The goal of the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) program is to improve maternal and infant health outcomes in underserved communities. MIHOW carries this out by partnering with local community service agencies to provide home visits and group activities to pregnant women and families with young children up to three years of age. Read more about MIHOW's impact.
MIHOW has been successful in accomplishing its goal because of the MIHOW Model, which is made up of three components: The Approach, The Materials, and The Structure.
Adherence to the MIHOW Model is assessed through the Commitment to Excellence MIHOW Accreditation Program (CEMAP©). Accreditation should be achieved within three years of becoming a MIHOW program and must be renewed every five years. Mid-term reviews are also conducted to help keep programs on track.
CEMAP© was developed in 2003 as a way to ensure high quality and consistency in service delivery across all MIHOW sites. Established MIHOW programs at the time were given three years to become accredited sites. Completion of the CEMAP© process reflects a commitment to implementing the MIHOW Model, and adherence to the MIHOW Standards of Practice is verified through the CEMAP© process.
Current accredited programs include:
- New River Health Association, Scarbro, WV
- ABLE Families, Kermit, WV
- Northern Panhandle Head Start, Wheeling, WV
- Henderson Settlement, Frakes, KY
- Catholic Charities, Nashville, TN
New agencies beginning programs can affiliate with MIHOW for a provisional period of three years, after which time they are expected to pursue accreditation. Affiliated programs receive:
- Research-based MIHOW curriculum
- Access to technical assistance and a web-based database
- Quarterly training
- Networking opportunities with other MIHOW programs
The purpose of CEMAP© is to ensure that all agencies using the MIHOW name and logo are delivering consistent, high quality services, in compliance with the MIHOW Standards of Practice. Accreditation is determined through a detailed application, review of written materials and policies, and on-site interview process. Each accreditation team is made of up Vanderbilt staff and MIHOW peers both within and outside of the state where the agency is requesting accreditation. Accredited programs receive additional materials using the MIHOW trademark and logo. They also partner with Vanderbilt University on joint grant opportunities.