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 July-August 2011

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From the President

Systems of Care Development

By Stephanie Birch, RNC, MPH, MS, FNP 

With the advances in science, genetics, technology and medicine, increasing numbers of children are being identified and diagnosed with special conditions such as autism, genetic and metabolic conditions, developmental delays, chronic medical issues and other physical conditions. Diagnosis during the prenatal period of a variety of special health conditions is not uncommon as well. This poses major challenges to state Title V MCH and CYSCHN programs to develop systems of care to meet the complex health and culturally diverse social needs of women, infants, all children and adolescents. Developing and implementing systems of care has been the core work of state Title V MCH and CYSCHN programs. This work is a part of the legislative mandates of Section 501 of the Social Security Administration Act and the outcomes are reflected in states’ reporting of their national and state performance measures. [read more]

From the CEO

Systems Building

By Michael R. Fraser, PhD, CAE

Like putting the pieces of a puzzle together to form a complete image, systems building involves putting MCH services together within a state or community to create a unified whole of services geared toward protecting and promoting the health of women, children and families. Systems building is one of the unique features of the Title V MCH Services Block Grant. Unlike other funding streams with specific approaches and guidelines, the Title V MCH Block Grant allows states to tailor their programs to support state specific needs and create a system that works for that state. As such, the MCH system in one state may look very different from the MCH system in another. However, at the core of all state MCH programs, is the goal of improving the lives of women, children and families including children and youth with special health care needs and creating systems that effectively and efficiently provide needed services and programs. [read more]


Developing the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Updated State Plan

By Catherine J. Bodkin, LCSW, MSHA
Director, Virginia MIECHV Project
Virginia Department of Health

Developing the Updated Home Visiting State Plan, which was required by the Affordable Care Act, Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Grant, presented opportunities and challenges for each state. [read more]  

Pew Study Details State Investments in Home Visiting

By Brent Ewig, MHS
Director, Public Policy & Government Affairs, AMCHP

The Pew Center on the States recently surveyed state agency leaders in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, creating a new inventory of state home visiting programs, models, funding and polices for fiscal year 2009-2010. [read more]

HHS Convenes Advisory Committee on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program Evaluation

By Brent Ewig, MHS
Director of Policy & Government Affairs, AMCHP

Last March, HHS convened the Advisory Committee on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Evaluation for its first session. An archived webcast of the meeting is available here. The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the design, plan, progress, and findings of the evaluation required for the home visiting program. The Committee is to review, and make recommendations on, the design and plan for this evaluation; maintain and advise the Secretary regarding the progress of the evaluation; and comment, if the Committee chooses, on the report to be submitted to Congress. [read more]

The AMCHP Policy Framework: Roles for State Title V Programs in Building Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities

By Treeby Brown
Senior Program Manager, Children & Youth with Special Health Care Needs 

AMCHP’s State Public Health Autism Resource Center (SPHARC) will soon be releasing a new report, “Roles for State Title V Programs in Building Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities.” The report addresses state Title V program efforts to address the increasing numbers of children identified and diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities (ASD/DD) as they try to meet diverse and often complex needs of these children and their families across the six core outcomes for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). [read more]

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Regional Consortiums: Marching Forward Toward Better Systems of Care for Everyone

By Stephen R. Hooper, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Pediatrics, and Education
LEND Director
Director of Training and Education
Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) has a long standing commitment to advancing the development of services for underserved populations, with a particular focus on linking various agencies, advocacy groups and personnel into more efficient and effective systems of care. These efforts are fueled, in part, by their emphasis on interdisciplinary involvement, cultural and linguistic diversity, and families. One of the major interdisciplinary investments by MCHB has been in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training program. [read more]

Opportunities and Challenges in Building Systems for CYSHCN

By Judy Palfrey
Co-Principal Investigator, National Center for Ease of Use of Community Based Services (July 2010-August 2011)

