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The Times They Are a-Changin’
By Mike R. Fraser, PhD
A while ago I remember someone asking me to tell them what I thought was the biggest mistake I have ever made. I cannot remember if it was asked during a board game, a job interview, or some kind of team building exercise but I do remember it was – and is – a hard question. I have made lots of mistakes both big and small: far too many to remember them all. I have made bad choices, wrong decisions and taken lots for granted. But the biggest mistake I ever made? That’s tough!
After thinking about it I said my biggest mistake was “assuming that tomorrow is going to be like today.” And I think that is still true even after lots of time to reflect on and make lots more mistakes. Too often we make the assumption that the issues we face today will be the issues we will face tomorrow or that the way we prepared for today should be the way we prepare for tomorrow. Sure the maxim “some things never change” is right sometimes but I think it is a lot more true to say that “change is the only constant.”
Human beings are change averse. We like routine, we like habit, we like predictability. We certainly like control as a means to manage lots of change. But change is almost always out of our control and pushes us out of our routine, out of our comfort zones, out of the realm of predictability. I think it is ironic that children do best when they have a predictable routine and yet they undergo such dramatic and rapid changes in their development day after day. The ultimate change experience may be watching a youngster grow up fast and change so quickly despite all their routines, habits and desires for predictability.
Changes remind us how fluid life is no matter how hard we to try to make life concrete and that is tough when we have plans, set goals and implement strategies. People fight wars to avoid change. Candidates campaign both for and against change. Some suffer through bad relationships or harmful situations so they do not have to change. And yet, things continue to change despite our best efforts to avoid it. Change wins – sometimes it is fast and sometimes it is slow – but it always happens.
In a great article on change, leadership guru Rosabeth Moss Kanter identifies the enduring skills of “change leaders.” Change leaders, she posits, are a particular kind of leaders who embrace change rather than fear it. Their embracing of change makes them a hot commodity in change-averse organizations. Realizing that leading requires taking advantage of change, not abhorring it, change leaders seize moments to move forward their organization’s mission, vision and strategic goals. Kanter writes that organizations that embrace change perform better and produce more efficiently than organizations that do not change. Organizations that fail usually do so because they did not plan for change, or embrace the changes happening around them.
We have gone through major economic changes over the past three weeks that would have been hard to image three months ago. Although I consider myself a “change leader” I certainly was not prepared for these economic changes, nor did it seem was anyone else. Did you notice the push back to avoid change and deny it in the early days of the crisis? Did you then observe the panic and dread when it was clear economic changes were happening, and our best laid plans did not include them? Did you notice how draconian the response to economic change has been in many state health departments – no travel, no new staff, no raises, no training. These are difficult times that test our capacity to respond to changes both as individuals and as organizations.
As we observe the economic changes confronting the country we are about to undergo political changes as well. The first week of November will bring change for our country: the election of a new president. Unfortunately, I had to write this column a week before the election and my crystal ball is out of order so I do not know what the outcome of the election will be, but I am anticipating change for our work at AMCHP regardless of who wins. It would be folly to assume that the strategies and tactics we have employed in the past to promote maternal and child health will remain the same in our changed environment. AMCHP will embrace the change regardless of the outcome and rework our goals and plans accordingly. Part of the AMCHP Board’s upcoming strategic planning work will involve asking you about how you think AMCHP needs to change to position itself in the changed political landscape.
What will the election bring in terms of change for state and territorial MCH programs? Again, I cannot foresee the future but it will mean change for you too. I hope you have plans to join us on a teleconference we are putting together for November 10 to analyze the election and start our discussions of what will change for Title V in the coming months and years of a new President and Congress. If you cannot join the call, we will archive the broadcast and post it to our website shortly after the event so you can watch it at your leisure. Visit here for more information on this upcoming event. And of course, change will be a huge topic for conversation at the upcoming Annual Conference convening on February 21-25, 2009, in Washington, DC.
Brent Ewig, our Director of Policy here at AMCHP, is an avid fan of Bob Dylan. One of Dylan’s songs has been floating around in my head the past week – “The Times, They Are a- Changin’…” And while Dylan wrote that song in 1964 it is still true today. These times are changing and we have to change with them. It is my hope that AMCHP can help you as your programs change to meet the realities of today, and the changes required for tomorrow.
