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 June 20, 2008

Legislative Corner | AMCHP Updates | Get Involved
Publications & Resources | Funding | Calendar

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Legislative Corner

Fiscal Year ‘09 Health Appropriations Mark-Ups Begin
The Labor-HHS Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee began to mark up the bill containing funding for FY 2009 health programs including the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block grant on Thursday. The process could take several days and as of press time it was still unclear what the proposed funding level for the MCH Block Grant would be. AMCHP is monitoring developments closely and will report any updates as soon as they become available.

The Senate Labor-HHS Subcommittee is scheduled to take up their bill next Wednesday, but early indications are that less overall health funding was allocated by the Senate compared to the House, leaving them with presumably less ability to fund programs at higher levels than last year. Ultimately both sides will have to come together to decide on a final conference bill, and hopes are that the MCH Block grant will receive the higher of the two proposed funding levels. AMCHP encourages members that are able to contact their senators to ask for full funding for the MCH Block Grant—see our most recent legislative alert for details.

Congress Continues to Work Out Details of War Supplemental — Still Includes Medicaid Regulation Moratoria
As of Wednesday, June 18, the House of Representatives was still working to pass a supplemental appropriations bill to provide funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reports this morning indicate that the House bill includes a delay on six of the seven Medicaid regulations—with Targeted Case Management still included in the moratorium and the proposed reg on outpatient services excluded.

The House Democratic leadership has been negotiating with the White House over the supplemental war funding measure in hopes of getting a version that President Bush will sign. Differences over GI Bill benefits and unemployment insurance have been the main stumbling blocks for completing this work. AMCHP is continuing to work in coalition with several organizations that are in support of passing moratoria on ALL seven Medicaid regulations as well as a reversal of the August 17 CMS directive restricting SCHIP expansions. How the Senate bill might address these issues is still unclear. AMCHP will continue to monitor and report new developments.

Home Visiting Bill Passes House Committee

On Wednesday June 18, the Education Begins at Home Act passed in the House Education and Labor Committee. The bill looks to “expand quality programs of early childhood home visitation that increase school readiness, child abuse and neglect prevention, and early identification of developmental and health delays, including potential mental health concerns.” It directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to: (1) allot grants to states, tribes, territories, and possessions for programs of early childhood home visitation; and (2) make competitive grants to local educational agencies and other eligible applicants for early home visitation for families with English language learners. The bill authorizes up to $400 million in grants. The bill would also direct the Secretary of Defense to make competitive grants to eligible applicants for early home visitation for military families

The bill also amends the Head Start Act to direct the Secretary of HHS to establish standards for home visitor staff in Early Head Start programs with respect to their training, qualifications, and conduct of home visits. The bill also authorizes the Secretary of HHS to develop and implement a public information and educational campaign to inform the public and new parents about the importance of proper care for infants and children under five years of age. A companion bill in the Senate has not been acted on yet and prospects for passage this year are unclear.

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AMCHP Updates

We're on the move! — Please note our new address, effective as of July 1:
2030 M Street, Suite 305, Washington, DC 20036.

AMCHP Data Trainings —
AMCHP, in partnership with the CDC, DRH, and MCHB, will conduct four data training workshops on December 8-9, 2008, in Atlanta, Georgia.  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.  Each of the following courses will be a two-day, comprehensive and hands-on data training:

  1. State Title V Program MCH Needs Assessment Practice  
  2. Scientific Writing: Communicating Research Investigation Effectively to Expedite Publication, Programmatic and Policy in Public Health
  3. Time Trend Analysis for MCH Outcomes in Large and Small Populations
  4. Using the Population Attributable Fraction (PAF) to Assess MCH Population Outcomes

Registration and course descriptions will be available online via the AMCHP website beginning Monday, June 30.  Space is limited. For more information, please contact Henry Maingi at or Brynn Rubinstein at

Workforce Development Survey Deadline Extended There’s still time to shape the leadership and training programs available to the Title V workforce in your state.

As part of our strategic goal to support strong, effective leadership for state MCH and CYSHCN programs, AMCHP is assessing Title V workforce and leadership needs through a survey to all Title V agencies. The survey will gauge the capacity of the MCH and CYSHCN workforce nationwide and identify training needs within your agencies.

The deadline to submit a response for your program has been extended to Wednesday, July 2. All MCH and CYSCHN Directors, or appropriate designees, should have received an electronic link to the survey. If you want the survey resent, are having difficulty with the survey, or if you have any questions, please contact Librada Estrada at or (202) 775-0436.

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Get Involved

CE Credit Based on Documentary Film Series — Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
Where: Online
When: Anytime between May 1, 2008 - May 1, 2010
Earn CE credits while learning more about the social determinants of health. CE credit is available for: MDs, RNs, Certified Health Education Specialists, or any provider whose board accepts Continuing Education Medical Credits for non-physicians. Sponsoring Organizations: San Francisco State University and Community Health Works.

