The MCH Library Launches a Gateway in Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Title V

The MCH Library Launches a Gateway in Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Title V 

By Olivia Pickett, MA, MLS
Director, Maternal and Child Health Library, Georgetown University

The 75th Anniversary of the Social Security Act and its Title V programs for maternal and child health and for children with special health care needs is being celebrated at the national, state and local levels. To share in this celebration, the Maternal and Child Health Library (MCH Library) at Georgetown University has created a 75th Anniversary Gateway Page to provide access to unique historical documents, podcasts and videos featuring past and current leaders in the field, and other resources.


Dr. Vince L. Hutchins, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Director from 1977 to 1992, served as a leader and mentor for many maternal and child health (MCH) professionals who work with AMCHP and state and local programs. The MCH Library has posted a talk given to staff of the National Center for Education for Maternal and Child Health (NCEMCH) in 1994 describing more than 80 years of MCH history. “It is refreshing for those of us who knew Vince to hear his calm and grandfatherly voice, reminding us of the perennial struggle to obtain needed resources for maternal and child health, and the vital role played by strong women leaders in the first decades of the Bureau,” says Rochelle Mayer, Ed.D., director of NCEMCH. Special items from Dr. Hutchins' archives of research, administration, and historical files are also posted. Among Dr. Hutchins' publications is Maternal and Child Health at the Millennium: Looking Back, Moving Forward (2001), a paper written at the time of Title V's 65th Anniversary that explains how Title V advanced the field of maternal and child health, utilizing a variety of government tools and strategies. The paper examines four program areas: newborn screening, mental retardation, heart disease and school health.


Other podcasts feature Dr. Peter van Dyck, Associate Administrator of MCHB; Laura Kavanagh, director of MCHB's Division of Research, Education, and Training; a montage of MCH leaders by Kay Johnson; and a talk on the life and legacy of Martha May Eliot from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


The feature 75 Books for 75 Years highlights seminal and historical works nominated by MCH leaders. This walk down memory lane reminds readers of where mothers and children were many years ago and of important advances in public health that have served their needs. Examples are Raising a Baby the Government Way: Mothers' Letters to the Children's Bureau, 1915–1932 and Family-Centered Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs. "The response from the field has been great," says John Richards, Director of IT for the MCH Library, who developed the 75 Books feature. "People are very eager to share the resources that have impacted them professionally; the completed list will be an invaluable resource for everyone in MCH for years to come." New titles will be posted on this list throughout the year. AMCHP Pulse readers are invited to submit their nominations using the form on the gateway page.


The gateway also links to the MCH Library collection — a repository for a century’s worth of historic documents — including publications of the Children's Bureau from 1912 to 1969, reports from MCHB grantees, legislation and program data, and historical collections maintained at other medical and health libraries. A bibliography of materials on the history of MCH is included.


Several items related to MCHB's 75th Anniversary celebration are highlighted, including MCHB's anniversary page, the MCH Federal/State Partnership Meeting to be held October 20, 2010, ideas for planning local celebrations, and articles to use in organizational newsletters.


Also linked from this gateway is the MCH Timeline, created by MCHB to illustrate the history of maternal and child health in the United States. The timeline provides in-depth modules on topics such as MCH Public Health 101, Performance and Accountability, Oral Histories, and Genetic Services and allows readers to search for topics of interest. The timeline begins with the 1790s and provides pinpoints that identify important accomplishments, organizations, and legislation. Summaries, illustrations, and links to related information and historical documents at the MCH Library are included for each pinpoint. Readers can look at the timeline in a single scrolling screen or can select "explore this decade" for a more detailed view. The timeline is accompanied by a richly illustrated PowerPoint presentation about the development of the timeline.


Other resources on the gateway are AMCHP's "Meeting in a Box" and "Title V Game Show" to help plan state and local celebrations, a video commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Title V, and a report on the 65th Anniversary celebration.


The MCH Library collections have been built up over the last 25 years and contain many resources from state and local agencies, federal agencies, national associations, MCHB grantees, and others working in MCH. A search page lets readers search for topics of their choice in all the library databases and on its website. Collection efforts focus on information most pertinent to MCH audiences, and new resources are responsive to current and emerging topics such as home visiting and reducing health disparities through understanding the social determinants of health through the life course.


The library website has pages featuring resources for families, schools and professionals; it also has pages on MCH professional education, multimedia resources, and non-English languages. It has 21 knowledge paths, which outline the best recent resources in important MCH topics, from adolescent pregnancy prevention to social and emotional development in children, and 19 family resource briefs listing materials especially selected for consumers. An A–Z Index lists website resources by topic.


The library also produces the free weekly MCH Alert e-newsletter, which provides timely reference to research findings, policy developments, recently released publications, and new programs and initiatives affecting the MCH community. A subscription link is provided on the MCH Alert page.


For assistance in using the MCH Library, e-mail or call (877) MCH-1935 (toll free) or (202) 784-9770 (local). Contact Olivia Pickett or call (202) 784-9776.