Full name and title:
Jordan-Tate Thomas, MPH, Analyst
Years with NICHQ:
11 months (almost 1 year!)
How has your background/experiences led you to join a national children’s health organization?
I wanted to join an organization that was as passionate as I am about health equity. After completing a BA in Biology and English and an MPH in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, I sought to focus my attention on alleviating disparities we see occurring in health. Soon after graduating, I came across NICHQ, a mission-driven organization that would allow me to work on projects that strive to improve the health of underserved children and families. I am happy to work for a nimble organization that continuously works to prioritize health equity across the country.
Which NICHQ quality improvement projects do you support?
I currently work on the Supporting Healthy Start Performance Project (SHSPP) and the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network (ECCS CoIIN). In the past, I worked on the Ohio Infant Mortality Focused Home Visiting Curriculum as well. As an analyst, I'm a member of NICHQ's Department of Applied Research and Evaluation (DARE) team and we seek to assess how projects can be continuously improved. My role, specifically, involves supporting evaluation activities that can identify gaps and areas of improvement. For example, as part of our start-up activities for the Supporting Healthy Start, we performed a needs assessment including a survey shared with all 101 grantee sites and focus groups. We used the data gathered to identify gaps and areas where assistance could be targeted as well as inform how we develop and carry out future activities.
Do you have a favorite memory since working at NICHQ?
Just a few months after joining NICHQ, I had the opportunity to travel with the SHSPP team to the annual Healthy Start Conference in Washington, D.C. There, I had the opportunity to work as a NICHQ team member to lead evaluation efforts as well as engage with Healthy Start sites and participants from all around the nation. I had a wonderful time at this conference and felt a connection to everyone in the room due to our shared passion toward reducing maternal and infant mortality and morbidities. It was also wonderful to bond with the Healthy Start team here at NICHQ and become as close of a team as we are.
What are you most proud of from your time with NICHQ?
I am most proud of my work with Healthy Start and the DARE Team, as well as my work with Dr. Stacy Scott on the Ohio home visiting project. I have had the opportunity to be part of a multitude of projects and activities, and I am proud to see this work is shaped by a health equity and implicit bias lens.
What are your goals for NICHQ’s future?
In the future, my hope is that NICHQ continues on its health equity and implicit bias journey. I believe NICHQ is taking essential strides needed to do the work we do, and I am certain the organization will continue on in the future. I hope that we continue working toward our vision while being committed to working with diverse populations and having our staff reflect that. My goal for NICHQ is to be a leader in addressing health and health care disparities and improving health outcomes for all populations.
NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Chiagbanwe Enwere, NICHQ Project Analyst
As a member of NICHQ's Data Applied Research and Evaluation (DARE) team, NICHQ Project Analyst Chiagbanwe Enwere brings a unique data and equity perspective to the New York State Maternal and Child Health Collaboratives project
MCH Lead Poisoning Toolkit: Lessons on Using Data for Improvement
The Maternal and Child Environmental Health Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (MCEH CoIIN), a national initiative led by the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs developed the MCH Lead Poisoning Toolkit to share innovative practices and methods that nine different state teams tested out to improve access to systems and services that address the needs for pregnant women, infants, children, and families that are exposed to lead. NICHQ provided quality improvement expertise and technical assistance for the MCEH CoIIN—offering state teams guidance on using data and measurement to determine where improvements have been made and areas that still require change. Read tips and take-aways from the three-year CoIIN for data collection and using data for Improvement.
NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Stacey C. Penny
With NICHQ's Rare As One Network Workstream Facilitation Initiative at a halfway point, Senior Project Director Stacey C. Penny, MSW, MPH shares an inside look at one of NICHQ's most collaborative projects.
Are Screens Making our Children’s Eyes Worse?
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, children of all ages were spending more screen time than ever before on cellphones, tablets, and laptops. Prolonged periods of time staring at a screen that may be too big, too bright, or too close to our eyes can cause eye fatigue or even lead to dry eye, a chronic eye condition common in older adults. With eye conditions becoming more prominent in children, it's important for health professionals to encourage healthy screen viewing habits and support children’s eye health in the digital age.
NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Olivia Giordano
Olivia Giordano, MPH, Project Manager shares how her work with NICHQ’s Supporting Healthy Start Performance Project (SHSPP) is supporting 101 Healthy Start community sites to harness lessons learned, implement innovative approaches to improvement, and ultimately start to close the disparity gap in maternal and child health.