March 2009

From the President

Making a Difference for Children and Families

By Phyllis Sloyer, President, AMCHP 

Welcome to this issue of Pulse. Many of you are returning from our Annual Conference and I hope that you found it to be successful and full of valuable information. The quality of our work was evident in the various workshops and poster sessions. I personally found it invigorating to listen to speakers who sparked my enthusiasm and excitement about the future of our maternal and child health world. It was especially rewarding to acknowledge those who have contributed so much to the advancement of maternal and child health issues, including our legislative champions and keynote speakers. Now that we have completed our conference — our thoughts turn to some of the future activities of AMCHP — and frankly, to some of our concerns, including workforce issues and the impact of health reform on women and children, particularly children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). This issue of Pulse focuses on these two key areas. [read more]  

From the CEO

Mentoring: A Powerful Learning Strategy for Leadership Development

By Mike R. Fraser, PhD

“A brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”

--John Crosby, Author

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion on “people development” sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Women’s and Children’s Health Policy Center. The panel featured four MCH professionals discussing our thoughts on how to best cultivate maternal and child health leaders and support people development activities in our own agencies. The dialogue was fascinating and the four of us brought different perspectives to the conversation from our vantage points in academia, government and the nonprofit health sector. [read more] 


AMCHP Workforce Development Committee Moving Forward in 2009

By Librada Estrada
Associate Director, Workforce & Leadership Development, Family Involvement, AMCHP

AMCHP’s Workforce Development Committee (WDC) develops strategies to help Title V staff in their daily jobs. It identifies issues that state Title V programs are facing in recruiting, training and retaining staff. The committee identifies resources from across the country to help Title V staff address these issues, including training and technical assistance, data and assessment and professional development. The committee also provides member input on AMCHP programs created to support the Title V workforce, such as the New Director Mentor Program. [read more

Is AMCHP Ready to Embrace Youth Leadership?

By Mallory Cyr, BFA
Healthy & Ready to Work (HRTW) Youth Coordinator and 

Patti Hackett, MEd
HRTW Co-Director and Founder HRTW National Resource Center 

Some of you may say, “Well of course we are!” while others may say, “Sometime in the near future.” And a few will respond, “No, not yet.” But let us ask this question: If not now then when? Leaving AMCHP’s conference, we heard “Where are the youth?” with the response of, “Well, what would they get out of this conference?” It’s been almost 20 years since the first family leaders began attending AMCHP’s conference. Were we ready? Was AMCHP ready? Who really can judge the “readiness factor?” [read more

AMCHP 2009: “It made me laugh, it made me cry, I’d recommend it to anyone.”

By Michael Fraser, PhD

I remember a movie advertisement I saw some time ago in which an emotional moviegoers states “…it made me laugh, it made me cry, I’d recommend it to anybody!” And that same line sure applies to AMCHP’s 2009 Conference! Over 600 participants came together in Washington, DC to learn, network, and strategize how to best address “Launching Maternal and Child Health: Opportunities for a New Era,” our conference theme. Our 2009 attendance represented an almost 15 percent increase since last year’s conference which is a trend I hope will continue in the coming years as we retool and revise the AMCHP Conference and continue to seek member input on how to plan the event to best meet members’ needs, engage partners and exhibitors, and develop a must-see program of cutting edge presentations. [read more] 

Member to Member

AMCHP posed the following question to CSHCN directors from three different states:

As your CYSHCN department transitions from a direct service to community-based system, what have you done, are you currently doing, and plan to do to prepare your workforce for the change in their roles? [read more]



Success Stories

State Successes around Family Involvement 

By Lauren Raskin Ramos, MPH
Director of Programs, AMCHP 

State Title V programs have been working over many years to develop and strengthen the roles of families in a variety of ways — from planning, implementing and evaluating programs, providing assistance to other families — to developing policies with family input. The following state snapshots are extracted from an upcoming AMCHP issue brief highlighting family involvement. The issue brief will highlight the family involvement and leadership activities of six states: Colorado, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon and Washington State. [read more]

Who's New

Meet Our New National Public Leaders...

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is President’s Pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services and

AMCHP Welcomes New HRSA Administrator Dr. Mary Wakefield [read more]

AMCHP Welcomes New Board of Directors

AMCHP is pleased to welcome several new members to its Board of Directors, including our new President-Elect, Stephanie Birch, Section Chief for Women’s, Children’s and Family Health in the Division of Public Health at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. AMCHP also extends its thanks to outgoing Board members: Dr. Jeffrey Lobas (Past President), Jo Ann Dotson (Region VIII), Ruth Walden (Family Representative) and Dr. James Bryant (At-Large). [read more]

Point of View

A “Q&A” with AMCHP Incoming President Stephanie Birch

Last month we interviewed outgoing President Nan Streeter. In this issue, we asked Stephanie Birch to discuss her thoughts about the most pressing MCH issues that need to be addressed this year and more. [read more]

View from Washington

Telling the Title V Story

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

Looking back on the 2009 AMCHP Annual Conference, we continue to be amazed by the stories we heard! There of course are the bad stories — about how state budget cuts are undermining progress on improving health and eroding already fragile public health systems. There are also the inspirational stories about how Title V programs are helping individuals and families live healthier lives and overcome challenges. I think everyone was moved by NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly’s story about how his family’s experience prompted a dedication to advocating that “every child be screened, every time, everywhere.” The story of family leaders at the luncheon plenary illustrated how their involvement can enrich our program and policy development. Sharing these stories is essential in explaining what we do and enlisting the support of others to carry on this work. [read more

Get Involved 

Call for Nominations
The AMCHP Board of Directors currently has a vacancy for the Region X Director (AK, ID, OR, WA) which was created when Stephanie Birch was elected as President-Elect. AMCHP is currently seeking nominations for the Region X Director which will complete Stephanie's term through February 2010. Nominations should be directed to Lisa Bujno, AMCHP's Governance Committee Chairperson, c/o Nora Lam at AMCHP. Current Region X Delegates, including Family Delegates, are eligible to apply. For more information, please contact Nora Lam at AMCHP. Nominations and materials are due to AMCHP no later than April 10 so that the Board may appoint a new Region X Director on its April teleconference. 

Upcoming AMCHP Board Meeting
The next AMCHP Board meeting will convene on Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 3 p.m. (EST) via teleconference. AMCHP Board meetings are open to the public and anyone interested in participating in the Board meeting is welcome to join the call. Please contact Nora Lam, Executive Assistant, for information about this upcoming meeting or call (202) 266-3038. 

Data and Trends

AMCHP Family Delegates Map

View a map of the 34 states and territories that have appointed AMCHP Family Delegates! And download a copy of the Family Delegates Fundamentals Fact Sheet. [read more


View and download resources on Workforce Development and Children and Youth With Special Healthcare Needs. [read more]

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Meet AMCHP's Board of Directors


Meet AMCHP's staff.