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 September/October 2013

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9 Cs of CoIIN

By Millie Jones, MPH

I just returned from a two-day meeting with my maternal and child health (MCH) partners from Regions IV, V and VI where we shared and learned from one another in the development of the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to reduce infant mortality. The goal of CoIIN is to facilitate collaborative learning and adoption of proven quality improvement principles and practices to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcome. [more]



Accelerating Progress to Improve Birth Outcomes through the CoIIN

By By Lacy Fehrenbach
Director of Programs, AMCHP

After stalled progress at the start of this century, the U.S. infant mortality rate declined 12 percent between 2005 and 2011. This is certainly welcome news. Even more promising though, the data indicate that death rates for babies born to black mothers declined the most during this time...[more]

Breastfeeding and the Affordable Care Act

By Carolyn Mullen
Associate Director, Government Affairs, AMCHP

Breastfeeding is recognized as the best source of nutrition for most infants and strategies to support breastfeeding mothers and babies are some of the most effective measures to protect and promote the health of all infants. According to a report published by the Agency for Health Research and Quality, the evidence is clear that breastfeeding reduces... [more]

Preconception/Interconception Health in Michigan: Using Data to Inform Programs

By Patricia McKane, Cristin Larder and Quess Derman,
Michigan Department of Community Health

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is committed to improving MCH epidemiology capacity enabling epidemiologists to leverage existing data resources to assess and monitor maternal, infant and child health. [more]

Colorado's Evaluation of a Reproductive Life Plan Tool

By By Mandy Bakulski, RD
Maternal Wellness & Early Childhood Supervisor; Children, Youth and Families Branch; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

A reproductive life plan is a set of goals determined by an individual to improve personal health, decide how many children to have, when to have them and how to prevent getting pregnant until they are ready. An individual creates their reproductive life plan based on personal values and beliefs. [more]

Reproductive Life Planning Tools: Stories from EWSE Pilot Sites

By Erin K. McClain, MA, MPH
Research Associate, University of North Carolina, Center for Maternal & Infant Health

Every Woman Southeast is a coalition of leaders in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, who are building multistate, multilayered partnerships to improve the health of women and infants in the southeast. [more]

Best Babies Zone: A Collaborative Initiative to Improve Birth Outcomes and Transform Communities

By Cheri Pies, MSW DrPH
Clinical Professor, MCH Program, DrPH Program, MSW/MPH Concurrent and Dual Degree Programs, University of California Berkley School of Public Health

Carly Strouse , IBCLC
Co-Chair, Alameda Breastfeeding Coalition

Wendy Hussey , MPH
Assistant Director, Maternal & Child Health Program, University of California Berkeley

For several decades, interventions aimed at reducing infant mortality have focused on medical and technological innovations. Despite large investments in improving health care access and supportive services for families, mothers and babies, significant racial-ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in maternal and child health persist. [more]

Benefits and Eligibility for MCH Populations Explained in Three Easy Charts!

By Carolyn McCoy, MPH
Senior Policy Manager, AMCHP

Open enrollment for ACA health insurance plans began on Oct. 1, 2013, with new plans beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. State Title V MCH programs can play a role in educating women, children and their families about projected eligibility levels for various health insurance coverage options as well as eligibility for minimum health plan benefit levels. [more]

Putting Together the Pieces of the Puzzle: Achieving Equity in the "Landscape of Breastfeeding Support"

By Megan Renner 
Executive Director, United States Breastfeeding Committee

Breastfeeding has been referred to as a "tidal wave" in recent years, with new legislation and policies being implemented, new organizations forming, new partnerships blossoming, and new investments being announced. Initiation and duration rates continue to climb and racial disparities are narrowing. [more]

National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative Update

By Sarah Verbiest, DrPH, MSW, MPH 
Executive Director, Center for Maternal & Infant Health

The National Preconception Health and Health Care (PCHHC) Initiative is a public-private partnership that was launched in 2004 and has worked steadfastly toward achieving the vision that all women and men of childbearing age have high reproductive awareness; all pregnancies are intended and planned... [more]



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CEO Transition Update

By Barbara Laur, MS

I am glad to report that the CEO search continues to move forward. The Search Committee will start interviews toward the end of October, but we continue to welcome resumes from outstanding candidates. Please take a moment and think whether you may know someone who cares passionately about maternal and child health, and has the experience and skills to lead an outstanding national association. [more]


Shutdown Dysfunction and the Morale of Public Health Workers

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

As I write this column, the federal government is back to work after a 15-day shutdown. While this is good news, for more than two weeks most of our federal colleagues working for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were locked out of their offices and blackberries, placing the three legged stool of federal-state-local public health badly off kilter and our nation’s health at risk.

Moreover, four weeks into this fiscal year, public health program administrators literally have no idea what their budgets will look like for 2014 and little indication on how and when those funding levels will be decided. Last July, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill showing proposed FY 2014 health program funding levels that actually included a small increase for the Title V MCH Services Block Grant. But the House Appropriations Committee never even released a draft of their bill, which was surrounded by rumors of deep health program cuts and outright program eliminations. Until now, there has been no effort to reach agreement between the two chambers. As others have observed, anyone trying to operate a business under such uncertainty could not reasonably be expected to succeed. [more]



Arizona Bring Your Baby to Work

By Susie Leo, MPH, RD
Special Project Coordinator, Bureau of Nutrition & Physical Activity, Arizona Department of Health Services

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has encouraged parents to bring their infant to work for 13 years. The policy started as a pilot program in 2000 in the Office of Nutrition, which promotes breastfeeding as the best and most nutritious start to an infant's life. The policy would allow state employees to 'walk the talk' of exclusive breastfeeding for the infant's first six months of life. [more]



Life Course Indicators Now Available!
AMCHP is pleased to announce the release of the final set of Life Course Indicators. The indicators represent the final product of a yearlong effort by seven state-based teams, informed by the input of a National Expert Panel of thought leaders on the life course theory and linking theory to practice. The final indicator set and tools for getting started in using them are available here. The project and indicators will be presented on a webinar on Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. EST -- Save the date! [more]

AMCHP Best Practices Technical Assistance Project: Request for Applications DEADLINE EXTENDED
As part of an overall strategic goal to improve maternal and child health (MCH) outcomes by sharing effective and promising practices with state and territorial MCH programs, AMCHP is please to provide a second round of replication stipends to foster connections between states interested in replication or adaptation of a current emerging, promising or best practice in Innovation Station. [more]

November is Prematurity Awareness Month
AMCHP is pleased to be a member of the March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Campaign Steering committee and partner in their efforts to raise awareness about prematurity. [more]

For more ways to get involved, click here.



New MCH Leaders

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



See how to you measure key factors of a life course approach to maternal and child health here.



View and download infant mortality/prematurity and preconception health resources here.



Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.



Meet the AMCHP staff.



AMCHP Events

AMCHP 2014
Jan. 25-28
Washington, DC

MCH Events

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

ASTHO Winter Member Meeting
Dec. 3-5
Chapel Hill, NC

National Healthcare Coalitions Conference
Dec. 11-13
New Orleans, LA

15TH Annual NHSA Spring Conference
Mar. 29-31, 2014
Washington, DC

2014 Preparedness Summit
Apr. 1-4, 2014
Atlanta, GA