Success Stories

Innovation Station Highlight: 2013 Award Winners

By Veronica Helms, MPH
Intern, Child and Adolescent Health, AMCHP

The AMCHP Innovation Station is a searchable database highlighting MCH programs that show evidence of having a positive impact on communities. Since 2006, AMCHP has collected emerging, promising and best practices to share with the greater MCH community. AMCHP defines "best practices" as a continuum of practices, programs and policies that range from emerging to promising to those that have been extensively evaluated and proven effective (best practices).

The following programs represent a sample of success stories from the growing AMCHP database of MCH emerging, promising and best practices:

2013 Emerging Practice Awardee


The Minnesota Superior Babies Program was established to reduce the devastating effects of prenatal alcohol and substance use by promoting healthy prenatal care and parenting. The program is a collaboration between the St. Louis County Public Health & Human Services Department and the Arrowhead Center LLC. Grounded in the social cognitive theory, the program uses a home visiting model with a collaborative, case management approach to provide home visits during pregnancy and up to two years after the birth of the baby in order to reduce the incidence of fetal alcohol related diagnoses and other prenatal drug related effects in children, as well as to increase positive birth outcomes. Results of the program show reductions in drug and alcohol use and improved parenting skills among program participants. For more information on this program, click here.

2013 Promising Practice Awardee


Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® (HBWW) Community Program is a community-based initiative focused on bringing an end to preventable preterm birth. The pilot initiative, jointly funded by March of Dimes and Johnson & Johnson, was implemented in three intervention sites in Kentucky from 2007-2009 and conducted in collaboration with the Kentucky Department of Health. The pilot used a multifaceted, "real world" ecological design and evidence-based clinical and public health interventions and education strategies for patients, perinatal providers and the general public to prevent late preterm birth. Results indicate declines in preterm and late preterm singleton births in the intervention sites, as well as positive changes in perinatal provider and patient knowledge, attitudes and reported behaviors relevant to preterm birth. HBWW is currently being replicated in multiple states and communities. For more information on this program, click here.

Submit Your Best Practices!

AMCHP is seeking submissions for Innovation Station, an online, searchable database of emerging, promising and best practices in maternal and child health from around the country. Whether it is an effective campaign to promote breastfeeding, an outstanding nurse-family partnership or a proven early intervention program for young children, get the word out about your best practice. Best practices may be featured in AMCHP publications and promoted on the AMCHP website. This is an opportunity to enhance MCH by sharing knowledge and also receive feedback from our expert review panel. All submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. Submit your best practices today at bestpractices.

2013 Best Practice Awardees


The Arizona Empower Program, part of the Arizona Department of Health Services Healthy Eating Active Living Child Care Initiative, was a statewide policy change that prioritized health by offsetting child care licensing fees. The program for preschoolers provides 10 strategies to empower children to lead healthy lives and address the alarming rise in childhood obesity and the harmful effects of tobacco. Participating facilities receive a 50 percent discount for child care licensing fees. In addition to reduced licensing fees, participating child care providers receive an Empower Pack that includes guidelines and tools that can be easily incorporated into the everyday routine of child care to instill healthy life choices. Technical assistance also is available to help centers meet each of the Empower standards. As a result of Empower, child care providers did not face extreme increases in licensing fees that would have resulted in the closure of some facilities. Additionally, centers demonstrated higher adherences to nutrition and physical activity best practices policy and providing smoke-free environments. For more information on this program, click here.


The Washington Parent Child Assistance Program (PCAP) is a three-year advocacy/case management model for high-risk mothers and their children, developed by the University of Washington Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit. Mothers are enrolled during pregnancy or up to six months postpartum, and participate with their families for three years after enrollment. Three theoretical bases – Relational Theory, Stages of Change, and Harm Reduction – guide the PCAP intervention. The PCAP model is informed by research on effective home visiting interventions for low-income populations that have demonstrated the success of strategies including comprehensive focus, frequent visits, and well-trained staff. Evaluation results showed sustained, significant improvements in increased abstinence from alcohol and drugs; increase in stable, permanent housing; decrease in mothers with a subsequent pregnancy; and decrease in mothers with an incarceration. The program was expanded across Washington state throughout the 1990s and 2000s, and now has replication sites in several states and other countries. Evaluation data from replication sites have shown similar positive outcomes. For more information on this program, click here.

To learn more about promising and effective programs in MCH, please visit the AMCHP online searchable database, Innovation Station. For more information about best practices, please contact Kate Howe.

New in Innovation Station

AMCHP would like to recognize all those innovative MCH programs that were successfully reviewed and added to the best practices database in the past year:

  • Baby Steps to Breastfeeding (AZ)
  • Birth and Beyond California (CA)
  • Dare to Dream (RI)
  • Empower Program (AZ)
  • Get Healthy Together (NM)
  • Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® Community Program
  • Internatal Care Program (AZ)
  • Parent Child Assistance Program (WA)
  • Reproductive Health Assessment After Disaster Toolkit
  • Superior Babies Program (MN)