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If you listen to the radio show “Marketplace” on public radio you’ll know that the show’s producers play the song “Stormy Weather” whenever the Dow Jones Average is down, “We’re in the Money” when the Average is up, and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing)” when the Average is mixed. Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of the song “Stormy Weather.” And I think it might be that way for a while.
Obviously, these are shaky times. Pundits and politicos are predicting doom and gloom and with every bank that fails their gloom is justified. Congress’ inability to pass the “bailout” plan last Monday proved this economic and political crisis is going to take a lot more effort to solve than our elected leaders first believed it would. Who ever could have imagined we’d be here now, the richest country in the world with the best of so many things, contemplating a $700 billion dollar bailout of our financial markets and the need for the public sector to step in and save the private sector? It would almost seem ridiculous if it wasn’t so real, and so scary.
As an AMCHP member you know that the costs of any economic downturn are highest for the most vulnerable communities in your state. As the economy goes down the need for services increases including basic necessities like food, shelter and access to health care. One member explained it to me like this: “Job prospects go down, case loads go up. There is more need and less money to go around.”
The irony wasn’t lost on me: the more need there is the less we have to pay for it. If there was ever a time to increase spending on MCH it is now, when more people need vital services and expect government to provide them. But as AMCHP members also know, it doesn’t work that way. These are tough times for states: you are enduring spending cuts, hiring freezes, travel restrictions, downsizing and other methods to reduce costs and sustain services. There is no “extra” in the system and cuts to state budgets have been making it harder and harder to provide needed services, especially now when there is so much demand. Stormy weather indeed — no more rainy day funds or state surpluses — despite the fact we need those funds now more than ever.
There was some silver lining in the proverbial dark cloud hanging over Washington these past few weeks. In the continuing resolution passed by Congress there was an additional $1 billion investment in WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. AMCHP was pleased to see Congress acknowledge that these are indeed stormy times for the most vulnerable members of our society. I am glad to know that lawmakers found the funds to invest more in this vital program. While I wish Congress would have included an increase to Title V in the continuing resolution, these are indeed tough times and an increase for WIC is a victory for us all.
While we wait for some good news about the economy and work on solutions to the vexing financial problems on the horizon we cannot lose sight of the need to “bailout” both Wall Street and Main Street, and introduce a financial recovery package for our markets and our women, children and families. AMCHP is working on your behalf to promote a recovery package that makes sense for our nation, and include resources to sustain your capacity at the state and community level.
We look forward to hearing from you as we continue our push to fully fund Title V even in this “stormy weather.” I hope we’ll all be whistling “It Don’t Mean a Thing” and maybe even “We’re in the Money” sometime in the future — hopefully sooner rather than later.
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Continuing Resolution Provides Funding Through March 2009 — On September 30 President Bush signed the “Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act” (H.R. 2638). The measure provides funding for most federal programs and agencies - including the Title V MCH Block Grant - at current levels through March 6, 2009. Reports indicate that Congress will attempt to finish the Federal Fiscal Year 2009 Appropriations bills early in the next Administration at which time AMCHP will advocate for the slightly higher level of Title V funding included in this year’s House Appropriations Committee proposal. We will also work with the new Congress and Administration to continue our push for full funding of the MCH Block Grant in the Federal Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations cycle. You can learn more about AMCHP’s recent efforts on behalf of state maternal and child health programs by clicking here or contacting Brent Ewig, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at (202) 266-3041.
AMCHP Comments on HHS Provider Conscience Regulation — On September 25, AMCHP submitted a letter to HHS in opposition to the recently promulgated “Provider Conscience” Regulation. View the comments here.
Healthy Start Program Reauthorized — We are pleased to report that on September 23 the United States House of Representatives passed the Healthy Start Reauthorization Act (S.1760/H.R. 3267). House passage of the bill follows that of the United States Senate on April 30, and now heads to the President for his signature. Healthy Start provides services to high-risk pregnant women, infants and mothers in communities with high rates of infant mortality. Healthy Start is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and its mission is to reduce infant mortality, low birth-weight, and racial disparities in both of these key public health indicators. The bill would include a 20 percent increase in funding for the Healthy Start program, authorizing it at $120 million, with the authorized level increasing with inflation each year until 2013. Full text of the legislation can be found here.
