July 2009

A note about this month’s AMCHP Pulse from Michael Fraser, PhD, Chief Executive Officer

This issue of AMCHP Pulse focuses on state and local collaboration, a topic that is of special interest to me. Having started my public health career at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) I was exposed to local public health at the city and county level and spent several years working to better understand and describe local and state public health infrastructure nationwide. I left NACCHO to work at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and was exposed to federal public health agencies and the way that these large agencies work with both states and local health departments. My current work with state health departments and their MCH and CYSHCN programs at AMCHP nicely compliments my journey across the various levels of governmental public health. Are there differences between these three levels of public health? Certainly. But having had a foot in these three important parts of public health I can honestly say I believe there are many more similarities than differences among them.

This month’s “From the CEO” and “From the President” feature state and local collaboration in a unique manner. Instead of the regular columns from AMCHP’s President Phyllis Sloyer and myself we decided to engage in conversations with CityMatCH, our urban MCH partner, about the topic. The themes of trust, collaboration, shared purpose and shared vision, and shared frustration with lack of resources, need for accountability, and more energy in building and connecting MCH systems at all levels of government are common themes. I hope you enjoy reading these conversations as much as we enjoyed having them. Let us know what you think!

From the Presidents

MCH Local and State Partnerships

By Phyllis Sloyer, President, AMCHP and

Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, MD, MPH
Chair, CityMatCH Board of Directors

This month’s Pulse features the topic of state and local collaboration. We asked the leaders of AMCHP and CityMatCH to share their thoughts on a few questions related to partnership and collaboration between state and local MCH programs. [read more]  

From the CEOs

State and Local Collaboration

By Mike R. Fraser, PhD and

Patrick Simpson, MPH, Executive Director, CityMatCH

For almost 20 years, CityMatCH has supported urban maternal and child health programs nationwide. CityMatCH members are MCH directors and other public leaders in health departments serving jurisdictions with populations of 100,000 or more residents. I caught up with Patrick Simpson, MPH, CityMatCH’s Executive Director in Omaha, Nebraska, where CityMatCH is headquartered. [read more]


Stormy Weather: Facing the Reality of State and Local Cuts to MCH Program Budgets

By Michelle Alletto, MPP
Program Manager, Public Policy & Government Affairs, AMCHP

Chad J. Abresch, M.Ed
Program and Policy Manager, CityMatCH

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 48 states are facing fiscal stress in their fiscal year 2010 budgets with initial estimates of these shortfalls totaling $166 billion. Since the beginning of the current recession, states have begun making cuts and felt increased pressure as the economy has continued to weaken. Although fiscal relief from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has minimized the impact of some of these cuts, many states still face severe fiscal challenges. [read more]

When Them Is Us and Us Is Them: Some Unique Features of State/Local Collaboration in Four Centralized States

By Michael Fraser, PhD 

If you’ve seen one health department you’ve seen one health department. I have heard this statement from many local, state, and federal public health leaders over the years. And while there is a great deal of diversity across the country in terms of state and local public health there are also many similarities between public health agencies. [read more]

Thoughts on Working at the Local and State Level

By Larry D. Jones, MPH
Health Director
Independence Health Department
Independence, Missouri

We asked Larry to answer some questions about his experience working at the state and then at the local level. [read more]

Public Health Accreditation and MCH Programs: A Natural Partnership for Health Improvement

By Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN
President and CEO, PHAB

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) was established in 2007 to establish a national voluntary public health accreditation program for state, local and tribal health departments. The idea came about as a result of a previous study, Exploring Accreditation, in which it was determined that it is both desirable and feasible to embark on this effort. [read more]

Member to Member

Member states were asked the following question:

How are you involving local health departments in your state needs assessment? [read more]


Success Story

The Three C’s of Successful State and Local Partnerships in West Virginia: Communicate, Collaborate and Coordinate

By Pat Moss
Director, Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health
West Virginia Bureau for Public Health

“Communicate – Collaborate – Coordinate” has always been the MCH (public health) mantra. Clearly, working in partnership toward a shared vision has been critical to successful maternal and child health system development across the country. The details of how this is achieved are sometimes elusive, and each state has its many stories. West Virginia is no exception. [read more]

View from Washington

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

Greetings once again from our nation’s capital! A historic debate over health reform is well under way and while battle lines are being drawn there remains significant optimism that this might be the year that health reform finally happens. I am writing this column the day after the Senate HELP Committee passed the first major Congressional health reform proposal, and the House is beginning to mark up their reform legislation today. The Senate Finance Committee legislation is also expected any day. [read more

Who's New

Meet AMCHP’s New Associate Director for Women’s and Infant Health!

AMCHP is pleased to announce that Vanessa White has joined the staff as the Associate Director for Women’s and Infant Health. Vanessa was most recently at the Association of Public Health Laboratories where she was a Senior Program Manager for the Laboratory Systems & Standards Program. [read more

Data and Trends

National and State Resources from the Data Resource Center [read more]  

See the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials' "State Health Agencies Provide Public Health Services to All Communities" fact sheet and map.

Get Involved

ASTHO's Request for Quotes on MCH Promising Practices
ASTHO's MCH Project is looking for a contractor to see if the Title V Info System can be used to objectively or passively find short-term or intermediate indicators that could be linked to potential promising practices in states. The deadline for submissions is July 22. [read more]  

PHAB is seeking a Beta Test Evaluator
The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) seeks a qualified evaluation contractor to: (1) design and conduct a process evaluation of the beta test and evaluate costs and time; (2) gather real time data; (3) analyze data and draw conclusions; and (4) submit interim and final reports of findings and recommendations for improvements on a phased basis to PHAB. PHAB has issued a request for proposals for the evaluation of the beta test. In order to be considered for this project, applicants must be able to demonstrate significant experience with the conduct of program evaluation in general, and beta testing and other formative evaluation techniques, specifically. Those with knowledge of accreditation are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of governmental public health departments is desired. Proposals for the evaluation of the beta test must be received by PHAB no later than 5 p.m. (EDT) on July 31. [read more

PHAB Call for Applicants to Test its Accreditation Program
PHAB will implement a beta test of its accreditation program with health departments starting in the fall of 2009. The public health departments that participate in the beta test process will play a critical role in shaping and refining the accreditation program before the national launch in 2011. Throughout the beta test process, participating health departments will have the opportunity to receive hands-on technical assistance from national public health organizations, collaborate with and learn from other health departments by sharing knowledge and best practices, attend trainings, and engage in quality improvement practices that aim to advance the quality and performance of their services. Applications from health departments must be received by PHAB no later than 5:30 p.m. (EDT) on August 14. [read more]   

Call for Abstracts for the National Conference on Blood Disorders in Public Health
The Conference Planning Committee for the National Conference on Blood Disorders in Public Health is seeking abstracts to be considered for presentation at the conference. The committee encourages interested individuals or organizations to submit abstracts that address specific issues, approaches or strategies that contribute to the prevention of complications experienced by people with blood disorders. Priority preference will be given to abstracts that demonstrate the application of public health strategies to promote the health and/or improve outcomes of people with blood disorders. The deadline for all abstracts is August 9. [read more


View and download resources on Local and State Partnerships. [read more]

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