By Michael R. Fraser, PhD CAE
In the sage words of Kool and the Gang: “Celebrate good times, come on!”
This month’s commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Title V of the Social Security Act is going to be a wonderful event – a milestone celebration of America’s MCH history. AMCHP has been engaged in a number of activities to support the commemoration – both the “live” event here in Washington on October 20 and virtual activities that have already taken place and are available online. I hope you have had the chance to watch the “Title V at 75” videoconference that was recorded in September and available now on our website. It provides an excellent overview of Title V, the history of the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant and sets the stage for discussions of the role of Title V in the future.
Anniversaries are great ways to mark the past, celebrate the present, and envision the future. What do we think Title V will look like five years, 10 years – yes, even 75 years – from now? There is a lot to consider as we look at newly enacted reforms to our health care system, continued economic challenges in the states, demographic changes across the country, and a consistent and prevailing need to support women, children and families nationwide. How can Title V adapt to these changes, challenges, and opportunities?
This fall, the AMCHP board will deliberate the future of Title V MCH Block Grant through dialogue, discussion and debate. As the board’s effort in this area matures we plan to engage all members in a wider conversation about the role of Title V in a reformed health system and use these conversations to inform our thinking about its future. Much of what Title V did 75 years ago is not the same today, and much of what Title V will do in the future will not be the same as it is today. But Title V’s core focus on assuring the health of all of America’s women, children and families will persevere. We look forward to working with our members, partners and staff to envision the future of Title V together: a future that includes the people, the policies, and the programs to support this important work. So join us in the celebration of Title V’s past, and join us in our discussion of Title V’s future!