Estefanía Henríquez Luthje (she/her) is a first-year Maternal and Child Health MPH student at the University of Minnesota and a Fulbright Scholar from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She obtained her medical degree from Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo in 2020 and received a certificate in clinical research at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For two years, Estefanía worked as a research analyst in the Department of Nutrition of the Ministry of Public Health of the Dominican Republic. In addition to her role as co-editor for MCH Leads, Estefanía serves as Executive Board Member for UMN’s Maternal and Child Health Interest Group. Her areas of interest include maternal and child nutrition, particularly lactation, and maternal and child mortality reduction in the Dominican Republic.

Maha Mehmood (she/her) is a co-editor of MCH Leads and a first-year MPH student at the University at Albany, concentrating in Epidemiology as well as pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Maternal and Child Health. She graduated in Spring 2022 from UAlbany with a Bachelor’s in Biology. Maha is also the current Graduate Assistant for the UAlbany MCH  Program. Her hobbies include research, studying, shopping, and volunteer work. Maha is planning to apply to medical school this upcoming cycle with hopes of specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, specifically focusing on Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

In this editorial, Estefanía and Maha reflect on their backgrounds, interests in maternal and child public health, preferred MCH leadership competencies, and expectations as 2022-2023 co-editors for the National MCH Trainee Blog. In addition, they introduce the overarching theme that will shape MCH Leads blog posts for spring 2023: Health Equity. “We look forward to highlighting trainees’ experiences supporting the health and well-being of vulnerable and underserved populations and communities. Also, their work assessing and addressing the underlying causes of health disparities–and their efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion–ultimately improving MCH outcomes.” Continue reading.

Funding provided by the Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health at the University of Minnesota and the University at Albany School of Public Health Maternal and Child Health Public Health Catalyst Program, which are supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This information or content and conclusions of related outreach products are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.