Embracing Balance and Chaos
Special note: AMCHP’s CEO Mike Fraser is out on a well-deserved vacation! So this week’s “Management Minute” is written by AMCHP Director of Programs Lauren Raskin Ramos.
This week, a colleague invited me to attend a seminar, “Embracing Your Imbalanced Life: How to Shift Perspectives to see Chaos as an Asset.” My first response to the invitation was naturally a little flip — do I seem to be imbalanced and surrounded by chaos? I enthusiastically accepted the invitation to participate.
Throughout the seminar, participants moved through an exercise to examine our individual “Wheels of Life,” looking at key spokes such as career, friends and family, finances, health, recreation and fun, physical environment and personal growth to discover our satisfaction with each of the areas, and determine if there are areas where we may we want to focus “rebalancing” efforts. We talked about what balance would look like and how to address those things that routinely send us out of whack and into chaos. It was no surprise to see my wheel was skewed toward career and family, but seemingly “imbalanced” in other areas. Working full time, raising a usually terrific, but sometimes terrible two year old, and managing a household — many days it does feel a lot more like managing chaos and less about achieving balance.
We spend so much time and energy trying to balance. We balance our checkbooks, we strive for work-life balance, we balance our physical weight on the scale, and may even go to yoga or meditate to try to balance our inner selves. All of this energy spent trying to balance may actually send us in the opposite direction as we fail to get there. I began to think what if we spent less time trying to achieve the perfect balance among all of these elements and more time embracing the elements that are most important to us?
I imagine many of you can relate to a life full of daily chaos. We run from meeting to meeting, each on a different topic throughout the day, squeezing in emails and returning calls in between, responding to urgent requests from our supervisors or funders, assisting staff, and then trying to get out of the office on time to catch our children’s soccer games, make time for a jog, or even grocery shop. Many of you face the added chaos that plummeting state budgets, busy legislative sessions, and building and sustaining relationships with a host of partners brings. As a result we may even lose sight of why we are doing all of these things in the first place.
We may not be able to find the right balance between what makes us happy and how to thrive all the time, but maybe we can allow for a little more balance each day. I know I can decide that some of the things that throw me off balance may not be that important after all. I can decide that laundry really doesn’t need to be done today, that an email reply can actually wait until tomorrow, or even acknowledge that I am the only one in my house who really cares if the weeds are pulled! By letting go of some of the stresses that keep me in chaos, maybe I can find more time to spend on the other spokes of my wheel of life.
As I stepped out of the house this morning into a sunny July morning, literally balancing the weight of my son in one arm, and my work bag, computer, and a sippy cup in the other, I pulled everything a little closer, embracing both the chaos and the balance in my life. As we move into the second half of the summer, filled with block grant reviews, bad budget news, and hopefully some vacations, I hope you’ll join me in embracing — and maybe even celebrating — both the balance and the chaos in all of our lives.
[back to top]
A reminder that AMCHP will conduct another all-member national MCH Policy Update call this Thursday, July 30 at 3 p.m. (EDT). We will cover the latest on health reform, home visiting and MCH funding. We will also provide ample time for Q & A, and seek member input to inform AMCHP’s advocacy strategies. To register for the call click here.
On Friday, July 24 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FY 2010 Labor HHS Appropriations Bill. This bill includes a $2.8 million increase to the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant. A summary of all proposed MCH-related funding in the House bill is attached and also on AMCHP’s website here.
The small increase is discouraging considering the dire conditions and un-met needs all of you are facing and the intense energy AMCHP has devoted to advocating for a more substantial increase. At the same time, with the continuing deep recession and record federal deficit, a small proposed increase is encouraging, especially considering that the bill proposes eliminating or cutting 38 other HHS functions and proposes flat funding for virtually all other health and human services block grants. (The Preventive Health Services Block Grant actually is proposed to increase by $34,000.)
Next Steps for Appropriations: The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to mark up their version of the bill in subcommittee on Tuesday. We are waiting to see what the Senate proposes and will share that information as it becomes available. Both bodies need to pass their bills and then agree on final funding levels, so there is still a ways to go before final passage. Although funding levels are very difficult to adjust at this point in the process, AMCHP will continue to seek every opportunity to make the case for increased Title V appropriations.
Health Reform Update
As things stand at press time, three of the five Congressional Committees with jurisdiction over health care have approved health reform legislation. However, as widely reported, the timing of consideration by both the full House and Senate is uncertain, and will likely slip until September.
