October 2011

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Family Involvement

By Stephanie Birch, RNC, MPH, MS, FNP

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs has a long history of collaborating with families and consumers to ensure programs that support them at the state and federal level, consider their needs in the planning and delivery of programs and services, employ or train their staff to be culturally and linguistically competent, and measure outcomes that are meaningful. Through the AMCHP Family & Youth Leadership Committee, training for families that work with state Title V programs has developed and grown, enriching state programs along the way and building a cadre of committed advocates for Title V programs and funding. [more]


Family Involvement: A Means Not an End

By Mike R. Fraser, PhD CAE

One of the most rewarding aspects of my travels across the country is the chance to visit with family leaders to talk about interactions with their state Title V program (and vice versa) -- did you know some of you truly are "rock stars" in the eyes of your colleagues from both the parent and professional perspective? While feedback on family involvement activities varies widely depending on the state program I am visiting, almost every Title V program has a formal connection with family leaders in their state. [more]


A Tale of Two Moms: Family-Centered Care in Pediatric Pulmonary Centers

By Angela Miney
University of Florida

Carla Salldin 
University of Washington

Margaret Murphy, a mom and a World Health Organization Patient Safety Champion, whose son Kevin died in 1999 as a result of a series of medical errors, tells the medical community that "you ignore a mother's instincts at your peril!" Too often, health-care providers have come to appreciate the value of patient and family involvement after a tragic event, but patient and family-centered care need not be built on the bricks of tragedy and grief. The six national Pediatric Pulmonary Centers (PPCs), funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), have embraced patient and family involvement at local, institutional, state, regional and national levels. The family partners from the Universities of Florida (UF) and Washington (UW) share their stories. [more]

Family-to-Family Health Information Centers: Connecting Families and Professionals to Resources

By Diana L. Denboba 
Branch Chief, Maternal and Child Health Bureau

The Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2Fs) grant program was originally established for the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau by the Family Opportunity Act as a part of the Budget Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171). Since 2006, 51 centers have been funded. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010extended F2F funding through fiscal year 2012. This initiative supports grants that ensures families of children (and youth) with special healthcare needs (CSHCN) participate in decision making at all levels and are satisfied with the services they receive by providing peer support to families, and providing information, training, and technical assistance, to families and the professionals who serve them.[more]


Family Involvement in Maternal and Child Health

By Rylin Rodgers
Training Director, Family Leadership Coordinator, Riley Child Development Center and Board of Directors, Family Voices Indiana

When I first entered the maternal and child health (MCH) world, I struggled to find some simple language to describe to my children and others what I was doing when I went out. At that point, I was not going to work, these were all volunteer efforts. They were also very diverse. I was going to committee meetings, conducting or receiving training, giving testimony or helping other families. The descriptor I settled on was that I was "off to save the world." That frame may appear a bit ambitious but, for me, it was broad enough to include the wide range of my activities and to satisfy my children as to why I was leaving them to do what I was. I was going to impact systems to make things better for the families who were coming after ours. [more]

Family Leadership: AMCHP Family Scholar Program

By Heather Milliren 
Skagit County and NW Washington Coordinator for Washington State Parent to Parent, 2008 AMCHP Family Scholar and 2010-11 AMCHP Family Mentor

As the parent of three young children, two of whom have special health care needs, family leadership is second nature for me. Advocating for my family in medical and education/community arenas is a necessity. Utilizing the skills gained through these advocacy experiences and a passion for serving other families in similar situations launched me into a second career. Prior to starting a family, I worked as an elementary school teacher. Once my first child was born and subsequently diagnosed with a severe-to-profound hearing loss, my career path changed course. [more]

Being a Family Leader at AMCHP

By Michelle Jarvis
Program Manager for Family Involvement, AMCHP

Me -- a leader? No way. I was the girl who lacked self-confidence and was shy. The one who worried what everyone else thought. The one who couldn’t stand up in a small class of my friends to give a book report in school. Leadership had nothing to do with me. Or so I thought.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, my journey as a family leader started when my son was born in 1999. Shortly before his third birthday, he was diagnosed with autism. [more]


Member states were asked the following question:How is your state engaging the AMCHP Family Delegate for your state?

