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Cross-Institutional Class Project Explores Role of Communication and Social Media in Maternal and Child Health

Wordcloud of maternal and child health issues including lead exposure, postpartum depression, and maternal morality

February 14, 2023

Drexel University's Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Program recently developed a cross-university MCH Communication Campaign assignment in conjunction with the University at Albany (UAlbany)'s School of Public Health MCH Program.

The schools developed this assignment using funds from their Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health (ATMCH) Innovative Teaching Award, which they received in late 2021. 

The Dornsife team included Renee Turchi, MD, MPH, FAAP (MCH Program Director) and Renee Davis, MD, MPH (MCH Program Coordinator), with the assistance of Dornsife graduate student advisors and MCH trainees Caroline Huang, MPH ’22, and Samiha Tahsin (currently a 2nd year MPH student). The UAlbany team included Christine Bozlak, PhD, MPH (UAlbany MCH Program Co-Director) and two UAlbany graduate student advisors.

"Social media usage and relevance is growing and can be used to share information about public health topics that people are interested in or exposed to." - Graduate student advisor and MCH trainee Caroline Huang, MPH ’22

During the planning stages the student advisors suggested the assignment be related to health communications within the MCH field.

Social media and other online communication methods are growing avenues for raising awareness of public health issues, including those related to maternal and child health topics. "Social media usage and relevance is growing and can be used to share information about public health topics that people are interested in or exposed to," said Huang about the project.

Recognizing that each form of communication has its own benefits, students were required to create social media posts and one of the following: an infographic, public poster, video, or PowerPoint presentation.

Students were allowed to choose an MCH topic that was of high interest to them. They were also provided with opportunities to virtually network with students from the other institution to share their career goals, areas of interest, and review and provided feedback on the health communication products.

The project provided collaborative learning opportunities for students and allowed the course instructors to learn and develop new pedagogical methods. The assignment was implemented during the Fall 2022 term in the Overview of Maternal and Child Heath course (CHP 517) at Drexel and a Child Health Course at UAlbany.

“The activity allowed students to be creative in how they convey messages for the general public versus academic purposes,” said Tahsin.

Overall, students reported the assignment was a positive experience and it provided them with new skills related to health communication and allowed them to increase their knowledge on an MCH topic that was of high interest to them.

“This assignment pushed me out of my comfort zone, and helped me think creativity about how to convey information. I am not a creative person, so coming up with infographics and visual communication pushed me to expand," said one CHP 517 student.

“This was one of the coolest assignments I have ever done,” added another.

We invite you to view some of the student products from this collaborative assignment, which are shared with the students' permission:

The collaborative team will be presenting this project as a virtual poster at the 2023 AMCHP conference. They will also be working with ATMCH and the MCH Navigator to hold a webinar on the project later this spring. Reach out to with any questions about the project or for more information.

Learn more about Dornsife's MCH program and upcoming MCH events.

Dornsife's Maternal and Child Health Program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit