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 From the CEO

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

Happy Anniversary, everyone!

This is truly a year of milestones for our important work. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and 40th of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Medicaid also celebrates 50 years and Title V will celebrate 80 years this August. Now is an opportune time to celebrate these anniversaries and consider ongoing practice and policy priorities and implications for moms, dads and their families. It also is a time to examine how far we've come, where we want to go and the opportunities to help us get there.

Obviously a clear standout among the many milestones and nearest to our hearts and work is the 80th anniversary of Title V. It's amazing, but not altogether surprising, that the Title V program is the senior-most leader in terms of longevity and endurance as a public health program. And not just by a few years! With 30 MORE years of history than the other nearest milestone achievement, Medicaid, all of our members should be particularly proud that the work done through our maternal and child health programs has long been and continues to be recognized as sustainable, of crucial importance to the health and well-being of our great country, and has stood the long-term test of endurance.

Since our past shapes so much of who we are today, take a moment here to review some interesting facts about Title V and about AMCHP. Being reminded of the rich history of Title V and AMCHP, and our accomplishments, provides the opportunity to think about how to share and educate others about why maternal and child health programs and our organization REMAIN relevant and important today more than ever before in our country's history.

1935
New Deal; Social Security Act; Title V created as part of sweeping social change, rather than health, legislation

1944
First recorded meeting of the association (ASTMCHCCD) Association run by volunteer members/leaders; some support from federal Children's Bureau.

1960's-70s
Great Society; other health and welfare programs enacted- Medicaid, Community Health Centers, Family Planning, etc.

1969
Title V administration transferred to Public Health Service

1981
New Federalism proposals for large block grants prompts association to mobilize to preserve Title V/ federal-state MCH commitment. Title V preserved, but amended to form MCH Block Grant- some requirements removed, some small programs added. Title V Appropriation is $373M.

1987
Modern day AMCHP is born! Association changes its name (broadening from directors to programs), incorporates, applies for MCH grant

1988
Title V appropriation reaches $527M

1989
Major changes in Medicaid and in Title V, improving accountability

1996
Welfare reform enacted, including Title V abstinence education provision

1997
SCHIP enacted; Title V Appropriations drop to $681M, after reaching $687M in the mid1990s.

1998
Title V appropriations restored to $700M

2000
Child Health Act, including authorization of Healthy Start, enacted. Title V authorization ceiling raised to $850M

2010
Affordable Care Acts adds three new sections of Title V Statute including Section 511 providing $400M annually for Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs; Section 512 authorizing (but not yet funding) $3 million annually for services to individuals with postpartum conditions; and Section 513 providing $75 million annually for the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)

2013
Across the board cuts due to budget sequestration cut $38 million from Title V program, dropping program funding from a high water mark of $730 million in 2003 to $607 million in 2013.

2015
AMCHP leadership helps restore federal Title V funding to $635 million – nearly restoring cuts due to sequestration but continuing to lag behind documented needs. Maternal and Child Health Bureau Associate Administrator Dr. Michael Lu engages states and other stakeholders in a transformation of the MCH Block Grant designed to revamp the performance measurement framework and enhance our ability to describe how Title V makes a difference improving the lives of women, children, families and communities.

Take some time right now to remember and honor the past and accept a challenge from me to pay it forward. Tell someone new this week – a friend, a business acquaintance, a family, a doctor, a community partner – about your MCH program, your work, and what it does to ensure that all women, children and families have an opportunity to live healthy and productive lives. Spread the messaging! Cathy Hess, AMCHP's first executive director, most eloquently wrote these words that I'll leave you with here: THE NEXT CHAPTERS (in our history) AWAIT OUR IDEAS & CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO IMPROVEMENT.