Public Health Traffic Safety Institute Training Public health and traffic safety professionals are encouraged to form multidisciplinary teams to develop a program or plan focused on motorcycle safety, pedestrian safety or driver inattention. Four state teams will be selected to participate in a one-day training orientation at the APHA Annual Meeting (October 25, 2008, San Diego, CA) and awarded a $5,000 mini-grant to help with the implementation of their proposed plan. The Public Health Traffic Safety Institute can help MCH agencies to develop new and strengthen existent prevention programs addressing performance measures on traffic injuries among children and adolescents.
The application deadline is July 1.

2008 Jim Parker Memorial Award The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the Association of State and Territorial Local Health Liaison Officials (ASTLHLO) invites local and state health departments to apply for the 2008 Jim Parker Memorial Award. Send completed applications to Jason Hohl ( by close of business Wednesday, July 2. To learn more, contact; (571) 527-3149; or Lisa Jacobs at; (202) 507-4233.


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Publications & Resources

Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

Care Notebooks Help Families Maintain Records — The Care Notebook, created by the American Academy of Pediatrics, helps parents and caregivers maintain an ongoing record of their child’s unique care, services, providers, and notes. It is also a way to maintain the lines of communication between the many providers and services that make up the family’s medical home. The Care Notebook can be customized online to fit the personal needs of each child.

Guide for Families Caring for Children with Mental Health Needs The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (FFCMH) believes in family-driven care. FFCMH believes that families have a right to participate in a decision-making role, to choose culturally and linguistically competent services and providers, set goals, monitor outcomes, and partner in funding decisions. FFCMH published the Family Guide to Systems of Care to inform caregivers and families about how to seek care for children with mental health needs. The content and format are especially helpful because they were determined by families across the country.

Mother’s Website Gathers Special Needs Resources — A new website has been created for families who are tired of trying to locate resources and support for a child with special needs. One Place for Special Needs was created by a mother in a similar situation who decided that families deserve better. The website is actively gathering resources, both for families and for providers, into one location.

Children's Health

Report Finds Hospitals Do Not Do Enough To Promote Breastfeeding — CDC recently released its first-ever survey of breastfeeding practices at hospitals and birthing centers nationwide. The study, published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, analyzes responses from a 2007 survey of 2,690 hospitals and birthing centers. CDC found that a substantial proportion engage in practices that interfere with successful breastfeeding, including limiting the duration of suckling and giving pacifiers to more than half of healthy, full-term breastfed infants.

Annual Kids Count Report Finds Increase in Low-Birthweight Infants, Decrease in Teen Birth Rate — About 8.2% of infants born in the U.S. in 2005 had low birthweights, the highest percentage since 1968, according to the 2008 Kids Count report compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In better news: the teen birth rate decreased by 17% from 48 births per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19 in 2000 to 40 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19 in 2005.

End-of-Year Report Tracks State Action on Obesity — Policy-makers nationwide made a significant effort to address obesity in 2007, a report by the Albemarle State Policy Center funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation indicates. Many challenges remain at all levels, the report adds, and further efforts are necessary to increase children’s access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity and to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.

Tip Sheet on Dentists and Head Start — A tip sheet from the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, Dentists and Head Start: What You Should Know and How You Can Help, provides information about how dentists can help address the oral health needs of pregnant women, infants, and children enrolled in Head Start.

Adolescent Heatlh

American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on Strategies to Improve Adolescent Health Care — Achieving Quality Health Services for Adolescents provides recommendations and criteria for assessing the quality of adolescent health care and discusses the need for comprehensive efforts to improve the quality of primary care delivered to adolescents in the United States.;121/6/1263

Report on Findings from the 2007 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey — A report published on June 6 in MMWR Surveillance Summaries summarizes results from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 39 state surveys, and 22 local surveys conducted among students in grades 9-12 during 2007.

Intervention to Prevent Recurrent Sexually Transmitted Infections in Minority Adolescents — “Teens randomized to the SAFE (Sexual Awareness For Everyone) intervention had significant decreases in recurrent [gonorrhea and Chlamydia],” state the authors of an article published in the June 2008 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In a previous randomized controlled trial, researchers found that the SAFE behavioral intervention significantly reduced the rate of recurrent gonorrhea and Chlamydia infections among reproductive-age Mexican-American and African-American women.

Youth Violence in the Community — The authors of this study (American Journal of Public Health. 2008 Jun; 98(6): 1086-93) sought to identify community resources that can help to decrease aggression and delinquency among youths aged 9–15 years. The research involved 2,226 ethnically diverse urban youths and their caregivers from 80 Chicago neighborhoods.

Women’s Health

Report on Mothers’ Participation in Selected Public Assistance Programs — Participation of Mothers in Government Assistance Programs: 2004 focuses on the fertility and socioeconomic characteristics of mothers in 2004 related to participation in six public assistance programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); the Food Stamp Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); Medicaid; housing assistance programs; and other assistance programs.

