By Melody Cherny
Program Associate, Children with Special Health Care Needs, AMCHP
In response to a growing interest in the life course approach in MCH, and to further promote its adoption and integration within state Title V programs, AMCHP has launched a virtual State Life Course Resource Center. This website provides various tools and materials, best practices and research targeted specifically to the state level. The website also includes links to other key resources, but is designed to provide a central location for state Title V resources on the life course.
Site resources include educational materials from California, Florida, Nebraska and Rhode Island on prenatal care, preconception health, young adults and health equity; life course publications and presentations from the 2011 and 2012 AMCHP Annual Conferences; a personnel template for a director of life course health systems position; and video interviews with MCH leaders.
AMCHP supports the life course perspective and has established core principles of a life course approach to MCH. These principles state that a life course approach encourages a focus on health across the life span, and recognizes the following: 1) a stages of life theory; 2) the influence of environmental, biological, economic, behavioral, social and psychological impacts on health outcomes across the life span; 3) the potential cumulative effects of these influences on health outcomes; 4) that health promotion and prevention interventions can be targeted at different stages in life; 5) that connections exist between life stages (i.e. the relationship between adolescence and the two life stages that border it: childhood and adulthood); and 6) that efforts should be coordinated both across life stages and across the life span.
The AMCHP State Life Course Resource Center is housed here. AMCHP will continue to build the website to help states learn from each other and facilitate the integration of life course into Title V programs. To contribute materials to the website or provide feedback, please contact Kate Howe or Melody Cherny.