Skip Navigation Links

 August 24, 2009

I was never an athlete (and still am not!) so sports metaphors are generally lost on me. However, when I started at AMCHP, one of the great benefits I received was a year of executive coaching. I wasn’t sure what a coach actually did, honestly. Since I was never on a team, I didn’t have the chance to get to know a coach. I remember hearing about coaches from my friends who were on teams and how their coaches pushed them to run faster, swim stronger, or make different kinds of plays on the field. Coaches seemed to focus both on individual player performance and the performance of the team as whole and I thought that was kind of neat. I also knew coaching was tough: we all know about the coaches who have been sacked by the team’s owner for not making it to the championships – be it the Super Bowl, the World Series or the Stanley Cup. Seemed like a lot of pressure to be a coach and also a lot of fun. 

But a coach at work? Initially it seemed strange to me but then made a lot of sense as I started with an executive coach shortly after joining AMCHP. My coach pushed me to perform at my best, helped analyze my technique and my skills and together we worked through different strategies and tactics that I could use to improve my “game.” He also coached me on how to be a better coach for our AMCHP team – including looking at the various players on our team, discussing strategies and tactics to improve our overall performance, and how to get our team to perform at its very best. My routine practice of working with a coach came to end this spring but we still touch base now and again to check in, share stories and reinforce the lessons learned during our conversations together. Did coaching help me perform better? Absolutely! I think having the chance to work with a coach was instrumental in not only moving me forward as a new CEO but also helping think through some of the major challenges facing our AMCHP team and how to improve our team’s performance overall. 

If you are feeling stuck, want to “improve your game” or just thinking about how you can perform better in your current job – or want to explore new opportunities – think about getting a professional or executive coach. While it might seem strange to have a “work coach” I can certainly attest to the benefits. Working with a coach was a real chance to better my skills and technique and has helped me think through how I can improve as a manager and leader at AMCHP. If you want to find a coach in your area, visit here. To help introduce AMCHP members to coaching we are also working with several partners to bring professional coaches to our 2010 AMCHP Annual Meeting in Washington so that you can have a chance to meet with a coach, find out more about coaching, and potentially engage in coaching sessions after the meeting. Let us know what you think and other ways that you might be interested in learning about coaching for success in the future.

[back to top]


The August Congressional recess continues and while quiet negotiations continue in Washington, the real action on health reform is in the town hall meetings taking place across the country. If you haven’t seen it yet, please check out the action alert on health reform legislation issued by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to all state health agency directors. Working through the ASTHO Affiliate Council, we shared this alert with the AMCHP membership on August 14 so that the message from state public health is uniform.  

Congress returns in September to finish the FY 2010 Appropriations bills and to continue the debate on health reform. We will continue to centralize new health reform information on the AMCHP Health Reform Resources Hub here. As always, we welcome your feedback. Please contact Brent Ewig, Director of Policy or call (202) 775-0436 with any questions or suggestions.

[back to top] 


AMCHP to Host All-Member Call with White House Council on Women & Girls
Please join us on Thursday, August 27 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. (EDT) for a special all-member audio conference to learn more about the new White House Council on Women and Girls. On March 11, President Barack Obama signed an executive order establishing a new White House Council on Women and Girls. The purpose of the order is “to establish a coordinated Federal response to issues that particularly impact the lives of women and girls and to ensure that Federal programs and policies address and take into account the distinctive concerns of women and girls, including women of color and those with disabilities.” White House staff will discuss the council’s plans around issues affecting women and girls, and how health reform could benefit this population. They also are reaching out to experts like you to learn from states what issues are affecting this group and hear about some of the initiatives currently going on around the U.S. Our speakers will make a brief presentation, followed by a question and answer period in which members are encouraged to share highlights of your work. To register for the call, please click here. Dial in information will be provided before the call is scheduled to begin. AMCHP is very excited to offer members this unique opportunity. 

AMCHP Request for Applications to Participate in a Preconception Health for Adolescents Action Learning Collaborative
AMCHP, with the support of the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) and Division of Reproductive Health (DRH), is interested in working with a small cadre of innovative states who would like to explore the idea of integrating preconception health recommendations into their adolescent health efforts. AMCHP will provide financial and technical support for up to five state teams, composed of five team members, to strategize ways to implement selected preconception health recommendations into their health and education efforts and document successes, barriers and lessons learned. The Request for Applications (RFA) deadline is no later than 5 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, September 4. To download the RFA and the Conceptual Framework for this project, visit here. For additional information, please contact Sharron Corle. 

AMCHP’s Call for Abstracts for its 2010 Annual Meeting
AMCHP is seeking abstracts for its 2010 Annual Conference to be held March 6-10, 2010, at the Gaylord National Convention Center and Hotel in National Harbor, MD. The deadline for submissions is August 31. Accepted presentations will be notified by October 13. To submit an abstract, visit here. For more information, contact or call Colleen Campbell at (703) 964-1240, ext. 16.  

