Communities of Practice

The National Home Visiting Summit’s Communities of Practice are focused on developing peer learning communities dedicated to the most pressing issues in the home visiting field. The Communities will utilize the learning group’s collective knowledge and experience to promote broad practice, policy, and systems change/knowledge building. Each community includes an online learning management system, providing members with the ability to share resources and continue conversations between meetings.

We are excited to announce three separate communities. Each will focus on one of the following topics:

  1. Health Services
  2. Policy & Advocacy
  3. Professional Development

Sign Up Here

If you already participate in an Ounce online peer learning community (ex. Achieve OnDemand, National Policy, Educare), please sign up here.


This Community on connecting health systems with home visiting provides program leaders, policy makers, and researchers with the opportunity to engage on a range of issues related to health systems and home visiting. Topics may include:

  • Linking home visiting and pediatric primary care
  • Providing home visiting through managed care organizations
  • Augmenting home visiting with maternal depression prevention and treatment
  • Including home visiting programs in accountable care organizations (ACOs)
  • Increasing the impact of home visiting on social determinants of health

Next Meeting: April 19: 2pm – 3pm Central. Register here.

Facilitator: Kay Johnson, President, Johnson Group Consulting, Inc.

Over the past 30 years, Kay Johnson has become nationally recognized for her work in maternal and child health policy, as a researcher, advocate and consultant. Kay is president of Johnson Group Consulting. She has been active in federal and state Medicaid and health policy since 1984, and an advisor to more than 40 states. Her expertise includes: perinatal/preconception care; home visiting and early childhood; immunization; oral health; genetics and newborn screening; adolescent health; and children with special health needs. She has published more than 100 reports and professional journal articles. Previously, she served as: senior policy advisor to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, policy director for March of Dimes, and health director at the Children’s Defense Fund. She holds an academic appointment as a Lecturer in Health Policy, The George Washington University. Prior to her policy work, Ms. Johnson spent five years assisting low-income families in early care and education and child development programs, including staff leadership in child care, early intervention, and preschool special education/inclusive child care projects. Ms. Johnson holds a master’s degree in public health (M.P.H.) from the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the University of North Carolina, as well as a master’s degree in education (M.Ed.) from the State University of New York at Buffalo where she studied child development.


The National Home Visiting Summit’s Community of Practice on Professional Development will provide program leaders, policy makers, and researchers with the opportunity to engage on a range of issues related to professional development within the home visiting field. Together, the community will work to elicit field building investments designed to improve the knowledge, learning, skills/behaviors, and attitudes/values that shape professional workforce development in home visiting.

Areas of focus include:

  • Revisiting the role and identity of home visitors in intensive home visiting programs
  • Examining supervisory expectations for knowledge, skills and attitudes of home visitors in their first year of work and beyond (leveling of home visitor competence)
  • Focusing on the use of supervisory observations in building home visitor competence
  • Exploring increases to reflective supervision and practice as a tool for building more effective home visitors
  • Role of technology in home visiting.

Next Meeting, April 25: 2pm – 3pm Central. Register here.

Facilitator: Janelle Weldin-Frisch, President, Prairie Learning Options

Janelle Weldin-Frisch, M.A., is a consultant for the Ounce of Prevention Fund, supporting the development of partnerships with state and national leaders on the use of web-based courses as part of professional development systems for early childhood education and home visiting. In her previous capacity as vice president for Training at the Ounce, Janelle provided leadership in the design and development of professional development content and systems for the 200 home visiting programs in the state of Illinois. Utilizing her experience and educational background in adult and vocational education, Janelle led instructional design teams of home visiting model specialists, practitioners and subject matter experts to create competency based online courses for home visitors and supervisors. Today, those courses comprise many of the offerings available nationally to home visitors and supervisors through Achieve OnDemand™. Janelle recently left her position at the Ounce after 27 years, to launch ‘Prairie Learning Options, LLC, which specializes in strategic endeavors to promote the professional development of leaders and practitioners to maximize the potential of the next generation’s success in life.


This Community will meet bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 3pm CST to provide advocates in states with the tools needed to successfully influence MIECHV reauthorization before the program expires at the end of September 2017. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and share strategies that advocates in states can utilize to engage with state and federal legislators and their staff on the importance and impact of MIECHV. This Community also provides an opportunity for advocates to hear updates on the federal landscape from members of the national Home Visiting Coalition.

Next Meeting: March 15, 2pm – 2:45pm Central. Register here.

Facilitator: Davida McDonald, Senior Manager, Peer Learning, Ounce Staff Member

Davida McDonald is the Senior Manager, Peer Learning at The Ounce. Prior to this position, Ms. McDonald was a Senior Advisor for Early Childhood Development in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, she oversaw the Office’s 50-State Technical Assistance Strategy, served as the HHS TA Lead for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Program and served as a Program Officer for RTT-ELC.

Prior to working at the federal level, Ms. McDonald was Director of State Policy at NAEYC, where her primary responsibilities were researching and tracking state public policy trends and working with state and local affiliates to build their public policy capacity. She brought to NAEYC a knowledge of statewide advocacy and coalition-building campaigns. Prior to working at NAEYC, she worked in the state program at the Trust for Early Education as State Program Analyst and came there from Massachusetts, where she managed a statewide information dissemination and capacity-building campaign as well as an advocacy skills building and leadership development project targeting child care providers. Ms. McDonald is a Children’s Defense Fund Emerging Leader, Class of 2001.

Before entering the early care and education field, Ms. McDonald worked at a community health center in a Boston neighborhood managing its health education and outreach activities. She was also Project Coordinator of the Welfare in Transition Project at the Radcliffe Public Policy Institute, working under Principal Investigator Lisa Dodson to document the affect that welfare reform had on women, their families, and their communities in Boston and Cambridge, MA.

Ms. McDonald has a BA from Harvard University and a Masters of Public Health in maternal and child health from the Boston University School of Public Health.