Life course model, social determinants the focus of Magnolia Project training

20140709_141148Magnolia Project and other maternal and child health staff and Coalition Board members participated in a training and overview of the life course model and social determinants of health on July 9. The training emphasized that birth outcomes reflect the life course of the mother — the cumulative effects of health and life events — and not just pregnancy.

The Coalition began incorporating the life course approach into services in 2009, with the release and implementation of the 2009-2014 Service Delivery Plan. A strong life course delivery model was then integrated into the Magnolia Project, a federal Healthy Start project and initiative of the Healthy Start Coalition.

During a morning session, Dr. Fleda Mask Jackson, president of national research firm MAJAICA and a visiting scholar at Spelman College, trained the Magnolia Project staff on a new depression screening tool during


The afternoon session was open and covered the the life course theory and how the delivery model was implemented at Magnolia. See the full presentation here. The model includes:

  1. Individual services (case management — mitigating, reducing risks)
  2. Group services (interdependence, self-reliance)
  3. Community capacity-building
  4. Advocacy

As part of case management at Magnolia, participants complete an individual life plan, which focuses on three areas: access to preventive health care; family and community support; reduction of poverty and social inequities.


The change in approach elicited a positive response from participants and staff. It also resulted in collaborations in economic self-sufficiency and community development and led to the development of the Make a Difference! Leadership Academy.

After the presentation, the training participants played the Life Course Game, which was developed by CityMatCH as an interactive method of seeing the effects of the life course.


The last piece of the training was a panel discussion. The panelists were:

  • Dr. Fleda Mask Jackson
  • Karen Landry, War on Poverty, Executive Director
  • Dr. Irvin “PeDro” Cohen, New Town Success Zone, Director
  • Donna Price, Florida Department of Health — Duval County, Magnolia Project Clinic ARNP