Highlights of NICHQ at 2024 AMCHP Annual Conference!

Get a glimpse of NICHQ's 2024 AMCHP Annual Conference Experience, including an exciting lineup of workshops and sessions hosted by NICHQ staff and partners.

Telling Stories On Purpose For Powerful Partnerships And Greater Equity

Saturday, April 13, 2024 | 2:15 PM – 5:15 PM PT | Location: Grand Ballroom DE

Take a deep dive into the art and science of storytelling, to strengthen leadership and partnerships for healthier women, children and families. Immerse in a hands-on interactive session that invites active participation in experiential learning. Learn about the science and proven practices behind great stories. Hone baseline skills for ethical and effective storytelling in your MCH practice. Discover and shape a personal story that anchors you and others, especially in tight times. Immerse with seasoned storytellers and health equity strategists to explore how to shift and shape dominant narratives, together, for greater impact.


  • Magda G. Peck, MSc, ScD, PA, Founder/Principal, MP3 Health Group, Richmond, California
  • Janelle Palacios, PhD, CNM, Founder, Encoded 4 Story, Nurse Midwife/Researcher/Consultant (Primary Presenter)
  • Arthur R. James, MD, Physician, Consultant to NICHQ/HS-TASC, Healthy Start Technical Assistance Support Center
  • Kenn Harris, LMin, Vice President for Engagement and Strategic Partnerships, National Institute for Children's Health Quality
  • Amanda Henley,Consumer Advocate/Healthy Start TASC Faculty Planning Committee Member/Mother with lived experience, Healthy Start TASC
  • Dakisha Mitchell, CNA, CNA/MA/Healthy Start TASC Faculty Planning Committee Member/ Mother with lived experience, Healthy Start TASC

Perinatal Quality Collaboratives Partnering with Doulas for Quality Improvement and Birth Equity 

Sunday, April 14, 2024 | 12:50 PM – 1:50 PM PT

Doulas are trained non-clinical professionals who provide emotional, physical, and informational support to expectant mothers before, during, and after childbirth. Their support helps empower individuals to make informed decisions, improves the patient experience, and contributes to positive birth outcomes. This session will examine how partnering with doulas can offer numerous opportunities for Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (PQCs) and their hospital partners to enhance the overall experience and outcomes of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care.


  • Zsakeba Henderson, Senior Health Advisor, NICHQ
  • Stacey Penny, MPH, MSW, Executive Project Director, NICHQ
  • LaToshia Rouse, CD, PCD (DONA), Board of Directors/ Doula NICHQ/ Birth Sisters Doula Services

Parental Leave and the NICU: Building Partnerships with NICU Families to Address Parental Leave Policy And Support

Sunday, April 14, 2024 | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM PT | Location: Grand Ballroom FGH

NICU Leave is a missing link to the conversation of paid parental leave. Families who have babies that require an extended hospital stay in the NICU need additional support beyond the 12 weeks offered by FMLA. Building partnerships with impacted families and like-minded organizations can address this gap by developing policies and programs to support NICU families and improve maternal and child health outcomes.


  • Stacy Scott, Ph.D., MPA, VP, Health Equity Innovation, NICHQ
  • Zsakeba Henderson, MD, FACOG, Senior Health Advisor, NICHQ
  • Sherenne Simon, BS, MPH, Global Simon Group 

A Consumer Convening Where Healthy Start Participants Matter Most! – Behind the Scenes of the Inaugural Healthy Start Consumer Convening

Sunday, April 14, 2024 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM PT | Location: Grand Ballroom FGH

Since its inception in 1991, the federal Healthy Start (HS) Program has sought to provide community-based, consumer- and family-centered services. To that end, the Healthy Start TA & Support Center (TASC) hosted its inaugural Healthy Start Consumer Convening to bring together HS consumers, frontline staff, and maternal child health partners. The convening aimed to provide HS consumers with training opportunities – co-created with consumer advisors and specifically designed for them – that build their skills and activate their agency to show up as advocates and advisors in the MCH ecosystem. In this workshop, we will share the TASC’s approach to developing the Consumer Convening and the importance of engaging consumers as partners and advocates.


  • Nikki Maffei, MSc, Associate Project Director, Healthy Start TA & Support Center
  • Tamela Milan-Alexander, MA, Community Engagement Director, EverThrive Illinois
  • Dakisha Mitchell, CNA, CNA/MA/Healthy Start TASC Faculty Planning Committee Member/ Mother with lived experience, Healthy Start TASC
  • Amanda Henley, Consumer Advocate/Healthy Start TASC Faculty Planning Committee Member/Mother with lived experience, Healthy Start TASC

Partnerships for Quality Improvement: The Impact of Statewide, Interdisciplinary Collaborative Partnerships for Improving Quality of and Access to Care for CYSHCN 

Monday, April 15, 2024 | 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM PT | Location: Room 210/211

Florida’s CYSHCN program and the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality have partnered with purpose on a cutting-edge, statewide Quality Improvement (QI) journey with 32 specialty clinical teams across our state. This five-year initiative prompted 50 small tests of change with plan-do-study-act cycles, strengthening the statewide cross-collaborative for a health care transition QI focus in our fourth year. Authentic partnerships include co-design with families and youth, new partnerships based on similar needs, and intentional community partnerships resulting in positive outcomes and resources for collective impact. This interactive session demonstrates meaningful partnerships, inclusion of partners with lived experience, and highlights partnership achievements through QI.


  • Linda H. Starnes, BS, Statewide Family Leader, Florida Department of Health Children's Medical Service, CYSHCN Program
  • Joni R. Hollis, RN, MSN, CNL, Title V CYSHCN Director, Florida Department of Health Children's Medical Services
  • Sandra Widland, BS, MPH, Project Director, National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ)
  • Kelly Edwards, MPH, Senior Project Manager, National Institute for Children’s Health Quality,
  • Angela M. Miney, BA AS, Family Partner, University of Florida Pediatric Pulmonary Center