Families of children with special health care needs (CYSHCN) turn to Maternal and Child Health programs for assistance with a wide variety of concerns. Like other children, CYSHCN require health, education and recreation services, but often their needs are more complex than those of other children. For CYSHCN, services are often not “easy to use” because of stringent eligibility criteria, distant access, limited time availability or lack of training of personnel about disability care. Title V agencies are charged with finding ways to organize health care, dental care, early intervention, therapies, mental health services, vocational and recreational interventions so that parents can readily take advantage of them. Instead of a maze, parents want a map. [read more


Member to Member

We asked two members to respond to the following question: 

What strategies are you using to address the measurement requirements of the federal home visiting program in your state? [read more]


Success Story

Transformation in Primary Care - Indiana’s Successes with Medical Home 

By Mary Jo Paladino
IN CISS Project Facilitator at the Indiana University School of Medicine

As we quickly move past the first decade of the twenty-first century, health care reform and the need to transform primary care practice has never been more urgent. The health care reform bill contains Medical Home as the model of primary care needed to improve patient care and stop spiraling costs. The Institute of Medicine and others have stated that system change is needed to make this transformation. System change within a practice is best done through quality improvement processes. Experiences by members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have demonstrated that "learning collaboratives" help start and maintain this process. [read more]

Maryland’s State Implementation Grant 

By Josie Thomas
Director of the Parent's Place of Maryland 

The Parents' Place of Maryland, in partnership with the Office for Genetics and Children with Special Health Care Needs (OGCSHCN, Maryland’s Title V program for CYSHCN at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) was awarded a State Implementation Grant for Integrated Community Systems for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau in 2008. Other major collaborators included the Maryland AAP and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. [read more]


View from Washington

Out of Sync

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

It should not come as a surprise to even the casual observer that the Congressional process has become rather dysfunctional lately. With the beginning of the 2012 fiscal year rapidly approaching we still have not seen a proposed funding level for the Title V MCH Block Grant or any other critical health program with the exception of WIC, which the House voted to cut by $800 million. The recent debt limit deficit reduction agreement set a top line number of required cuts, but didn’t identify a single specific program to be reduced. The bottom line is that we are beginning September at a place that the annual federal budgeting process is usually at in spring. [read more]


Who's New

New MCH Leaders

See a list of new CYSHCN directors, federal and organizational partners. [read more]


Get Involved

MCHB Call for Comments to Proposed Changes to the MCH Block Grant Application Annual Report
Please note that MCHB has published a notice in the Federal Register summarizing revisions and requesting comments on proposed changes to the Title V MCH Services Block Grant Application Annual Report guidance. AMCHP encourages Title V programs to review the Federal Register notice and provide feedback as appropriate. [read more]

RFA for Act Early State Systems Grants
Through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), AMCHP will provide grants to state teams, led by either the Title V program or a member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) network, to support the collaboration of Act Early Regional Summit Project teams and to further activities initiated by state teams during the Summits. These funds are designed to be a catalyst for collaboration with stakeholders, as well as for implementing specific activities outlined in Act Early State Plans. AMCHP will provide ongoing technical assistance, disseminate resource materials, and link grantees to other states and experts in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Requirements: Approximately 10-15 state grants will be awarded in the amount of up to $15,000 each. All states and territories who have participated in an Act Early Regional Summit except for those who currently have received a State Implementation Grant for Improving Services for Child and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities are eligible to apply. The funding announcement will be released in mid-September 2011 and applications will be due in November 2011. [read more]

To see more Get Involved listings, visit here.


Data and Trends

View the percent of CSHCN for whom the core outcome or system of care was achieved here

View responses to the question: What was the most significant success around designing the updated state plan for home visiting? here




View and download resources on CYSHCN, Systems Building & Home Visiting here.


Board of Directors

Meet AMCHP's Board of Directors



Meet AMCHP's staff.  




MCH Events

Webinar: Making Healthcare IT Meaningful for Maternal and Child Health
September 21
1:00-2:00 PM, EDT

NASHP 24th Annual State Health Policy Conference
October 3-5
Kansas City, MO  

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
October 29-November 2
Washington, DC

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s 16th Annual International Meeting
November 3-6
Miami, FL 

See more calendar listings here.