CDC to Host a Child Maltreatment Prevention Webinar
The webinar, “A Better Start: Child Maltreatment Prevention as a Public Health” will convene at 1 p.m. (EDT) on September 10. The webinar will discuss the important role public health agencies can and do play in preventing child maltreatment; the body of research linking harmful childhood experiences with long-term quality of life and how public health agencies can prevent child maltreatment by using the concept of safe, stable and nurturing relationships. To learn more, visit here 

Call for Papers
The journal Injury Prevention is planning a supplement featuring papers that examine relationships between the child death review process (a multidisciplinary investigation of unexpected child fatalities) and injury prevention programs and policies. Papers must be no more than 3,000 words in length and conform to all requirements for manuscripts submitted to the journal ( All will undergo peer review. Submissions must be made before February 1, 2010 to have the best chance of review and inclusion in this supplement. Authors with potential papers should contact the editor. 

Updated MCH Leadership Competencies Now Available
The latest version of the Maternal and Child Health Competencies, Version 3.0, is now available. This streamlined version decreases the number of competencies from 94 to 72 as the result of a modified Delphi Technique, a method of expert consensus that identified the competencies considered most important to MCH professionals. The competencies represented in this version continue to be the result of an iterative and inclusive work-in-progress. To learn more, visit here 

AMCHP Membership Opportunity with Family Violence Prevention Fund
The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) offers opportunities for AMCHP members during the FVPF National Conference which will convene on October 8-10 in New Orleans. Throughout this conference, there will be numerous sessions featuring model MCH programs dedicated to improving the health and safety of children and women experiencing violence, as well as sessions on racial disparities and violence, teen dating violence and the overlap between substance abuse and family violence. One session that may be of particular interest is the October 8 pre-conference session dedicated to home visitation case management programs. This session explores how we can impact pre and interconception care with our consumers through an empathy and childhood exposure to violence framework as a way to address both domestic violence and parenting issues. FVPF would like to know about your interest in attending the conference and your ability to send staff and/or your need for financial aid. Please complete a brief (five questions total) Zoomerang survey by August 31. To learn more, visit here.

[back to top]


AMCHP’s Emerging Issues Committee is conducting an assessment of state Title V agency involvement in H1N1 preparedness planning and response. AMCHP requests your input to help the committee articulate the important role of Title V agencies in understanding the needs of women, children and families during an H1N1 outbreak, as well as Title V agencies’ unique ability to reach special populations. Please share information about how your state is involved in H1N1 planning, challenges your state may be facing, and your information needs with Michelle Alletto.



On August 5, 2009, AMCHP member Nan Streeter (UT) and AMCHP staff Brent Ewig and Lauren Raskin Ramos participated in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Select panel on Preconception Health and Health Care meeting. This meeting was a chance to review progress in each of the select panel work groups (Clinical, Public Health, Consumer and Policy/Finance) and to discuss opportunities for future projects. AMCHP participates in the Public Health and Policy/Finance work groups and will continue to share updates with AMCHP members and coordinate efforts with other federal and national partners.

 [back to top] 


General Maternal & Child Health  

CDC Issues New Guidance for School Responses to the Flu
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released updated guidance for local health and school officials on school response to influenza during the 2009-2010 school year. This document expands upon earlier school guidance documents by providing a menu of tools that school and health officials can choose from based on conditions in their area. To learn more, visit here 

New Report on Substance Abuse Prevention
The report, “Substance Abuse Prevention Dollars and Cents: A Cost Benefits Analysis,” published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is designed to help policymakers and other stakeholders use the results of cost-benefit analysis as an information tool for decision making and for selecting substance abuse prevention programs. To download the report, visit here 

NAPNAP Develops Resources for Disaster and Traumatic Events
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) has developed a compilation of links and resources designed to help children, parents and health care providers prepare and cope with disasters and traumatic events such as hurricanes, fires, acts of terrorism, violence and war. NAPNAP’s Web page contains information on helping children cope with these types of events as well as valuable information for health care providers about planning for and responding to a mass casualty event. To learn more, visit here 

CDC Releases New Toolkit on Preparing for the Flu
The toolkit, “Preparing for the Flu: A Communication Toolkit for Schools (Grades K-12),” provides information and communication resources to help school administrators implement recommendations from CDC's guidance. Contents include questions and answers; fact sheets to inform schools, teachers, and parents; information on where to find posters for schools about flu prevention; and template letters (or e-mails) for schools to send to parents. To download the toolkit, visit here 

New Case Added to the PPC “Cross Cultural Case Studies”
A sixth and final case, "A Day in Sleep Clinic: Moving from Health Disparities to Health Equity" has been added to the Pediatric Pulmonary Center’s (PPC) "Cross Cultural Case Studies." This case follows Dr. Brent Williams through clinic visits with three families and explores the many socio-cultural factors that contribute to health disparities. The sixth case includes story, lecture, interactive learning exercises, key concepts and resources. To read the case, visit here.

