The Healthy Start EPIC Center is pleased to offer these in-person trainings to grantees and their partners.  These trainings will further strengthen the stakeholder and community relationships that are essential to Healthy Start’s work, and provide skills-building and professional development opportunities relevant to both Healthy Start programs and their community partners.

Requesting Your Community Training

Healthy Start Grantees may request one Community Training per year, and priority will be given to programs who did NOT host a training in Year 3.   These trainings are available on a first-come, first-served based on trainer availability.  To apply to host a Community Training, please  fill out this application.

Someone from the HS EPIC Center will be in touch within 3-5 business days to schedule a first planning call.  Questions can be directed to

Slots are limited, so programs are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible. 
Community Trainings on the topics listed below are available to Healthy Start programs.

Scroll down for full training descriptions.

  • Compassion Fatigue & Self-Care
  • Breastfeeding Support
  • Mobilizing Community Partnerships to Address Social Determinants of Infant Mortality
  • Domestic Violence
  • Trauma Exposure and Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Reproductive Life Planning
  • Using Data to Tell Your Program’s Story
  • Motivational Interviewing
    Joining Forces to Prevent
  • Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol and Other Drugs

What to Expect

Before you request your Community Training, please read through this fact sheet to help you prepare.

Healthy Start EPIC Center Responsibilities

  • Provide a qualified trainer/subject matter expert to deliver a one-day workshop.
  • Assist the trainer and Host Grantee in scheduling a training date.
  • Cover trainer’s time and travel expenses.
  • Provide the host grantee checklists and template documents to support planning.
  • Provide limited recruitment/promotion support such as template flyer, postcard, or HTML email, when requested.
  • Provide additional template materials, including registration tracking sheet, sign-in sheet, and evaluation.
  • Tabulate and report evaluation data to host grantee post-training.

Host Program Responsibilities

  • Submit a training request at least 2 months prior to the desired training date.
  • Coordinate all meeting logistics – reserve meeting space, provide audio/visual equipment, order refreshments, manage registration, produce/copy materials, etc.
  • Responsible for any the financial costs beyond trainer expenses.
  • Generate invitation list, including staff, partner agencies, and programs. A minimum of 15 participants must be confirmed. This number must include representation of at least 5 partner agencies.
  • Promote community training to partners using template materials provided by the Healthy Start EPIC Center.
  • Collect participant evaluations, and return them to the Healthy Start EPIC Center within one week of the training.

In addition, the Host Grantee must provide a confirmed list of registrants to the Healthy Start EPIC Center no less than 10 days prior to the scheduled Community Training.  Trainings with less than five (5) partner agency representatives AND fifteen (15) confirmed participants at that time will be postponed until the host grantee can provide documentation of interest from community agencies.  The Host Grantee is encouraged to proactively contact the Healthy Start EPIC Center for assistance should recruiting an adequate number of participants pose a problem.

Training Descriptions

Motivational Interviewing: Learning the Dance | Arman Lorz and Juli Powers, Healthy Start EPIC Center Consultants

This one and a half-day workshop involves large group discussions, small group activities, and role-play activities to provide participants with an introduction to the fundamentals of motivational interviewing.

By the end of the motivational interviewing (MI) training workshop, participants will be able to:

  • List the four MI processes
  • Describe the relationship between MI principles and basic counseling skills (OARS)
  • Demonstrate basic application of MI skills

Due to the nature of the workshop, this training is limited to 30 participants.

Reproductive Life Planning: Setting Goals for a Healthy Family | Dr. Jan Shepherd, Healthy Start EPIC Center Consultant

The United States of America has the highest rate of unplanned pregnancy in the developed world, and this contributes to the fact that our country also has one of the highest rates of both maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. In order to address the unintended pregnancy rate and improve maternal and infant health, the CDC introduced the concept of the Reproductive Life Plan. It has since been endorsed by ACOG and many other major medical organizations. In this training, we will discuss the fine points of Reproductive Life Planning and explore ways to utilize the concept in counseling all types of women (and men) of reproductive age. Because contraception and preconception/interconception care are intrinsic to Reproductive Life Planning, the training will also include a comprehensive update on both topics.

  • By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Describe what is meant by a Reproductive Life Plan.
  • Identify proven benefits of planning pregnancies.
  • Discuss the role of contraception in Reproductive Life Planning.
  • Discuss the role of preconception and interconception care in Reproductive Life Planning.
  • Describe potential pitfalls in Reproductive Life Plan counseling and ways to address them using a patient/client-centered approach.

