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 June 2011

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From the President

Child Health

By Stephanie Birch, RNC, MPH, MS, FNP 

It is often said, “Children are our future.” However, recent statistics show that the current generation of children under age 18 may experience a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Obesity and the associated health complications are considered to be the one of the major culprits affecting this outcome. Children’s health status is also affected by many factors including, but not limited to socioeconomic status, parent’s level of education, race and the status of health care coverage. The signing of the Affordable Care Act initiated improvements in health insurance coverage and access to care for children with the goal to improve the status of children’ health. This legislation increases access to pediatric preventative care, behavioral health services and public health services, expands dental health access, strengthens the pediatric workforce and expands community health center capacity. While some states are implementing this legislation slowly, many are moving ahead and designing changes in their programs to support improvements the health status of children. [read more]

From the CEO

Investing Early in Children's Health

By Mike R. Fraser, PhD CAE

I recently visited with an AMCHP member and we had an excellent conversation about preconception health, the life course perspective, and investments that her state health department is making across the life course. “Oh,” she said, “we aren’t even putting much into adult health anymore – right now it is all about getting to young kids. We’re giving up on the adults – they’re gone. We want to put more into prevention for kids, that’s where we have a chance.” While somewhat facetious (no state is ever going to stop programs for adults) I knew what she meant: child health is where we truly can have the most impact when it comes to primary prevention and health outcomes. While most of our health dollars go toward treating diseases in the end stages of life, those of us working in public health know that investing early in the health of children pays dividends later by preventing future chronic diseases and their complications. [read more]



Children’s Safety Network Finds More States Are Selecting Injury-Related Priority Needs and Performance Measures

By Sally Fogerty, BSN, MEd
Deputy Director, Center for Study & Prevention of Injury, Violence & Suicide Director, Children's Safety Network

With the completion of the 2010-2015 MCH Needs Assessment, the Children’s Safety Network (CSN) National Resource Center for Injury and Violence Prevention began an analysis of the injury-related Priority Needs and State Performance Measures selected by states. We recently published the results of our analysis in a new fact sheet called MCH Program Injury and Violence-Related State Performance Measures and Priority Needs 2011. [read more]


Meeting the Promise of ACA: How Bright Futures Is Being Used by State MCH Programs 

Judy Shaw EdD, MPH, RN, FAAP
Co-Editor, Bright Futures Guidelines, 3rd Edition
American Academy of PediatricsBright Futures Steering Committee
Research Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Nursing, University of Vermont College of Medicine
Executive Director, Vermont Child Health Improvement Program, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Public health leaders and communities are drawing from Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 3rd Edition, to create a common approach to improving the health of infants, children, youth, and families. [read more]


NICHQ Joins the Collaborate for Healthy Weight Initiative to Combat Childhood Obesity

By Charlie Homer
President and CEO
National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ)

Shikha Anand, MD
Physician Champion

Dr. Marsha Raulerson is a pediatrician in Brewton, AL with whom NICHQ has worked through our Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supported program to train health care professionals in community advocacy. After caring for obese children for years, she recently teamed up with Mim Gaines, Director of Nutrition and Physical Activity for the Alabama Department of Public Health in Montgomery to co-lead Healthy Community, Healthy Children. Through this initiative, the two have engaged diverse partners including: the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to create six community gardens; the Brewton Area YMCA to create safe and appealing outdoor spaces for exercise, including walking trails that connect the parks and green spaces; and the Brewton School Board to convert an old school into a community center. The Brewton team believes the success they have achieved occurred only because they were able to establish meaningful partnerships across diverse stakeholders. [read more]


AMCHP Crowd Scan: Top Child Health Priorities

By Kate Howe, MPH
Program Manager, Child Health, AMCHP

Caroline Stampfel, MPH
Senior Epidemiologist, AMCHP

In preparation for this issue on Child Health, we sent a brief survey to Pulse readers asking: “What is a top child health priority in your state?” Within one week, we had over 570 responses! The responses covered a wide range of topics, though overwhelmingly people mentioned child obesity and overweight as a top priority. The breadth of responses gave us a quick glimpse into what people are doing and thinking around child health. [read more]

Member to Member


We asked the Co-Chairs of AMCHP’s Emerging Issues Committee to respond to the following question: 

Looking at the results of the “Crowd Scan” on top Child Health priorities, is there anything that particularly stands out or resonates with you and your state?  [read more]




Success Story

Hawaii Child Health Success: Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Partnerships

By Keiko Nitta
ECCS Coordinator
Hawaii Department of Health

Hawaii is one of 52 states and territories to receive the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s State Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grant which focuses on the Bureau’s Strategic Plan for Early Childhood Health with the goal of developing systems that meet the needs of children and families more effectively. Hawaii’s ECCS project depends on partners from the public as well as private agencies with the agreed upon mission to “promote the optimal health, development, and well being of Hawaii’s young children and their families through supporting enhanced collaboration, improved integration, and the provision of culturally responsive services for all island communities.” [read more


View from Washington

Taking the Long View on Child Health

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

Those of us in public health are sometimes guilty of dwelling only on the negative. We whine about how no one understands what we do, and are sometimes perceived as constantly complaining about inadequate resources. So before I do all that (again) I want to start with the good news and bold proclamation that children in America are healthier today than at any time in history.  [read more]


Who's New

New MCH Leaders

See a list of new Title V and CYSHCN directors. [read more]

AMCHP welcomes new staff. [read more] 


Get Involved

AMCHP and the text4baby State Enrollment Contest
AMCHP will be participating in the text4baby State Enrollment Contest, a national competition to enroll pregnant women and new mothers in the text4baby program. The goal of the text4baby State Enrollment Contest is to reach twice as many users through healthy competition among states. The top three states that have enrolled the most users in text4baby between May 10 and October 20 will be announced at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The prize for each of the winning states will be a sponsored luncheon/press event for text4baby partners in that state. [read more]

Webinar on Infant Sleep Position and Bedsharing
The Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs (ASIP) and AMCHP will host a webinar, “Infant Sleep Position and Bedsharing: Using PRAMS to Impact Programs and Policy,” on June 29 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EST. The webinar will feature Letitia Williams, MPH, Epidemiologist, PRAMS Project, CDC Division of Reproductive Health; and Danielle L. Broussard, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Chronic Disease Epidemiology Division of Clinical and Administrative Sciences Lead Chronic Disease Epidemiologist Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Xavier University of Louisiana. This discussion is a continuation of the SUID/SIDS Webinar Series. Initiated in 2010, this series is designed to strengthen SUID, SIDS, Infant Safe Sleep and bereavement services across the United States. [read more]

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Child Care Initiative
The Let’s Move! Child Care is one of the first lady’s most recent additions to her Let’s Move campaign. This new initiative creates a collaboration between Let’s Move! and Healthy Kids, Healthy Future. The core of Let’s Move! Child Care is a voluntary set of standards to engage child care providers in creating healthier environments for children. The standards relate to physical activity, nutrition, screen time and infant feeding that mirror the best practices Healthy Kids, Healthy Future has been promoting over the past two years. [read more]

To see more Get Involved listings, visit here.


Data and Trends

View the findings from the National Survey of Children's Health here




View and download resources on child health here.


Board of Directors

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Meet AMCHP's staff.