January/February 2014


2014: The Year of MCH (Masterfully Cultivating Hope)

By Millie Jones, MPH

I recently saw an inspiring TV feature about a principal and a message of hope for “turning her school around.” Linda Cliatt Wayman, principal at Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia talked about the critical message of hope that she operationalizes on behalf of all of her students: “when children have hope they can succeed.” [more]


The Critical Importance of Deep Leadership

By Barbara Laura, MS

This is the second time I’ve had the pleasure of working with AMCHP as its interim executive. I arrived this time in early August 2013. But my perspective on the organization goes back six years, before Mike Fraser arrived as CEO. Based on my experience, I’m going to reflect on AMCHP past to present, during the transition period, and finally into the future. [more]


The National MCH Workforce Development Center: Building a Workforce to Support Transformation

By Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH 
Principal Investigator and Director, National MCH Workforce Development Center, UNC Gillings School of Public Health

Lacy Fehrenbach, MPH, CPH 
Director of Programs, AMCHP

In September 2013, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), Division of Workforce and Leadership Development awarded the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) Gillings School of Global Public Health $5.5 million to develop and implement a National MCH Workforce Development Center (the Center). This investment is among the largest, if not the largest, investment ever made in the Title V workforce and represents MCHB's commitment to helping states and territories succeed in their efforts to improve the health and well-being of women, children, and families. UNC engaged partners from AMCHP, the Catalyst Center, National Academy of State Health Policy, Center for Public Health Quality, National Implementation Research Network, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Kentucky, and Howard University in the design and implementation of the Center. [more]


A Look Back/Look Ahead: Sequesters and Shutdowns and Websites, Oh My!

By the AMCHP Policy Team (Brent Ewig, Karen Van Landeghem & Carolyn McCoy)

In the world of maternal and child health policy, the year 2013 will likely be remembered as the year sequester hit and was partially repealed; the year partisan bickering led to a two-week federal government shutdown; and the year the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment got off to a rocky start due largely to a less-than-optimally functioning website. Amidst this backdrop, significant progress was made to address birth outcomes via the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) led by states and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). We also saw substantial action to transform the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant under the banner of the MCH 3.0 Transformation, led by MCHB Associate Administrator Dr. Michael Lu. This column will look back on some of these highlights, and look ahead to what the election year of 2014 holds in store for MCH policy. [more]


WIH Team: Building Capacity to Promote Women’s Health, Leverage MCH Epidemiology for Knowledge Generation, and Advance a Life Course Approach

By the AMCHP WIH Team (Erin Bonzon, Piia Hanson, Caroline Stampfel, Brittany Argotsinger, Andria Cornell and Megan Phillippi)

The AMCHP women’s and infant health (WIH) team collaborates with numerous partners to implement projects that span diverse topics such as home visiting, infant mortality, health reform and health system redesign, maternal mortality, chronic disease, and preconception health. As the team reflected on 2013, three cross-cutting themes emerged: building capacity to address maternal and child health priorities across the life course, supporting the spread of effective MCH practices, and convening and leading strategic alliances to advance health equity in women’s and infant health. [more]


MCH Workforce & Leadership Development: Training MCH Leaders and Planning for the Future

By the AMCHP WLD Team (Sharron Corle, Jessica Teel and Michelle Jarvis)

AMCHP has had a rewarding and fruitful year in the MCH workforce and leadership development arena! [more]


Reflections from the Child and Adolescent Health Team

By the AMCHP CAH Team (Treeby Brown, Kate Taft, Maritza Valenzuela, Veronica Helms and Alma Reyes

The AMCHP child and adolescent health team works on projects around three main areas: adolescent health, child health, and CYSHCN (including children and youth with ASD/DD). The primary funders of this work are the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) (adolescent health, CYSHCN, SPHARC), the CDC National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health (CYSHCN-Leadership Institute, and Consensus Standards). 2013 marked the first full year of operation for the AMCHP Child and Adolescent Health team.[more]


AMCHP Best Practices

The AMCHP program team continues to be a resource for what is working in MCH and to share lessons learned and promising practices with our members. Over the past year, AMCHP has expanded the number of peer-reviewed practices in the Innovation Station database. [more]



