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Office of Data and Program Development

The work of all Maternal and Child Health Bureau divisions, programs, and staff is in support of the Bureau’s Strategic Plan (2003-2007) for meeting the needs of the maternal and child health populations of the United States and its Jurisdictions. The Bureau focuses—through leadership, performance, and accountability—on accomplishment of five over-arching goals: 1) Provide National Leadership for Maternal and Child Health; 2) Promote an Environment that Supports Maternal and Child Health; 3) Eliminate Health Barriers and Disparities; 4) Improve the Health Infrastructure and Systems of Care, and 5) Assure Quality of Care. The Bureau’s progress—or accountability—toward goal achievement is reported annually.

The mission of the Office of Data and Program Development (ODPD) is to promote the health and well-being of women, children and families by providing national leadership in the advancement and utilization of scientific knowledge to inform Maternal and Child Health (MCH) policy, programs and public health practices.

Data Activities:

MCH Epidemiology Doctoral Fellowship Program provides support to doctoral students for doing their dissertation in MCH epidemiology using State and local data.

Healthy People 2010 Maternal, Infant, and Child Focus Area coordinates collection, analyses, and dissemination of Healthy People 2010 data for the Maternal and Infant Health Focus Area, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

National Surveys of Children’s Health (NSCH) are surveys of 100,000 children, conducted every four years and sponsored by HRSA/MCHB, to examine the physical and emotional health of children ages 0-17 years of age.  Special emphasis is placed on factors that relate to the well-being of children, including medical homes, family interactions, parental health, school and after-school experiences, and safe neighborhoods.  The survey design allows for analysis at both the national and State levels.

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study is a survey co-sponsored through an interagency agreement with the National Center for Education Statistics.  Its purpose is to follow a cohort of 15,000 children from birth through 1st grade at 18 month intervals.  It will examine child and family health, and educational experiences of the child.  

National Surveys of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NSCSHCN) are also conducted every four years to assess the prevalence and impact of special health care needs among children in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. This survey explores the extent to which children with special health care needs (CSHCN) have medical homes, adequate health insurance, and access to needed services. Other topics include care coordination and satisfaction with care.

Study of Health Behaviors in School-Aged Children ODPD is taking a leadership role in questionnaire development and fielding the 2005/06 survey. The study analyzes data from the 1997/1998 & 2001/2002 surveys for international and U.S. adolescents. 

Other intramural research ODPD staff members conduct other research projects individually or in collaboration with other researchers, with an emphasis on disparities in MCH populations, health issues of vulnerable and underserved populations, and the validation and accuracy of data systems used to support MCHB research activities. The focus in the future will also be on applied research and evaluation of MCH programs. 

The MCH Center for Child Death Review Data Tool sponsors the development and analysis of multi-State standardized data collection on circumstances of deaths by Child Death Review (CDR) teams at the local and State level in collaboration with the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Health.

Integrating Child Health Information Systems are grants that support the development of integrated child health information systems at the state level.

Increasing State Contributions to the Evidence Base in MCH is a program to assist the States in writing up the results of their programs for publication in the scientific literature; the program is co-sponsored with CDC.

The National Maternal and Child Health Data Resource Center delivers hands-on access to national, State and regional data from the NSCH and the NSCSHCN.

Maternal and Child Health Information Resource Center (MCHIRC) is dedicated to the goal of helping MCH practitioners on the Federal, State, and local levels to improve their capacity to gather, analyze, and use data for planning and policymaking.  Resources available through the MCHIRC include: links to the Dataspeaks, Child Health USA (CHUSA), Women’s Health USA (WHUSA), and the Graduate Student Internship Program (GSIP).

DataSpeaks provide, through the MCHIRC, web-based seminars on MCH methods that can be applied to State and local MCH programs and analysis. 

Graduate Student Internship Program in Epidemiology Data Skills administer and support 12-week long summer internships to graduate students in MCH programs to work in State and local health departments.

MCH Epidemiology Training Course formulates and administers a contract to develop and provide a continuing education training course in MCH epidemiology to State and local Title V MCH workers.  CDC is a co-sponsor for this activity.  

State Training in Recent Advances in Statistical Analysis Applied to Health Disparities
is an initiative to promote training of State and local MCH officials in the application of multilevel statistical analysis to health disparities in preterm birth.  This activity involves the use of new analytic models to examine the multidimensional and contextual (environmental) aspects of disparity issues in preterm birth.  It is anticipated that a better understanding concerning the context of disparities in health outcomes obtained as results of the study may lead to more effective public health interventions and the identification of appropriate collaborations between public health and other sectors of the community.  An important component of this project is translation of the study's rigorous analysis implications into recommendations for State and local officials in order to improve policies and intervention effectiveness.

