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Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance MeetingExpand Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance Meeting
Title V Technical Assistance Meeting

 September/October 2015 - Prematurity and Infant Mortality

Download a PDF of this issue.


By Sam B. Cooper III, LMSW-IPR

My grandmother used to tell us stories of her childhood -- occasionally some veered to Tall Texas Tales, but one of the most interesting was about her birth and early years. She and her twin sister were born in 1918 into a farming family in rural East Texas. She told us that at birth, she and her "younger" sister (Grandmother was a real competitor from the start) slept in shoe boxes because they were so tiny. She went on to say that they eventually graduated to the bottom drawer of the dresser for their first year. [more]


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

The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign, launched in 2003, has stimulated widespread action and attention around the problem of premature birth. Premature birth is the #1 killer of babies, and one in 10 U.S. babies (that's 380,000 babies) are born preterm. The goals of the campaign are to a) raise public awareness of the problems of prematurity; and b) decrease the rate of preterm birth in the United States. Over the course of the campaign, the March of Dimes set ambitious goals for reducing the number of babies born prematurely and have rallied others to join them. [more]



States Put the Squash on Smoking during Pregnancy

By The National Institute for Children's Health Quality

One of the core strategies for lowering the U.S. infant mortality rate is to reduce smoking before, during and after pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy is associated with multiple fetal health risks, including sudden unexpected infant death. [more]


#FathersinMCH: Collaborative Efforts to Improve Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes

By Jermane Bond, PhD
Senior Fellow, National Collaborative for Health Equity

Many of us know that infant mortality (IM) is a key marker of the health of a nation and that the United States ranks far behind other developed countries. Last year this time, Christopher Ingraham of The Washington Post wrote that: "Our infant mortality rate is a national embarrassment." [more]


Gearing up for the Next Open Enrollment Season

By Emily Eckert
Program Associate, Health Reform Implementation, AMCHP

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) created several pathways to achieve its core triple aim goal of reducing the number of uninsured Americans by providing access to affordable, high-quality health insurance. One of these pathways was the creation of the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Health Insurance Marketplace offers affordable coverage options for MCH populations who may not be eligible for or have access to other public or private insurance programs. [more]


ASTHO Releases State Story on Louisiana 17P Efforts

By Carolyn McCoy, MPH
Senior Policy Manager, Health Reform Implementation, AMCHP

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) recently released a state story highlighting the efforts of Louisiana to expand use of 17-alphahydroxyprogesterone (17P). 17P is an injectable form of progesterone that has been proven effective in preventing recurrent preterm birth. [more]


Addressing Infant Mortality in Arkansas

By Oscar Fleming, MSPH
Implementation Specialist/Investigator, National Implementation Research Network, FPG Child Development Institute

Ranked sixth highest in the nation for child poverty at 27.3 percent and 40th nationally in the annual child well-being rankings, Arkansas faces significant challenges in improving child health. Despite increases in insurance coverage, access to care remains a challenge due to a lack of primary care physicians, pediatricians, obstetricians, mental health professionals and dentists. [more]


​The Prematurity Prevention Conference 2015: Quality Improvement, Evidence and Practice will take place on Nov. 17 and 18 in Arlington, VA. The conference is hosted by the March of Dimes, as part of its Prematurity Campaign, with AMCHP and other partners. Nov. 17 is World Prematurity Day, when hundreds of organizations worldwide conduct awareness and advocacy events to call for actions to prevent premature birth and improve care. [more]



Taking Stock of Lessons Learned from Budget Battles

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

As Washington again teeters on the verge of another government shutdown over the federal budget, we have the opportunity to step back and reflect on some of the trends we've seen over the past year and lessons learned from our advocacy for MCH programs. [more]



