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Inside Out: What a Block Grant Review Looks Like From an “Outsider’s” Perspective
I recently had the good fortune of attending the Region X Block Grant review and regional meeting in Seattle. The opportunity to sit in on two state reviews was incredibly enlightening and the amount of work that both states put into their Block Grant applications was astounding. The dedication, commitment and energy that each program brought to the table were tangible. The sheer number of pages of activities, objectives, measures, indicators, attachments, appendices and forms was immense. I was duly impressed with the work that went into these applications and the volume of activity that these two states’ applications represented. To all of you that have completed your reviews, congratulations! The Herculean effort you put into those applications is amazing.
However, I couldn’t help but think that the tomes submitted are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to what your Title V programs actually do in your states to improve the health of moms and kids. Sure, you can describe your work with pen and paper, but applications and forms and all that great narrative will never truly reflect what you do everyday. When AMCHP staff visit state programs and learn about the work you do in your agencies, the words in your applications become real and the MCH leadership role you play in your states becomes even more impressive. That experience is not something that can be easily captured on a form or revealed by surfing through the Title V Information System (TVIS). The Block Grant reviewers that I observed last week knew there was more to your programs than met their eyes and they asked questions that made the applications come alive during the reviews. The passion and enthusiasm to do even better was clear in response to their questions and comments, and the commitment to quality and improvement were evident. Conversation and dialogue about the applications was very rich and revealed work “below the waterline” where so much time is spent and important work happens.
I suppose that during the annual production of hundreds of pages of text it may become easy to forget why you are writing the Block Grant application in the first place. I bet some of you may have been doing it so long that it may even feel like you are just going through the motions yet again: a summer ritual and that annual vow to “get this thing done before the Fourth of July – next year.” But for a newbie like me who never had to spend a long Independence Day weekend editing 300 or more pages of text the applications are certainly not mundane, nor routine. Each state is different, each program so diverse, that having the chance to read and hear about even just two programs in the same region was educational and informative. And hearing the excitement and encouragement of the folks in the room doing those two reviews was refreshing. I learned a lot about what you do in one day and can imagine that if I had observed more reviews I would have gained even more appreciation for the hard work MCH programs carry out in your states and communities.
AMCHP is committed to working with you to make the work you do come alive not only to Block Grant reviewers but our partners, advocates and MCH stakeholders. Block Grant reviews are a great chance for us to learn more about what you do in the states and the TVIS is another great resource for us to share the work you do with others. The stories and excitement gleaned from the reviews I attended made your programs shine. I look forward to observing more reviews and having more of our program and policy staff participate in reviews in the future so we can better tell the story of Title V on your behalf here in Washington. While Block Grant reviews may be a necessary evil to some, they are a privilege to us. Working with you, we hope to glean even more insights about the difference Title V makes in your states and broadcast widely the successes, innovations, and commitment you have to our nation’s mothers and children.
Congress on Recess — There are no updates at this time as Congress has been on recess for the month of August. Stay tuned for reports on future action!.
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:
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Brynn Rubinstein (email@example.com).
Webinar on New Approaches for States to Monitor Children’s BMI — Deb Galuska from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Dr. Joseph Thompson, the Surgeon General of Arkansas and director of ACHI; and Therese Hoyle, a public health surveillance expert from Michigan, will discuss “New Approaches to State Surveillance of Children's Body Mass Index (BMI)” as part of MCHB’s DataSpeak Series on September 15 at 2 p.m. (EDT). They will share various approaches to monitoring children's BMI, including federally-supported surveys, school-based screening and population-based surveillance programs. To register, visit http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/mchirc/dataspeak/register.htm.
Call for Proposals: Linking At-Risk Children to Developmental/Behavioral Programs — The Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is pleased to announce a technical assistance opportunity for replicating a system linking children at risk for behavioral and developmental problems to existing services. This project will provide technical assistance and guidance to two selected states (or regions) as they replicate Connecticut’s Help Me Grow program. The deadline for proposals is September 22. To download the application, visit http://www.ccmckids.org/programs/helpmegrow.asp.
General Maternal & Child Health
CityMatCH Toolkit for Policy Development — CityMatCH Best Practices and Policies Action Group has released a new toolkit that contains resources that can be used at state and local levels to advance policy development in areas of maternal and child health. The toolkit includes models for strengthening relationships with community collaboratives, advice on how to present to legislators and other key decision makers, tips for how to work with the media, and examples of how CityMatCH members have succeeded in developing and implementing policy change in their communities. To learn more, visit http://citymatch.org/toolkit_letter.php.
Article on Emergency Planning Tips — The CDC has posted an article on “Emergency Planning Tips if You're Pregnant or Have Young Children.” The tips provided include information about what to do if: you are asked to evacuate; if you have to stay in a shelter or place other than your home; during and just after a disaster; or if you are recovering from a disaster. To learn more, visit http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Emergencies/Pregnancy-Infants.html.
Resources for Helping Children Deal with Disasters — The National TA Center at the United Advocates for Children and Families has released a set of resources in the wake of the hurricane that has battered the Gulf Coast. Families, and especially children, can experience serious emotional trauma as they prepare for, and then deal with the aftermath of, a hurricane or any other disaster. This trauma can even extend to children who are not affected by the disaster, but have seen extensive media coverage on it. The following links are just a few of the available resources:
"After the Storm: A Guide to Help Children Cope With the Psychological Effects of a Hurricane," http://www.7-dippity.com/other/AfterTheStorm.pdf
"Disaster Preparedness for Families of Children with Special Needs," http://www.fifionline.org/resources/disaster_english.pdf
"After the Disaster: A Children’s Mental Health Checklist," https://www.safety.com/family/
Baby Safety Month — The Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association has posted several resources to educate parents and caregivers on the safe use and selection of juvenile products, including how to keep infants safe while riding in motor vehicles. To learn more, visit http://www.jpma.org/bsm/2008/index.cfm.
