The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) unit is directed by Marie Fama. She is assisted by eight full-time staff and over two dozen student employees. She is responsible for supervising all aspects of projects. The project coordinators and assistants are responsible for training and supervising project staff, overseeing data collection efforts, monitoring and calculating response rates, assuring full compliance with human subjects and privacy protocols, ensuring data quality, and interacting with clients. The MCH unit is currently contracted by several state health departments to manage Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data and is conducting an evaluation of a newborn home visiting program for at-risk mothers.
The BCSR collects survey data as part of the PRAMS project, developed in 1987 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The PRAMS initiative is an ongoing, state-specific, population-based surveillance system designed to identify and monitor selected maternal behaviors and experiences before, during, and after pregnancy. This survey supplements vital records data by providing specific information on maternal behaviors and experiences. Information collected through PRAMS is used for planning and assessing perinatal health programs. The data are also available through the CDC and state departments of health for analysis by researches.
The Maternal and Child Health unit of the BCSR, in operation since 2001, implements all phases of PRAMS data collection, including mailings, web-based applications, telephone interviewing, and data entry and reporting, IRB certification, and interviewer training. Since 2012, the BCSR has served as a pilot tester of new data collection technologies developed by the CDC, including the testing of the PIDS and the on-line version of the PRAMS survey.
The Maternal and Child Health Unit has three bilingual staff members who have been instrumental in translating and reviewing documents for PIDS, the CDC, and state health departments. This unit currently provides PRAMS-related data collection services for state health departments in Arkansas, Connecticut, Washington DC, Hawaii, Michigan, New Jersey, New York City, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia, and Virginia. The PRAMS team has an established track record of meeting or exceeding the 65% response rate target for sample batches. They also ensure that the highest quality of data is collected by monitoring interviews and conducting 100% data verification, exceeding the CDC’s standard 10%.
The MCH unit provides the following services: developing and designing project protocols and evaluations, survey questionnaires, and recruitment materials; translating materials from English to Spanish and Mandarin programming questionnaires into Qualtrics and creating databases for data collection efforts; and analyzing data and writing reports.