March/April 2012


Happy Anniversary...?
By Mike R. Fraser, PhD CAE

This March, we recognized the second anniversary of the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). I must admit we do so with both excitement and trepidation: everything related to the ACA is a political hot potato -- controversial and potentially divisive. As a nonpartisan organization, AMCHP represents members and state programs with varying attitudes towards the ACA and its implementation and we strive to respect both sides in the debate, pro and con. In this issue of Pulse, we present the impact of the ACA on maternal and child health (MCH) programs from an objective perspective recognizing that 26 of our 59 state and territorial members work in states where their attorneys general are suing the federal government to block the ACA. [more]


IOM Committee on Preventive Services for Women Works to Increase the Well-Being of U.S. Women
By Magda G. Peck, ScD
Founding Dean and Professor, Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee

After the passage of the ACA, HHS requested that IOM provide recommendations for implementing the Women's Health Amendment. IOM formed the 2010-2011 Committee on Preventive Services for Women to identify critical gaps in preventive services for women, as well as recommend measures that will further ensure women's health and well-being. As a member of the committee, I am pleased to share with you some of the background of what this committee proposed. [more]

TACC Established to Support MIECHV Home Visitation Programs
By Erin Bonzon, MSPH/MSW
Associate Director, Women's& Infant Health, AMCHP

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program Technical Assistance Coordinating Center (TACC) provides support to state and territory grantees in implementing MIECHV-funded home visitation programs. The TACC brings extensive xperience and a wealth of expertise in achieving high quality program implementation, creating integrated service systems and improving program outcomes. Supportive services include facilitating connections with technical experts, offering opportunities for shared learning and identifying best practices. [more]

PREP Aims to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and STIs
By Sharron Corle, MS
Associate Director, Adolescent Health, AMCHP

Maritza Valenzuela, MPH, CHES
Program Manager, Adolescent Health, AMCHP

As part of the Affordable Care Act, Congress authorized the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), which is administered by the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF). The program provides $55 million annually in formula grants to states and territories for evidence-based programs that educate young people on both abstinence and contraception to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and other adulthood preparation topics, such as parent-child communication, financial literacy and healthy relationships. [more]

The AMCHP National Center for Health Reform Implementation: Important Resources and a Voice for MCH Populations
By Karen VanLandeghem, MPH
Senior Advisor, National Center for Health Reform Implementation, AMCHP

Passage of the Affordable Care Act marked a critical point for our nation's women, children, including children with special health care needs, and their families in terms of the law's coverage expansions, preventive service requirements, insurance reforms, prevention investments, and focus on quality improvement. Closely following passage of the law, AMCHP created the National Center for Health Reform Implementation to provide resources on the ACA and health systems reform, generally, to AMCHP members and partners. [more]

CMS Launches Strong Start Initiative to Improving Maternal and Infant Health
By Brent Ewig, MHS
Director, Public Policy& Government Affairs, AMCHP

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center was created by the Affordable Care Act to "test new innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce program expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care." According to CMS, the Innovation Center is committed to transforming the Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to deliver better care for beneficiaries, better health for populations and slower growth in expenditures through improvement for beneficiaries. [more]

Prevention and Public Health Fund: A Constant Target
By Carolyn Mullen, MS
Associate Director, Government Affairs, AMCHP

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided a historic opportunity to invest in prevention and public health through the creation of a Prevention and Public Health Fund (Fund). The Fund provides mandatory funding for programs authorized by the Public Health Service Act for prevention, wellness, and public health activities to reduce and combat preventable injury and disease. [more]

 Mar. 23, 2012 marked the two-year anniversary of passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. On this occasion, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a new initiative, called MyCare, to highlight stories and "educate Americans about new programs, benefits, and rights under the health care law." More information and initial stories shared via MyCare are available here.

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AMCHP Tracks Status of Key MCH Provisions of the ACA

Confused about where things stand with some of the specific MCH-related provisions of the Affordable Care Act? Curious if federal regulations on a certain issue have been finalized or if funding opportunities have materialized? Look no further than the AMCHP Summary of Key Maternal and Child Health Related Highlights with Updates on Status of Implementation available here!

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

This issue goes to press just as the Supreme Court begins deliberations on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. As for insight into how the court will decide, I am once again resorting to quoting the great Yogi Berra who said, "Predictions are hard -- especially when they are about the future." So I will avoid the guessing game about how they will rule on the two central issues -- the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion -- and, like you, join the waiting game for the expected June decision.

What we can share is some conventional wisdom on the various scenarios in play and what they might mean for MCH populations. [more]


New MCH Leaders

See a list of new MCH Leaders. [more]

AMCHP welcomes new staff. [more]


See who has been awarded for their har work! [more]


April is Autism Awareness Month!
To celebrate Autism Awareness Month, follow AMCHP on Facebook and Twitter to learn about new resources, events and facts about autism. If you have any new and/or existing content to share (i.e., interesting factoid, news article, report), please send to Julio Arguello. Help us get more people engaged and aware of content around autism and share with one another! [more]

MCHB Webinar on CAAI Evaluation Results
April is Autism Awareness Month. Join MCHB webinar on Apr. 16 from 1-2:30 p.m. EST to learn some evaluation results from their Combating Autism Act Initiative (CAAI). The webinar, hosted by the MCHB Autism team with speakers from MCHB and Insight Policy Research, is geared toward CAAI grantees but all are welcome. [more]

Women's and Infant Health Info Series Webinar
AMCHP and the CDC will host a national webinar, "Using Evidence to Inform Preconception Health Initiatives" on Apr. 26 from 2-3 p.m. EST. This webinar includes an introduction to the Guide to Community Preventive Services (the Community Guide) as an option for designing evidence-informed strategies and highlights examples of how data and evidence have informed state-level strategies to address preconception health issues. [more]

AAP and MCHB Launch Time Out for GeneticsWebinar Series
The Genetics in Primary Care Institute, a cooperative agreement between the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Maternal and child Health Bureau (MCHB), is now offering Time Out for Genetics, an educational webinar series. Each month -- from April through December -- a webinar will be presented by recognized experts with the overarching goal of educating participants about the value of incorporating genetic medicine into primary care. [more]

RWJF: Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization Call for Proposals
RWJF Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) grants support research, policy analysis and evaluation projects that provide policy leaders timely information on health care policy, financing and organization issues. [more]

CDC/Emory University to Offer Epidemiology in Action Course
CDC and Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University will cosponsor the course, Epidemiology in Action, Jun. 11-22, at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. This course is designed for state and local public health professionals. [more]

Save the Date! UIC MCH Retreat -- Leading in Challenges Times: Innovations & Inspiration
The retreat this year will focus on Leading in Challenging Times, however, this concept will be talked about ways that you may not expect. Participants will share personal stories of their journey and work with women, men, children and families. AMCHP CEO Dr. Michael Fraser will lead this process. [more]


Understand the impacs of the Affordable Care Act so farhere.


View and download resources about the ACA and health reform here.

Board of Directors

Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.


Meet the AMCHP staff.


Click here to see the AMCHP MCH Events Calendar.