Systems Thinking for Maternal and Child Health: Application in Practice

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Date Developed: 11/8/2011. Source: Alabama Public Health Training Network. Presenter(s): Donna Petersen MHS, ScD. Type: Conference Archive. Level: Introductory Intermediate Advanced. Length: 90 minutes.


In this 90-minute webinar, Donna Petersen demonstrates how to apply systems thinking to maternal and child health and analyzes the advantages of using this method to solve current and future challenges in public health. Systems thinking is first defined in a maternal and child health context as well as a life course approach. Dr. Petersen discusses how systems thinking evolved through the care of children with special health care needs. She also compares and contrasts the benefits of using a systems approach as well as the potential negative consequences of not using this type of approach.

Learning Objectives

• Define “systems thinking” in a Maternal and Child Health context.

• Discuss current Maternal and Child Health/public health opportunities challenges that call for a systems approach (give concrete examples).

• Describe the application of systems thinking in Maternal and Child Health practice.

• Compare and contrast the benefits using a systems approach and potential negative consequences of not using a systems approach.

Special Instructions

To access the video, scroll down on the landing page to the “View Program” gray box and choose a player to open the presentation. [Note: Need Real Player or Windows Media Player to watch].

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 $180,000/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.