Pulse July 2008

From the CEO

Show me the data!
In the film Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding, Jr., plays Rod Tidwell, an Arizona Cardinals wide receiver.  In one infamous scene, Rod is on the phone deal-making with sports agent Jerry Maguire (played by Tom Cruise) when he shouts the now oft repeated phrase, “Show me the money!  Show me the money!”  As I thought about data and assessment activities for this month’s issue of Pulse I was reminiscing about how we often shout “Show me the data!” in our maternal and child health work.

MCH professionals have an insatiable appetite for data, which makes sense—evidence-based and science-based practices are core to our work.  We use data to support our ideas and observations, and gather evidence on the effectiveness of our interventions.  We use data to support our hunches, tell our stories, and even to argue for more funding (“Show me the money!”).  More importantly, we use data and assessment activities to identify priorities for local, state, and national maternal and child health programs and to focus limited program resources on the places where they are needed the most.  Data are core to maternal and child health and assessment is indeed one of the core functions of public health practice. [read Mike Fraser's full article]

View from Washington
In this edition of "View from Washington," Brent Ewig discusses using data and assessment to improve MCH policy.
[read more]

MCH Success Stories
In Michigan, great strides have been made to address the reduction of unintended pregnancy in the state. However, the prevalence of unintended pregnancy remains stagnant, at approximately 40%, since 1988 (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System—PRAMS*—findings). [read more]


Introducing the AMCHP MCH Data Resource Portal!
The data team at AMCHP is excited to offer a portal that brings together different data query resources developed by our partners for easy access by our members. The site includes information about and links to various MCH data systems. 

Title V Information System (TVIS)
This resource provides information on financial and program data for the most recent year, measurement and indicators, state narratives, data summary reports, and state needs assessments.

March of Dimes PeriStats
Developed by the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center, the PeriStats Web site provides free access to U.S., state, county, and city maternal and infant health data. Create your own maps or graphs and access state summaries.

Data Resource Center (DRC) for Child and Adolescent Health
This resource includes national and state-based data on over 100 indicators from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN). The DRC’s easy-to-use interactive search feature allows users to select, view, compare, and download national survey data results for every state and HRSA region.

AMCHP Data Training Workshops

AMCHP, in partnership with the CDC, DRH, and MCHB, will conduct four data training workshops on December 8-9, 2008, in Atlanta, Georgia. The trainings serve as pre-cursors to the 14th Annual CDC MCH EPI Conference scheduled for December 10-12, 2008 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Atlanta-Ravinia. All four of the following courses will be two-day comprehensive and hands-on data trainings:

1. State Title V Program MCH Needs Assessment Practice  
2. Scientific Writing: Communicating Research Investigation Effectively to Expedite Publication, Programmatic and Policy in Public Health
3. Time Trend Analysis for MCH Outcomes in Large and Small Populations
4. Using the Population Attributable Fraction (PAF) to Assess MCH Population Outcomes

Registration and course descriptions are now available onlineRegistration Closes on August 22.  Space is limited.

For more information, please contact Henry Maingi or Brynn Rubinstein.



GPS Devices for MCH Using State-Level Data to Improve Systems of Care for Children
[read more]

Breastfeeding Increases, Duration Does Not—Recent Trends in BreastfeedingAMCHP explores the most recent changes in breastfeeding trends in order to initiate a discussion about how to effectively encourage breastfeeding in your states, counties, or communities.
[read more]

CDC’S First Annual Report from the National Violent Death Reporting System – On April 11, 2008 the CDC released its first NVDRS Surveillance Summary in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR, 57(SS03); 1-43, 45).
[read more]

New State and Local MCH Epidemiologist Organization – A State and Local MCH Epidemiologist Organization (MCHEPI) is being developed by a group of seasoned state and local public health MCH EPI officials.
[read more]

Member Spotlight
Valerie Ricker, Director of Maine’s Family Health Division
AMCHP staff interviewed Valerie Ricker, Director of Maine’s Family Health Division. The purpose of the interview was to get a sense of how the use of data has impacted Maine’s MCH programs and policies. The MCH Director noted that the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services hired its first formally trained epidemiologist about eight years ago, but things have improved over the years.  Today, Maine has five epidemiologists working between the Division of Chronic Disease and the Division of Family Health.  
[read the complete interview]

Data & Trends
The Changes in US Breastfeeding Rates and Practices Over the Past Decade and March of Dimes recently released a report linking the increase of Cesarean deliveries in the past decade to the increase of late preterm births.


Q & A: Give Us Your Feedback

Do you have a Request for Technical Assistance regarding your States’ Needs Assessment Activities?

AMCHP is planning technical assistance workshops to strengthen state Title V program staffs’ skills to implement state needs assessments occurring in 2009. So that we can be responsive to your technical assistance needs, please respond to the following open-ended question by clicking on the text below. Your responses will be transmitted electronically to us once you complete the question.

Question:  What questions/concerns do you have regarding the needs assessment process in your state for which you would like to receive technical assistance?