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 Success Stories

Compiled by Kate Howe
Program Manager, Child Health, AMCHP 

AMCHP’s Innovation Station highlights MCH programs that show evidence of having a positive impact on communities. Since 2006, AMCHP has been collecting emerging, promising and best practices to share with the greater MCH community. The following represents a sample success stories from AMCHP’s growing database! To find out about more programs like these, please visit here 


2011 Promising Practice Awardee




La Vida Sana, La Vida Feliz (Healthy Life, Happy Life)- This program is offered to low-income overweight Latina women. Participants will have access to heart health education, nutrition counseling, physical activity, wellness programs, motivational tools and access to healthy foods. The program reached a total of 321 women through biweekly sessions, and another 503 community members through outreach and education. With this grant, program staff were able to fully integrate heart health into our La Vida Sana, La Vida Feliz program this year - which targets low-income Latinas who are at high risk for obesity, diabetes, heart attack and stroke. For more information, contact Erica Plaisier,



2010 Awardees for Emerging, Promising and Best Practice




Pediatric Disaster Preparedness Project – This program is offered to all health care providers who care for pregnant women, infants and children, or might care for them in a disaster, as well as child care providers, emergency planners and administrators. The project aims to improve the state’s pediatric emergency preparedness capacity, and promote collaboration and inclusive disaster planning efforts. Just-in-time training modules and a training manual were disseminated throughout the state, and a public and professional resource website was developed, as well as “Go Kits,” after-action reports and documents examining ethical issues around pediatric resource allocation in disasters. Field exercises were designed to evaluate the program, and results showed increased operation at 160% area pediatric surge capability. Currently, pediatric interests are represented on an ongoing statewide disaster preparedness committee, and work continues to be done to integrate concepts and functions related to the pediatric population into preparedness systems. For more information, visit here.




Youth Transition Program – This is a comprehensive transition program for youth with disabilities that prepares them for employment or career-related post secondary education or training, and connects them with health care and mental health services in the community as needed. The program also increases capacity and creates systems change in schools and other agencies serving students with disabilities in transition from school to work. The program currently exists in 105 high schools and has served over 12,000 youth with disabilities since 1990. Participants have demonstrated consistently positive educational and employment outcomes, and the program has been replicated in schools and communities throughout Oregon, as well as other states. For more information, visit

Rhode Island


Pediatric Practice Enhancement Project – This project assists pediatric primary and specialty care practices in providing improved short and long-term health outcomes for CYSHCN and their families within a medical home. The project places and supports trained Parent Consultants in clinical settings to link families with community resources, assist physicians and families in accessing specialty services, and identify systems barriers to coordinated care. The project shows that utilizing a paraprofessional to reinforce healthcare messages, perform care coordination and provide patient education is a cost effective model. Program participants have received more primary/preventive care and outpatient services, and fewer emergency department visits and inpatient admission, contributing to overall lower health care costs. For more information, click here.



2009 Promising Practice Awardees


First 5 Kit for New Parents-
This innovative, evidence-based approach provides a low-cost, multi-media “kit” of information about parenting practices and community resources for parents of children 0-5 years and their providers. It includes DVDs (featuring celebrities, experts and diverse parents), and printed materials that were written to be widely accessible to parents, including those with limited literacy, and those who speak Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean or English. Since 2001, the kit has been distributed free of charge to 500,000 California parents each year through diverse perinatal and childcare programs. Evaluation has shown greater gains in knowledge and reported better practices by mothers who received the kit in the prenatal period than those who did not. For more information, visit 



Prenatal Plus Program- This is a Medicaid-funded program that provides care coordination, nutrition and mental health counseling to Medicaid-eligible pregnant women who are at a higher risk for delivering low birthweight infants. The goal is to reduce the number of low birthweight infants born to women in the program by using the Client-Centered Counseling approach to address a variety of issues that have been shown to have a negative impact on birth outcomes. The key health areas targeted by this program are healthy weight, smoking/cessation and depression. The program has consistently demonstrated that improved birth outcomes can be achieved among high-risk populations when behavioral, nutritional and psychosocial risks are identified and resolved. For more information, visit




Partners in Pregnancy Program- This program provides high-risk pregnant women and their infants with the care they need to survive and grow up healthy. The overall goal is to improve adverse pregnancy outcomes by decreasing NICU days and dollars. The program involves home visits and case management by CHIP nurses and outreach workers, in combination with a medical home and regular nurse consultations. Program evaluation has shown a net savings of $2,287 per pregnancy in participating mothers and infants when compared to a control group. Additionally, participating infants spent less time in the hospital and mothers engaged in healthier behaviors, such as significant decreases in smoking, alcohol use and stress levels. For more information, contact Lisa Specter-Dunaway,, (804) 783-2667.