From the President

By Stephanie Birch, RNC, MPH, MS, FNP

This month’s issue of Pulse covers the life course perspective.

The life course perspective provides a working framework for maternal child health (MCH) programs to address health equity issues and implement interventions addressing the social determinants of health in an integrated fashion across the life span. This approach has begun to influence how MCH programs across the nation address health disparity issues using the latest research in public health and social science literature recognizing the impact that the social, economic and physical environments have on individual and community health over the life span. State MCH programs are beginning to integrate these concepts into their work focusing an emphasis on the period of time before pregnancy and childbirth and looking beyond that time frame to improve not only birth outcomes, but affect the outcomes in infancy and early childhood. The life course framework is driving an exciting change in the direction for the field of MCH public health focused on improving outcomes and reducing disparities for all women, children and those with special health care needs and their families.

A series of articles in this month’s Pulse will show you how other states are implementing life course in their programs and give you resources to assist in getting life course integrated into your programs.