Student Spotlight: How Did Madigan Knuth Help Compile and Share Community Recommendations for Title V Grant Priorities?

#UMNMCH student Madigan Knuth (MPH 1st year) wrote this reflection on how her deployment with the Center for Excellence in Maternal and Child Public Health contributed to her career in MCH.

During the Fall of 2019, I completed a deployment opportunity through the Center for Excellence in Maternal & Child Public Health. I was tasked with completing strategy reviews of data briefs that resulted from the Title V Grant Needs Assessment. The needs assessment involved collecting feedback from community members on what child and family health concerns should be prioritized for Minnesota. I reviewed briefs on 6 of 11 Title V Grant priorities including: Care During Pregnancy & Delivery, Mental Well-Being, Boys & Young Men, Housing, Comprehensive Early Childhood Systems and Adolescent Suicide. My peer partner worked on the Adolescent Suicide brief with me and on her own reviewed the other 5 priorities: American Indian Health, Children & Youth with Special Health Care Needs, Infant Mortality/Stillbirth, Parent and Caregiver Education & Support and Affordable & Accessible Healthcare. For each strategy review, my peer and I conducted searches for current strategies being used to address these issues across the country to find what has and hasn’t been successful in order to suggest what could work for Minnesota.

Our finalized recommendations were sent to teams of 10 community members to inform them as they finalize an action plan on how to address these issues. In relation to my deployment, I decided to volunteer for one of these teams for the Affordable & Accessible Healthcare priority. This opportunity involved 4 meetings from December-March to brainstorm and create an action plan for how to address this issue. I also happen to be a paraprofessional student worker at the Minnesota Department of Health and as a part of my job, I agreed to become a member of the Mental Well Being strategy team. Being a part of these teams has provided me with an inside view of what concerns local public health workers and organizations have and how connecting them with resources and opportunities to network provides potential for improvement in these areas of concern. This deployment gave me an inside look into what local public health work is like and I have since been inspired to explore this more. I will be completing my Applied Practice in the Summer of 2020 working in local public health in Thunder Bay, Canada.

Madigan is a first-year MCH student also pursuing a minor in Integrative Therapies and Spiritual Healing. Her background includes a bachelor’s degree in French and Psychology. After lots of caregiving and classroom experience with infants as well as undergraduate research in parenting practices, she realized her passion was with MCH, specifically the perinatal period and the first five years. She has two other passions, speaking French and practicing holistic health, both of which she hopes to integrate in MCH education, hopefully by providing services and resources to women in a francophone area.

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