Health Center Reauthorization Clears Congress — Both the Senate and House have passed H.R. 1343, the Health Care Safety Net Act of 2008. The legislation reauthorizes the Health Centers program and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) through FY2012. The bill now goes to President Bush for his signature. H.R. 1343 authorizes roughly $13 billion in new funding for the Health Centers program over the next five years. The bill also provides funding increases to the NHSC for scholarships and loan repayments for health professionals, and removes a key hurdle for health centers by making permanent the automatic designation of Community Health Centers as being in Health Professional Shortage Areas. The bill also includes language that makes it easier for the District of Columbia and territories to participate in the State Loan Repayment Programs that are critical to recruiting and retaining the professional workforce at health centers. Full text of the legislation can be found here.
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Nominations for AMCHP Board of Directors — AMCHP’s Governance Committee is currently accepting nominations for 2009 AMCHP Board Positions. These leadership positions guide, direct, inform and contribute to moving AMCHP’s strategic directions and goals forward. Positions that will be open in the 2009 election include:
- AMCHP President-Elect
- At-Large Member (two-year term)
- At-Large Member (three-year term)
- Family Representative
- Region IV Director
- Region VIII Director
Volunteer leadership is critical to AMCHP’s success. We hope that you will consider participating in the nominations process. More information about these positions, necessary qualifications and the nominations process may be found here. We ask that all nominations be forwarded to the Governance Committee by Tuesday, October 7 to ensure ample time for the Committee to review all candidates’ materials. Please note: Only named AMCHP delegates may be nominated to the Board.
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 Adolescent Health Information Series Call — Sarah Ramowski, Adolescent Health & Policy Specialist - Oregon Public Health Division, will discuss “Oregon’s Success Story: Working with Data to Understand Adolescent Health Risk Disparities” on October 15 at 3 p.m. (EST). This call will highlight Oregon’s innovate use of data to address health inequalities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Please register online by Tuesday, October 14 to receive the call-in information and materials for the call. If you have any questions, please contact Lissa Pressfield via e-mail or at (202) 775-0436.
AMCHP Women’s Health Information Series Call — Susan E. Salasin, Director, Violence and Trauma Program, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will discuss “Women and IPV, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health: The Need for an Integrated Response” on Thursday, October 23 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 Rubenstein or call (202) 775-0436.
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).
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 Abstracts – The Future of Pediatrics: Quality Care for ALL Children — The American Academy of Pediatrics is now accepting abstracts for a presentation or a poster for the “Future of Pediatrics: Quality Care for ALL Children” conference to convene on February 27 to March 1, 2009, in Anaheim, CA. It will be a great opportunity for medical home advocates, community pediatricians and other community health providers to network and learn from each other as well as from respected clinical and practice management faculty. With interactive sessions and many opportunities for networking, this conference will be a time of collaboration and connection, of inspiration and celebration. The deadline for submission is by 4 p.m. (CST) October 20. All abstracts must be submitted online here. If you have questions, please contact Jean Davis in the Division of Community-based Initiatives or call (847) 434-4080.
Wanted: Abstract Reviewers for CDC’s 20th National Conference — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now accepting registrants to become abstract reviewers for its 20th National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention and Control. The abstract review process will be conducted during October and each reviewer will be expected to review 5 to 10 abstracts. Please consider becoming a reviewer or sharing this email with anyone within your organizations that might be interested in helping. To register to become a reviewer, visit the conference website and provide the requested information. All reviews are to be completed online no later than midnight on Friday, October 10.
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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Publications & Resources
General Maternal & Child Health
Social Security Administration’s New Strategic Plan — The Social Security Administration’s has released the 2008-2013 Agency Strategic Plan. Using the motto, “Social Security Benefits America,” the plan identifies the challenges the agency faces and the steps needed over the next five years to meet those challenges. To read the Social Security’s Strategic Plan, visit here.
