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 Improving Women's Health Before, Between and Beyond Pregnancy: An Update from the National PCHHC Initiative

By Sarah Verbiest, DrPH, MSW, MPH
CDC Senior Consultant, Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative

PCHHC Logo.jpgThe national Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC) is a public-private partnership that began in 2004 with the vision of improving preconception health and pregnancy outcomes in the United States. Two years ago the Initiative launched its National 2012-14 Strategic Plan. While there is still much to be done, there have been several key products developed, largely thanks to the volunteer efforts of many professionals across the country. These include the Show Your Love Campaign for both women who are planning a pregnancy and those who are not. The award-winning campaign materials, all available free of charge, include checklists, PSAs, podcasts and other items. The revised CPONDER 2.0 program provides Pregnancy Risk Assessment Survey (PRAMS) preconception health data points at your fingertips and April 2014 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report models the application of the preconception health indicators for population health monitoring.

The newly redesigned BeforeandBeyond website for clinicians now hosts a Preconception/ Interconception Toolkit for Clinicians, which brings together an extensive review of key health information across 10 domains based on a woman's reproductive life plan. The toolkit highlights the many ways that preconception health should already be a key component of primary, well-woman care. The website provides one stop shopping for access to online training modules, key articles and more. New Guidelines for Quality Family Planning issued in April 2014 now include preconception health for women and men. The Initiative has produced a series of webinars modeling programs that effectively link MCH and chronic disease programs and focused on increasing access to health services for women through health care reform.

To stay connected to the work of the PCHHC and that of partners across the country doing innovative work, subscribe to the bi-monthly e-newsletter – e-mail with subscribe as the subject line or text PCHHC to 22828. To receive bi-weekly updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the latest news stories and peer reviewed journal publications on preconception health, e-mail Cheryl Robbins at CDC Division of Reproductive Health.

As we come together to review the current plan and set goals and objectives for the future, we need input from leaders in the field. In order to engage partners and colleagues across the country in this work, the PCHHC launched the National Preconception Health Campaign survey. The purpose of this survey is to learn how the resources and tools developed by the Initiative are being utilized as well as to gather information about preconception health activities underway across the country and collect input to guide our upcoming strategic planning process. ​

Preconception health remains and exciting and challenging new paradigm shift within maternal and child health. With your ideas and input, the next steps for the campaign will continue to advance this essential work. If you have any questions or ideas, please contact Sarah Verbiest who serves as the CDC Senior Consultant to the PCHHC.