New Monograph Focuses on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Adolescents — The National Institute for Health Care Management Research and Educational Foundation has released a new monograph, “Prevention and Adult Cardiovascular Disease Among Adolescents: Focusing on Risk Factor Reduction,” which examines the preventable factors that lead to cardiovascular disease by emphasizing how health problems in childhood and adolescence directly affect cardiovascular health throughout the lifespan. To download the monograph, visit http://www.nihcm.org/pdf/CVDPrevention_FINAL.pdf.
HIV/STI Prevention Webinar — “Internet-Based HIV/STI Prevention Interventions for Adolescents,” a 90-minute webinar by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), will provide participants with background information on adolescent Internet use as well as strategies for how local health departments can leverage the power of the Internet to target adolescents for HIV/STI prevention. To view the webinar, visit http://webcasts.naccho.org/session-archived.php?id=1493.
New Tips for Parents and Educators on Electronic Media and Youth Violence — To help parents and educators better understand and address "electronic aggression," (any kind of aggression perpetrated through technology which also includes any type of harassment or bullying), the CDC has released two new resources: “Electronic Media and Youth Violence: A CDC Issue Brief for Educators and Caregivers” and “Technology and Youth: Protecting your Child from Electronic Aggression.” Both publications include a review of most current research; examples to help parents and educators identify electronic aggression; prevention tips for parents and caregivers; prevention strategies for educators and educational policy makers; and prevention tactics for school districts, policy makers and parents. To download the resources, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/electronic_aggression.htm.
New Report Examines Determinants of Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behaviors among U.S.-Born and Immigrant Children and Adolescents — More than one-third of all Hispanic, Asian and black immigrant children and adolescents fail to meet the recommended levels of physical activity. This study estimates the prevalence and sociodemographic determinants of inactivity, lack of sports participation, and television watching among immigrant and U.S.-born children and adolescents. The article also examines the extent to which immigrant physical activity patterns vary by ethnicity and level of acculturation. To view the abstract, visit http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/162/8/756.
Child Trends Research Brief: A Guide to Assessing What Kids Think about Themselves — Children in the United States tend to experience a decline in positive self-concept during their adolescent years. A new Child Trends brief, “Assessing What Kids Think about Themselves: A Guide to Adolescent Self-Concept for Out-Of-School Time Program Practitioners,” provides information on how to assess self-concept among out-of-school program participants. It also suggests specific strategies that program providers can employ to improve an adolescent's self-concept. The brief includes tools for measuring adolescent self-concept and a list of additional resources. To view the brief, visit http://www.childtrends.org/Files//Child_Trends-2008_08_20_RB_SelfConcept.pdf.
Cervical Cancer Vaccine Cost Effective for Girls, Less so for Young Women — A new report, “Health and Economic Implications of HPV Vaccination in the United States,” published in The New England Journal of Medicine, contends that an expensive vaccine aimed at preventing cervical cancer makes sense for young teens when it comes to cost-effectiveness, but not for women in their 20s. Health officials recommend it for girls at age 11 or 12, but the maker of the Gardasil vaccine, Merck & Co., also wants to market it to women ages 27 to 45. So far the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has denied that request. This study examined the economic implications of the vaccine and the age at which the vaccine is administered. To view this study, visit http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/359/8/821.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Targeted Approaches to Weight Control for Young Adults
Deadline: September 10
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Targeted Approaches to Weight Control for Young Adults program provides funding for cooperative agreements to conduct two-phase clinical research studies to develop, refine, and test innovative behavioral and/or environmental approaches for weight control in young adults at high risk for weight gain. For more information, visit http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-08-007.html.
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 http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/HM09-901.htm.
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 http://www.pepsico.com/PEP_Citizenship/Contributions/GrantGuidelines/index.cfm.
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
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 at http://www.amchp.org/careers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC Division of Human Development and Disability, is seeking an energetic and creative individual to assist in multiple capacities to develop a strong and practical science base for future CDC work in healthy parenting. This position is currently a one year fellowship, but with the option to extend. The start date is October 2008. Interested individuals should forward their resume and cover letter to: Dr. Ruth Perou, Child Development Studies Team, Division of Human Development and Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, MS E88, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333 or RPerou@cdc.gov, 404-498-3005.
Becoming the Healthist Nation in a Healthier World
Reproductive Health 2008
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Planned Parenthood Federation of America,
and the Society of Family Planning
The Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality
Programs (ASIP)2008 National Conference
Infants at Risk: Science to Solutions
A Lifecourse Perspective: Pathways for Improving Practice in Urban MCH
Beyond the Bars II: Creating Effective Collaborations for
Children of Incarcerated Parents Summit
Grantmakers for Children, Youth, and Families
Healthy Foods, Healthy Moves: Delivering the Childhood Obesity Prevention
Message to Schools and Communities Conference
October 2-3, 2008
Child Health Day
The National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions 2008 Annual Meeting
Salt Lake City, UT
Safe Kids Worldwide 2008 Child Injury Prevention Conference
The National Rural School-Based Health Symposium
The 2008 Nemours Conference on Child Health Promotion
Advocacy, Policy, and Progress in the Fight against Childhood Obesity
Nutrition in the Womb
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
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