Technical Assistance to States on Data and Information in coordination with CDC, the MCHB’s Division of State and Community Health (DSCH), the Regional Offices of HRSA, develop and provide a more organized program for responding to technical assistance requests for data from States. 

HRSA/CDC State-Based MCH Epidemiology Program provides placement of senior-level MCH epidemiologists at the State-level.

MCH Epidemiology Conference is co-sponsored with CDC to offer the opportunity for MCH epidemiologists to present their work, and receive trainings on various topics. 

MCH Epidemiology Pre-Conference Training Course is co-sponsored with CDC (through the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs) to provide a hands-on training prior to the MCH Epidemiology Conference involving such topics as: how to analyze Medicaid data; how to use SUDAAN; or how to link datasets.   

Child Health USA supervises annual data collection and development of the Child Health USA report.

Women’s Health USA In collaboration with the Office of Women’s Health and the Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services, supervise annual data collection and development of the Women’s Health USA report.

Chartbooks from the National Survey of Children’s Health and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs These chartbooks present the major findings from the national surveys on both the national level and State levels. Chartbooks on specific topics such as rural health, obesity, and oral health are also available.

Interagency Forum of Child and Family Statistics representing HRSA in the activities of the Forum including development of the annual report on “America’s Children.”

Planning, Policy, and Evaluation Activities

Evaluation:  the ODPD serves as the source of technical assistance to MCH programs for the design and execution of program evaluation efforts. We review and approve all MCHB-funded evaluation contracts.

Bureau Evaluation Coordinating Committee (BECC) ODPD staff chair and guide the BECC in developing the evaluation plan as it relates to the Government Performance and Accountability Act (GPRA), Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) and the strategic plans for HRSA and MCHB.  They work with the BECC in developing evaluation priorities and a description of how the results will be verified, validated, and utilized.

Program Performance:  To provide leadership in the development and implementation of performance measures to monitor MCHB programs.  Utilize data to monitor the performance of grantees.

Government Performance and Accountability Act and Program Assessment Rating Tool

ODPD leads the Bureau’s development and update of the annual Government Results and Reporting Act Plans and Reports, recently incorporated into the annual Budget Justification submission.  They work with the HRSA/Office of Planning and Evaluation and Bureau programs to produce the plan/report for submission.

Program Assessment Rating Tool ODPD leads the Bureau’s efforts in formulating responses to the annual PART from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in collaboration with the targeted program.

Management of Discretionary Grants Information System (DGIS) in collecting performance, demographic and financial data from over 800 discretionary grantees.  Currently, ODPD is leading an internal workgroup to design specifications to make data available to grantees and the public at large.

MCH Health Policy:  To provide assistance in developing and implementing MCH program policy, including statutory and regulatory interpretation and provide coordination and leadership within the Bureau on cross-cutting policies particularly those related to Medicaid, SCHIP, and other health care financing issues affecting MCH programs.  Serve as the lead policy office in MCHB on Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and financing issues.

Currently, staff within ODPD review individual State Medicaid managed care waivers and SCHIP State Plan Amendments to analyze how changes to public health programs may impact MCH programs.  Serve as a resource to grantees and HRSA staff on national and State policy changes which could impact MCH populations and programs (i.e. Deficit Reduction Act).  In addition, ODPD staff represent the Bureau in interactions with governmental and non-governmental organizations concerning MCH policy issues.

Insure Kids Now Hotline: is a national toll-free hotline (877-KIDS-NOW) which automatically links callers to their local office to apply for Medicaid/SCHIP.  The hotline receives over 300,000 phone calls annually.  Additional information is available at:

MCH Library provides the MCH community with information on a broad range of related topics useful to State MCH programs.  Web resources include a weekly newsletter, the MCH Alert; research articles, reports and publications; audiovisual materials; and links to databases and other MCH sites.   Please visit the library at

Ongoing Policy Projects: Ensure efficiency, quality, and fulfillment of bureau goals to improve health care for MCH populations.

EPSDT Web-based module ( a resource of information for MCH agencies to assist Medicaid agencies in improving screening and treatment rates.  A new section is currently being developed which will focus exclusively on mental health.

Title V/XIX Inter-agency agreement publication is a document currently being developed to analyze required State inter-agency agreements (IAA) between Medicaid and MCH programs.  The document will serve as a tool to for State Title V directors when re-writing their IAAs.  Expected to be available next year.

State Leadership Workshops On Improving EPSDT foster successful coordination between State Title V and Medicaid agencies regarding the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit.  Last year workshops were conducted in (Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Nevada and Washington).   Information on how States can host a workshop is available at

Strategic Planning: To facilitate and coordinate the strategic planning process in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and to serve as a resource and provide technical assistance to all divisions to encourage consistency of their strategic plans with that of the Bureau.  A copy of the current Draft Strategic Plan is available at  

For more information, contact the ODPD at 301-443-8041.

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