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Changing Paradigms in Maternal and Child Health: Innovative Lessons from the Life Course

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Date Developed: 7/18/2012. Source: Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Public Health Training Center. Presenter(s): Cheri Pies, MSW, DrPH; Bina Shrimali, MPH. Type: Video Course. Level: Intermediate. Length: 82 minutes.


Beginning with a brief presentation of the life course perspective and its associated key terms and concepts. Dr. Cheri Pies explains topics such as early programming, the cumulative impact of stress in the environment, and the role of life course initiatives in reducing risk and increasing protective factors to change health trajectories over a lifetime. Bina Shrimali then describes, using practical examples, how the health department in Alameda County, California uses life course concepts to address persistent health disparities and enable families to live healthy, productive lives. She presents the Building Blocks for Health Equity Program and the priority-setting process they underwent, and together with Dr. Pies, shares lessons learned that can be applied to life course projects in diverse settings. The module ends with a question and answer period, where the presenters provide further guidance on topics such as accessing data, managing and sustaining projects, engaging partners, families, and students, and inspiring innovation. Viewers learn how to operationalize life course concepts to create practical, day-to-day programs and incorporate the perspective into practice.

Learning Objectives

• Discuss the history and process of the application of the Life Course approach to the Maternal and Child Health field.

• lllustrate how factors over a lifetime can impact health, particularly in relation to birth outcomes.

• Describe activities in Alameda County, California related to the Life Course Initiative.

• Identify potential collaborative relationships or partnerships to address health inequities in MCH.

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 $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.