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Election day is almost here! Accordingly, Congress has not been in session in recent weeks as many members are in their districts focused on the upcoming elections. There continues to be talk about a possible lame duck session to consider an economic stimulus package, and AMCHP is advocating that a boost to Title V funding be considered as part of a package focused on state fiscal relief. Congress is also expected to revisit the FY 2009 appropriations early in the next year with a new Administration. AMCHP will work with the new Congress and Administration to continue our push for full funding of the MCH Block Grant. You can learn more about AMCHP’s recent efforts on behalf of state maternal and child health programs by contacting Brent Ewig, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at (202) 266-3041.
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Online Registration Now Available! — Register today online to attend AMCHP’s Annual Conference to convene on February 21-25, 2009, in Washington, DC.
AMCHP to Host a Conference Call on Post-Election Analysis for State and Territorial MCH Programs — On Monday, November 10, 2008, from 2 to 3 p.m. (EST) AMCHP will discuss what the 2008 elections may mean for the future of MCH programs and AMCHP's plans for working with the new Administration and Congress during and after the presidential transition. AMCHP will share steps the new President and Congress can take in their first 100 days to improve the health of America's mothers, children and families. We will also discuss the latest on prospects for health reform and AMCHP's analysis of key MCH provisions for any reform package. Moderated by AMCHP President Nan Streeter and CEO Mike Fraser, the call will allow for member questions and the opportunity to gather suggestions and ideas as AMCHP moves forward on your behalf. AMCHP Conference Line to be provided via email. Sign up for the call. If you have questions, please contact Helen Cedeno or call 202-775-0436.
Submit Nominations for AMCHP’s Family Scholars and Mentors Program —AMCHP will award scholarships for family representatives to attend AMCHP’s 2009 Annual Conference. For the past 14 years, AMCHP has supported family scholars to participate in the conference, with the program steadily growing. Families who have attended the conference consistently praise the value of the conference as a way to network with other families and Title V programs and to understand more clearly how Title V makes a difference. Candidates must be nominated by their State Title V MCH and CSHCN program. In addition to the family scholars, AMCHP also invites former family scholars and other family representatives who have attended the conference in the past three years to apply to be one of three Family Mentors. Mentors assist family scholars before, during, and after the conference. AMCHP pays for the conference registration and a travel stipend for mentors. Please visit here for the applications and additional information, or contact Treeby Brown at or Lauren Ramos if you have any questions. Applications are due by Friday, November 7.
Submit Your Best Practice Today! — AMCHP is seeking submissions of best practices in maternal and child health from around the country. Whether it’s an effective campaign to promote breastfeeding, an outstanding nurse-family partnership, or a proven early intervention program for young children, get the word out about your best practice. AMCHP defines “best practices” as a continuum of practices, programs and policies ranging from promising to evidence-based to science-based. A best practice could focus on the health of women, adolescents, young children, families, or children with special health care needs. Best practice focus areas include preconception care, mental health, data and assessment, financing, program and system integration, workforce development, injury prevention, emergency preparedness, family involvement, or other public health issues. Contribute to AMCHP’s Innovation Station – a growing database of what is working in MCH.
1) Click here to download a PDF of the submission form.
2) When you are ready to submit, click here to start the survey.
For more information on submitting best practices, please contact Darlisha Williams or call (202) 775-0436.
AMCHP DATA Mini-Grant Program for 2008-2009 — AMCHP is currently accepting applications for the State Data & Assessment Technical Assistance (DATA) Mini-Grant Program for 2008-2009. The purpose of the DATA Mini-Grant Program is to increase the ability of state MCH/CSHCN professionals to use epidemiology and surveillance data to support policies and programs that serve MCH populations. Additionally, AMCHP is specifically looking to fund one or two states interested in using the data mini-grant money to examine adolescent reproductive health disparities data. We welcome states to submit applications for both topics: 1) regular data mini-grant application and 2) adolescent health issue on disparities. Selected MCH/CSHCN departments will be awarded funds up to $5,000. For more information, please visit here. All applications must be submitted to Henry Maingi by November 14.
