Maternal and Child Health Research Program

Advancing Applied MCH Research

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Portrait of Dr. Mann

EnRICH Webinar Series

EnRICH (Research Innovations & Challenges) is a series of webinars that feature special topics related to Maternal and Child Health (MCH) research. Each event features one or more speakers who are experts in the field. EnRICH webinars are conducted by the MCH Training and Research Resource Center, which is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau's (MCHB) Office of Epidemiology and Research.

5/27/2015: Qualitative Methods for Public Health: An Overview and Introduction

Trascript also available

Learning objectives:

  • Critically assess the strengths and weakness of qualitative research papers and evaluation projects
  • Contribute to the development of a qualitative research or evaluation project


  • Hannah Cooper, ScD. Associate Professor. Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education. Emory University.

3/18/2015: Estimating Absolute Differences and Relative Rate Ratios from Regression Models Webinar

Learning objectives:

  • Recognize the advantages of absolute contrasts for making causal inferences and for quantifying public health impact.
  • Understand the disadvantages of odds ratios and how to avoid them.
  • Gain knowledge of the different approaches to obtaining absolute and relative contrasts from regression models in Stata and SAS software packages.


  • Jay S. Kaufman, Ph.D Canada Research Chair in Health Disparities Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health McGill University
  • Ashley Hirai, PhD Health Scientist HRSA, Maternal and Child Health Bureau Office of Epidemiology & Research

Archive coming soon.

2/17/2015: Using Electronic Health Records for Health Services Research Exit Disclaimer

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the progress and evolution of pediatric Electronic Health Records (EHR) through nationwide CER2 Electronic Reporting) project;
  • Describe how to utilize the different types of EHR data available in CER2 health services research; and
  • Learn how non-CER2 services research. researchers can potentially utilize CER2 data for pediatric health


  • Wilson Pace, MD, FAAFP, Director, Distributed Ambulatory Research in Therapeutics Network (DARTNet), Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschultz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO.
  • Richard “Mort” Wasserman, MD, Director, American Academy of Pediatrics’ Pediatric Research in Office Settings, & Professor, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The University of Vermont, VT.
  • Alex Fiks, MD, MSCE, Associate Director, American Academy of Pediatrics Pediatric Research in Office Settings, & Associate Medical Director, Pediatric Research Consortium, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA.

11/20/2014: Measurement Research Network (MRN) Exit Disclaimer

The Maternal and Child Health Measurement Research Network provides leadership in the development and validation of MCH health measures to better address the needs of researchers and programs serving MCH populations. This Network identifies gaps and priority areas and will create a dynamic electronic compendium of health measures to advance MCH research.


  • Neal Halfon & Christina Bethell MCH-MRN Co-PIs

Learning objectives:

  • Discuss the evolution of health systems and the emergent conceptualizations of health and well-being;
  • Explore the various purposes and applications of a framework as determined by the needs of the MCH field;
  • Understand the process by which the MCH Measurement Conceptual Framework was developed and is continuing to be adapted; and
  • Examine ways in which this conceptual framework can be used to guide research, evaluation, action and innovation to inform the next generation of MCH measurement systems. Archive coming soon

10/22/2014: Meta-Analysis and Systematic Reviews Exit Disclaimer

Learning objectives:

  • Discuss how systematic reviews and meta-analysis can help meet the aims of researchers and decision-makers;
  • Understand the current methods used in systematic reviews and meta-analysis; and
  • Examine methodological questions under discussion by the research community.


Kay Dickersin, MA, PhD
Director, Center for Clinical Trials Director, US Cochrane Center
Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Dickersin's major research interests are related to randomized clinical trials, trials registers, systematic reviews and meta analysis, reporting biases, peer review, evidence-based health care, and comparative effectiveness research. She has conducted studies in a number of important subject areas, including women's health, eyes and vision, and surgery.

Tianjing Li, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Li's core research competencies comprise the methodology and reporting of systematic reviews, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trials, reporting biases, and missing data. Dr. Li has published on effectiveness of interventions for eye diseases, methodology for setting priorities for comparative effectiveness research, and on using network meta-analysis methods for comparing multiple interventions.

