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Alumni Comments & Presentations

MCH is publishing results of the project:

Claudia S. P. Fernandez, Cheryl C. Noble, Elizabeth Jensen, David Steffen (2014). Moving the Needle: A Retrospective Pre- and Post-analysis of Improving Perceived Abilities Across 20 Leadership Skills, Matern Child Health J. SpringerLink:

DOI: ; accessed August 4, 2014.

It has been one year since I completed the Maternal and Child Health - Public Health Leadership Institute (MCH-PHLI). I continue to marvel at how the institute facilitated a change in my thinking about challenges around funding, keeping public health at the forefront, and moving a public health agenda forward. It was a real eye opener. In my work, I have all too often related the story that Claudia shared about the savings and benefits of acting early and providing interventions to minimize developmental delays. She calculated the cost associated with providing support for children with delays over the life course. I will never forget this lesson and analogy. I now apply it at every opportunity. The MCH-PHLI at the University of North Carolina was a once in a lifetime opportunity that every public health employee should experience. This learning environment felt safe, friendly, respectful, and nurturing. Every speaker was exceptional. I felt all parts were relevant. I was never bored, just excited to take part. I made new friends and acquaintances, developed confidence, and learned new skills in leadership. I am so happy I was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of this opportunity. I will never be able to thank you enough for this experience. Dr. Fernandez, Dr. Stephan, Mrs. Alice W., and staff you are the best!



Lowest Jefferson, REHS/RS, MS, Health Starts and Child Development Supervisor/Maternal and Child Environmental Health Consultant
Washington State Department of Health - Prevention and Community Health
Office of Healthy Communities - Access, Systems & Coordination - Healthy Starts & Transitions/Child Development
PO Box 47880
Olympia, Washington 98504-7880
Phone: (360)236-3536

Dear MCH PHLI Faculty and Staff,

As MCH PHLI comes to a close, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the opportunity. I was a proud member of Cohort 3. It was definitely a life-changing experience for me, personally and professionally. I still vividly remember and quote Dr. Jim Johnson's demographics presentation, the ropes course exercise (unlike any I have ever experienced), exploring my leadership style through the assessments and many other activities and presentations. I think the most valuable piece, for me, however, was the coaching. My coach was instrumental in helping me work through some difficult professional conflicts which have since been resolved by a career change. I am presently in a leadership role in a different area of MCH work and use the tools I learned through MCH PHLI on a daily basis. I am still in touch with many of my fellow cohort members and I am involved, as a volunteer, in developing a new organization to address the needs of a population I believe has been sadly overlooked in my state. I feel very fortunate to have been chosen to participate in MCH PHLI and I hope that others will be able to have the experience at some time in the future.

Anna Cyr
Team Leader, Maine Families Androscoggin
Advocates for Children

Requested presentations from MCH PHLI Fellows:

Click Here for Jennifer Bolden Pitre's "Ripple Effect."

Click Here for Josey Ansah's Project

Click Here for Nancy Calvo's Project

Click Here for Laura Hurwitz's Project

Click Here for Audrey Stevenson's Project

Eileen Forlenza (Cohort 1) was invited to the White House to join the President in commemorating the 20 year anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act. (Click here for Eileen's Reflection)

While transition can present a challenge, it also presents great inspiration. Thanks to Cohort 1 Fellow Barbara Katz for sharing this video with us!