Mobilizing Community Partnerships to Address Social Determinants of Infant Mortality | John Snow Inc., Healthy Start EPIC Center Consultant

A root cause analysis is a process used to identify the contributing factors and underlying causes of a problem, event, or health issues, such as infant mortality and adverse maternal health outcomes. Addressing the root causes of an issue is more effective and efficient than addressing the symptoms of a problem. A root cause analysis helps to identify how and why something happened, with the goal of preventing it from recurring. By conducting a root cause analysis, community stakeholders can begin to understand the complexity of infant mortality (and adverse maternal health outcomes) in their community.

A root cause analysis coupled with an action planning process can be used to bring stakeholders to a shared understanding of infant mortality and its contributing factors within a particular community, and spur innovative ideas and best practice for addressing the factors and underlying causes.

This training is intended to be a training of trainers to build the capacity of Healthy Start program managers, Community Action Network coordinators, and/or community members to facilitate a root causes analysis in their respective community. The training will provide an overview of a root cause analysis including what it is and why it is done as well as a step-by- step guide to facilitating a root cause analysis and an initial planning process with a community to identify the contributing factors to infant mortality and/or substance use.

Safe Homes/Safe Babies: Train the Trainer on Domestic Violence and Reproductive Coercion | Rebecca Levenson, Healthy Start EPIC Center Consultant

“Safe Homes/Safe Babies” is a series of modules that cover a broad range of domestic violence information and considerations through adult learning principles (call and response, small group work, personal reflection). Our curricula include a variety of topics including:

  • prevalence data,
  • impact on perinatal health and infant outcomes—including substance abuse
  • reproductive coercion—(when a partner tries to get you pregnant as a means of control when you do not want to be)  and thoughts about interconception care,
  • staff barriers to domestic violence screening and assessment,
  • using universal education and empowerment to overcome barriers to disclosure of domestic violence
  • safety planning for both staff and clients
  • developing and MOU with local domestic violence programs

The goal is to train staff on an evidence-based universal education tool that promotes conversations about healthy and safe relationships and ones that are not, how abuse can affect health including substance abuse risks and provides simple safety planning and hotline referrals. In addition to supporting provider’s conversations about relationships, the safety card universal education strategy also functions as an empowerment tool for mothers.

  • After this training, participants will be better able to:
  • Identify two barriers to providers, including home visitors and others doing domestic violence assessment with clients.
  • Describe the impact of domestic violence on perinatal health.
  • Describe why universal education using and evidenced based safety card is important for helping clients experiencing domestic violence

Boosting Breastfeeding Support: Preparing Families | Cathy Carothers, Every Mother, Inc.

“Boosting Breastfeeding Support: Preparing Families” is an invigorating one-day community-based workshop designed to assist Healthy Start grantees and their community partners in ramping up support for breastfeeding mothers to help them meet their breastfeeding goals. The workshop addresses key barriers among vulnerable populations, evidence-based practices that can help ensure successful outcomes, and solutions for the support that can make a difference.  The workshop design is solution-focused, with practical strategies to help attendees put practices into place immediately. The workshop is designed as an interactive experience to equip and empower Healthy Start staff and their community partners. Stories and best practice examples all help bring key teaching points home and help attendees leave inspired and motivated to make a difference.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Name at least three crucial ways breastfeeding impacts the health of infants and mothers.
  • Identify at least two strategies for building a trusting relationship with new mothers.
  • Name at least three ways to help mothers address barriers to evidence-based maternity care practices.
  • Identify two ways to prevent and two ways to manage common breastfeeding challenges.
  • Name at least two ways to connect mothers to sources of support.

Boosting Breastfeeding Support: Community Strategies to Support Breastfeeding  | Cathy Carothers Every Mother, Inc.

“Boosting Breastfeeding Support: Community Strategies to Support Breastfeeding” is a one-day community-based workshop designed to assist Healthy Start grantees and their community partners in ramping up support for breastfeeding mothers from the community. The workshop addresses key barriers to breastfeeding among vulnerable populations, with doable solutions that can make a difference. The workshop design is solution-focused, with practical strategies that make a difference. The workshop is designed as an interactive experience to equip and empower Healthy Start staff and their community partners. Time will be allowed for attendees to prepare action plans to improve community support for breastfeeding families in their community.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Name at least three crucial ways breastfeeding impacts the health of infants and mothers.
  • Identify at least three barriers to breastfeeding that can be addressed through enhanced community support.
  • Name at least two solutions for breastfeeding support in the workplace.
  • List at least three ways to engage community partners to enhance breastfeeding support for new families.

