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 September 22, 2008

Legislative Corner | Get Involved
Publications & Resources | Funding | Career Opportunities

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Legislative Corner

Continuing Resolution Expected Soon — Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution within the next week that will likely provide flat funding for all health programs until at least February 2009, at which time they will try to complete FY ’09 Appropriations with a new president. AMCHP will advocate at that time to include the slightly increased proposal of $675 million for the Title V MCH Block Grant included in the House Appropriations Committee proposal, and will also seek to accelerate momentum to include full funding of $850 million in the FY’10 Labor HHS Appropriations Bill. For more information on AMCHP’s Appropriations advocacy, contact Joshua Brown at (202) 266-3042 or

HHS Provider Conscience Regulation Update — AMCHP’s Board of Directors met by teleconference on Monday September 15 and approved a statement of opposition to the recently issued HHS “provider conscience” regulation, conditioned upon the final position taken by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). AMCHP is coordinating with ASTHO staff now on comment letters that express opposition based on concerns that the regulation might limit access to essential health services. Comments are due to HHS by Thursday Sept. 25. For background on this issue and information on how states can individually comment, see our previously issued policy memorandum by visiting this link.

Gearing Up for Health Care Reform and the Next Administration — AMCHP’s Health Care Finance and Legislative Committees are currently at work on a draft of AMCHP Principles for Health Reform and a proposal for Policy Steps the Next Administration and Congress Could Take to Improve MCH. These committees plan to finish this work on a Sept 30 conference call and forward recommendation to the full Board for review and approval at their November meeting. For more information on these efforts, please contact Brent Ewig at (202) 266-3041 or

House Energy and Commerce Committee Advances Healthy Start Reauthorization and Women’s Health Bill — On Wednesday, September 17, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed two important bills to 1) reauthorize the Healthy Start program and 2) support expanded efforts to address heart disease and stroke in women. Sponsors are trying to get these bills on the suspension calendar for next week, when they will hopefully be passed by the full Congress. AMCHP signed on to letters in support of these two bills and will continue to update you on their status.

Healthy Start Reauthorization Act 2007 (S. 1760), sponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), would provide services to high-risk pregnant women, infants, and mothers in communities with high rates of infant mortality by reauthorizing the Healthy Start program administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The bill would raises the authorization level to $120 million and would increase the authorized level with inflation each year until 2013. Text of this legislation can be found here.

Heart Disease Education, Analysis and Research, and Treatment (HEART) for Women Act (H.R. 1014), was introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Reps. Lois Capps (D-CA) and Barbara Cubin (R-WY). The HEART for Women Act takes a multi-pronged approach to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and stroke by: expanding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WISEWOMAN screening program, authorizing grants to educate healthcare professionals about the unique aspects of care for women in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, and requiring that healthcare data be stratified by gender, as well as by race and ethnicity. Text of this legislation can be found here.

New Report Ranks States and Recommends Policy Actions to Address Obesity — The Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the latest version of their F as in Fat, 2008: How Obesity Policies Are Failing America report, an annual survey showing how Americans are doing when it comes to healthy weight. The most recent data showed the alarming trend of obesity rates rising for the second consecutive year in 25 states and the third consecutive year in 19 states. No state in the report showed any decrease in the number of obese adults. It also highlighted that the rate of Type 2 diabetes grew in 26 states last year. Seven of the top 10 states with high obesity rates are also in the top 10 for highest poverty rates. The report called for several policy recommendations at both the state and federal level. States are encouraged to implement and follow through with a comprehensive state plan to address obesity in both children and adults. Federal recommendations include increased funding for CDC’s chronic disease programs which currently do not operate in every state, reauthorization of the WIC program, and an expanded research focus by NIH on obesity prevention. To review the report and see data on your state, visit


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Get Involved

Transforming Safety Net Clinics into Medical Homes: Call for Proposals — The Commonwealth Fund, together with Qualis Health and the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation, have launched a new initiative to transform 50 primary care safety net clinics into patient-centered medical homes. The goal of the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative is to develop and demonstrate a replicable and sustainable implementation model for medical home transformation. Four Regional Coordinating Centers (RCCs) will be selected for this national demonstration project. RCCs will receive expert technical assistance on practice redesign topics such as enhanced access, care coordination and patient-centeredness. They will also receive $500,000 to support a Medical Home Facilitator (who will lead clinic-based quality improvement projects) and other activities. A letter of intent (LOI) is requested by 5 p.m. PDT on September 30, 2008. Applications are due by 5 p.m. PDT on November 3, 2008.

