May/June 2013


The Search for Common Ground
By Millie Jones, MPH

Lately, I have been thinking about "common ground" and where it has gone. About 10 years ago, it was trending as a means for working with our partners in the public health community. We embraced the opportunity to identify a challenge, dialogue and collectively develop a common vision. Using "Future Search," my friend and former co-worker, Dr. Richard (Dick) Aronson facilitated relationship building, trust, and shared visioning for the work we were doing in maternal and child health (MCH). [more]


By Mike R. Fraser, PhD CAE

It is with a great deal of gratitude and profound appreciation that I would like to share I will be leaving AMCHP after six years as chief executive officer (CEO). I have accepted a new position as the executive vice president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED). My last day with AMCHP will be Jul. 26.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at AMCHP and together we have accomplished a great deal. My decision to leave was not easy. [more]


Why Wait? The Value of Sharing Your Emerging and Promising Practices

By Kate Howe 
Program Manager, Child Health, AMCHP

Many Pulse readers may be familiar with the AMCHP Innovation Station, a database of emerging, promising and best practices in MCH. Since 2009, Innovation Station has served as a resource for locating emerging, promising, or best practices related to a particular topic, population, or intervention, as well as a platform for MCH programs to share their successes and lessons learned. While use of Innovation Stationhas increased over the years, states may still be hesitant to submit their work. [more]

Replicating Promising Practices in Iowa and Montana

Last fall, AMCHP released a new request for application for replication stipends to foster connections between states interested in adapting a current emerging, promising or best practice in Innovation Station. AMCHP provided technical assistance (TA) funds and coordination to two states – Iowa to adapt the Florida CMS-CSHCN Youth and Young Adult Transition materials and Montana to replicate the Rhode Island Pediatric Practice Enhancement Project. Both states share their experiences, successes and lessons learned... [more]

Turning Research Findings into Policy and Practice

By Kay M. Gonsalves, MSPH 
Home Visiting Research Network Coordinator, HVRN 
General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Anne Duggan, ScD 
Home Visiting Research Network Director, HVRN 
General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Home visiting can play a key role in the early childhood system of services. For home visiting to achieve its potential, decision makers must make informed choices regarding adoption, adaptation, implementation, coordination, scale-up and sustainment. We need a coordinated, focused and theory-based home visiting research infrastructure to inform such decisions. [more]

Data Systems for Evidence-Based Practice: The Need for Integrated Epidemiology and Quality Improvement Techniques

By Caroline Stampfel 
Senior Epidemiologist, AMCHP

In MCH programs, we rely on epidemiology and evaluation data to tell us important information about our populations and how effectively we are serving them. Epidemiology data can signal problems to us using incidence or prevalence. Inferential studies can help us understand which groups and behaviors are good candidates for intervention, and what health outcomes are important for the populations we serve. Specific evaluative data from the programs and services we implement are critical: Process measures can tell us what we have accomplished, outcome measures point to what we have changed with our program or practice, and impact measures assess the ultimate difference for those we serve. [more]

Evaluating the Impact of Father Involvement Programming: The SFI Model

By The SFI Development & Evaluation Team

Carolyn Pape Cowan, PhD and Philip A. Cowan, PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, ABPP, Smith College School of Social Work

Kyle D. Pruett, MD, Yale School of Medicine

As we celebrate Men’s Health Month and Father’s Day, there is no better time than the present to consider the unique impact of a positively engaged father on child, maternal, family, and community health. A growing body of research points to the beneficial outcomes of father involvement; however, the majority of programs that serve families with young children, especially low-income families, tend to focus almost exclusively on mothers. Agencies and organizations serving the MCH community may wish to consider their father-friendliness and how they enable father involvement to maximize program outcomes. [more]


AMCHP Every Mother Initiative Request for Applications 
With support of Merck for Mothers, AMCHP is launching the Every Mother Initiative to help states address maternal health issues in their community through strengthening and enhancing state maternal mortality surveillance systems (MMSS) and use the data from these systems to take action in developing and implementing population-based strategies and policy change to prevent maternal death and improve maternal health outcomes. The Every Mother Initiative will begin with a 15-month action learning collaborative (ALC) among six states with existing maternal mortality review programs. [more]

AMCHP Women’s Health Information Webinar Series: A Home Birth Primer for MCH Programs 
In light of the recent attention on safe birthing practices and the newly released AAP policy statement on Planned Home Births, AMCHP will host the national webinar, "A Home Birth Primer for MCH Programs," on Thursday, Jul. 11, from 2-3:30 p.m. EST. [more]

NACCHO and CDC Join Forces in Webinar Series 
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and CDC will hold a series of four webinars in an effort to help local health departments strengthen communications through marketing and branding, message clarity, new media and evaluation. [more]

For more ways to get involved, click here.


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By Brent Ewig, MHS
Director of Policy, AMCHP

A few years ago, the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs vigorously advocated for the creation of the MIECHV Program, which was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The new program provides a total of $1.5 billion over five years (fiscal years 2010 to 2014) for evidence-based home visiting. When it passed, AMCHP joined many MCH advocates in celebrating this addition to the Title V statute and hailing it as the single largest new investment we are likely to see in the foreseeable future for MCH programs outside of the ACA insurance coverage expansions. [more]


Autism Spectrum Disorders: Making Sure Families Get What They Need

By Michelle Jarvis 
Program Manager, Family Involvement, AMCHP

In this day of technology, it can be a real challenge to sift through the seemingly endless stream of information, opinions and efficacy of treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Since the information and opinions can’t be filtered, it is incredibly important that families are guided to treatments that are evidence-based and considered ‘best practice’ by reputable sources. [more]


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).[more]


We asked members to share examples of how they identify and use evidence-based practice in their states.

Carol Scoggins, M.S. 
Program Administrator, Maternal and Child Health, Infant, Maternal and Reproductive Health Section, Florida Department of Health

In 1991, the Florida Legislature gave statutory authority for the Florida Healthy Start Program, which assists pregnant women, interconception women, infants, and children up to age three, to obtain the health care and social support needed to reduce the risks for poor MCH outcomes including infant mortality. The program also promotes good health and developmental outcomes for all mothers, infants and children in Florida. [more]


New MCH Leaders

See a list of new MCH leaders and AMCHP staff. [more]


See how AMCHP members are using Innovation Station here.


View and download evidence-based practices resources here.


Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.


Meet the AMCHP staff.


MCH Events

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

4th Brain Development & Learning: Making sense of the Science Conference
Jul. 24-25
Vancouver, BC

2013 University of Minnesota Summer Course in
Adolescent Health

Jul. 29-30 and Aug. 1
St. Paul, MN

ARHP 50th Annual Reproductive HealthMeeting
Sept. 19-21
Denver, CO

2013 Annual Urban Maternal and Child Health
Leadership Conference
Sept. 23-25
Savannah, GA

87th Annual American School Health Association Conference 
Oct. 9 - 12
Myrtle Beach, SC

APHA Scientific Writing for Peer Reviewed Publications for Public Health Professionals Course
Nov. 2
Boston, MA

2013 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting 
Nov. 2-6
Boston, MA