5/14/2014: More than pretty pictures: From GIS to Spatial Analysis in MCH Exit Disclaimer

Learning objectives:

  • Briefly introduce several broad applications of GIS and spatial analysis in MCH research
    and surveillance
  • Develop a conceptual understanding of what ‘space’ means in MCH research
  • Link this conceptual understanding with several statistical approaches to the analysis of
    spatially referenced data


Michael Kramer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Epidemiology. The Rollins School of Public
Health at Emory University, where he teaches maternal and child health epidemiology and
methods in social epidemiology. His research interests are largely centered at the intersection
of perinatal and early childhood outcomes, social determinants of health, and spatial analysis,
including work on residential economic and racial segregation and preterm birth, and
neighborhood deprivation and early academic readiness.

12/05/2013: Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) Exit Disclaimer

Directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) are hypothesized causal diagrams that can be used to assess sources of bias in epidemiologic studies based on a set of rules for interpretation. Increasingly, DAGs have been recognized as a valuable tool for evaluating confounding, but they have other uses as well such as clearly communicating underlying assumptions. This webinar is intended to provide a general introduction to DAGs using maternal and child health examples.


Penelope (Penny) Howards, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. Dr. Howards is a reproductive epidemiologist with an interest in methodological issues. Recently, she has been exploring how directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) affect our understanding of confounding specifically in relation to statistical adjustment for reproductive history.

9/17/2013: Some Cool Advances in Longitudinal Structural Equation Modeling Exit Disclaimer


Todd D. Little, Ph.D., Professor, Director Quantitative Program, Director Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis, Director University of Kansas Summer Stats Camps at the Department of Psychology at the University of Kansas, where he provides graduate-level training in an array of multivariate statistical techniques including structural equation modeling and growth curve modeling. The majority of his research focuses on using a unifying theoretical perspective. Dr. Little studies developmental changes in how children's and adolescents' action-control processes (i.e., motivational and self-regulation) influence (a) their adjustment and achievement in school settings, (b) their peer and friendship relationships, (c) their reasons for aggression and victimization, and (d) their ability to cope with challenging and stressful events.

4/02/2013: Mediation Analysis and Its Application in
Maternal and Child Health
Exit Disclaimer

Learning objectives:

  • Conditioning on intermediates between an exposure and outcome of interest can give rise to paradoxical associations if control is not made for intermediate-outcome confounding.
  • If control for both exposure-outcome and mediator-outcome confounding is made it is possible to decompose the overall effect of an exposure into a direct effect and a mediated effect.
  • Sensitivity analysis can be used to assess the impact of violations in confounding assumptions.


Tyler VanderWeele, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health, where he teaches graduate-level courses on study design in epidemiologic research. The majority of his research focuses on causal inference, epidemiologic methods, mediation analysis, spillover effects, interaction, confounding, sensitivity analysis, measurement error, and causal diagrams with more than 134 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

2/25/2013: Applied Missing Data Analysis Exit Disclaimer

Learning objectives:

  • Provide a conceptual overview of missing data theory and assumptions.
  • Briefly discuss “traditional” missing data techniques that are widely available in software packages, and demonstrate their shortcomings.
  • Provide researchers with a conceptual overview of two "modern missing data handling methods", multiple imputation and maximum likelihood estimation


Craig Enders, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Quantitative Psychology Concentration, Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, where he teaches graduate-level courses in missing data analyses, multilevel modeling, and longitudinal modeling. The majority of his research focuses on analytic issues related to missing data analyses and multilevel modeling. His book, Applied Missing Data Analysis, was published with Guilford Press in 2010.

12/06/2012: Using Electronic Health Records for MCH Research Exit Disclaimer

Learning objectives:

  • Learn about the history and development of the electronic health record (EHR) and its potential uses in maternal and child health (MCH) research
  • Understand the full capacity of the EHR to advance MCH research, and learn about the potential challenges involved
  • Learn about the application of EHRs for MCH research by following along with a real-life example presented by an innovator in the field
  • Summary: challenges and opportunities


Richard “Mort” Wasserman, MD, MPH, FAAP: Dr. Wasserman is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Director of the Pediatric in Research Settings (PROS) network. He is currently the Principal Investigator of MCHB grants R40MC24943, UB5MC20286, and UA6MC15585.

