November/December 2012

By Stephanie Birch, RNC, MPH, MS, FNP

One of the core functions of maternal and child health (MCH) and children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) programs is to work with partners and families to develop or enhance systems of care. MCH and CYSHCN staff members are the ideal personnel to lead this effort due to their close working relationships with families and consumers of health care. Systems development that includes coordinated care was initially advocated for by parents of children with special health care needs and more recently has extended into other populations and policies, including the most recent federal legislation under the Affordable Care Act. [more]

By Mike R. Fraser, PhD CAE

The core functions of public health are familiar to many of us: assessment, assurance and policy development. These three functions take place within a context -- a system. Simply defined, a system is a constellation of parts that is held together by a common purpose, communicates and adjusts as needed to move forward toward the shared goal. MCH programs have long taken a "systems" perspective in their work. MCH leaders know that there are many parts and players in the work we do to improve the lives of women, children, fathers and families. No single entity can truly impact MCH outcomes. Instead, we work together to improve and sustain systems that support health. Contemporary public health practice
involves "systems building" to address the issues and concerns of MCH.



AMCHP to Convene Stakeholder Work Group to Develop National Consensus Framework for Improving Quality Systems of Care for CYSHCN

By Karen VanLandeghem, MPH
Senior Advisor, National Center for Health Reform Implementation, AMCHP

AMCHP, with funding from the Lucile Packard Foundation, is leading a project to compile, define and reach consensus among key national stakeholders on the desired capacity and performance of systems of care serving CYSHCN. Creating a comprehensive, quality system of care for CYSHCN has been one of the most challenging and pressing priorities for state health leaders and other stakeholders, such as pediatricians and family physicians, health plans, state Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies, and families. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has further heightened this need as states prepare to extend coverage to millions of uninsured adults and children, design Essential Health Benefits, and implement new quality provisions, among other areas. [more]


"Moving the Needle" on Systems of Services for CYSHCN

By Bonnie Strickland, PhD
Director, Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs, MCHB

The Block Grant Review is behind us for another year and, as always, I am struck by the widespread reach and leverage of the state/federal partnership. Over the years, I also have been struck by the observation that the Block Grant Review process provides an excellent opportunity to illustrate how Title V, including CYSHCN programs, addresses the broad CYSHCN population defined in 1998 as, "...those who have, or are at increased risk for, a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition, and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally." [more]


Adolescent Systems Capacity (ASC) Tool Helps Identify and Implement Organizational Improvements

By Sharron Crawford Corle, MS
Associate Director for MCH Leadership and Capacity Building, AMCHP

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

Laura S. Snebold, MPH
Senior Program Analyst, Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health, NACCHO

State and local public health departments play an active role in ensuring the health and development of adolescents. In order to do this, maternal, child and adolescent health programs must have the organizational capacity to support adolescent health-focused efforts and improve coordination and integration of adolescent health services and programs. Modeled after Capacity Assessment for State Title V (CAST-5), theAdolescent Health System Capacity Assessment Tool (SCAT) was developed in 2005 as a resource to help state maternal and child health programs assess six key areas of organizational capacity related to adolescent health: commitment to adolescent health; partnerships for adolescent health; program planning and evaluation; surveillance and data systems; education and technical assistance; and policy and advocacy. The ultimate goal of the assessment is to identify areas for organizational improvement and implement strategies to address them. [more]


AMCHP and National Center for Ease of Use of Community-Based Services Support Focus on Latino Families With CYSHCN

By Myra Rosen-Reynoso, PhD
Research Associate, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston

AMCHP and the National Center for Ease of Use of Community-Based Services are partnering to sponsor an action learning collaborative (ALC) focused on addressing state policies and practices that enable ease of use of services for Latino families with CYSHCN. In April 2012, the following four states were selected to participate: Indiana, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Rhode Island. In addition, North Carolina and Oregon were chosen as lead mentoring states. This ALC program links states with two lead states and provides a tailored technical assistance model around the MCHB Indicator Five for Ease of Use of Community-Based Services for Latino Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs. [more]


Systems-Level Impact: Using the Collective Impact Framework for Public Health Systems Building

By Erin Bonzon, MSPH/MSW
Associate Director, Women's & Infant Health, AMCHP

Tegan Callahan, MPH
Program Manager, Women's & Infant Health, AMCHP

Systems-wide progress requires decisions and actions that develop strong partnerships. Partnerships will be at the core of any comprehensive initiative. Yet, partnerships for improving maternal and child health outcomes need to go beyond traditional collaborations and public-private partnerships in order to develop collective impact and influence systems change.


