The MIHOW Model

The Structure

The MIHOW Structure consists of partnerships between the MIHOW Administrative Program of Vanderbilt University and individual agencies.  The MIHOW sites are divided into regions: West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

 Vanderbilt MIHOW Administration

The Vanderbilt MIHOW staff serve as the base of operations for the MIHOW program. In order to bolster effectiveness of the services, as well as the long-term financial sustainability of the programs, Vanderbilt offers extensive, high quality training and technical support. Meet our team


  • Annual Conference  Each year, site leaders and outreach workers come together for three days of participatory workshops, networking opportunities, and team building activities.
  • Biennial Site Leaders' Meeting - Site leaders gather every other year for networking, reflecting, planning, evaluating, and training on program management.
  • Regional Training - MIHOW's Regional Consultants coordinate three annual trainings per region, and provide individual site consultation on program management. 

Technical Assistance

  • New site assistance - Staff from Vanderbilt University and the Regional Consultants work closely with local staff in the early months on recruitment, training, and supervision of outreach workers on case management issues and networking with other social service agencies.
  • Ongoing assistance - Ongoing technical support includes monitoring site progress via site visits, phone calls, meetings, providing additional training, and serving as an advisor as problems arise.
  • Evaluation - MIHOW's evaluation system provides a flexible, user-friendly approach to monitoring program progress and outcomes. The system documents MIHOW impact on maternal and child health and development, identifies effective program elements and areas needing improvement, and provides analysis by site, state, and region.  Data collection is accomplished using REDCAp, a secure, web-based data collection system.

MIHOW Regions

MIHOW is divided in four regions, based on the proximity of programs to each other.  A MIHOW Regional Consultant oversees each region, serving as a liaison between individual MIHOW sites and Vanderbilt University.   The consultants also help sites navigate state and federal home visiting requirements.  Individual sites in a state meet quarterly for regional trainings, coordinated by the regional consultant.  The regional consultants also help develop MIHOW materials and curriculum, provide on-site and phone consultation in their regions, and guide each site in seeking accreditation.

Each outreach worker is able to access information throughout the region, learning from her peers and gaining valuable information through training and networking events.  Sites are encouraged to share with each other what's going well, ask advice about challenges, and work together to provide more comprehensive services. 


 Individual MIHOW programs are sponsored by child care centers, primary healthcare facilities, or multi-service community agencies. Each sponsoring agency contracts with Vanderbilt MIHOW to provide services in their area.  These agencies are trusted locally for their services to the community and generally offer other needed services. They hire mothers from the community they serve to become outreach workers.  The workers share the culture and language of the families they serve. Outreach workers collect self-report data from the families they serve, including demographics, financial/housing, nutrition, health assessment, birth weight, breastfeeding and formula feeding practices, etc. 

No MIHOW site exists in a vacuum, but each relies on the community around them to contribute to the success of the program.  This may include fundraising, volunteer work, donation of needed materials/baby items, etc.  MIHOW understands that community change will not happen without community investment in the program.