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 September/October 2014 - Women's and Infant Health

 Download a PDF of this issue.

By Millie Jones, MPH

I recently saw an interview with Oprah Winfrey talking about her new book entitled What I Know for Sure. It was such a positive, insightful discussion and it started me thinking about what I know for sure. I will spare you some of my more personal insights (I need to keep working on myself!) but I will share my knowing as related to our work in maternal and child health (MCH).[more]


By Lori Tremmel Freeman, BS, MBA
Chief Executive Officer, AMCHP

As I looked over this issue of Pulse and the proposed articles, I was struck by the variety and reach of the work being done by AMCHP, our members and partners in the world of women's and infant health and prenatal/interconception care. In fact, it's not been uncommon to encounter a lot of buzz and energy around many of these initiatives in my travels to meetings with partners and discussions with members... the momentum from one spilling contagiously to another often in wonderful cross-sectored, multi-organizational ways. This is attributable to the sheer passion and persistence of our members and their work. Here are a few examples where I've learned and listened first-hand about the valuable work of these initiatives. [more]



A Framework to Address the Persistent and Complex Issue of Infant Mortality

By Lauren Smith, MD, MPH
Senior Strategic Advisor, Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network

According to 2010 statistics, 6.15 babies out of every 1,000 born in the United States die before their first birthday. This compares to an average of five babies for all other industrialized nations. Worse still, American minority populations are disproportionately affected with non-Hispanic Black babies dying at twice the rate of non-Hispanic White babies. Efforts to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes have been long underway producing varying levels of effectiveness.[more]


Aligning Practice, Program and Policy to Reduce Infant Mortality: An Update from the BBZ Initiative

By Cheri Pies, MSW, DrPH
Clinical Professor, MCH Program, DrPH Program, MSW/MPH Concurrent and Dual Degree Programs and Principal Investigator, Best Babies Zone Initiative
Shannon Merrell, MPH(c)
Graduate Student Researcher

The Best Babies Zone (BBZ) Initiative, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is a national, multisector place-based initiative working toward improving birth outcomes and reducing infant mortality and preterm birth through community driven strategies that achieve community transformation. We plan to reach these goals on the ground in partnership with community residents and organizational partners by mobilizing community power, engaging the support and collaboration of partners in the education and early care, economic development, and community systems sectors in small geographic areas we call “zones” and working with these organizational partners to achieve collective impact. [more]


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

The 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. [more]


Understanding Why Maternal Mortality is on the Rise in America: The Case for Learning from Every Maternal Death

By Pr