ASTPHND Forms New MCH Nutrition Council
By Helene Kent, RD, MPH
The Association of State & Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directions (ASTPHND) is a nonprofit membership organization that provides national and state leadership on food and nutrition policy, programs and services. Founded in 1952, there are members in all states. ASTPHND members work in state health agency programs including chronic disease prevention, maternal and child health, nutrition and physical activity, WIC and others.
ASTPHND’s mission is to provide national and state leadership for achieving optimal health through optimal nutrition for everyone in the United States. The association works to strengthen policy, programs, and services related to food, nutrition, and health through communication, education to prevent and control diet and physical activity-related conditions.
ASTPHND recently formed the new Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nutrition Council. It offers leadership for achieving optimal well-being through healthy eating and active living for women, children and families, including those served by the Title V MCH Services Block Grant.
MCH Nutrition Council members are interested in nutrition policies, programs, and services that promote the wellbeing of women, infants, children, adolescents and families. The Council is intent on addressing policy, programs and services that include promoting nutrition wellbeing across the lifespan for women (preconception, perinatal, breastfeeding and general wellbeing), infants, children, youth including those with special needs and families.
The MCH Nutrition Council Goals are to:
- Promote the importance of healthy eating and active living among women, children and families in prevention and sustainable health
- Raise awareness of the importance of evidence-based public health nutrition within MCH
- Engage in advocacy and public policy development that influences healthy eating and active living among women, children and families
- Develop leadership skills by participating in Council and ASTHPND activities
- Participate in projects that support and achieve the nutritional well being of the MCH population, including improving health literacy
- Network with peers through annual meetings, conference calls and council work
- Share resources, ideas and information with peers
The MCH Nutrition Council has two types of membership. One is a general membership open to any ASTPHND member interested in maternal and child health. The other is a state-appointed MCH Council Member who serves as a liaison between the Council and state- level MCH and nutrition programs. The state-appointed MCH Nutrition Council Member, known as the MCH Nutrition Council Liaison, will help strengthen the collaborative relationship between members of ASTPHND and AMCHP. To date, there are 28 MCH Nutrition Council Liaisons in place.
To learn more about ASTPHND and see who the members in your state, visit here. If you have any questions or would like more information the MCH Nutrition Council Liaison, please contact Helen Kent.