Skip Navigation Links
October 2021 - 2nd EditionExpand October 2021 - 2nd Edition
October 2021Expand October 2021
July 2021Expand July 2021
May 2021Expand May 2021
April 2021Expand April 2021
January 2021Expand January 2021
November 2020Expand November 2020
July/August 2020Expand July/August 2020
May/June 2020Expand May/June 2020
March/April 2020Expand March/April 2020
January/February 2020Expand January/February 2020
September/October 2019Expand September/October 2019
July/August 2019Expand July/August 2019
May/June 2019Expand May/June 2019
March/April 2019Expand March/April 2019
January/February 2019Expand January/February 2019
November/December 2018Expand November/December 2018
September/October 2018Expand September/October 2018
July/August 2018Expand July/August 2018
May/June 2018Expand May/June 2018
March/April 2018Expand March/April 2018
January/February 2018Expand January/February 2018
November/December 2017Expand November/December 2017
September/October 2017Expand September/October 2017
July/August 2017Expand July/August 2017
May/June 2017Expand May/June 2017
March/April 2017Expand March/April 2017
January/February 2017Expand January/February 2017
November/December 2016Expand November/December 2016
September/October 2016Expand September/October 2016
July/August 2016Expand July/August 2016
May/June 2016Expand May/June 2016
March/April 2016Expand March/April 2016
January/February 2016Expand January/February 2016
November/December 2015Expand November/December 2015
September/October 2015Expand September/October 2015
July/August 2015Expand July/August 2015
May/June 2015Expand May/June 2015
March/April 2015Expand March/April 2015
January/February 2015Expand January/February 2015
ArchiveExpand Archive
Special Edition - EPRExpand Special Edition - EPR
Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance MeetingExpand Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance Meeting
Title V Technical Assistance Meeting

 A View From Washington

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

Faithful readers may recall that my last column reflected the deep frustration I have shared regarding Congress' failure to respond in a timely manner to the request for emergency supplemental funds to address the Zika virus. It is a great relief to again share the news that Congress recently passed a $1.1. billion Zika package.

Clearly, the immediate imperative for MCH leaders is to help deploy these resources in the most efficient and expeditious manner to protect mothers and babies from the Zika virus. As this work unfolds, MCH leaders need to help drive a dialogue with the broader public health community and policymakers to examine two critical questions: 1) Why did the Congress take nearly seven months to act on an emergency request made in February to respond to a virus that potentially attacks babies' brains? 2) What can we do to assure minimal delays in funding any future public health emergencies?

To the former, it's fair to fully examine all factors – including whether we, as MCH advocates, communicated the urgency of the situation effectively and to ask what else we could have done to make our case. To the latter, it's encouraging that discussions have begun to revive the concept of a Federal Emergency Management Agency-like public health emergency fund that would be available immediately when certain conditions are met. Association of State & Territorial Health Officials has begun to take a leadership role in pushing for such a fund, and we hope to join efforts in the next Congress to establish such an emergency fund.

Speaking of the next Congress, we at AMCHP are excited to be finalizing a 100-day agenda of policy steps the next president and Congress could take to improve the health of women, children and families, including those with special health care needs. Our plan is to release this agenda shortly after the election, and we look forward to a window of opportunity to make great strides for MCH!