NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Meera Menon

In honor of our 20th anniversary, we're sharing insights, memories and goals from the NICHQ team

FMeera Menonull name and title:

Meera Menon, Senior Analyst

Time with NICHQ:

4 months

How did your background/experiences lead you to join a national children’s health organization?

I joined the NICHQ team after completing my PhD in Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. Throughout my doctoral program, I worked on the evaluation of programs and initiatives that supported early childhood health and well-being, from home visiting programs to public health messaging campaigns. From my previous experiences, I knew I wanted to contribute to a mission-driven organization that focused on the complex issues of health equity to promote maternal and child well-being. After learning about NICHQ's innovative work to support maternal and child health, I knew that I found the right place.

How does your role support NICHQ’s quality improvement projects?

The Data Research and Evaluation department helps to catalog the impact of NICHQ’s quality improvement projects on a large scale. For example, using evaluation frameworks and techniques, I help to tell the story of the successes of NICHQ’s initiatives for the populations we serve, as well as among all individuals involved. Additionally, my work identifies areas where NICHQ can continue to improve on the kinds of programming and technical assistance offered to those involved in our projects.

Which NICHQ projects do you work on? Can you share an example of how data and evaluation support one of the projects (perhaps a story about a success)?

I work on several projects at NICHQ that all support the health and well-being of children. This includes the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network (ECCS CoIIN), Pediatrics Supporting Parents, the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Improvement and Innovation Network (NAPPSS-IIN) and the Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Demonstration Regional Collaborative Program (SCDTDRP). We take data driven approaches to support the work of the program teams on all these projects. For example, in ECCS CoIIN, we are working to identify the successes of the grantees involved in the initiative through quantitative and qualitative methods. We plan to share these “bright spot” case studies out broadly and use the information we learn from these teams to make recommendations for changes to programming and technical assistance for the project as a whole.

What are you most proud of from your time with NICHQ?  

I am proud of the work we are doing in all our projects to ensure that we are using a health equity lens. From an evaluation standpoint, we make sure to integrate this perspective into all stages of our activities, such as from the development of our programs’ logic models, to the execution of evaluation activities, and finally to the analysis and dissemination of our findings. I am extremely proud of the thoughtful approach we take in telling the story of the impact of our initiatives for the diverse children and families we serve.

What are your goals for NICHQ’s future?

My hope is that NICHQ continues to take innovative approaches to program design and evaluation. I am excited by the work that we currently do as a leader in supporting maternal and child health at a population level. My goal is that we integrate data-driven approaches within all stages of program development, which will help us tackle the complex issues facing the children and families of our nation.