Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program
The Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program (MCHEP) resides in the Field Support Branch (FSB), Division of Reproductive Health (DRH). MCHEP assigns epidemiologists and fellows to state, local, and tribal levels to support epidemiologic research and provides scientific information to improve maternal and child health programs and policies.
The MCHEP has assigned more than 40 senior CDC epidemiologists focused on MCH epidemiology capacity building and applied research to state health departments and other public health agencies and organizations (including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, US-Mexico Border Region, CityMatCH, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, and the Indian Health Service Epidemiology Office). As of December 2021, 13 CDC senior MCH epidemiologist assignees are working in states. The program also supports the recruitment and placement of MCH fellows from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists in public health agencies.
Learn more about MCHEP’s history and accomplishments.
The MCHEP mission is to promote and improve the health and well-being of women, children, and families by building capacity at state, local, and tribal levels and to use and apply sound epidemiologic research and scientific information to maternal and child health programs and policies.
The key functions of MCHEP are to:
- Increase states’ epidemiologic infrastructure by assigning senior CDC maternal and child health (MCH) epidemiologists and fellows, training future MCH leaders, and increasing states’ ability to apply scientific evidence at the agencies where the senior MCH epidemiologists are assigned.
- Partner with organizations that provide services or influence policy and practice guidelines, such as state and county health departments, territories, and tribal-serving organizations.
The MCHEP accomplishes its mission by:
MCHEP has made a significant contribution to epidemiologic research and applied science in the field. The use of applied research and the activities targeting capacity building in MCH epidemiology has allowed states, tribes, and localities to improve the overall health of mothers, children, and families.
MCH agencies are provided with the analytic leadership necessary to engage in data-based decision-making to promote the health of the MCH population. Please see examples below. For more information, contact: MCHEPI@cdc.gov.
- The CDC Levels of Care Assessment Tool (CDC LOCATe) – Designed to help states and other jurisdictions monitor neonatal and maternal risk appropriate care.
- Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Learning Community [PDF – 314 KB] – The Learning Community, with federal agency support, provides a forum for peer-to-peer information exchange, to assist in reducing unintended pregnancy among women of reproductive age in the US by improving access to contraception, with a focus on LARC.
- Maternal Mortality Review Information Application (MMRIA) – A data system designed to empower the maternal mortality review community.
In partnership with others, MCHEP supports diverse training opportunities in epidemiology, biostatistics, program evaluation, and scientific writing to improve the data and analytic skills of staff from state and local public health agencies, including the following:
- Short-term MCH epidemiology courses for staff.
- Graduate certificate training in MCH epidemiology using distance technology.
- Year-long, team-based training on effectively using analyzed data for public health action.
Peer exchange and research collaboration are offered through conferences, Webcasts, and other mechanisms. The Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Conference started in 1995 and was annual until 2012. In 2012 it became a biennial, co-hosted conference with CityMatCH Urban MCH Leadership Conference and the name was changed to CityMatCH Leadership & MCH Epidemiology Conference. Learn more about the CityMatCH Maternal and Child Health Leadership Conference.