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 March/April 2013

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By Millie Jones, MPH

First, let me thank you all for the honor to serve as president of the AMCHP Board of Directors! For all the times I have read the bimonthly newsletter from AMCHP, never have I really stopped to think about the name Pulse. But in my new role I find I am thinking about everything! [more]


By Mike R. Fraser, PhD CAE

If we are to truly implement the life course perspective in maternal and child health we have to get serious about how we support the health of adolescents and young adults in our states and engage youth in the work of Title V programs nationwide. Many states have supported robust adolescent health programs for years and they have learned a number of lessons about how to best meet the health needs of adolescents and young adults. We are pleased to highlight some of that work in this issue of Pulse. But many states continue to struggle with how to best address the needs of adolescents and implement a systems-based approach to adolescent health in their programs. There is a lot more we all can do in this important part of maternal and child (and adolescent) health. [more]


The Federal Perspective with Evelyn Kappeler

By Lacy Fehrenbach,
Director of Programs, AMCHP

The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) coordinates federal efforts related to adolescent health promotion and disease prevention. Shortly after the Office was formed, OAH established the Adolescent Health Working Group (AHWG), which brings together U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies to work together to help ensure young people understand health and well-being and develop healthy habits of mind and body that will last a lifetime; have the support of caring professionals and prompt intervention when health risks are encountered; and for the young persons with great risks, have the assurance of coordinated, integrated care and access to services. [more]


Navigating the ACA: Mapping Medicaid for Adolescent Health

By Jane Park, MPH
Project Coordinator, National Adolescent and Young Adult Health Information Center

Much of implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“the ACA”) is happening at the state level. State MCH Title V programs are uniquely positioned to help ensure that ACA implementation meets the needs of adolescents and young adults. Below we highlight some ACA provisions relevant to adolescents and young adults, taken from a longer brief, and offer ideas for how state MCHB programs can address the needs of young people. This article does not address the intricacies of children and youth wish special health care needs, however, AMCHP has a fact sheet “Health Care Reform: What’s in it for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs?” written by Meg Comeau from the Catalyst Center, that provides more in-depth analysis on these issues. [more]

Systems Change and Healthy Youth Development: State Adolescent Health Resourcec Center Priorities

By Glynis Shea
Communications Director, Konopka Institute for Best Practices in Adolescent Health

Understanding where and how adolescents fit within state public health systems is both an essential component of and an ongoing challenge for the work of the HRSA/MCHB funded State Adolescent Health Resource Center. Housed at the University of Minnesota Konopka Institute for Best Practices in Adolescent Health, the State Adolescent Health Resource Center (SAHRC), provides training, resources and on-demand technical assistance to adolescent health staff (adolescent health coordinators) located in state systems. [more]


Including Dads in Teen Pregnancy and Parenting Support Initiatives

By Andria Cornell
Program Manager, Women's & Infant Health Team, AMCHP

MCH programs have a broad focus on protecting and promoting the health and well-being of women, infants, children and families. This focus has inherently included fathers; however, as Title V programs continue to integrate the life course approach into program planning and policy development, topics like father engagement, paternal involvement, and men's preconception health take on new meaning and urgency. For example, teen pregnancy and parenthood has historically been considered a ‘woman’s issue.’ Today, state and local programs (and partners outside of MCH) are evolving to include teen dads as targets of intervention efforts. [more]


OAH Grantees Use Pregnancy Assistance Funds to Further Prevention and Education

By Veronica Helms
Intern, Child and Adolescent Health, AMCHP

The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, currently provides grants to more than 112 organizations nationwide. Grantees focus on one of three adolescent health areas: teen pregnancy assistance, teen pregnancy prevention or HIV/AIDS prevention. Two exemplary OAH grantees and their programs and highlighted below. [more]


