Welcome to the Curriculum

The health of our children, mothers, families, and communities depends on a maternal and child health (MCH) system that is well-grounded in the knowledge and skills needed to address current and emerging public health issues. But in a world of busy workdays and lives, time for structured learning is at a premium.

MCHsmart provides MCH professionals, students, and current/future faculty with a comprehensive, self-paced learning system organized around the MCH Leadership Competencies. The curriculum provides engaging and accessible learning and implementation resources to address today's most pressing issues.

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About MCHsmart

The MCH Leadership Competencies define the specific knowledge, skills, personal characteristics, and values required of current and future MCH leaders. Individually, each of the competencies lays out definitions and knowledge areas that provide the basis for foundational and advanced skills. Together, the competencies comprise a road map to implement MCH planning and activities.1

Using the competencies as a guide, MCHsmart delivers the core content of a structured program in a format that is accessible to MCH professionals at all career levels, students, and current/future facutly. Learners work at their own pace and choose how deeply they want to explore the knowledge areas and skills for each competency.

Up to 12 CPH Recertification Credits from the National Board of Public Health Examiners may be earned by completion of this curriculum as listed in the CPH Activity Finder. Credits may also be used to qualify you for continuing education through your employer or professional organization.

Conceptual Model

The MCH Leadership Competencies are organized within a conceptual framework based on the developmental progression of leadership.

This framework can be visualized as a series of concentric circles that represent broadening spheres of influence. At the center is the “self,” where leadership is directed at one’s own learning. Moving outward, leadership in the next level extends to “others:” coworkers, colleagues, trainees, fellow students, and patients. The final, outermost circle represents the “wider community,” which can be entire organizations, systems, or general modes of practice.

The MCH Leadership Competencies apply across these spheres of influence. Consequently, they are relevant to MCH professionals at every career stage, from entry level to executive. Because leadership is viewed as occuring at all levels in MCH, these competencies further form a roadmap to assist students and current/future faculty in gaining the knowledge and skills needed to make a difference to MCH populations.

Overall Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Integrate the 12 MCH Leadership Competencies into everyday study/work.
  • Explain the ideas and concepts comprising the core knowledge areas and skills outlined by each MCH Leadership Competency.
  • Connect MCH Leadership Competency topic areas that they’d like to learn more about with appropriate training via the MCH Navigator.
  • Assess their learning progress with regard to the MCH Leadership Competencies.
  • Share insights from their learning journey with others via a capstone blog post.

Each module takes approximately 1 hour to complete (12 hours for the course). Users are required to take a pre-and post-test, answer short self-reflective questions, and complete a summary reflection to share with other learners. A certificate of completion is printable when all components are completed.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. (May 2018). Maternal and Child Health Leadership Competencies. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Cite As

Riehl SK, Nash M, King T, Watson K, Richards J. (June 2022). MCHsmart Online Curriculum: Smart Learning for the MCH Community. MCH Navigator at the National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, Georgetown University Medical Center. Washington, DC.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $225,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.