The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) created the NCMHEP to provide a forum for reviewing, translating, and disseminating new research in the field of maternal and child health. The Program aims to achieve these outcomes through a coalition of the nation's most prominent maternal health care provider associations, federal agencies, nonprofit maternal and child health organizations, and other partners.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a rich history of successful education programs, which have helped guide clinical practice, raise awareness, and inform behavior. In this tradition, the NICHD created the NCMHEP with guidance from major stakeholders in child and maternal health. The Institute views this Program as a vehicle for identifying and addressing major challenges in the child and maternal health arenas.
Coalition members serve on the Program's Coordinating Committee and work together to accomplish the goals of the Program using their scientific and medical expertise as well as their established outreach methods and networks.
Early in the planning process, the NICHD recognized that the true impact of the Program would come from collaboration among its Coordinating Committee members. The NICHD involved key stakeholders from the beginning of the planning process, first introducing the idea for the Program to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the National Medical Association, the National Hispanic Medical Association, and the March of Dimes. These organizations provided valuable input, which allowed the NICHD to further refine its plan and goals for the Program.
The NICHD held a planning meeting in November 2008 to introduce the Program to more than 30 additional organizations.