August 2009

From the President

Back to School - A Time of Ingenuity, Inventiveness and Learning or a Period of Risk

By Phyllis Sloyer, President, AMCHP 

I firmly believe that a good education is the primary bell weather of a successful future. The toddler has become a child and its time to venture into a new world and it seems as though school-aged children and youth are invincible. How remarkable to watch the child process complex information; ponder the events in the world and form peer relationships that may last a lifetime. [read more]  

From the CEO

Back to School: H1N1 and MCH Preparedness

By Mike R. Fraser, PhD

 Almost 11 years ago I started working in the area of “bioterrorism.” My work involved supporting local health departments in their efforts to assess preparedness, use best practices to respond to bioterrorism, and share lessons learned about emergency preparedness with all local health departments. The work was controversial. One respected public health professional told me point blank that a “bioterrorism attack has less of a chance of happening than throwing a snow ball in Santa Clara. We need that money for childhood immunizations.” I told him he was right about the immunizations and I also hoped he was right about the probabilities of an attack but public health preparedness was important nonetheless. [read more


Impact of Novel H1N1 on Children & Pregnant Women

Prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Novel H1N1 influenza is a new virus causing illness in people in this country and around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) anticipates that there will be more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths associated with this pandemic in the United States over the summer and into the fall and winter. Children, particularly those who are less than 5 years old and pregnant women are at higher risk for complications if they become ill with novel H1N1 influenza. This article includes messages that can be given to parents of infants and young children and pregnant women about steps they can take to protect themselves and others. [read more]

How the Public Health Community Can Better Work with Schools

By Dia Adams
Project Associate, National Association of State Boards of Education

The fields of Education and Health are inextricably intertwined. Children who are healthy learn better, and schools serve as a primary vehicle for spreading public health messages to youth. Thus, in order for the public health and education communities to fully meet their goals, they must partner with one another effectively. For some members of the public health community this can be a daunting task, as they may not know how best to utilize and work with schools. This article will highlight strategies for building positive public health-education relationships. [read more]

Back to School Safety Tips

By Grant Baldwin, PhD, MPH
Director, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Michele Huitric, MPH
Public Health Advisor, NCIPC, CDC

David Sleet, PhD
Associate Director for Science, NCIPC, CDC

The beginning of a new school year is a time of excitement and adjustment. Our children return to class rejuvenated by summer fun and ready to continue their learning. The ring of the bell on the first day of school marks many transitions. In order to prepare our children for the rigor of the classroom, we work hard to make sure they have what they need to excel. Besides the new clothing and a fresh supply of papers, pens, pencils, folders and other essential equipment, the start of a new school year is also a great time to refocus our attention on safety before, during and after school. [read more]

Member to Member

Member states were asked the following question:

What tips or tools do you have for state health agency employees interested in working with state education agency folks? [read more]

Real Life Stories

Back to School: Traveling Different Roads

By Grace Williams
Senior Program Manager, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, AMCHP

Back to school means different things to different parents. As a mother of two older typical children and 17-year-old twin daughters with special health care needs, I have experienced the vast differences between these two experiences. I would like to reflect upon the back to school matters related to my daughters with autism, who function at a very low level, and are non verbal with limited communication, complex behaviors and ever changing physical and neurological health care issues. [read more



Success Stories

The Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors’ Best Practices Project: Integrating Oral Health into Coordinated School Health

By ASTDD Best Practices Committee
The steering committee and expert workgroup directing the Best Practices Project administered by the Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD)

The ASTDD Best Practices Project supports state, territorial and community oral health programs to develop best practices that promote optimal oral health for all Americans throughout their lifespan. Programs across the nation participate in this project by sharing their success stories and learning from successes in the field. The ASTDD Best Practices and School & Adolescent Oral Health Committees are currently collecting success stories to help fully integrate oral health into coordinated school health efforts. These stories offer intervention strategies, implementation methods, learned lessons and field contacts that programs can use to promote partnerships between public health and school programs, and the public and private sectors, to assure optimal oral health for all children. [read more]

Indiana Takes a Stand for Adolescent Health 

By Stephanie G. Woodcox, MPH, CHES
Adolescent Health Coordinator, Indiana State Department of Health