Children's Health  

MCHB Releases Children's Health Report
The Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) recently released Child Health USA 2007, the 18th annual report on the health status and service needs of America's children. To download the report, visit here 

ACIP Issues New Polio Vaccination Recommendations
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has released updated recommendations for routine polio vaccination. The updates emphasize the importance of the booster dose of polio vaccination at four years of age; extend the minimum interval from dose three to dose four of the vaccine from four weeks to six months; add a precaution for the use of minimum intervals in the first six months of life; and clarify the polio vaccination schedule when specific combination vaccines are used. To view the recommendations, visit the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 

New Study on Shower Injuries Among Children
The study, “Injuries Associated With Bathtubs and Showers Among Children in the United States,” published in the Pediatrics journal, finds that there were nearly 800,000 bathtub and shower-related injuries among children during 1990 through 2007. The largest number of injuries involved children two years of age, with children four years of age and younger making up 54.3 percent of the injuries. To view the study, visit here.

Adolescent Health 

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy Releases Several New Resources 

Unplanned Pregnancy As It Relates to Women, Men, Children, and Society,” this brief provides a summary of unplanned pregnancy in the United States as reported by both women and men, details about the consequences associated with unplanned pregnancy, and what the public thinks about the issue. 

“American Indian-Alaska Native Youth and Teen Pregnancy Prevention,” this brief focuses on childbearing among Native American adolescents in the United States. Topics include sexual and contraceptive behavior, attitudes about sex and reproductive health, and potential programs for this population. 

“Thinking About Our Future: Latino Teens Speak Out About Teen Pregnancy,” this pamphlet presents findings from focus groups with Latino adolescents enrolled in the Greater New Britain Teen Pregnancy and Prevention Pathways — Senderos Center. Topics include relationships, sex, contraception, and adolescent pregnancy. Tips for adolescents, personal stories from Latino adolescents, and facts on adolescent pregnancy in the Hispanic community are provided.  

“Rethinking Responsibility: Reflections on Sex and Accountability,” this book examines the meaning of personal responsibility in general and as it pertains to sexuality. The content was derived from reflections of the National Campaign's task force on Religion and Public Values (including representatives of different faiths as well as scholars and practitioners) and civic leaders from around the country.

[back to top] 


AMCHP Job Opening for a CYSHCN Program Manager
This position is accountable for development, implementation and evaluation of program activities related to children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), birth defects and developmental disabilities, and early childhood development. The Program Manager will assist in the tracking, analyzing, and reporting on national and state programs impacting CYSHCN, birth defects and disabilities and early childhood. The Program Manager will partner with relevant federal agencies such as the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other national organizations and groups concerned with CYSHCN and early childhood. This position reports to the Associate Director, Workforce Development and Leadership, Family Involvement. To read the full job description and to learn how to apply, visit here. 

Healthy Parenting Health Communication and Conference Fellowship
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disability (NCBDDD), Division of Human Development and Disability, is seeking an individual to assist in multiple capacities to further the translation of CDC research and work in healthy parenting. This position is currently a one year fellowship with an expected start date of October 2009 and will be coordinated within the Child Development Studies Team at NCBDDD. Interested individuals should forward their resume and cover letter by August 30 to: Camille Smith, 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 or call (404) 498-3007. For questions regarding the posting, please contact Lara Robinson, or call (404) 498-3822. 

EIS is Seeking Applicants for its Postgraduate Program
The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) is a two-year, postgraduate program of service and on-the-job training for health professionals interested in the practice of epidemiology. Each year, EIS provides approximately 90 persons, who have been selected from around the world, opportunities to gain hands-on experience in epidemiology at CDC or state or local health departments. EIS Officers, often called CDC's "disease detectives," have gone on to occupy leadership positions at CDC and other public health agencies nationally and internationally. However, the experience also is useful for health professionals who want to gain a population health perspective. Applications are due by September 15. To learn more and to apply, visit here 

The Career Center is the premiere online job board for individuals seeking employment in Maternal and Child Health programs. Whether you are looking for an entry-level position or are a more seasoned professional looking for new opportunities, AMCHP's Career Center has great openings for great people! Searching our database is free and open to all job-seekers. AMCHP members receive a discount on job-postings - so sign up today!