AMCHP Women’s Health Information Series Call — The next Women’s Health Information Series call, “Women and IPV, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health: The Need for an Integrated Response,” will be held on Thursday, November 20 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. (EST). Please register here to receive the call-in number and passcode. For additional information, please contact Brynn Rubinstein or call (202) 775-0436.
Family Voices Gala — The Family Voices Gala will be held on Monday, February 23, 2009, in conjunction with AMCHP’s Annual Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. AMCHP members get a discounted price! $175 for AMCHP members. For more information, visit Family Voices 2009 Gala.
AMCHP Pre-Conference Data Training Workshops — AMCHP, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Division of Reproductive Health (DRH), and Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), will conduct four data training workshops on December 8-9, 2008, in Atlanta, GA. The trainings serve as pre-cursors to the 14th Annual CDC MCH EPI Conference scheduled for December 10-12, 2008, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Atlanta-Ravinia. All four of the following courses will be two-day comprehensive and hands-on data trainings:
State Title V Program MCH Needs Assessment Practice
Scientific Writing: Communicating Research Investigation Effectively to Expedite Publication, Programmatic and Policy in Public Health
Time Trend Analysis for MCH Outcomes in Large and Small Populations
Using the Population Attributable Fraction (PAF) to Assess MCH Population Outcomes
Registration and course descriptions are available online. Space is limited. For more information, please contact Henry Maingi or Brynn Rubinstein.
March of Dimes 2008 Petition for Preemies — Beginning this October, more than 30 of the March of Dimes national Prematurity Campaign sponsors, partners and alliance organizations, including AMCHP will join moms across America and the March of Dimes to sign onto the 2008 Petition for Preemies. As an alliance partner we’re helping to create awareness of Prematurity Awareness Month this November and the growing problem of preterm birth. In the United States today, one in eight babies is born prematurely. More newborns die from premature birth than any other cause. Together, we can find the causes of premature birth. It’s time for our country to do more to help moms have healthy, full-term babies. Please join us and direct your colleagues and constituents to e-sign the Petition for Preemies to urge federal and state policy makers to move our nation forward to do more to help moms have healthy, full-term babies.
Call for Presentations — The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) is accepting submissions for presentations for its “Eighth Annual Forum for Improving Children’s Healthcare: Thrive Together,” to be held March 9-12, 2009, in Grapevine, TX, near Dallas/Fort Worth. This interactive forum will bring nearly 1,000 healthcare professionals of all disciplines together to highlight the most promising work being done in support of NICHQ’s bold agenda to improve children’s healthcare quality.
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ASK AN EXPERT
How does your state fund neonatal follow up programs for premature infants? Do you use Title V funds? Private Funds? Please e-mail your response to Jessica Hawkins.
ON YOUR BEHALF
Several AMCHP staff participated in the American Public Health Association’s Annual Conference from October 25-29 in San Diego. AMCHP exhibited at the conference and disseminated numerous new publications and networked with individuals interested in learning more about AMCHP’s members and work. In addition, AMCHP staff participated as speakers in the following sessions: “Developing the MCH Agenda” - Mike Fraser participated in a panel with AMCHP alumna Debbie Klein Walker, Holly Grason and Jane Pearson; and in two sessions highlighting joint efforts with CityMatCH, “Improving Healthy Weight in Women: Lessons from A National Collaborative of State/Local Teams” (Stacey Cunningham); and “State and Local Health Departments Collaborate to Prevent Teen Pregnancy” (Sharron Corle). Lastly, Lauren Raskin Ramos was elected Secretary-Elect of the MCH Section of APHA.
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PUBLICATIONS & RESOURCES
General Maternal & Child Health
New Report from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) — The report, Patient-Centered Medical Home Building Evidence and Momentum: A compilation of PCMH Pilot and Demonstration Projects, from the PCPCC’s Center for Multi-Stakeholder Demonstrations, shares lessons learned and best practices from existing patient-centered medical home demonstration programs taking place across the country. It features a listing of the current pilot projects - in various stages of development - and highlights specific project attributes such as demographics, payment models and project evaluation in an organized, consolidated fashion. To download the report, visit here.
