Category Archives: Announcements/Upcoming Events

Check here for updates on the PPE program. Scroll down for information on upcoming trainings and other events. PPEs: Don’t see your event? Submit the info to

Black History Month Quiz

It’s commonly known that February is Black History Month. What is lesser known is the origin of Black History Month, how it got started and some milestones of the celebration. So we’ve put together a short quiz to test your knowledge of Black History Month. Enjoy! 1. Only the United States celebrates Black History Month. True/False […]

via Black History Month Quiz —


Advancing Preconception Health Care in U.S. Communities

By: Sarah Verbiest, DrPH, MSW, MPH, Director, The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC) and Suzanne Woodward, Communication Director, PCHHC

The Office of Minority Health and Preconception Peer Educators Network hosted a webinar that covered the Show Your Love campaign, the Ambassador Program, PCHHC initiatives, and best practices for engaging consumers in their health and creating online communities. View the full webinar HERE

Despite ranking first in the world for health care spending, the U.S. is the only industrialized country where maternal mortality and severe morbidity are on the rise, especially among minority women.  The U.S. is definitely not the healthiest place in the world to be born. Improving the economic prosperity, relationships and health and well-being of men and women before they start families is critical for progress to be made.

The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC), comprised of five workgroups focused on consumers, clinicians, public health, policy and finance, and surveillance and data, is tackling these issues through a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary, multi-sector approach. While the clinical workgroup works to enable health providers to better understand the benefits of measuring  and offering preconception wellness with their flagship resource,, the consumer workgroup is gearing up to launch the first and only national consumer-focused preconception health educational and community-building platform in the U.S., Show Your Love.

Show Your Love seeks to help young women and men understand the significance their choices and health have on their current opportunities as well as for their future wellness and families. This campaign aims to spark action for young adults to “Show Your Love” – to themselves, their significant others, family/future family – by taking care of themselves today. The resource features one-click, easily-sharable facts, multimedia, and resources that encourage positive daily choices now as well as before pregnancy.


PCHHC is actively engaging with PPEs, young adults and social media to share messages and interact on key pulse points and issues that are trending. It is critical that young women and men not only have knowledge about key preconception messages, but access to resources to act on the messages to take control of their health. The resource was developed with activation in mind – every fact, tool and resource on the site is snackable and can be personalized. also includes features to virtually link communities and spark conversations. Launching June 16th, 2016 – stay tuned for the first-of-its-kind national preconception consumer platform.

PPE’s, we want to hear from YOU:

What are real barriers you experience as you strive to educate and activate consumers? What challenges do you face in sharing preconception health messages? Help us challenge stereotypes and Share the Love on social media. By joining forces, we can do a lot to improve the status quo community by community. Follow us on social, email us and join our team.

Learn more about how to engage your friends in improving preconception health behaviors in their communities HERE

As part of the Show Your Love social media campaign, PCHHC is recruiting Show Your Love Ambassadors: young adults ages 18-29 who will help model and promote healthy behaviors and life choices online and in their communities. We can’t make this real without you. Our strategy only works when you help make it your own.

SYL Brand Ambassador SM Graphic

Please join us! What you can expect as a Show Your Love Brand Ambassador:

  • Ambassadors will receive Show Your Love branded items (shirts, hats, bags, etc.) and asked to take a photo or video with their branded swag.
  • Ambassadors will be asked to share their health journey on their personal social channels.
  • Posts, videos, quotes, etc., will be promoted on our national Show Your Love social media channels, website, newsletter, partner platforms.
  • No set time commitment or required social media following.
  • PPE’s: Want to increase your personal impact? Free consultation with the SYL communications director!

Volunteer or make a nomination at or by emailing:

Sarah V

Sarah Verbiest, DrPH, MSW, MPH, is the executive director at UNC Center for Maternal & Infant Health, which provides direct clinical services to high risk mothers and infants, conducts health services research, coordinates statewide programs, and provides patient and health care professional education. She serves as the senior advisor to The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC). Sarah is also a clinical associate professor at the UNC School of Social Work.