Today’s Child Magazine — The Today’s Child publication is an invaluable parenting and child health resource that is relevant to the families served throughout Title V and MCH programs nationwide. Now more than ever, parents and caregivers need quality resources and information about their children’s health and development. That is why AMCHP and Today’s Child Communications, the parent company for Today’s Child magazine, are partnering together to provide MCH programs with such resources. We encourage AMCHP members to utilize Today’s Child magazine as a resource for critical issues like perinatal health, pregnancy, child health and parenting. In fact, since Today’s Child is the only national parenting resource that specializes in addressing parenting from the point of view of minority families, AMCHP believes it is a must have. For more information on Today’s Child Communication and Magazine, please visit their website or call for a subscription at (888)313-5939.
New “Baby Steps: Learn the Signs. Act Early” Video — To support early detection efforts for developmental disabilities, CDC-TV has released “Baby Steps: Learn the Signs. Act Early,” a new video in its “Health Matters” series. The video provides up-to-date information and guidance on identifying developmental disabilities and builds upon resources such as National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities’ “Learn the Signs. Act Early” campaign. Featuring interviews with a developmental pediatrician as well as the parent of a special needs child, the video presents compelling and instructional information about developmental milestones. View the video.
New Study Finds No Evidence to Support Funding of Rigid Abstinence-Only Programs — According to a new study, The Impact of Abstinence and Comprehensive Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs on Adolescent Sexual Behavior, published in Sexuality Research & Social Policy, most abstinence-only programs do not help teens delay initiation of sex, and there is no scientific evidence to warrant their widespread use, according to author Douglas B. Kirby. In contrast, many comprehensive sex education programs, which emphasize both abstinence and the use of protection for those who do have sex, were found to have a positive impact and should be replicated more widely. The study concludes that a comprehensive approach to sex education is effective and does not send a confusing message to young people. To view this study's abstract, visit here.
New Fact Sheet on Forced Sexual Intercourse among Young Adult Women — New research from Child Trends finds that 18 percent of women age 18 to 24 report having experienced forced sexual intercourse at least once in their lives. The research, summarized in a fact sheet entitled Forced Sexual Intercourse Among Young Adult Women, also shows that the most common types of force are verbal or physical pressure, and being physically held down and that all races are equally likely to report having ever experienced forced sexual intercourse. To view the fact sheet, visit here.
Task Force Recommends Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents Following a Traumatic Event — The U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services (Task Force) recommends individual cognitive behavior therapy and group cognitive behavior therapy to reduce psychological harm to youth who show psychological symptoms following exposure to traumatic events. For more information about the Task Force recommendation and related findings, visit here.
Smoking Patterns and Use of Cessation Interventions During Pregnancy — This study, published in the October 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine analyzed population-based surveillance data to describe women's smoking patterns and the use of cessation services during pregnancy. Smoking status during pregnancy as well as before and after entry into prenatal care was examined. Health professional assistance, the use of interventions, and barriers to quitting were also described. To read the abstract, visit here.
Variation in the Black/White Very Preterm (VPT) Birth Rate Across the United States — This article published in the September-October 2008 issue of Public Health Reports, describes the distribution of metropolitan-level rates of VPT birth by race and ethnicity to characterize the interracial and intraracial variation across cities. Data for the analysis were drawn from birth files from the National Center for Health Statistics for 2002-2004. To download the report, visit here.
Economic Decline in States May Contribute to High Risk Prone Placement by Black Mothers — An article published in the September 2008 issue of the Annals of Epidemiology, provides results from a study designed to test the hypothesis that changes in the monthly number of employed persons in a state will vary inversely with a black mother's odds of reporting a high-risk (i.e., prone) infant sleep position. Public health campaigns that discourage caregivers from placing healthy infants to sleep in a high-risk prone (i.e., stomach) position have reportedly reduced the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the United States. Despite the apparent success of these campaigns, disparities in SIDS incidence have led to examinations of social and economic factors that may contribute to the high-risk prone placement. Circumstances suggest that declines in regional employment could reduce parental adherence to the recommended non-prone infant sleep position. To read the abstract, 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.
2009 Healthy Tomorrows Grant Cycle Announced
Deadline: October 9
The Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program is awarding federal grants of up to $50,000 per year for five years to support community-based child health projects that improve the health status of mothers, infants, children and adolescents by increasing their access to health services. MCHB is especially interested in proposals for projects that incorporate the goals of its Bright Futures for Infants, Children and Adolescents initiative. Applicants must apply online through the federal grants website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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