New CDC Guide on Evaluating Partnerships — The Fundamentals of Evaluating Partnerships is the latest addition to a series of evaluation guides developed by the CDC Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP). These valuable technical assistance tools can be used to support evaluation in other state health department programs—particularly those related to chronic disease prevention and control. To learn more, visit here.
Public Feedback - AHIC Use Case and Extension/Gap Documents "Set 3"— During the June 2008 and July 2008 AHIC meetings, there was approval for development of one new “Use Case” and 13 “Extensions/Gaps.” "Set 3" includes the draft Medical Home, Maternal and Child Health, Long Term Care – Assessments, Consumer Adverse Event Reporting, and Prior-Authorization documents, along with instructions for providing public feedback, are available for download. There will be one opportunity for review and feedback by interested stakeholders by November 14. These five documents, along with instructions for providing public feedback are available here.
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New Tools on Physical Activity and Healthy Eating for Women — The Bright Futures for Women's Health and Wellness Initiative has released new physical activity and healthy eating tools adapted to meet the needs of rural young and adult women. The tools, produced by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Office of Women's Health, are as follows:
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CDC Offers Healthy Child Development Resources — To educate parents about developmental milestones and warning signs of a development delay, such as autism, and the importance of acting early, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign. The campaign offers free materials and resources including fact sheets, milestone checklists, growth charts, and flyers, in English and Spanish. To order or download materials, visit here.
CDC MMWR Report on Increased Vaccination Rates Teens — The CDC has released data from its National Immunization Survey (NIS) showing substantial increases in vaccination rates since 2006. The report addresses coverage rates for the human papiloma virus (HPV) vaccine, meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), tetantus diphtheria acecellular pertussis(TDAP), Hepatitis B (HepB), Varicella (VAR), and the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. To view the report, visit here.
New Study on Car Seatbelt Use Among U.S. Teens — The study, Driver and Passenger Seatbelt Use Among U.S. High School Students, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, analyzed data from the 2001 and 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys for 12,731 black, white and Hispanic high school students aged 16 years and older. The researchers compared seatbelt use by teenage drivers and passengers, taking into consideration age, gender, race/ethnicity, school grades and histories of drinking. To view the study, visit here.
New Profile of Teens Who Seek Help to Quit Smoking — A new study describes the smoking habits and demographic characteristics of teens enrolled in the American Lung Association's Not on Tobacco (N-O-T) program, the most commonly used teen smoking cessation intervention in the country. The information from this study will help identify characteristics of teen smokers who are less likely to enroll in the program, allowing marketers to better promote interventions to these individuals. For more information, visit here.
The National Campaign's Promoting Science Based Approaches: Getting to Outcomes Case Studies — Funded by the CDC, the Promoting Science Based Approaches: Getting to Outcomes (PSBA-GTO) program helps state and local organizations use a science-based approach to prevent teen pregnancy. The National Campaign has created PSBA-GTO Case Studies to showcase real-life narratives of CDC's grantees' successes and challenges in working through the PSBA-GTO steps with local partners and provide concrete examples of how the PSBA-GTO process can be successfully implemented. To view the case studies, visit here.
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HRSA Announces Funding to Reduce Loss to Follow Up for Newborn Hearing Screening
Deadline: November 20
HRSA announced the availability of funding to reduce the loss to follow-up of infants who have not passed a physiologic newborn hearing screening examination prior to discharge from the newborn nursery. Approximately $875,000 is expected to be available annually to fund up to seven applicants. Eligible applicants for this initiative are those state agencies or entities working in partnership with state agencies to fully implement the newborn hearing screening and intervention program with a focus on reducing loss to follow-up. States that are receiving newborn hearing screening funds through the MCHB program with project periods ending March 31, 2009 and states that are currently not receiving newborn hearing screening funds through the MCHB are eligible to apply for this opportunity. To learn more, visit here.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Foundation: Campus Suicide Prevention Grants
Deadline: November 25
The purpose of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Foundation's Campus Suicide Prevention Grants is to facilitate a comprehensive approach to preventing suicide in institutions of higher education. For more information about this funding opportunity, visit here.
