Pulse August 2008

From the President

As families are getting their children and teens ready for school, it is a good time to focus on “back to school” health. Schools have become an important part of the health care system for our children. As more children with special health care needs are mainstreamed, the need for more specialized services increases. Schools become gatekeepers in some respects to make sure that students meet state school entry requirements, such as immunizations. Health is vital to a student’s ability to learn. [read Nan Streeter's full article]

From the CEO

The Perfect Storm, Part II
A confluence of events – economic, political, social, and behavioral – combined to create a perfect storm at Gloucester High School, but we all know this could have happened almost anywhere. The factors that lead to 10 young women in Gloucester to get pregnant exist nationwide and we could see similar “storms” in other areas with the same conditions. What is striking about this example is the setting: a high school. We know that students are receptive to health messages delivered at school and in fact schools may be the only places where a child receives comprehensive health education in nutrition, health promotion and prevention, and yes even comprehensive sex education. But far too often health classes are the first to go when budgets are tight, topics are controversial, and broader agendas influence what students should and should not learn. [read Mike Fraser's full article]



What AMCHP is doing to Stop Bullying Now! On any given day, kids may hear a nasty rumor, be pushed in the hallway, receive a mean text message or exclude others from a group. Is this bullying?
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Data & Trends
Percentage of High School Students Who Met Recommended Levels of Physical Activity and Percentage of High School Students Who Attended Physical Education Classes.

Get Involved

Call for Abstracts: 14th Annual MCH EPI Conference

This call for abstracts is specifically for students, fellows and summer interns for the “Making Methods and Practice Matter for Women, Children and Families,” conference convening December 10-12, 2008, in Atlanta, GA. This conference, organized by the CDC, will offer MCH professionals the opportunity to share experiences, enhance their knowledge, and generate new ideas for improved MCH data use and informed policymaking. The deadline for abstracts is August 29. For more details regarding the conference, visit http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/MCHEpi/2008/AboutConference.htm.

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View from Washington
In this edition of "View from Washington," Brent Ewig discusses a hearing in the House Committee on Education and Labor.

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Success Stories
As part of Health Maine Partnerships, 45 school health coordinators (SHC) are hired by school districts throughout the state to coordinate school health activities and implement policy changes.  Their primary focus has been physical activity, nutrition and tobacco, with some substance abuse focus added this year.  However, the full scope of their work is a comprehensive approach to health in schools. The SHCs have just completed the CDC School Health Index which has some injury questions that they will use as part of their planning process.

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Resource Bank

Partner with PTA to Promote Healthy Lifestyles
PTA Healthy Lifestyles is helping communities make health and wellness a priority throughout the month of November. Talk to your local PTA about partnering on an event to promote regular exercise, good nutrition, or other healthy habits. Local PTAs in good standing are eligible to apply for monetary awards of up to $1,000 to support their events. To learn more, visit www.pta.org/healthylifestyles.

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Download a PDF version of the August edition of Pulse here.