Prior Knowledge Makes Difficult Situations Easier to Navigate

By Shawne Wittrock
Family Navigator, Child Health Specialty Clinics

My second pregnancy started out very similar to my first, which according to our doctor was a 'textbook' pregnancy. At 15 weeks my husband and I received the surprise of a lifetime, we were having twins! Two short weeks later at our first appointment with our Maternal Fetal Specialist, we were told we had monochorionic, diamniotic (one placenta, two amniotic sacs) twins. In addition, I was diagnosed with Stage II Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). [more]



Babies Born Healthy: An Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative

By Alison Whitney, MSW, MPH
Health Policy Advisor, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Ilise Marrazzo, RN, BSN, MPH
Director, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

The Babies Born Healthy (BBH) program was initiated in 2007 with the following goals: to reduce infant mortality, improve birth outcomes and reduce racial disparities in those outcomes. This program was originally part of the Governor's Delivery Unit, targeting funding toward the eight jurisdictions in Maryland with the highest infant mortality rates and focusing interventions in the preconception, prenatal and perinatal periods. [more]


Coming of the Blessing: A March of Dimes American Indian/Alaska Native Perinatal Initiative

By Carol M Arnold, PhD, RN, LCCE
Associate Professor of Nursing, Texas Woman's University

Andrea Ellis-Harrison, BA
Planning Coordinator, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

Belinda Rogers, BS, AND
Director, Programs & Government Affairs, March of Dimes Oklahoma Chapter

According to the 2010 Census, there are approximately 5.2 million American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) living in the United States today representing 566 federally recognized Nations. More than 40,000 American Indian and Alaska Native babies are born in the United States each year, with more than 13 percent of those born premature. AI/AN have the second highest rate of infant mortality and the highest rate of late or no prenatal care. [more]


See a list of new MCH leaders and AMCHP staff. [more]



New Webinar Series to support Implementation of the MCH Block Grant Transformation Taking Action with Evidence: Implementation Roadmaps
AMCHP and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health Strengthen the Evidence Base for MCH are pleased to announce a series of webinars to support your next phase of action -- selecting evidence-based or -informed strategies and developing your state-initiated Evidence-based or -informed Strategy Measures (ESMs) that will impact your state selected Title V population-based National Performance Measures (NPMs). [more]

Improving Continuity of Coverage and Care for Pregnant and Postpartum Women
Women and families have experienced tremendous gains through state and national health reform over the last five years, yet pregnant women still experience lapses in care as they churn between different health insurance plans or different sources of coverage. To learn how to address these issues in your state, join us for a webinar, Improving Continuity of Coverage and Care for Pregnant & Postpartum Women, on Monday, Oct. 26 from 2-3:30 p.m. EST. [more]

Call for Applications for the New AMCHP Leadership Lab!
State and territorial Title V staff are entrusted with carrying out the mission of Title V to improve the health of all mothers, children, including children with special health care needs, and their families. To achieve this laudable aim, staff must exhibit leadership skills on a daily basis, from communicating the importance of Title V to creating a vision for success, to creating a culture of co-creation and collaborating with stakeholders to aligning activities. AMCHP believes leadership skills are developed throughout your life and career. [more] 

Now Accepting Applications: Emerging MCH Leadership Graduate Student Scholarship
AMCHP and Go Beyond MCH are offering a graduate student scholarship. This scholarship is designed to assist one graduate student per year in furthering their education while sponsoring their attendance at the AMCHP Annual Conference to hone their leadership skills and connect them with existing leaders within MCH. The deadline to submit application materials is by 8 p.m. EST on Nov. 16. [more]

Register Today for AMCHP 2016!
Don't miss out on an amazing opportunity to connect and network with more than 800 public health officials who share an interest in maternal and child health. The AMCHP 2016 Annual Conference will be held Jan. 23 to 26, at the Hyatt Regency Washington in Washington, DC. [more]


View the new AMCHP infographic on the current state of prematurity and infant mortality in the United States here.

View prematurity and infant mortality resources here.

Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.

Meet the AMCHP staff.

Click here to see the AMCHP MCH Events Calendar.