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 ( or Brynn Rubinstein (


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Publications & Resources

General Maternal & Child Health

Two New Topical Resource Briefs From the MCH Library — The briefs provide information on websites and additional electronic resources for health professionals and families. The briefs include the following:

Genetics: This resource brief is an electronic guide to recent resources on genetics and genomics; genetic testing, counseling, and disorders; and newborn screening. To view the brief, visit

Environmental Health: This resource brief focuses on environmental issues that affect the health of pregnant women and children. To view the brief, visit


Children’s Health

Health Information Advisory on Infant Formula — In response to reports of contaminated milk-based infant formula manufactured in China, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Health Information Advisory on September 12, 2008, to assure the American public that there is no known threat of contamination in infant formula manufactured by companies that have met the requirements to sell infant formula in the United States. To read the advisory, visit

Impact of Expanded Newborn Screening in the United States — The September 19, 2008 issue of MMWR outlines the impact of expanded newborn screening systems in the United States. The article presents analysis on the number of children that would have been identified from 2001-2006 if all states and Washington, D.C. were screening using the American College of Medical Genetics recommended panel of 29 disorders, and presents information on the ongoing challenges of long-term follow up. To read the article, visit

New Study Identifies CSHCN Programs’ Steps and Processes to Achieve Culturally and Linguistically Competent Policies — The study, Implementation of Culturally and Linguistically Competent Policies by State Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Programs, published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, attempts to identify actual action steps and processes of CSHCN programs to develop, implement, sustain, and assess culturally and linguistically competent policies, structures and practices. To read an abstract of the study, visit


Women’s Health

Clinical Trial Evaluates Intervention to Improve Postpartum Outcomes in African-American Women — The study, An Intervention to Improve Postpartum Outcomes in African-American Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial, published in the September 2008 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, evaluates the efficacy of a cognitive behavioral intervention delivered during pregnancy in reducing behavioral risks in the postpartum period. The risks addressed included depression, intimate partner violence, active smoking, and environmental tobacco smoke exposure in a population of African-American pregnant women. To read the abstract, visit

Access to Oral Health Care During the Perinatal Period: A Policy Brief — This policy brief was developed to help professionals and the public better understand the importance of oral health during the perinatal period. The brief describes barriers to accessing oral health services and information—including myths and misperceptions—and presents potential solutions. To read the brief, visit

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A Summary of Practice Guidelines — This document summarizes the New York State Department of Health’s publication, Oral Health Care During Pregnancy and Early Childhood: Practice Guidelines, which is geared toward prenatal and oral health professionals. The guidelines are intended to bring about changes in the health care delivery system and to improve the standard of care for pregnant women. A copy of the complete practice guidelines is available at

Two Healthy Smiles: Tips to Keep You and Your Baby Healthy — This brochure is designed to educate women about the importance of oral hygiene and oral health care during pregnancy. Topics include brushing, flossing, eating healthy foods, and getting dental checkups and treatment. To view the brochure, visit


Global Health

USAID eLearning Course on Reducing Pneumonia in Children — USAID’s Global Health eLearning Center will offer a course on actions that can be taken to reduce pneumonia in children. Pneumonia is a major killer of children under five years of age. Although children’s mortality resulting from pneumonia has decreased in the last two decades, it is still the most important cause of death in the developing world. Pneumonia is responsible for nearly 20 percent (2 million) of annual worldwide deaths among children under the age of five. Most of these deaths occur in Africa and Southeast Asia. (UNICEF/WHO 2004) The current level of treatment and prevention shows that this disease is neglected: Only 20 percent of caretakers know the danger signs associated with pneumonia; only 50 percent of children sick with pneumonia receive appropriate treatment. (UNICEF/WHO 2006) To register for this course, visit

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Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) Funding Alert
Deadline: Open
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

HRSA Funding Opportunity: Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program
Deadline: October 9
The purpose of this program is to stimulate innovative community-based programs that employ prevention strategies to promote access to health care for children and their families nationwide. HTPC funding supports direct service projects, not research projects. It is anticipated that HTPC grants will be awarded to approximately 12 recipients. To learn more, visit

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

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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Career Opportunities

The Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy (CFHUF) — This fellowship is designed to prepare physicians, particularly minority physicians, for leadership roles in formulating and implementing public health policy and practice on a national, state or community level. Five one-year, degree-granting fellowships will be awarded per year. Fellows will complete academic work leading to a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the Harvard School of Public Health, and, through additional program activities, gain experience in and understanding of major health issues facing minority, disadvantaged, and underserved populations. CFHUF also offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree at the Harvard Kennedy School to physicians possessing an MPH. For application materials and for additional information please contact the CFHUF Program Coordinator by telephone at (617) 432-2922; by fax at (617) 432-3834; or by e-mail at

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

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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Position Opening — Working for the Division of Human Development and Disability, 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, 404-498-3005.

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Healthy Foods, Healthy Moves: Delivering the Childhood Obesity Prevention
Message to Schools and Communities Conference
October 2-3, 2008
Chicago, IL

Child Health Day
October 6

The National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions 2008 Annual Meeting
October 14-17
Salt Lake City, UT

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

Nutrition in the Womb
October 29-31
Portland, OR

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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