Opportunities for Systems Integration Put into Motion with MCH Leadership

By Carolyn McCoy, MPH
Senior Policy Manager, AMCHP

Kate Howe, MPH
Program Manager, Child Health, AMCHP

Systems integration is an important priority in achieving maximum public health benefit. With most public and private health care insurance and delivery systems historically operating in parallel, there has been little or no coordination among providers or payers. As a result, families often have to navigate complex systems unassisted. [more]


In order to support the collaboration of these summit teams, and to further the activities initiated by state teams during the Act Early Summits, AMCHP will award grants to state teams in the amount of up to $15,000 for a 12-month period. Keeping in mind both the opportunities and limitations associated with this relatively modest amount of funding, the state team will use this funding to build on and complement other state activities as outlined in their state plan, which are designed to strengthen state and community systems for early identification and intervention for children with signs of autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders (ASD/DD). [more]


Louisiana Partners to Improve Early Childhood Systems

By Amy Zapata
MCH Program Director, Louisiana Office of Public Health

Louisiana, like most states, has established an early childhood state advisory council to inform policies affecting young children from birth through school entry. The 2007 Head Start reauthorization legislation was the impetus for the formation of State Advisory Councils (SACs) in many jurisdictions. Charged with advising on improvements to quality, accessibility, and coordination of early care and learning programs, legislation required SACs to have representation from the sectors that administer such programs. [more]


Colorado 9to25: Partnering with Youth to Build a Statewide System for Young People

By Anne-Marie Braga
Population and Community Health Unit Manager, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Audra Bishop
Youth Health Specialist, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Lifelong success for young people demands coordination between all those who care for and about them. For years, Colorado has been focused on building a coordinated, comprehensive early childhood system. Using lessons learned and capitalizing on strong public private partnerships, we have recently launched its counterpart for youth -- Colorado 9to25 (CO9to25). During the last Colorado MCH needs assessment, "building a comprehensive youth system" was identified by both adults and youth as a top priority. [more]


A Mother's Struggle Leads to Impassioned Advocacy for Integrated Systems

By Rylin Rodgers
Training Director, Family Leadership Coordinator, Riley Child Development Center

In the world of maternal and child health, we strive for systems of care: interagency collaboration; individualized, strengthsbased care practices; cultural competence; community-based services; accountability; and full participation of families and youth at all levels of the system. My personal and professional roles focus on moving closer to that ideal every day. [more]


Improving the System of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
Through D70 Implementaion Grants

Improving the System of Services for CYSHCN is the primary goal of the D70 HRSA-funded state implementation grants. A recent webinar presentation and discussion of D70 grants highlighted successes of the grants in various states and their implications for the future of systems of care for CYSHCN. States have used D70 funds in a variety of ways to address systems building. [more]



Maine Works to Make System Navigation Easier for
Children with ASD/DD and their Families

By Toni Wall
Director, Children with Special Health Care Needs Program, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Nancy Cronin, MA
ASD Systems Change Coordinator, Maine, Developmental
Disabilities Council

In 2008, Maine began an ASD Systems Change Initiative sponsored by the Commissioners of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services. The ASD initiative was charged with analyzing the multiple systems of care that individuals with ASD and their families had to navigate. The work began by analyzing the early identification and early intervention systems, which revealed that it took an average of 32 months from parent concern to actual diagnosis of ASD. Stakeholder recommendations include lowering barriers to reduce the overall time between concern and diagnosis. [more]

Mississippi MACSS Project: Changing Systems within a
Community Health System of Care

By Jane Z. Siders, Ed.D.
Co-Director, Institute for Disability Studies

There are 21 Community Health Centers in Mississippi serving the health care needs of medically underserved and indigent populations, including those living in rural areas. The mission of the Mississippi Community Health Centers is to ensure equal access to quality, comprehensive health care services and the elimination of health disparities in the state. Community health centers play a critical role in the health care of Mississippi children and youth because of the rural nature of the state, the high rates of poverty, and the fact that Mississippi has the highest rate of disability per population in the nation. All 21 Community Health Centers provide developmental screening for young children, but none screen specifically for autism. [more]

Vermont Medical Home and Community-Based Teams
Collaborate to Improve Services

By Janet Kilburn, LICSW
Medical Social Worker, Children's Integrated Services Early Intervention, Children with Special Health Needs, Vermont Department of Health

The goals of the Vermont State Implementation Grant for Improving Services to Children and Youth with ASD/DD include increasing collaboration between the Medical Home and communitybased teams. An exciting accomplishment this year is the piloting of care coordination by placing medical social workers, from the Vermont Title V CYSHCN program, in Medical Homes. [more]



How is your state leveraging home visiting and early childhood comprehensive systems funding to build or increase capacity in early childhood systems?


