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 March/April 2014: Life Course Perspective


By Millie Jones, MPH

"Any action we take today should be seen through the eyes of someone seven generations in the future" -- recurring theme in many Native American cultures.

As we thoughtfully engage in Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Transformation 3.0, it occurs to me that we can adopt life course principles for our work specific to the Transformation 3.0 process. Life course incorporates the connection between an individual’s life and the historical and socioeconomic context in which that life unfolds. So it is with Title V and the Transformation 3.0 work we are doing. [more]



Leveraging Partnerships to Close Gaps: A Peek into the Life Course Indicator Narratives

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

Jennifer Leone
Intern, Women's and Infant Health, AMCHP

AMCHP released a set of life course indicators late last year -- so what's been happening since then? AMCHP has been adding indicator narratives to the Life Course Indicators Online Tool, and working with states to design and provide trainings around calculating the indicator set. This article will highlight four of the life course indicators: Voter Registration, Experiences of Race-Based Discrimination or Racism among Women, Bullying, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). [more]


Using Life Course Theory in Evidence-based Practice: Healthy Women, Healthy Futures

By Su An Arnn Phipps PhD, RN 
The University of Oklahoma College of Nursing, Project Director, Healthy Women, Healthy Futures

The Oklahoma Healthy Women, Healthy Futures (HWHF) is a one-year program based on the life course perspective to address the interconception health of women living in poverty. HWHF was developed in 2008 in conjunction with Community Action Project (CAP) Tulsa and Educare early childhood education programs (ECE) to address the health equity of mothers whose children attend the ECE centers. [more]


Engaging Youth in Public Health Initiatives

By Rena L. Large, MEd, CHES
State Adolescent Health Resource Center/Konopka Institute for Best Practices in Adolescent Health, University of Minnesota

Meaningful youth engagement is essential for including youth voices in the development of programs and policies that serve and impact them. State MCH programs solicit stakeholder input during the development stages of many programs, and especially the five-year needs assessment, and use a variety of approaches to involve youth and collect their feedback. The State Adolescent Health Resource Center (SAHRC) at the University of Minnesota has documented examples of youth engagement efforts within state health agencies in an effort to disseminate successful strategies and lessons learned. A selection of those examples is presented here. [more]


Using a Standardized Approach to Understand Infant Mortality: The State Infant Mortality Toolkit*

By Charlan D. Kroelinger, PhD
Team Lead, Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program, Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Caroline Stampfel, MPH
Senior Epidemiologist, AMCHP

David A. Goodman, PhD
Senior Scientist, Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program, Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

*The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What is a standardized approach to understanding infant mortality and why is it important?
Infant mortality is considered a measure of population health, and for countries, states, counties, and communities it is indicative of underlying issues such as quality of care, access to services, health inequity, and risk behaviors. The World Health Organization defines a live birth as delivery of an infant, 'irrespective of duration of pregnancy, which…breathes or shows any evidence of life (e.g., beating of the heart, definite movement of voluntary muscles) whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached.' [more]




Layers: A Mother's Perspective on Raising Special Needs Children Using the Life Course Framework

By Kris Green
Title V Parent Services Manager and parent to four sons in Anchorage, Alaska

I started with a query to Google, looking for framework to the MCH Life Course Model. From Dr. van Dyck's preface Rethinking MCH: The Life Course Model as an Organizing Framework -- the following statement seemed to jump off the page -- giving me an image to describe this journey so many of us are on with our special needs children.

He writes, "By combining a focus on health equity and social determinants…life course offers a rich and layered understanding of how health develops over a life time and across generations." It is the words "layered understanding" that give title to this journey. [more]



The Wisconsin Healthy People at Every Stage of Life Framework

By Susan Uttech, MS
Director, Bureau of Community Health Promotion, Wisconsin Division of Public Health

How It Began
The Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Bureau of Community Health Promotion (BCHP) has supported the life course approach to improve health outcomes for some time. Research was beginning to inform BCHP about the origins of chronic disease and the complex interplay of protective and common risk factors (Halfon and Hockstein 2002; Lu and Halfon, 2003). For example, babies born at a low birth weight are more likely to have heart disease, hypertension and diabetes later in life. BCHP staff recognize that we are better, together. [more]


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AMCHP is For Babies
On Saturday, May 3, AMCHP staff will participate in the 2014 March for Babies in Washington, DC to support the March of Dimes in improving the health of babies. Click here to support our team, AMCHP Steps for Babies!



The Path to Home Visiting Program Reauthorization

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

At the end of March, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed the so called 'Doc Fix' bill that includes a six month extension for the MIECHV program. This represents a solid interim victory and reflects the work of a broad coalition of stakeholders. Thanks to each of you that participated in the National Day of Action and weighed in with elected officials. This step reflects nascent bipartisan support to continue this vital program to improve outcomes for vulnerable families. It provides Congress additional time to consider a longer-term reauthorization before Mar. 31, 2015 -- the new expiration date. [more]



New MCH Leaders and AMCHP Staff

See a list of new MCH Leaders. [more]



Title V Five Year Needs Assessment Virtual Training -- Part 2: Nuts and Bolts on Using Data
Title V legislation requires each state and jurisdiction to conduct a statewide, 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. The second webinar, The Nuts and Bolts on Using Data, is scheduled for Thursday, May 1 from 3-4 p.m. EST. [more]

Building and Retaining a Resilient MCH Workforce for Tomorrow
Several forces, such as full implementation of the Affordable Care Act and enduring budget cuts, deficits and hiring freezes, are having a huge impact on the knowledge and skills needed for a competent public health workforce. To continue to effectively meet the needs of children, families and communities they serve, building and retaining a resilient MCH workforce has become especially critically important for state Title V programs. In order to support state efforts to maintain a talented workforce, AMCHP is hosting the Building and Retaining a Resilient MCH Workforce for Tomorrow webinar on May 15 at 2 p.m. EST. [more]

Save the Date: Linked by Life Webinar
The Linked by Life webinar titled "Wisconsin: Turning the Ship Towards Implementing Life Course Theory, Social Determinants of Health and Preconception Care," jointly sponsored by the Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) will take place May 6 from 2-3:30 p.m. EST. The webinar will illustrate how the Wisconsin Department of Health Services adopted and executed life course theory to expand preconception care throughout the state, connect MCH and early childhood modes of care while addressing the social determinants of health. [more]

Save the Date: Upcoming Webinar on the MCH Navigator!
The MCH Navigator, funded by MCHB at Georgetown University, is a learning portal that provides access to state and local MCH professionals for free, providing competency-based online trainings to meet professional development needs and ensure that the Title V workforce has the knowledge and skills to address the needs of the MCH Community. On May 21 from 1-2 p.m. EST, John Richards, research director for the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University will provide an overview of new and familiar features of the new Navigator website, and will explain how professionals can access learning opportunities directly through the site and how departments and organizations can use the Navigator to encourage and track staff development. [more]



See an infographic of the ACA through the life course here.



View life course resources here.



Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.



Meet the AMCHP staff.



Click here to see the AMCHP MCH Events Calendar.