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 AMCHP Programs: A Look Ahead to 2012

By Lauren Raskin Ramos, MPH
Director of Programs, AMCHP

With contributions from the AMCHP Program Team

2012 is off to an exciting start for AMCHP programs, with many new efforts already underway! A preview of what you can expect in the coming months is highlighted below, including how each of our activities is working to support state Title V programs and advance the AMCHP strategic plan. Look for resources to support states to improve birth outcomes and reduce infant mortality; a Web-based resource for states to implement the life course perspective; assessment of effective models for maternal mortality reviews; technical assistance for state implementation of home visiting programs; enhanced efforts to support state preconception health; and new tools and resources to support state systems building in adolescent health, and autism and developmental disabilities.

Strategic Goal: Improve maternal and child health outcomes by promoting a life course perspective and sharing effective and promising practices with state and territorial MCH programs.

AMCHP will enhance work to support state efforts to implement a life course perspective through some key activities, including:

  • The Life Course Training Institute at the AMCHP Annual Conference.

In the coming year, AMCHP will support MCH epidemiology capacity by:

  • Developing an assessment for MCH epidemiologists and Vital Records registrars, in partnership with the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS), about their practices relating to data linkage, particularly the linkage of birth certificate and hospital discharge records.
  • Exploring effective and promising practices around successful maternal mortality reviews, beginning with an assessment of state activities, as part of our CDC cooperative agreement.
  • Working on identifying a set of core indicators states can use to measure health throughout the life course. This work, which will be sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation, will support efforts to implement a life course perspective by providing a mechanism with which to demonstrate success.
  • Finalizing the State Infant Mortality Collaborative Toolkit, providing tools for states to analyze and understand data related to infant mortality.

AMCHP will work to showcase effective practice in women’s and infant health in 2012 by:

  • Producing an online toolkit to support state maternal mortality reviews, in partnership with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Information in the toolkit will include state profiles, as well as legislative and funding information.
  • Assessing the relationships between MCH (Title V) and family planning (Title X) programs, including opportunities and challenges to provide comprehensive women’s health services and promote adolescent health through family planning services.
  • Collecting and disseminating tools and resources to promote the health of women with disabilities.
  • Partnering with CDC to support stakeholder workshops on emergency preparedness for special populations, including pregnant women and infants.

AMCHP will continue to expand on opportunities to increase the use of its Best Practices program as a resource and promote the value of being included in Innovation Station. Planned activities include:

  • Continued outreach to increase submissions with the goal of having at least one program from each state accepted to Innovation Station.
  • Developing new resources and learning opportunities, such as webinars or fact sheets, about successes and lessons learned from practices in Innovation Station.
  • Highlighting current Innovation Station programs at the 2012 conference through the Best Practice Awards and a special session on how states incorporated evidence into and improved effectiveness of their programs, especially given limited resources and budgets. 
  • Launching opportunities to foster replication of emerging, promising and best practices in other states and communities.

In 2012, AMCHP has planned the following to promote our adolescent health objectives:

  • Host an Adolescent and Young Adult Health Institute at the AMCHP Annual Conference to support a life course and adolescent and young adult health dialogue.
  • Support state and local partnership in adolescent health by piloting the System Capacity Assessment Tool for Adolescent Health with local public health providers.
  • Hold a Comprehensive Systems Approach to Adolescent Health Thought Leaders Roundtable meeting.
  • Maintain and support key adolescent health partnerships, including the National Network for State Adolescent Health Coordinators.
  • Improve and expand the AMCHP adolescent health related online resources – including enhanced Web pages, increased numbers of adolescent health related best practices, and connection with adolescent health related tools and resources.

To help building systems for children and youth with special health care needs, AMCHP has several activities planned, including:

  • Hosting a webinar, Roles for State Title V Programs – Building Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders to help states, primarily Title V programs, determine appropriate roles and approaches to pursue in building systems of care for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.
  • Planning, in partnership with the National Center for Ease of Use of Community-Based Services, an ALC on the topic of "Ease of Use of Services for Latino Families who have Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs." AMCHP will select states to participate in the ALC, and will host a series of webinars and a site visit.
  • Supporting 10 state teams through the CDC Learn the Signs. Act Early. State Systems Grants.

AMCHP will continue to support state implementation of home visiting programs in 2012. As a partner in the new Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Technical Assistance Center, AMCHP will work with partners to provide technical assistance to states to advance implementation of state home visiting programs.

Strategic Goal: State and territorial MCH programs will have a diverse and effective workforce with competent leaders at the national, state and local levels.

AMCHP believes it is important for state and territorial MCH programs to have a diverse and effective workforce with competent leaders at the national, state and local levels. This year we plan to:

  • Collaborate with the MCH Epi Group to begin a mentorship program for new and junior MCH epidemiologists working at the state level. The program will match new/junior MCH epidemiologists with mentors who can help them adjust to their new role, identify skill areas they need to develop and provide expert advice on career opportunities.
  • Focus more sessions on relating to data and assessment at the AMCHP Annual Conference this year. The offerings will include a skills-building session on Performance and Outcome Measurement: Strategies for Target Setting, and sessions about the preconception health indicators and MCH epi Methods and Practices.
  • Provide ongoing leadership development to family leaders through the Family Scholars Program (FSP). Family Scholars will attend the AMCHP Annual Conference to expand their knowledge in various areas and make visits to their elected officials on the Hill to advocate for Title V. Monthly leadership development will continue. AMCHP will launch the call for applicants for the 2012 FSP in June 2012.
  • Support family engagement through the Family & Youth Leadership Committee (FYLC), including activities for Family Delegates and other family leaders at the AMCHP Annual Conference.
  • Grow the New Director Mentor Program by welcoming a new cohort into the program.
  • Revise the Guide for Senior Managers, a resource developed to provide an overview of the roles and responsibilities that individuals responsible for managing parts of the Title V MCH Block Grant, to reflect recent policies and emerging issues impacting the health of women, children and families.
  • Identify opportunities for the Workforce & Leadership Development Committee (WLDC) to present the implication of the Life Course Approach on the MCH workforce to different audiences.
  • Provide opportunities to for professional development by offering individual professional coaching sessions by certified professional coaches at the AMCHP annual conference.

In addition to a strong workforce, youth involvement and leadership development also is key. To facilitate more youth involvement, AMCHP will:

  • Develop and implement strategies to advance youth involvement and leadership in the organization.
  • Support youth leaders through the Ryan Colburn Scholarship to support a youth leader to attend the 2013 AMCHP Annual Conference and by offering opportunities to encourage participation by students and young professionals at the AMCHP Annual Conference through scholarships and abstract submissions.

Strategic Goal: AMCHP will be an effective and efficient organization and partner in support of state and territorial MCH programs.

AMCHP will continue striving to be an effective and efficient organization and partner in support of state and territorial MCH programs. We will continue to focus on continuous quality improvement, including ongoing implementation of the Evaluation and Assessment Program. AMCHP also will continue to maintain and enhance partnerships with key organizations, including MCHB, CDC, CityMatCH, Family Voices, ASTHO, the National Healthy Start Association, March of Dimes, ACOG, AAP, the MCHB-supported CYSHCN National Resource Centers and many others!