[back to top]


HHS Announces $13.4 Million in Financial Assistance to Support Nurses
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced the release of $13.4 million for loan repayments to nurses who agree to practice in facilities with critical shortages and for schools of nursing to provide loans to students who will become nurse faculty. The funds were made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed Feb. 17, 2009, by President Obama. The awards come from two programs administered by HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA): the Nurse Education Loan Repayment Program ($8.1 million) and the Nurse Faculty Loan Program ($5.3 million).  

HRSA MCH Research Grants
Deadline: September 1
The Maternal and Child Health Research Program will award grants to support applied research relating to MCH services, which show promise of substantial contribution to the advancement of the current knowledge pool. Findings of this research should result in health and health services improvements in states and communities. Research proposals should address critical MCH questions such as public health systems and infrastructure, health disparities, quality of care, and promoting the health of MCH populations. To learn more, visit here 

2010 Family Planning Services Funding for HRSA Region 1
Deadline: September 1
The Office of Public Health and Science is seeking applications from public and private nonprofit entities to establish and operate voluntary family planning services projects for HRSA Region 1 (New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Central Massachusetts), which shall provide family planning services to all persons desiring such services, with priority for services to persons from low-income families. Family planning services include clinical family planning and related preventive health services; information, education, and counseling related to family planning; and, referral services as indicated. Applicants should use the Title X legislation, applicable regulations, Program Guidelines, legislative mandates, program priorities, and other key issues included in this announcement and in the application kit, to guide them in developing their applications. To learn more, visit here 

CDC Funding for HIV Prevention Projects
Deadline: October 5
CDC’s Procurement and Grants Office has approximately $293 million available in fiscal year 2010 to fund 59 awards. The purpose of this FOA is to reduce transmission of HIV by supporting and improving the ability of public health departments to design, implement, and evaluate comprehensive HIV prevention programs. To learn more, visit here 

AHRQ Funding Opportunity for Transforming Primary Care Practice
Deadline: November 18
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) solicits grant applications from organizations that propose systematic studies of on-going, successful efforts to transform the delivery of primary care in the U.S. The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) has been proposed by a broad coalition of providers, employers, insurers and others as a model for improving primary care in the U.S., and numerous health care systems and medical groups are currently attempting to transform their primary care practices into PCMHs. These attempts go beyond incremental quality improvement activities and aim toward whole practice redesign. The research funded through this announcement will first validate that healthcare quality, as reflected in quantifiable changes in process and outcome measures, has in fact improved subsequent to practice transformation into a PCMH. Investigators will then study in detail how the transformation occurred and its impact on costs of care and actual patient and provider experiences/satisfaction. In addition, investigators will study the organizational and contextual factors within practices that have influenced the success of these efforts. AHRQ is interested in research that will identify, describe and disseminate the best methods for transforming the structure, characteristics and function of primary care so that practices can improve quality, reduce costs, and better satisfy the needs of patients and families. To learn more, visit here 

NIH Funding for the Role of Human-Animal Interaction in Child Health and Development (R01)
Deadline: November 19
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is soliciting Research Project Grant (R01) applications from institutions/ organizations that propose to study the impact of human-animal interaction (HAI) on children's health and development and to test the efficacy of therapeutic uses of HAI with children. In 2008 NICHD and The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, a division of Mars, Inc., entered into a public-private partnership to explore the interaction between humans and animals. The partnership encourages research on HAI, especially as it relates to child development, health and the therapeutic use of animals with children and adolescents. This shared interest resulted in The WALTHAM Centre donating funds to NICHD to enhance NICHDs ability to support research in this field. The purpose of this FOA is to build an empirical research base on how children perceive, relate to and think about animals; how pets in the home impact children's social and emotional development and health (e.g. allergies, the immune system, asthma, mitigation of obesity); and whether and under what conditions therapeutic uses of animals is safe and effective. Mechanism of Support. To learn more, visit here.

[back to top]


10th National Conference on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention
August 25–27
New Orleans, LA 

Seventh Annual Public Health Information Network (PHIN) Conference
August 30–September 3
Atlanta, GA 

American College of Epidemiology Annual Meeting
September 12-15
Silver Spring, MD

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2009 Annual Conference
September 13-16
Bethesda, MD    

2009 Global Youth Enterprise Conference
September 29-30
Washington, DC 

March of Dimes Symposium on Quality Improvement to Prevent Prematurity
October 8-9
Arlington, VA 

Family Violence Prevention Fund National Conference
October 8-10
New Orleans, LA

2009 ASTHO Annual Meeting
October 13-16
Vienna, VA    

2009 Youth Intervention Conference
October 27-28
St. Paul, MN

Strengthening Families Leadership Summit: Creating Opportunities in Challenging Times
October 28-29
Atlanta, GA

APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition: Water and Public Health
November 7-10
Philadelphia, PA

15th Annual Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (MCH EPI) Conference
Making Methods and Practice Matter for Women, Children and Families
December 9-11
Tampa, FL 

[back to top]