Call for Proposals: CATCH Residency Training Grants
Deadline: December 3
The Community Pediatrics Training Initiative (CPTI) is partnering with the Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) to offer grants to pediatric residency training programs. The mission of this program is to provide support to pediatric residency programs to build sustainable opportunities for residents to gain experience working on community-based child health initiatives that increase access to medical homes or specific health services not otherwise available. Grants up to $12,000 will be awarded for innovative planning and implementation activities to be completed over the course of 16 months. Application and guidelines are available online. Applications must be submitted by e-mail as a Word or PDF file by 4 p.m. (CST). For more information, please call (800) 433-9016, ext. 4080 or ext. 7397.
Healthy Communities Demonstration Sites
Deadline: December 5
NACCHO, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plans to award up to $30,000 each to 10 local health departments to:
- build or strengthen a coalition of community partners; and
- develop a community action plan to address chronic disease risk factors such as physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use at the policy, systems and environmental change levels.
Applicants will be asked to submit an application, a proposal addressing the criteria for selection, a proposed budget request, and three letters of support from community partners. If you have question, please contact Emma Green or call (202) 507-4220.
CDC Public Health Grant Opportunity
Deadline: December 8
The purpose of the program is to provide partial support for specific non-Federal conferences in the areas of health promotion and disease prevention, educational programs, and applied research. This program addresses the “Healthy People 2010” focus area(s) of Access to Quality Health Services; Arthritis, Osteoporosis and Chronic Back Conditions; Cancer; Diabetes; Disability and Secondary Conditions; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Environmental Health; Food Safety; Health Communication; Heart Disease and Stroke; Injury and Violence Prevention; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness; Public Health Infrastructure; Respiratory Diseases; Tobacco Use (among youth); and Vision and Hearing. To learn more, visit here.
Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization Funding Alert
HCFO supports policy analysis, research, evaluation and demonstration projects that provide policy leaders timely information on health care policy and financing issues. This call for proposals is intended to support projects that 1.) examine significant issues and interventions related to health care financing and organization and their effects on health care costs, quality and access; and 2.) explore or test major new ways to finance and organize health care that have the potential to improve access to more affordable and higher quality health services. To learn more, visit here.
Health and Wellness
PepsiCo Foundation’s mission in Health and Wellness is to advance and encourage healthy lifestyles and positive behavior change. Initiatives of particular interest are those which address one or more of the following focus areas: community activation, minority communities, school drop-out prevention, and health professionals. For more information, visit here.
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AMCHP is recruiting for a Senior Manager for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs — This position is accountable for development, implementation and evaluation of program activities related to children and youth with special health care needs (CSHCN), birth defects and developmental disabilities, early childhood development and family involvement. The Senior Program Manager will assist in the tracking, analyzing, and reporting on national and state programs impacting CSHCN, birth defects and disabilities and early childhood. The Senior Program Manager will partner with relevant federal agencies such as the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Education, and other national organizations and groups concerned with CSHCN and early childhood. Additional information can be found on AMCHP’s website.
Policy Fellowships with the Society for Research in Child Development — In both Congressional and Executive Branch placements, work as "resident scholars" at the interface of science and policy. Applicants must have a doctoral level degree in any discipline related to Child Development. Both early and mid-career doctoral level professionals of all scientific disciplines related to child development are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is December 15, 2008. For more information and application instructions, visit here.
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International Conference on AD/HD
National Perinatal Association 2008 Annual Conference
Loma Linda, CA
Fourteenth Annual Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Conference
Making Methods and Practice Matter for Women, Children and Families
AMCHP’s 2009 Annual Conference
Launching MCH: Opportunities for a New Era
Family Voices’ Gala – One Heart, Many Voices: The Time is Now!
Eighth Annual Forum for Improving Children’s Healthcare: Thrive Together
The Third International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Integrating Research, Policy, and Promising Practice Around the World: A Catalyst for Change
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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