Compassion Fatigue and Creating a Culture of Individual, Organizational, and Community Wellness | Linda Henderson-Smith, Ph.D., LPC, National Council for Behavioral Health

Feeling tired, disengaged or cynical?  Is staff performance down and critical incidents up? Can’t find ways to manage feelings of being overwhelmed by the constant pain in our work and world? Don’t know how to help your staff manage the barrage of ongoing trauma so they can do their work?

If these questions resonate with you or your workforce, join our training.

The National Council expert trauma-informed faculty will explore compassion fatigue and how to create a culture of wellness and trauma-informed care. Examining the tough questions:

  • What does a culture of wellness and trauma-informed care look like?
  • What hard conversations are necessary when focusing on workforce development?
  • What real strategies advance wellness and trauma-informed care with your staff?
  • Participants will come away from this training understanding:
  • What is Compassion Fatigue and how does one recognize and get over it,
  • How to maintain the critical work-life balance needed to stay in this work long-term, and
  • How to advance a culture change of toward wellness and trauma-informed care.

Seize this chance to energize yourself, strengthen your work and equip your workforce for the complex and fulfilling work ahead. 

This training is limited to 60 participants.

Connected Parents Connected Kids (CPCK) | Rebecca Levenson, Healthy Start EPIC Center Consultant

Futures Without Violence has expanded and applied its evidenced-based intervention for domestic violence and broadened it to engage parents and caregivers about the impact of trauma exposures including Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Too often issues of domestic violence and other trauma are relegated to a screening checkbox and refer-strategy—reducing opportunities for early intervention and primary prevention. CPCK offers tools for case managers to facilitate conversations with parents who may need support for past trauma experienced in their own childhood. Included are self-regulation strategies parents can initiate with their children. Additionally, Futures has been working on trauma-informed organizational practices across disciplines and systems. Increasingly, organizations recognize the need to support their staff in a trauma-informed way, as well as with the clients and families they serve. Recognizing this common experience shared by both providers and their clients, we begin to replace “us vs. them” paradigms with a new one: “It’s all of us.”

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Name two strategies for perinatal/early childhood case management settings that support creating a trauma-informed workplace policy that highlights the importance of self-care.
  • Understand the impact of trauma (ACEs, racism, domestic violence) on the health and well-being of children and families including parent/child relationships.
  • Name a universal education strategy that enhances resiliency for caregivers to help them and their children self-regulate and heal from trauma

Joining Forces to Prevent Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol and Other Drugs | Georgiana Wilton, Ph.D., Healthy Start EPIC Center Consultant

The adverse effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy have been widely reported, and represent a leading preventable cause of physical and cognitive birth defects in the United States. Despite continuing awareness and education, a significant number of women continue to drink alcohol during pregnancy. FASD is an umbrella term used to describe the range of lifelong effects that can occur due to prenatal alcohol exposure, including physical, cognitive, behavioral, and/or social deficits. The term FASD in an umbrella term representing each medical condition associated with prenatal alcohol exposure including fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD) and the newly-introduced neurodevelopmental disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Rates of FASD in the U.S. have been estimated at 20-50 cases per 1,000 live births. It is almost universally understood that incidence and prevalence estimates are conservative due to the limited numbers of physicians who are trained to make this diagnosis.

This workshop will provide an overview of the developmental and cognitive effects associated with FASD and focus on interventions to serve individuals and families affected.

 By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define the key criteria of FASD,
  • Identify 10 developmental/cognitive implications associated with prenatal alcohol exposure,
  • Describe interventions for individuals affected by FASD,
  • Identify key community resources to support families affected by FASD.

Using Data to Tell Your Story | John Snow, Inc., Healthy Start EPIC Center Consultant

Transforming data into visuals is one of the most powerful ways to make information accessible to busy stakeholders. But where to start when you’re staring at a massive Excel table or reporting portal?

During this highly interactive workshop, you’ll learn a simple framework for developing compelling data visualizations, storyboarding approaches to bring your different data points together, and get hands-on practice applying data visualization design best practices with sample data sets. The workshop will bring together ideas from across data analysis, communications, and design to equip you with the basic skills necessary to take your slide decks and reports to the next level.

The workshop will close with a 2.5-hour lab session where facilitators can provide one-on-one support to participants who have specific questions about how to visualize their program data.  All participants will receive a handbook with key information and recommendations.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Analyze the background and context of the audience for whom they are communicating data
  • Identify and extract a clear data story from a simple data table
  • Critique data visualizations according to principles of visual perception and data visualization best practices
  • Create a data visualization that is relevant to an audience and follows the data visualization best practices and tells a clear data-centered story