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 July 29, 2008

Legislative Corner | Get Involved
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Legislative Corner

Capitol Hill Focuses on Childhood Obesity
There have been three hearings in Congress over the last two weeks to discuss childhood obesity. The Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee had a two-part series on the topic and the House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing focused largely on increasing children’s physical activity. Proposed reforms include promoting physical education and nutrition in schools. There are bills directed at education or nutrition programs, but no action is expected on these bills before the end of the year.

AMCHP shared with Congressional leaders that 48 states have identified addressing obesity, promoting nutrition, or increasing physical activity in children and families as one of their Title V Maternal and Child Health Program priority needs. We also stressed that while state MCH programs recognize this priority, they have been severely hampered in responding effectively due to erosion in federal Title V MCH Block Grant funding in recent years – down more than $60 million since FY 2003. AMCHP will continue to alert Congress to the good work that Title V programs are doing to address childhood obesity and will continue to report back to you on any legislative developments.

Pregnant Women and Toddlers Prioritized in Pandemic Guidance
On July 23, the Department of Health and Human Services released federal guidance on allocating and targeting pandemic influenza vaccine. Federal, state, local and tribal governments, communities, and the private sector can use the guidance to decide who should be vaccinated when a limited supply of pandemic vaccine is available. A Federal interagency work group that held meetings with the public and other stakeholders drafted the guidance. Four categories that correspond with the objectives of a pandemic vaccination program were identified — to protect people who: 1) maintain homeland and national security, 2) provide health care and community support services, 3) maintain critical infrastructure, and 4) are in the general population. 

In the first wave of a severe pandemic, those that serve important societal needs (critical health care workers and military personnel) as well as pregnant women and toddlers are prioritized. The guidance notes that prioritizing pregnant women and toddlers (6-35 months) keeps with priorities expressed by the public and stakeholder groups, but “is an efficient use of vaccine because a pregnant woman may pass on protection to her newborn and because infants between 6 and 35 months old may need a smaller vaccine dose compared with older persons.” As more vaccine is available, the next tiers of the population and occupational groups are treated. Tier two includes household contacts of infants and children 3-18 years old with high-risk medical conditions. Tier three includes all other children and tiers four and five include adults. The complete guidance can be found here:

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Get Involved

AMCHP 2009 Call for Papers — The deadline to submit your abstract for AMCHP’s 2009 conference has been extended to Friday, August 1. Do you have a topic that you would like to present to a national audience? Here’s your opportunity! Submit your session proposals online today:

These vital sessions give our colleagues the opportunity to hear the cutting edge concepts and best-practices first-hand from the experts. The 2009 Conference theme is: Launching Maternal and Child Health: Opportunities for a New Era.

The conference program will focus on:

  • Health equity
  • Quality improvement and instituting quality for improving performance
  • Partnerships: family-professional, public and private
  • Leadership skills and competencies for the future workforce
  • The changing face of our nation and workforce
  • Best practices, strategies and positive outcomes
  • Social marketing messages, tools and resources
  • Legislative strategy

Thank you for your participation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Pre-Conference Data Training Workshops — AMCHP, in partnership with the CDC, DRH, and 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:

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 are available online via the AMCHP website. Space is limited. For more information, please contact Henry Maingi or Brynn Rubinstein.

Call for Abstracts: 14th Annual MCH EPI Conference – This call for abstracts is specifically for students, fellows and summer interns for the “Making Methods and Practice Matter for Women, Children and Families,” conference convening December 10-12, 2008, in Atlanta, GA. This conference, organized by the CDC, will offer MCH professionals the opportunity to share experiences, enhance their knowledge, and generate new ideas for improved MCH data use and informed policymaking. The deadline for abstracts is August 29. For more details regarding the conference, visit

Please note: A follow up announcement will be sent when the abstract submission website is up and running. 

