Institute only). In addition, scholars will have planned experiences in providing community-based multi-level health care and support systems for underserved groups.
  2. Community Engagement and Advocacy: Scholars work with professionals in the University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Public Health and related systems on the formation, implementation and evaluation of health care and disability legislation, regulations and practice guidelines. The critical role of engaging underrepresented communities in shaping responsive systems of care receives special emphasis.
  3. Research: Scholars work with research mentors on a wide range of public health prevention, treatment and epidemiological studies. Scholars receive training in analysis of large national databases and conducting community-based participatory research.

Examples of Scholars' Experiences

A $3,500 stipend is provided for Kennedy Krieger Institute and University of South Dakota (10-week) and $3,000 is provided for University of California (8-week) program participants. Transportation and housing for the CDC visit are paid by the program. Consortium site housing and round-trip travel for out-of-state scholars are also available. All program activities are contingent on CDC funding.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be considered for acceptance into this program, the applicant must:

  • Be currently enrolled as a rising junior or senior or received their baccalaureate degree within 12 calendar months of the MCHC/RISE-UP program orientation
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. National, permanent resident
  • Be able to participate in program activities for the length of MCHC/RISE-UP.

Application Information:

Applications for the 2020 cohort are closed. Please check back for information about the 2021 cohort application.

Due to the extensive earthquakes affecting Puerto Rico, we are issuing an extension of the 2020 application to applicants living in Puerto Rico. If you are an applicant from Puerto Rico, please reach out to Center for Diversity Staff via email ( to receive details on the application. Thank you.

For More Information

For additional program information, please contact

All activities are subject to the availability of federal funds.


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