Wilson D. Pace, MD, FAAFP: Dr. Pace is Professor of Family Medicine and the Green-Edelman Chair for Practice-based Research at the University of Colorado and the Director of the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network. Dr. Pace’s work has helped shape a consortium of multiple EHR-enabled networks involving over 3500 primary care clinicians.

9/17/12: Early Life Origins of Pediatric and Adult Diseases Exit Disclaimer

Learning objectives:

  • Overview on life course framework and critical time windows for health and diseases
  • Discuss major factors contributing to early life origins of health and diseases
  • Discussion on the promise of biomarkers and multi-level data integration in early risk assessment, prediction, and preemptive prevention of pediatric and adult diseases
  • Summary: challenges and opportunities


Xiaobin Wang, MD, ScD, MPH is director of the new Center on the Childhood Origins of Disease at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Zanvyl Krieger Professor in Children's Health at John Hopkins University. Dr. Wang is a board-certified pediatrician and molecular epidemiologist in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health. Dr. Wang has led dozens of large-scale molecular and environmental epidemiological studies on reproductive health, preterm birth, food allergies, obesity and precursors of pediatric and adult diseases. She has authored and co-authored more than 130 publications, including articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and JAMA.

4/23/12: Cluster Analysis Exit Disclaimer

April is Autism Awareness Month

This webinar focused on latent class cluster analyses (LCCA). LCCA is a model based cluster analysis method used to identify subtypes of related cases (latent classes) from categorical, ordinal, and continuous multivariate data. It provides a way of identifying latent segments (types) for which parameters in a specified model differ.


Traci Clemons, PhD, Vice President at The EMMES Corporation. Dr. Clemons oversees the Data Coordinating Center for MCHB funded Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P). Dr. Clemons also serves as Principal Investigator for numerous statistical and data coordinating centers sponsored by the Federal government and private pharmaceutical corporations in a variety of disease areas, such as age related macular degeneration, cataract, macular telangiectasia, and pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

2/20/12: Measurement Selection and Development for Maternal and Child Health Research Exit Disclaimer

Learning objectives:

  • To determine best practices for the selection of measurement instruments in maternal-child health research.
  • To understand methods for measure development in maternal-child health research.


  • Dr. Jim Guevarra, Associate Professor of Pediatrics & Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Dr. Carole Tucker, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions & Social Work, Temple University

12/5/11: Longitudinal Data Analysis:
An Overview of Mixed Models and Generalized Estimating Equations
Exit Disclaimer

This interactive webinar highlighted statistical methods used for longitudinal data. Specifically, the session described the method of generalized estimating equations (GEE) that are often used to analyze longitudinal and other correlated response data; furthermore, the webinar explored a practical application of mixed modeling containing both fixed effects and random effects in maternal and child health research.


  • Dr. Amy Herring, Professor of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health.

9/13/11: Latent Variable Analysis in MCH Research:
A Practical Application of Structural Equation Modeling and Latent Growth Models
Exit Disclaimer

This interactive webinar highlighted a statistical method used in maternal child health research. Specifically, the session described practical application of structural equation modeling and latent grown models.


  • Dr. Beth McManus, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, 2009 Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar, University of Wisconsin - Madison.

6/6/11: Preparing a Successful Research Grant Application Exit Disclaimer

During this interactive webinar, you heard from two leading researchers in the maternal and child health (MCH) field about how to prepare a successful research application for competitive funding agencies. This session described the key elements of a strong research proposal, as well as provide tips for making your grant application ready for submission.


  • Dr. Cynthia Minkovitz, Professor and Director, Women's and Children's Health Policy Center, at the Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • Dr. Daniel Armstrong, Professor and Associate Chair, Pediatrics, and Director, Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami.

3/9/11: Preparing a Successful Manuscript Exit Disclaimer

The webinar is presented by two leading editors in the MCH field about how to prepare a successful manuscript for publication. This session further described the organization and key elements of a research paper. It considered both quantitative and qualitative presentations and suggestions regarding making a paper ready for submission.


  • Dr. James Perrin is Professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and director of the Division of General Pediatrics and the MGH Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy. Dr. Perrin is also the founding editor of Academic Pediatrics (formally known as Ambulatory Pediatrics).
  • Dr. Donna Petersen is Dean of USF's College of Public Health and the Editor-in Chief of the Maternal and Child Health Journal.

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