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Maternal and Child Health Program Hosts 9th Annual MCH Career Networking Event

Student quote

March 3, 2023

In February 2023, the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Catalyst Program at the Dornsife School of Public Health hosted its 9th annual MCH Career Networking Event. This annual event offers current Dornsife students the chance to network with MCH professionals and learn more about different opportunities and diverse careers in the MCH field.

This year, 19 professionals from 13 organizations, including six Dornsife alumni (four of whom were former MCH trainees), attended the event and shared with students the depth and breadth of MCH career paths.

The career event was hosted virtually to allow more professionals and online students to attend, including those in Drexel’s online MCH Certificate Program.

During the event, students were put into small groups and rotated through their choice of four breakout rooms. Students had the opportunity to chat with professionals throughout the evening and connect in an engaging and personal way.

"No journey is the same in a professional career. Hearing stories, advice, and support from professionals is invaluable." - MCH trainee Lita Lillibridge

Both students and professionals find this annual event to be worthwhile. "I found the event valuable because it provided insight into the various paths that could be taken after graduation and gave me confidence in my preparedness for the next phase," said Chanel Conigan, a third year MCH trainee and MPH in Global Health candidate.

Professionals benefit from meeting students with a strong interest in MCH who could be great additions to projects or potential new hires in the future. For professionals, highlights of the event included meeting students and hearing about their interests in MCH, answering questions and serving as mentors, and interacting with other MCH colleagues.

Highlights for students include exploring career paths within MCH, networking with MCH professionals informally, and learning about MCH organizations in the region.

Students enjoyed the small group interaction with professionals in MCH and the opportunity to learn about their background and career journeys. They appreciated their genuine interest in taking the time to mentor students. They also enjoyed speaking with former MCH trainees and learning how they transitioned from Dornsife into careers in MCH. "It is always helpful to hear from those who were just in your shoes," said Conigan.

"The event was awesome!," remarked Janel Rodriguez, a BA in Global Public Health candidate. "As a first-year undergrad, I'm on a personal journey to learn about what people do for their careers and more importantly, why they do it. This event really helped me learn about peoples' throughlines and work in MCH. Talking to public health experts in the breakout rooms create conversations so I could learn more about what they do, and they could learn more about who I am."

Other students emphasized the unique opportunity this event provides students to meet with professionals from a wide array of MCH backgrounds, including clinical, community, and state and local government.

"The career event allowed me to gain some insight into the different, nuanced paths people are able to take. No journey is the same in a professional career, and hearing stories, advice, and support from professionals is invaluable," said Lita Lillibridge, a first year MCH trainee and MPH in Health Management and Policy candidate.

As expressed by the speakers, it is extremely important to make connections, ask questions, and gain insights that you normally can't get from a website or a Google search. "This helped me form connections that I don't think I would have had if I had not gone," added Rodriguez.

Organizations represented at the event included:

  • Bureau of Family Health, Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Division of Maternal, Child and Family Health, Philadelphia Department of Public Health
  • PA Medical Home Program, PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Maternity Care Coalition
  • Access Matters
  • Children First
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Injury Prevention Program
  • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Adolescent Medicine
  • National Nurse-Led Care Consortium
  • March of Dimes, DC
  • DC Department of Health
  • Dornsife MCH Academia/Research

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