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @S_Verbiest | Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn

Suzanne Woodward

Suzanne Woodward is the Communications Director at UNC Center for Maternal & Infant Health and Directs Communications for The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC)

Follow Suzanne on Twitter: @SuzyKaye | Connect with Suzanne on LinkedIn

Men’s Health Month Twitter Chat

In observance of Men’s Health Month, Preconception Peer Educator (@PPE_program), the Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the Men’s Health Network will co-host a twitter chat to highlight current and upcoming initiatives addressing men’s health. The chat will take place on June 8 at 2 p.m. EDT. Participants can join the discussion by following #MHMonth16

Continue reading Men’s Health Month Twitter Chat

Grant Announcement: Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HHS) is accepting applications for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Workforce Development Center Program. The purpose of the MCH Workforce Development Center Program is to support workforce development for State Title V program leaders and staff to meet current public health MCH policy and programmatic imperatives around health transformation, including ongoing transformation of the Title V Block Grant and continued implementation of health reform at the state and national levels. Private institutions of higher education and Public and State controlled institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.


Closing date: May, 5, 2016

The MCH Workforce Development Center (the Center) will focus on three key topic areas around health transformation: (1) systems integration; (2) change management and adaptive leadership; and (3) evidence-based decision making.  One (1) national workforce development center, based in an institution of higher education, will coordinate training efforts around the key topic areas to enhance the capacity of the MCH workforce to lead and/or engage in ongoing health transformation activities.  Formal and informal academic-practice partnerships between the national training hub, State Title V programs, and other national partners, as appropriate, will be required to accomplish the goals of this program. The MCH Workforce Development Center awardee will be responsible for coordinating and implementing a national training strategy to address all three key issues within the Center’s purview.  National strategies must focus on building capacity of current and future State Title V MCH leaders and staff in the 59 states and jurisdictions.

Grant Opportunity College Sexual Assault Policy and Prevention Initiative

Preconception Peer Educator clubs are eligible for this grant opportunity from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH)/Office on Women’s Health (OWH). If your club is interested, you must draft a letter notifying the agency of your intent to apply by February 25, 2016 (by 5 p.m. ET).

Funding Opportunity No.WH-AST-16-001
Grant name: Announcement Availability of Funds for the College Sexual Assault Policy and Prevention Initiative
Status: Open
Application Deadline: April 8, 2016
Technical Assistance: A technical assistance webinar for potential applicants will be held on February 18, 2016, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Continue reading Grant Opportunity College Sexual Assault Policy and Prevention Initiative

Special Presentation on Collaborative Care

Promoting Interdisciplinary Care in the Optometic Community

RSVP today by emailing Michelle Knight at
Hosted by the
NDEP’s Podiatry, Pharmacy, Optometry and Dental Stakeholder Group
Call participants will learn about one approach to multidisciplinary patient care being used at Ohio State University. Ideas will be shared about strategies you can use in your own practice or setting to enhance communication and collaboration among health professionals managing patients with diabetes.

Texas Preconception Peer Educator Training and Conference

Texas Department of State Health Services in collaboration with the Office of Minority Health Resource Center and March of Dimes will be hosting a Preconception Peer Educators training March 4, 2016 from 3 pm to 9 pm through March 5, 2016 from 9 am to 3 pm.

This inaugural Preconception Peer Educator conference will provide tools and training materials needed to educate your campus and surrounding communities on preconception health and infant mortality.  Join your peers to meet each other and learn together as we 1) raise preconception health awareness for both men and women; 2) recruit peer educators and advisors for YOUR campus program; and 3) participate in activities on how to be a successful PPE!  Our keynote address, “Disparity in African American Communities”, will be given by Dr. Arthur James, OB/GYN and Associate Professor from The Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center. The Preconception Peer Education for a Healthy Life Plan program is funded by Texas Healthy Babies initiative with the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Click Preconception Peer Education for a Healthy Life Plan Conference to register


NIH Funding Opportunity

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, launched an opportunity on, titled, “Novel, Innovative Tools to Increase Public Awareness and Knowledge of Sickle Cell Disease Undergraduate Challenge.” The Challenge seeks to raise awareness about sickle cell disease (SCD) and its associated complications and to improve the use of effective treatments in real world settings.

Complete instructions; rules, terms and conditions; registration and submission details; and how submissions will be evaluated may be found here.

Rules for Participating in the Challenge

This Challenge is open to any “Student Team”, defined as a group of at least 3 and not more than 5 individuals each of whom is at least 18 years of age and currently enrolled as a full-time student pursuing an undergraduate or associates degree. The Student Team Captain must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
The Student Team must also be trans-disciplinary, that is, composed of undergraduate students from diverse disciplines such as fine arts, performing arts, humanities, psychology, science, engineering, graphic design, IT (hardware, software), mathematics, statistics, environmental science, computational modeling, and others.

The goals of the Challenge are to: 1) generate novel, innovative tools that may be used to increase public awareness and knowledge of SCD and associated complications that could potentially improve patient care; 2) advance the field of implementation science through research training, mentoring, and highlighting the contributions of a new generation of undergraduate researchers using a systems science approach to address multi-faceted problems; and 3) encourage “team science” by providing undergraduate students valuable experiences to pursue science collectively as they engage in complex problem solving to improve health outcomes for SCD.


Challenge announced: Oct. 21, 2015

Submissions accepted: Nov. 30, 2015 to March 7, 2016 11:59 p.m. PDT

Judging: March 14, 2016 to March 25, 2016

Winners notified by email: April 5, 2016

Winners announced: April 19, 2016

Amount of the Prize

  • 1st Prize – $7,000, 2nd Prize – $5,000, 3rd Prize – $3,000
  • Up to an additional $2,000 to reimburse the Student Team for eligible expenses to register for and travel to the annual NHLBI/National Sickle Cell Disease meeting to present and demonstrate its winning entry.

Sickle cell disease [SCD] is the most common genetic disorder in the United States. There is a lack of awareness about SCD and associated complications. Where there is some awareness, there are also misunderstandings about the disease that need to be addressed such as the following: SCD is contagious; if one has the disease they will die young; if the parents are not sick from SCD, the children could never have SCD; and SCD only affects African Americans. Stigma also remains associated with SCD. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, funds both research to improve the health of people with SCD and the training and career development of scientists and physicians dedicated to advancing the care of the afflicted. Research saves lives as demonstrated by the increased life expectancy and the decreased disease burden of those suffering with SCD who receive optimal therapy. To help address this problem, the NHLBI has launched this Challenge.

Online Resources 

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/National Institutes of Health: What is Sickle Cell Anemia:

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Inc.: (link is external)

National Human Genome Research Institute/National Institutes of Health:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health:

Sickle Cell Disease.  Tips for Healthy Living:


Scholarship Announcement

The Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is offering a scholarship for institutions offering public health and other health practice programs.

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS)
Application Deadline: January 25, 2016

Eligible applicants are public or non-profit private accredited schools of medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, podiatric medicine, optometry, veterinary medicine, public health, chiropractic, allied health, a school offering a graduate program in behavioral and mental health practice, or an entity providing programs for the training of physician assistants.

Description: This program promotes diversity among the health professions and nursing workforce by providing awards to eligible health professions and nursing schools for use in awarding scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have a demonstrated financial need and are enrolled full-time in health professions and nursing programs.   Participating schools are responsible for selecting scholarship recipients, making reasonable determinations of need, and providing scholarships that do not exceed the allowable costs (i.e., tuition, reasonable educational expenses and reasonable living expenses with a cap for the total scholarship award of $30,000).
Contact: Contact Denise Sorrell at (301)443-2909 or email 

Training Grant(s) Announcement

The Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is offering a number of grant opportunities.

Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) Program
Application deadline: February 15, 2016

Eligible applicants are education programs that provide registered nurses with nurse practitioner and nurse-midwife education.  Such programs may include schools of nursing, nursing centers, academic health centers, State or local governments, and other public or private nonprofit entities authorized by the Secretary to confer degrees to registered nurses for nurse practitioner nurse-midwife education.
Description: The purpose of the AENT program is to increase the number of primary care Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) trained in rural and/or underserved communities to better prepare graduates to practice in these communities.  The AENT grant provides traineeships to nurses who are pursuing advanced degrees as primary care nurse practitioners (NP) or nurse-midwives.
Contact: Michael McCalla at (301)443-0856 or email

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND)
Application deadline: February 5, 2016

Description: The purpose of this graduate-level training program is to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents who have, or are at risk for developing, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other neurodevelopmental and other related disabilities (DD), by expanding interdisciplinary training opportunities for graduate-level trainees from a wide variety of professional disciplines.
Contact: Robyn Schulhof at (301)443-0258 or email