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Implementing Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW)®

Program Model Overview

Last Updated

April 2011

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The information in this profile reflects feedback from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model here, including any adaptations, may differ from how it was implemented in the studies reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the DHHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness.

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Implementation Support

The Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) Program is a partnership between Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) and community-based organizations. MIHOW home visitors are drawn from the local community and are charged with listening to parents’ concerns; educating them about nutrition, health, and children’s development; modeling positive parenting practices; and providing links to medical and social services. Implementation support is provided by VUSN and MIHOW Regional Consultants.

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Theoretical Model

MIHOW is flexible and tailored to the needs of the sponsoring agency and community. Two documents, Standards of Practice for Sponsoring Agencies and Standards for Practice for Outreach Workers, provide guidance to sponsoring agencies implementing MIHOW. These documents emphasize that MIHOW is community-based, has a community-development focus, and is strengths-based. The model also emphasizes that paraprofessionals and program participants are equal members of the community and have mutual investment in one another. MIHOW is designed to be implemented in low-income neighborhoods, but does not have eligibility requirements for participants. Participation is free.

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Target Population

MIHOW targets pregnant women and families with children birth to age 3 who are economically disadvantaged and geographically and/or socially isolated.

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Targeted Outcomes

MIHOW works to improve access to prenatal care, birth weight, infant care, family dynamics, parenting skills, child development, life skills, and community development.

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Program Model Components

The core program components of MIHOW are (1) home visits, (2) case management and advocacy, (3) parent education, (4) role modeling for positive parent-child interaction, (5) health and developmental screening, (6) information and referral, and (7) peer support groups.

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Program Model Intensity and Length

MIHOW includes monthly home visits and opportunities for group interaction. Participants enroll in the program during pregnancy and receive visits until the child’s third birthday.

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Location

MIHOW sites serve families in rural and urban settings in four states: Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

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Adaptations and Enhancements

No information is available.

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Notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in April 2011. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the MIHOW Program at the Center for Community Health Solutions, Vanderbilt University on March 30, 2011. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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