The Indiana Coalition to Improve Adolescent Health (ICIAH) published the state’s first adolescent health plan, Picturing a Healthier Future: A State Strategic Plan for Indiana’s Adolescents. Indiana is a leader in adolescent health as only a few states have developed such a plan. Picturing a Healthier Future details 10 priority health issues (classified into one of two categories: access to care or prevention) that affect the well-being of Hoosier adolescents (ages 10-24). The framework for the plan is the 21 Critical Health Objectives for Adolescents and Young Adults (from Healthy People 2010) and the concept of positive youth development. [read more]

Collaboration Works in Kansas

By Lori Haskett, BA
Director, Injury Prevention and Disability Programs, Kansas Department of Health & Environment 

Jane Stueve, RN, BSN
Adolescent & School Health Consultant, Kansas Department of Health & Environment

Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for Kansas' adolescents ages 15 to 19 in 2007 with motor vehicle crashes (MVC) causing the majority of deaths. The adolescent death rate due to motor vehicle crashes without using a seatbelt is 42 percent higher for Kansas (13.9 percent) than for the United States (9.8 percent); however, there have been recent decreasing trends. The Kansas 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data showed that 15 percent of high school students never or rarely wore a seatbelt. Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) data for 2007 shows that teen drivers account for six percent of all Kansas registered drivers but 18 percent of all crashes. Kansas' higher MVC rate might be attributable to teen drivers’ belief they will not be involved in a MVC and therefore do not need to buckle up. [read more]

Supporting Youth to Achieve High School Graduation

By Christine L. Evans, M.A., CHES
Community Health Educator, Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Center for Maternal & Child Health

Maryland’s Maternal and Child Health Program supports their adolescent health staff to participate in meaningful collaborations related to performance measure #5 — Percent of Maryland 12th graders who graduate from high school. These collaborations are aimed at helping Maryland youth achieve the goal of graduating from high school. [read more]

View from Washington

By Brent Ewig, MHA
Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs, AMCHP

 It is August in Washington and that means three things for sure — it’s hot, Congress is on recess, and kids everywhere have begun counting down the last days of summer vacation. As hot as it is here, it’s clear the real heat is in many of the town hall meetings across the country where members of Congress are hearing from constituents about their feelings on health reform. While it is too early to know the final chapter in this health reform saga, it’s obvious these meetings are having a large impact on the public’s appetite for comprehensive health reform — which only makes final passage that much more uncertain. [read more

Who's New

New NFPRHA President & CEO Claire Coleman 

Clare Coleman has recently been named the President & CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA). Currently a NFPRHA member, Coleman most recently served as President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley in New York.  [read more]

Get Involved

AMCHP Request for Applications to Participate in a Preconception Health for Adolescents Action Learning Collaborative
AMCHP with the support of the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) and Division of Reproductive Health (DRH), is interested in working with a small cadre of innovative states who would like to explore the idea of integrating preconception health recommendations into their adolescent health efforts. AMCHP will provide financial and technical support for up to five state teams, composed of five team members, to strategize ways to implement selected preconception health recommendations into their health and education efforts and document successes, barriers and lessons learned. The Request for Applications (RFA) deadline is no later than 5 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, September 4. [read more]

AMCHP’s Call for Abstracts for its 2010 Annual Meeting
AMCHP is seeking abstracts for its 2010 Annual Conference to be held March 6-10, 2010, at the Gaylord National Convention Center and Hotel in National Harbor, MD. The deadline for presentations is August 31. Accepted presentations will be notified by October 13. To submit an abstract, visit here. For more information, contact or call Colleen Campbell at (703) 964-1240, ext. 16.

Webcast on the Adverse Childhood Experience Study
NACCHO and CityMatCH will host a webcast on “Childhood Trauma and Health and Behavioral Outcomes: The Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study” on Thursday, August 20 at 3 p.m. (EDT). This webcast will educate participants about a scientific research study which analyzes the link between different categories of childhood trauma and the health and behavioral outcomes that may result later in life. [read more]

Submit Your Best Practice Today
AMCHP is seeking submissions of best practices in maternal and child health from around the country. Whether it’s an effective campaign to promote breastfeeding, an outstanding home visiting program, or a proven early intervention program for young children, get the word out about your best practice. [read more]

Data and Trends

See data from the 2003 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.  [read more]  


View and download resources on Back to School Health. [read more]

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