For questions about the conference, please contact the conference organizers at

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Publications & Resources

General Maternal & Child Health

Guide to Integrating Injury and Violence Prevention into MCH Programs – Injuries, both intentional and unintentional, are a leading cause of death and hospitalization among populations served by Maternal and Child Health agencies. In fact, two national performance measures require MCH programs to report on injury issues, suicide in adolescents and motor vehicle fatalities in children under 14. This document provides direction on incorporating injury and violence prevention into the full spectrum of established MCH programs such as WIC, child death review, home visiting, school health, and parenting interventions. The guide stresses achieving maximum impact by framing injury prevention messages within the primary mission of particular MCH programs and getting the most out of limited resources. To view the guide, visit$FILE/Weaving%20a%20Safety%20Net.pdf

Children’s Health

Report on the Child Well-Being Index – According to the Foundation for Child Development’s annual report, “2008 Child Well-Being Index,” the quality of life of American children has been stalled since 2002. The Index is a report that measures how well children are faring in the United States. The report aimed to answer the question if children today are better off than their parents were by measuring indicators, including health, family economic well being, education attainment and social relationships. To view the report, visit

New Childhood Immunization Data for all States – The CDC has updated data on the percent of children ages 19-35 months who were immunized in 2007 for all the states in the nation. To view the data, visit

Newborn Screening Data Available for all States — The National Newborn Screening and Genetics Resource Center has the 2008 data on hearing and cystic fibrosis screening requirements for all the states in the nation. To view the data, visit

Adolescent Health

MCH Library Unveils New Edition to its Knowledge Path on Obesity in Children and Adolescents — The Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University has launched a new “Overweight and Obesity in Children and Adolescents” knowledge path edition. The path offers a guide to recent resources about the prevention, identification, management and treatment of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents in homes, schools and communities. Separate sections identify resources for families, schools and after-school programs and child care settings. Another section presents resources about the impact of media use. To access the knowledge path, visit  

Report on Preventing Youth Suicide in Rural America The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association (STIPDA) formed a workgroup to generate recommendations to prevent suicide among rural youth. This report details the recommendations for state-level agencies to address data and surveillance, services, screening and identification, gatekeeper training, bereavement, promoting help-seeking behaviors and survivor issues. To download the report, visit

Women’s Health

Pregnancy Can Raise the Risk of Heart Attack — Heart attacks in relatively young women are rare, but pregnancy increases that small risk by 3- to 4-fold, according to a new review. As a result of these findings, it's extremely important that health practitioners be aware of the occasional occurrence of a heart attack in pregnancy and not overlook symptoms in these young patients. To view the study abstract, visit  

Pregnancy Alone is Not a Risk Factor for Mental Health Problems — According to a new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry, pregnancy alone isn't associated with an increased risk of mental health disorders. However, the study did identify certain groups of pregnant women with a particularly high prevalence of psychiatric disorders, including those aged 18 to 25 living without a partner, widowed, separated, divorced or never married, and those who experienced pregnancy complications or stressful life events. To view the study abstract, visit

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Community and Youth Development
Deadline: August 16
The Gannett Foundation is awarding grants to invest in the future of the communities in which Gannett does business.  Preference is given to projects that take a creative approach to fundamental issues such as education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment. For more information, visit

Active Living and Healthy Eating Research
Deadline: August 28
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living Research and Healthy Eating Research programs support research to identify promising policy and environmental strategies for increasing physical activity, promoting healthy eating and preventing obesity. For more information, visit

Health and Wellness
Deadline: Mid-September
In early August, New Editions will distribute a Request for Proposals (RFP) to implement the HHS Office on Disability I Can Do It, You Can Do It! Program and collect data about the progress of participants. The Program is an exciting nation-wide initiative supporting physical activity, nutritional awareness, fitness and healthy lifestyles for children and youth with disabilities. Interested applicants will be required to prepare and submit a short proposal that will be reviewed by an expert panel. Five community organizations, public school systems, and/or universities will be selected and awarded $5,000 to implement the program within their organization. For more information, visit

Health and Wellness
Deadline: Ongoing
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

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

2008 Cancer & Nutrition Symposium
The Cancer Project
August 16
Bethesda, MD

Becoming the Healthist Nation in a Healthier World
September 9-12
Sacremento, CA

Reproductive Health 2008
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Society of Family Planning  
September 17-20
Washington, DC

2008 ASIP National Conference
Infants at Risk: Science to Solutions
September 18-20
Dearborn, MI

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

Fourteenth Annual Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Conference
Making Methods and Practice Matter for Women, Children and Families
December 10-12
Atlanta, GA

AMCHP’s 2009 Annual Conference
Launching MCH: Opportunities for a New Era
February 21-25
Washington, DC

The 3rd International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Integrating Research, Policy, and Promising Practice Around the World: A Catalyst for Change
March 11-14
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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