L.I.F.E. for Rural and Underserved Communities: Sharing Strengths, Building Workforce Equity and Shaping Future Professionals

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 | 9:00 am-12:00 pm CT

Optional Networking Session: 12:00-12:30 pm CT


Faculty, staff, students/trainees, doctoral students, post-doc fellows, clinicians and family members (LEND) affiliated with any of the MCHB-funded programs in Regions V or VII can attend.

Registration closed on Friday, May 6, 2022 at 5:00 pm CT.

Zoom links were emailed to registrants from mch@umn.edu on Friday, May 6. Please add mch@umn.edu to your contacts/address book, and be sure to check your spam and trash folders.

Conference Agenda


9:00-9:55 am CT Welcome & Speakers

9:55-10:00 am CT Break

10:00-10:55 am CT Video Abstract Poster Session

10:55-11:00 am CT Break

11:00 am-12:00 pm CT Speakers & Closing

12:00-12:30 pm CT Optional Networking Session*

*Must have registered through the main registration form (closed May 6, 2022)

-Download a PDF of the agenda

Conference Speakers

We are delighted to bring you a wide range of experts, including:

Nanya Chiejine of Cooperative Extension System’s Well Connected Communities (WCC) program will share Extension’s health equity efforts, what respectful and successful connections with communities looks like and how our university-based programs could connect and collaborate with WCC and local/state Extension offices.

Cate Jones-Hazledine of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska will discuss how FARM CAMP (Frontier Area Rural Mental Health Camp and Mentorship Program) introduces rural Nebraska high school students to the concept of behavioral health careers that are possible within their own communities.

Alana Knudson of the Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis at NORC at the University of Chicago, will discuss the Exploring Strategies to Improve Health and Equity in Rural Communities project, which outlines opportunities for leveraging rural assets and strengths to fundamentally improve health and equity in rural communities.

Jim Warne of the University of South Dakota’s (USD) Center for Disabilities will share how the Oyate’ Circle conducts education and outreach campaigns about the needs of Native Americans with disabilities. The Oyate’ Circle also offers resources and training for tribal communities and informs them about programs and opportunities available through the Center and other agencies. Jim produced and wrote the award-winning documentary 7th Generation, and is the President of Warrior Society Development.

Video Abstract Poster Session Presenters

Presentation of the video abstracts begins at 10:00 am and ends at 10:55 am. Each video is 3 minutes long and will be shown for the first time on Conference day, followed by a short Q&A with the author.

Download a description (PDF) of the five video abstracts released during the Conference


Using the L.I.F.E. Framework to Develop MCH Leaders in a LEND Program, Sharon Milberger (3 minutes + Q&A)

Presenter Panel (9 minutes + Q&A):

Assessing Title V Capacity for Health Equity Work in Minnesota, Nicollette Moore

Using Formative Evaluation and the CASPER Toolkit to Effectively Develop a Survey on the Physical, Social, and Mental Health of Renters in Bloomington, Minnesota, Sydney Meyer

–Vaccine Confidence Project, Raniya Yimam 

4-H Inclusive Innovations Project, Betsy Olson Minnaert (3 minutes + Q&A)

Networking Session


This fast-paced session will provide participants with a virtual opportunity to learn more about each other’s interests, work and research in MCH. 

By the end of the session, participants will have spent time with several MCHers, exchanging information and planting seeds for potential partnerships, collaborations and relationships down the road. Speed networking is fun for all attendees, but especially for trainees and other new professionals who are looking to grow their connections. 

Those who registered for the networking session will receive a tip sheet, participant bios, login details and more from mch@umn.edu between May 6-May 8, 2022.

Conference History & About the L.I.F.E. Model

The 2022 theme L.I.F.E. for Rural and Underserved Communities: Sharing Strengths, Building Workforce Equity and Shaping Future Professionals was developed based on 2021 Conference attendees’ requests to continue weaving the L.I.F.E. (Leadership, Interdisciplinary, Family-centered and Equity) Framework model, presented last year by Dr. Sharon Milberger (MI-LEND), into the Conference. Attendees also emphasized their desire to focus Conference content on designing MCH pathways/pipelines and addressing workforce issues in Regions V and VII.

–Watch this short recording about the L.I.F.E. Framework, and this recording of a brief history of MCH and developing the MCH workforce (watch from 0:00-23:37)

Attendees also emphasized their desire to focus Conference content on designing MCH pathways/pipelines and addressing workforce issues in Regions V and VII.

Partial funding for this Conference was provided by the Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health at the University of Minnesota. The Center is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant numbers T76MC00005-64-00. This information or content and conclusions of related outreach products are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.