Learn what Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota are doing to get Family delegates involved in MCH programs. [more]


The Brand Called SPAN: The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network

By Jennifer Bolden Pitre, M.A. J.D. 
Director of Integrated Systems, SPAN

At its core, the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), is a movement for parent leadership across systems. With a diverse staff at all levels, SPAN serves the full diversity of New Jersey families. The SPAN leadership team includes AMCHP Family Scholars and a current MCH LEAD & LEND Fellow. [more]

Family Involvement in the Wisconsin Title V Program

By Amy Whitehead 
Statewide CYSHCN Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Family Delegate, and AMCHP Family & Youth Leadership Committee Chair

Infrastructure for the Wisconsin Title V Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) Program is designed as a Collaborators Network, which includes Regional Resource Centers, Parent to Parent, Family Voices and statewide projects addressing national performance measures. To maximize family-centeredness and family professional partnerships, family involvement is woven throughout the network. Family leaders are hired because of their professional skills, systems expertise and life experience. [more]



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Raising Awareness About Infant Mortality

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

Promoting family-centered health policy is difficult and often disappointing work. So often it seems decisions made here in the nation’s capital put the interests of political party and commerce ahead of the families that need just a little help navigating complex systems or looking for answers that only government-sponsored research can provide.

Sometimes swimming against the current, AMCHP has committed to making sure our work is guided by the families we seek to serve. In the big picture, this includes a prominent goal in our strategic plan to "increase member, family and youth participation in AMCHP planning, advocacy and programmatic activities, including volunteer leadership opportunities." [more]


New MCH Leaders

See a list of new CYSHCN directors and partners, as well as a list of the 2011-2012 Family Scholars and Mentors. [more]


Realityworks & Go Beyond MCH Graduate Student Scholarship 
AMCHP has partnered with Realityworks and Go Beyond to offer a new graduate-student scholarship.

The scholarship is designed to assist one graduate student in furthering their education and sponsor their attendance at the upcoming AMCHP Annual Conference to hone their leadership skills and connect them with existing leaders within MCH. There are two parts to the Realityworks & Go Beyond MCH Graduate Student Scholarship, totaling $3,500. [more]

17th Annual MCH EPI Conference: AMCHP Pre-Conference Trainings Announced
AMCHP, in partnership with the CDC Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) and the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau, will conduct data skills trainings Dec. 12-13, at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, LA. The target audience includes epidemiologists, statisticians, program directors, students, and fellows conducting MCH work in federal, state, local or tribal public health agencies. [more]

Open for Public Comment: Maternity Care Measure Set 
The Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI) initiated a 30-day public comment period for the Maternity Care measure set. The Maternity Care measures, developed in conjunction with the PCPI focus on measures of overuse and appropriate use, is a joint effort with PCPI, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The draft measures are intended for clinicians caring for women who are pregnant. [more]

NACCHO Accepting Model Practices Submissions 
NACCHO is now accepting model practice applications, from Oct. 10 through Nov. 11. NACCHO’s Model Practice Program nationally honors and recognizes outstanding local public health practice and shares the outstanding practices through the Model Practices Database. By submitting a practice, local health departments contribute to the overall improvement of public health through evidence-based practice methods. [more]

To see more Get Involved listings, visit here.


See a map of AMCHP Family Delegate coverage here.


View and download resources on family involvement here.

Board of Directors

Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.


Meet the AMCHP staff.


AMCHP Conference and Special Events

AMCHP 2012 Annual Conference
Feb. 11-14, 2012
Washington, DC

Adolescent and Young Adult Health Institute
Feb. 11, 2012 (during the AMCHP Annual Conference Training Institute)
Washington, DC

A Life Course Dialogue: Exploring State-Level Implementation
Feb. 12, 2012 (during the AMCHP Annual Conference Training Institute) 
Washington, DC

AMCHP and March of Dimes Third Annual Mini-March for Babies
Feb. 14, 2012 at 10 a.m.
Washington, DC

Partner Events

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Directors Meetings
Feb. 12, 2012
Washington, DC

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Directors Meeting
Feb. 12, 2012
Washington, DC

National Summit on Quality In Home Visiting Programs
Feb. 15-16, 2012
Washington, DC

MCH Events

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
Oct. 29-Nov. 2
Washington, DC

Interconception and Preconception Health Summit
Nov. 1
Los Angeles, CA

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

2011 AUCD Conference
November 6-9
Crystal City, VA

Joint Program in Survey Methodology Course: Designing Mixed-Mode Surveys
Nov. 10-11
Arlington, VA

17th Annual MCH Epidemiology Conference
Dec. 14-16
New Orleans, LA

2nd Annual Making Lifelong Connections Meeting
(for MCHB trainees and former trainees)
Jan. 18-19, 2012
Orlando, FL

2012 National Health Promotion Summit
April 10-11, 2012
Washington, DC