Building Bridges for Adolescent Sexual Health Through State-Local Collaboration

By Maritza Valenzuela
Program Manager, Adolescent Health, AMCHP

Gretchen Weiss
Senior Program Analyst, NACCHO

Effective partnerships and meaningful collaboration among health and education agencies are recognized as essential to improving health outcomes for children and adolescents. There is a great need for successful models of collaboration to bridge the divide between state and local health and education agencies. Recognizing this need, AMCHP and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) were supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC-DASH) to develop the “Building Bridges for Adolescent Sexual Health Through State-Local Collaboration” project. Building on past experiences and current relationships in Texas, AMCHP and NACCHO recognized an opportunity to build on existing relationships, reduce overlap in programmatic efforts, foster connection and collaboration between state and local agencies, and align work to maximize impact. [more]


Step by Step: Growing Comprehensive State Adolescent Sexual Health and Teen Dating Programming

By the Adolescent Health Program Team
Section of Women's, Children's & Family Health, Division of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

The Adolescent Health Program seeks to promote positive youth development and reduce negative health outcomes among Alaska youth. Our projects focus on promoting healthy relationships by eliminating unequal and unhealthy relationships; promoting overall adolescent health and well-being; avoiding early initiation of sexual activity and unintended teen pregnancy; and encouraging family, school and community involvement in the lives of youth. [more]


Title X and Teens: Innovations in Marketing and Partnerships to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and Increase Access to Care

By Robin Summers and Dana Thomas
Senior Policy Directors, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association

In a time of steep budget cuts, Title X-funded family planning centers have developed innovative ways to best utilize their limited resources to reach populations most in need. Family planning providers in different regions across the country have changed their business models and marketing strategies to reach more teens and promote teen pregnancy prevention. [more]


New Training Resources on Empower Local Community Members to Take Action

By Erin Reiney, MPH, CHES
Director, Injury & Violence Prevention, Division of Child, Adolescent and Family Health, MCHB

As many Pulse readers are aware, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) has been involved in bullying prevention for more than a decade. During that time, my colleagues and I have met no shortage of individuals who are eager to stop bullying at the community level. The problem is that many do not have the resources they need to carry out prevention efforts and sustain them over time. [more]


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View From Washington

By Brent Ewig, MHS
Director of Policy, AMCHP

Spring has finally arrived in our nation’s capital! Along with the cherry blossoms and warmer weather, we finally have a reprieve from the long winter of budget discontent and a small ray of good news to share. On Apr. 10, President Obama released his fiscal year 2014 federal budget proposal, which proposes $639 million for the Title V Maternal and Child (MCH) Services Health Block Grant. This amount represents level funding with fiscal year 2012 and is an increase over the estimated final fiscal year 2013 levels when factoring in sequestration and other across the board cuts. [more]



Transitioning into Adulthood: Can You Hear Me?

By Millicent Bright
Intern, Women's and Infant Health Team, AMCHP

Youth engagement in programs, practices, and policies that affect them is critical in promoting positive youth development and empowerment. Capitalizing on the strengths and unique contributions of all youth, programs can establish a comprehensive youth system that efficiently supports the development, health, and well-being of youth and young adults. For this real life story, AMCHP sought out feedback from three transitioning youth with special health care needs (YSHCN). Their feedback provides important perspectives on essential health care needs and services that most impact their transition to adulthood. [more]


Innovation Station Highlight: Emerging Practices in Youth Leadership Development

By Kate Howe, MPH
Program Manager, Child Health, AMCHP

The Rhode Island Dare to Dream Youth Leadership Development Initiative is an emerging practice in the AMCHP Innovation Station that promotes youth leadership and development. Dare to Dream is grounded in the idea that all youth, including those with disabilities, need to participate in positive youth development activities and acquire leadership skills to be contributing members of society. Youth, especially those with disabilities, need to gain self-esteem and leadership skills, including self-determination and self-advocacy, for this to be effective. However, the opportunities for youth with disabilities to access positive youth development and leadership activities are limited. [more]