Dianna Frick, MPH
MCH Epidemiologist, Montana Department of Public Health and
Human Services

Montana is leveraging Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Development funding and Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) funding to support early childhood collaboration and systems change at both the state and community levels. Early childhood coalitions, called Best Beginnings councils, are central to the collaboration efforts. [more]



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

The votes have been counted, the balloons have dropped, and the cheering and/or crying is beginning to fade. So as the election dust settles, we can begin to discern some of the key takeaways and potential impacts on maternal and child health programs.

The big headlines are easy: President Obama won a second term. The Democrats retain control of the Senate and the Republicans will continue to lead the House. In short, the balance of power -- in terms of chamber control and numbers of Republicans and Democrats -- has not changed much. [more]


New MCH Leaders

See a list of new MCH leaders. [more]

AMCHP welcomes new staff. [more]


AMCHP Technical Assistance Project: Request for Applications
AMCHP, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is leading a project to increase the capacity of state MCH programs and other state stakeholders (e.g., Medicaid agencies, providers, local health departments, community health centers) to improve birth outcomes throughout the life course. This project has a specific focus to enhance the capacity of state MCH programs and their partners to maximize the current environment of opportunity by providing state teams with targeted technical assistance on developing a collective impact approach to coordinating the multiple, concurrent efforts and initiatives to improve birth outcomes through health reform. [more]

AMCHP 2013 Annual Conference Registration Brochure Available
The AMCHP 2013 registration brochure is now available on the AMCHP website. Find out why you should be a part of the largest gathering of state MCH leaders nationwide! [more]

Register Today for AMCHP 2013!
The AMCHP 2013 Annual Conference will be held Feb. 9-12, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. To register, visit Don't miss our early-bird registration rates -- register now!

ASTHO Environmental Public Health Tracking Peer-to-
Peer Fellowship Opportunity

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), with support from the CDC National Center for Environmental Health, has teamed up with Esri to provide fellowships and data visualization training as part of the Environmental Public Health Tracking Peer-to-Peer Fellowship Program. Designed to enhance capacity of states and territories not currently funded as part of the CDC National Tracking Network, the newly upgraded fellowship program now prepares non-funded health agencies with GIS technology to support current initiatives in environmental public health tracking. [more]]

MCH Public Health Leadership Institute Applications Now Open
The Maternal and Child Health-Public Health Leadership Institute (MCH PHLI) applications for Cohort IV are now being accepted through Feb. 1, 2013. This year-long leadership development program for the MCH workforce is designed to significantly expand self-awareness and quickly build practical skills for effectively leading, managing people, and building partnerships, to advocate for and create the MCH systems of tomorrow.

Conversations that Matter: A How-To Guide for Hosting
Discussions about Race, Racism, and Public Health

CityMatCH, the National Organization of Urban MCH Leaders, has released a new guide which was developed through a collaboration with the Lee Institute. The how-to guide serves as a community-empowerment resource, assisting public health professionals in initiating open and honest conversations about racism's impacts. It is intended to help MCH leaders navigate the terrain of talking honestly about race and the impact of historical and contemporary racism on the health of communities. [more]


Learn more about the financial impact on families of children and youth with special health care needs here.


View and download resources about CYSHCN and systems building here.

Board of Directors

Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.


Meet the AMCHP staff.


AMCHP Events

AMCHP 2013 Annual Conference
Feb. 9-12
Washington, DC

MCH Events

Teen Distracted Driving Summit
Dec. 1-3
Washington, DC

18th Annual MCH EPI Conference Co-hosted with the 2012 CityMatCH Urban MCH Leadership Conference

Dec. 12-14
San Antonio, TX

National Conference on Bullying
Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2013
Orlando, FL

SAHM Annual Meeting: Achieving Healthy Equity for Adolescents & Young Adults
Mar. 13-16, 2013
Atlanta, GA

Third Annual Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference
May 20-22, 2013
National Harbor, MD

NACCHO Annual 2013
Jul. 10-12, 2013
Dallas, TX


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