Looking to the Future After My AMCHP 2014 Experience

By Teresa Nguyen
Ryan Colburn Scholarship Recipient

Being able to attend the 2014 AMCHP Conference as a young, emerging public health leader with special health care needs was an incredible opportunity for me and it wouldn’t have been possible without the wonderful Ryan Colburn Scholarship. As a Colorado native, it wasn’t hard to adjust to the frigid temperatures of DC during the conference, but the two-hour time difference was another story -- especially when my days started around 5 a.m. Denver time! Though this may seem early, it actually provided me with a strong advantage by allowing me to make the most of each day during the conference. [more]


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What the AMCHP Family Scholars Program Did for Me

By Moe Schroeder
Parent to Parent Coordinator, Family Voices of North Dakota, Region 5 Experienced Parent Project Coordinator, North Dakota Early Intervention

How can I “Lead from Here?” I was sent the AMCHP Family Scholar application from my director at Family Voices. I looked it over and thought, yah right. Why would AMCHP, a national organization, pick me to be part of one of their programs? I am a woman from a town with a roughly estimated population of 400 that sits in rural North Dakota. [more]

Looking into the Future as a Family Scholar

By Susan Wood
Hilopa'a Family to Family Health Information Center

Being a family scholar has been an enriching experience. Based on the Maternal and Child Health 12 leadership competencies, we are challenged to stretch our learning and experiences to new heights. These competencies include understanding the MCH knowledge base, self-reflection, ethics and professionalism, critical thinking, community, negotiation and conflict resolution, cultural competency, family-centered care, developing others through mentoring, interdisciplinary team building, working with communities and systems, and policy and advocacy. [more]

Reflections on the AMCHP New Director Mentor Program

By Rachel Berroth, MS
Director, Kansas Department of Health & EnvironmentBureau of Family Health

This is truly an exciting time for the field of MCH, with more opportunities than before to collaborate with other programs, integrate systems, and translate our shared vision into reality! While opportunities to improve the health of women, infants, children, and families are abundant, there are ongoing challenges related to emerging population health needs, health care reform, and the proposed block grant transformation. As Title V directors, we make a conscious decision to view challenges as stepping stones versus obstacles. [more]


Bradley Planey, M.S., M.A.
Family Health Branch Chief, Arkansas Department of Health

I recently served as a mentor in the NDMP. The program offers the opportunity for new Title V directors to have regular communication with a director who has more years in this role. The majority of the communication consists of regular telephone calls and occasional teleconferences. [more]


Virtual Training Opportunity: Title V Five Year Needs Assessment
Title V legislation requires each state and jurisdiction to conduct a state-wide, comprehensive needs assessment every five years. Hard to believe that the time has come for Title V programs to prepare for the next comprehensive needs assessment! The needs assessment process can be a useful tool for strategic planning, strategic decision-making and resource allocation. It also provides a way for Title V programs to benchmark where they are and assess progress over a five-year period. To assist states or jurisdictions in preparing their assessments, AMCHP is hosting a series of virtual trainings to provide guidance on the needs assessment process. [more]

AMCHP RFA: ALC for State Title V CYSHCN Directors and Teams: Taking a Leadership Role in Transitioning CYSHCN into Medicaid Managed Care Arrangements
On Friday, Feb. 14, AMCHP will release a request for applications (RFA) for interested state teams to join an action learning collaborative (ALC) to take place in late-April 2014. The ALC will focus on states currently transitioning children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) into Medicaid managed care arrangements, states planning to transition CYSHCN into Medicaid managed care arrangements, and states that have already transitioned CYSHCN into Medicaid managed care arrangements. [more]

National MCH Workforce Development Center Releases Request for Participation
The National MCH Workforce Development Center at UNC Chapel Hill, in cooperation with MCHB, and in partnership with AMCHP and national experts in MCH innovation and quality improvement, will offer state and territorial Title V leaders training, collaborative learning opportunities, and technical assistance in implementing health care reform using a variety of learning platforms. In the current dynamic context, tools and resources to strengthen MCH capacity and skills in four core areaswill be available through the National Center to move from evidence to action. [more]

Webinar: Federal Efforts to Improve Maternal and Infant Health Data Capacity and Health Outcomes
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will hold a webinar, “Federal Efforts to Improve Maternal and Infant Health Data Capacity and Health Outcomes,” on Monday, Mar. 3 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST. [more]


New MCH Leaders

See a list of new MCH Leaders. [more]


See statistics on AMCHP in 2013 here.


View and download AMCHP resources from 2013 here.


Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.


Meet the AMCHP staff.