Virginia Department of Health PAF Initiatives
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Office of Child and Family Health Services Pregnancy Assistance Fund Grant (PAF) initiative provides support to male and female students ages 18-29 enrolled in Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) who are pregnant or parenting young children under five. Student-parents participating in campus- based PAF programs are connected with a myriad of health, social services and educational resources and services that make it more likely they will continue to focus their energy on completing school while balancing their paramount responsibilities as a parent. [more]


Bringing Youth Voices to MCH Programs: Models of Youth Engagement

By Maritza Valenzuela
Program Manager, Adolescent Health, AMCHP

Positive youth development is an evidence-based public health strategy for developing inherent strengths and assets in young people that support healthy behavioral development. While the merits of youth engagement are understood, few resources exist that provide guidance on internal policies and procedures that support youth involvement and leadership development in office settings. Engaging youth in MCH work is the key to developing future MCH leaders. [more]



We asked AMCHP members: How has the adolescent health framework changed over the time that you have been doing this work/been in your position?

Robert Nystrom, MA
Section Manager, Adolescent, Genetics & Reproductive Health, Center for Prevention & Health Promotion, Oregon Public Health Division

When I first arrived at the Oregon Public Health Division in 1994 as School-Based Health Center program coordinator, one of the first people I met was a seasoned professional working on ‘teen pregnancy prevention.’ The conversation was a typical one at that time -- we talked about ‘risk,’ ‘negative outcomes’ and ‘dangers.’ Fast forwarding to 2013 finds Oregon contributing to Public Health Reports Special Supplement Number 1, Understanding Sexual Health, with an original article titled, Shifting the Paradigm in Oregon from Teen Pregnancy Prevention to Youth Sexual Health. Instead of talking about what youth should ‘not do’ or avoid to ‘stay out of trouble,’ the dialogue has shifted to ‘how can we best support all youth to be safe and realize their human potential.’ [more]



New MCH Leaders

See a list of new MCH Leaders. [more]



Global Look at Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Strategies for Success
The Office of Adolescent Health invites you to attend its free webcast -- A Global Look at Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Strategies for Success -- on May 2 from 2-3 p.m. ET. Hear from Robert W. Blum, MD, MPH, PhD, an expert in adolescent health and teen pregnancy, about how teen pregnancy outcomes in the United States compare globally, and what we can learn from teen pregnancy prevention efforts abroad. Dr. Blum will also answer some commonly asked questions concerning teen pregnancy prevention. [more]

Archive of 2013 AMCHP Annual Meeting is Now Available!
Archived material from the 2013 AMCHP annual meeting, Advancing the Maternal and Child Health Vision: Quality, Leadership and Action, is now live and available. The archive includes viewable presentations, resources, and tools from the plenary sessions, skills-building workshops, and power sessions. [more]

National Premature Infant Health Coalition Summit
This year, the National Premature Infant Health Coalition Summit will take place May 4 -11, both in-person and virtually for ease of participation across the country! Events are completely free and open to parents, providers, policymakers and anyone with an interest in issues surrounding prematurity. Activities taking place throughout the week include webinars, a live Facebook chat, a networking reception, and an NPIHC team in the March For Babies! [more]



See statistics on AMCHP in 2012 here.


View and download AMCHP resources from 2012 here.

Board of Directors

Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.


Meet the AMCHP staff.


MCH Events

3rd Annual APA Conference on Advancing Quality Improvement Science for Children’s Health Care Research
May 3
Washington, DC

National Premature Infant Health Coalition Summit
May 4-11
Washington, DC (virtual and in-person)

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

Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Annual Conference
June 9-13
Pasadena, CA

Third National Cribs for Kids Conference
June 25-28
Pittsburgh, PA

NACCHO Annual 2013
Jul. 10-12
Dallas, TX

Leadership, Legacy, & Community: A Retreat to Advance MCH Scholarship & Practice
Jul. 15-16
Oak Brook, IL