Woman Challenge Newsletter on Lung Health and Smoking — The June 10 edition of the Woman Challenge Newsletter focuses on reasons for women to quit smoking. Females who smoke are more than twice as likely as men to get lung cancer from smoking! Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke not only causes cancer, but emphysema, sleep apnea, asthma, and worsening of allergies. Several resources highlighted in the issue include:
What Happens When You Quit? – If you quit smoking right now, this tool shows how your body begins to heal immediately.
Smoking & How to Quit – Learn more about smoking and get the tools to quit.
Quit Smoking – Information and tools from the CDC to help you quit smoking.
Secondhand Smoke – Learn what secondhand smoke is and how it affects you.

Slowing Decline in Infant Mortality Linked to Poor Health Among Pregnant Women, Report Finds — A slowing in the decline of the U.S. infant mortality rate since 2000 can be linked to poor health among pregnant women, according to a report by Trust for America’s Health. The report, Healthy Women, Healthy Babies, mentions that gains in infant health have stagnated because of worsening health conditions—such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes—among pregnant women.

Report on Pregnancy Intention and Preterm Birth — Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, published by the Guttmacher Institute, features an analysis of data from the California Maternal and Infant Health Assessment in the June 2008 edition. The report looks at the relationship between pregnancy intention (intended, mistimed, unwanted or unsure) and preterm birth (before 37 weeks’ gestation), and finds disparities among different racial and ethnic groups. According to Pregnancy Intention and Preterm Birth: Differential Associations Among a Diverse Population of Women, by Aimee Afable-Munsuz and Paula Braveman, women who did not intend their pregnancy had a greater likelihood of experiencing a preterm birth.

Health Care Finance

Medicaid, SCHIP, and Economic Downturn: Policy Challenges and Policy Responses — A new analysis conducted for the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured examines the implications of a downturn for health coverage and state programs and projects the impact of one percentage point rise in the national unemployment rate on Medicaid and SCHIP and the number of uninsured individuals.

Determining Income Eligibility in Children’s Health Coverage Programs: How States Use Disregards in Children’s Medicaid and SCHIP — This issue brief describes the purpose of income “disregards” (which refer to both income that is excluded and expenses that are deducted from a family’s earnings); how disregards enable children in working families to obtain health coverage; the types and amounts of disregards currently used in Medicaid and CHIP; and the implications of prohibiting the application of disregards in determining eligibility for children’s health coverage programs.

Medicaid Managed Care for Children in Child Welfare — This issue brief examines the complex physical and behavioral health care needs and associated costs for children in child welfare. The brief outlines critical opportunities and challenges within Medicaid to better manage care for this high-risk, high-cost population.

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Two Grants Support Maternal and Child Health Research Two grants are being offered by the Maternal and Child Health Research Program. The first, called the Extramural MCH Research Program, will support applied research relating to maternal and child health services and should result in health services improvements. The second grant is called the Secondary Data Analysis Studies Program. Funds will be used to support research relating to maternal and child health services using existing data. These projects should also have the potential to improve health services and delivery of care for maternal and child health populations. Both grants have an application deadline of August 4. To learn more, visit the Health Resources and Services Administration’s grant portal.

WHO Foundation: Women and Children Grants The Women Helping Others (WHO) Foundation supports grass-roots charities serving the overlooked needs of women and children in the United States. Priority areas include health and social service needs. Deadline: September 8. For more information and instructions on how to apply, visit

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Creating Currents of Change
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
July 8-10                   
Washington, DC

Developing Local Systems of Care for Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Needs and Their Families: New Directions to Improve Care
2008 Georgetown Training Institutes
July 16-20
Nashville, TN

2008 Transition Summer Institute: Transition Assessment: What's It All About? How Do We Make it Happen?
The University of Kansas, Department of Special Education & the Transition Coalition
July 23–28
Lawrence, KS

Summer Institute on Adolescent Health
Sexual Health for All Young People: Are We There Yet?
July 28-30
St. Paul, Minnesota

2nd Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media
Engage and Deliver
August 12-14
Atlanta, GA

Becoming the Healthiest Nation in a Healthier World
September 9-12
Sacramento, CA

Reproductive Health 2008
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
September 17-20       
Washington, DC

A Lifecourse Perspective: Pathways for Improving Practice in Urban MCH
Sept 20-23
Albuquerque, NM

Safe Kids Worldwide 2008 Child Injury Prevention Conference
October 15-18
Washington, DC

The National Rural School-Based Health Symposium
Bassett Healthcare
October 17-18
Cooperstown, NY

The 2008 Nemours Conference on Child Health Promotion:
Advocacy, Policy, and Progress in the Fight against Childhood Obesity
October 23-24
Wilmington, DE

National Perinatal Association 2008 Annual Conference
November 19-21
Loma Linda, CA

Never too Early to Save the Date!

AMCHP 2009
Feb 22-25, 2009
Washington DC

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