The Energy and Commerce Committee – which has primary jurisdiction over MCH and public health issues – began a mark up July 17 but has postponed further action until they can address the concerns of some members. In the Senate, a bill has passed the HELP Committee, while the Finance Committee continues seeking some bi-partisan consensus before introducing their legislation. Copies of the introduced bills and other important resources are available on the AMCHP Health Reform Resources Hub. Recent action on some key actions includes:
· Public Health Investment Fund: Both the Senate HELP Committee and House health reform bills propose to create a new Public Health Investment Fund that would over time generate close to $10 billion annually in new public health funding over current appropriations levels. The House Energy & Commerce Committee on Monday defeated an attack on this proposed Fund when an amendment was offered proposing that the new public health funding should be withheld unless the federal budget deficit is brought below $1 trillion dollars. Chairman Waxman spoke in opposition saying that the prevention funding represents some of the most efficient investments in the bill and should not be held hostage. The amendment was defeated on a party line vote, meaning they didn’t lose the support of any fiscally conservative Blue Dogs.
· Teen Pregnancy Prevention: The Energy & Commerce Committee also rejected an amendment to their health reform bill on Monday to extend the abstinence-only funding (copy of text here). Instead, an amendment was passed to create a Healthy Teen Initiative to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (copy here.) It’s unclear if this will survive to a final package, and more immediately we saw confirmation last night that the House HHS Appropriations bill proposes to eliminate the ACF Abstinence-Only funding in FY 2010 and instead re-direct it to a new $115 million evidence-based teen pregnancy initiative in ACF.
Please contact Brent Ewig, AMCHP Director of Policy, with any questions at (202) 266-3041. And remember to register here for our July 30 National MCH Policy Update call.
[back to top]
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 home visiting program, 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 emerging to promising to evidence-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. Best Practice submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.
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’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 presentations is August 31. Accepted presentations will be notified by October 13. To submit an abstract, visit here. For more information, contact AMCHPspeakers@conferencemanagers.com or call Colleen Campbell at (703) 964-1240, ext. 16.
GCYF to host a Webinar to Improve Health for all Americans
Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families (GCYF) will host a webinar on “Looking Beyond Health Care to Improve the Health of All Americans” from 2 to 3 p.m. (EDT) on July 30. This webinar will present evidence that can help assess how far states are from reaching the full health potential of children and adults and how addressing social factors can begin to close the current gaps in health; and, present the recommendations of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission for improving lifelong health by focusing on early childhood and school-based policies. To register, visit here.
PHAB Call for Applicants to Test its Accreditation Program
The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) will implement a beta test of its accreditation program with health departments starting in the fall of 2009. The public health departments that participate in the beta test process will play a critical role in shaping and refining the accreditation program before the national launch in 2011. Throughout the beta test process, participating health departments will have the opportunity to receive hands-on technical assistance from national public health organizations, collaborate with and learn from other health departments by sharing knowledge and best practices, attend trainings, and engage in quality improvement practices that aim to advance the quality and performance of their services. Applications from health departments must be received by PHAB no later than 5:30 p.m. (EDT) on August 14. To learn more, visit here.
PHAB is seeking a Beta Test Evaluator
PHAB seeks a qualified evaluation contractor to: (1) design and conduct a process evaluation of the beta test and evaluate costs and time; (2) gather real time data; (3) analyze data and draw conclusions; and (4) submit interim and final reports of findings and recommendations for improvements on a phased basis to PHAB. PHAB has issued a request for proposals for the evaluation of the beta test. In order to be considered for this project, applicants must be able to demonstrate significant experience with the conduct of program evaluation in general, and beta testing and other formative evaluation techniques, specifically. Those with knowledge of accreditation are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of governmental public health departments is desired. Proposals for the evaluation of the beta test must be received by PHAB no later than 5 p.m. (EDT) on July 31. To learn more, visit here.
National Child Passenger Safety Board Call for Applications
The National Child Passenger Safety Board has announced that the membership application process for the 2010 Board is now open. Applications must be received by mail no later than 5 p.m. (CDT) July 31. The Board was established to provide program direction and technical guidance to states, communities and organizations as a means to maintain a credible, standardized child passenger training and certification program. Applications for Board membership are being sought in the following categories: At Large: Candidate may apply as either representing an organization or as an individual involved in Child Passenger Safety; Injury Prevention/Emergency Services: Candidate must be involved with coordinating injury prevention programs within the emergency services community, including, but not limited to, fire rescue, EMS, first responders; Diversity: Candidate must be a representative of an organization that serves diverse populations; National Nursing: Candidate must be a member of a nursing organization with national outreach. For additional information and to download application forms, visit here.
Call for Abstracts for the National Conference on Blood Disorders in Public Health
The Conference Planning Committee for the National Conference on Blood Disorders in Public Health is seeking abstracts to be considered for presentation at the conference. The committee encourages interested individuals or organizations to submit abstracts that address specific issues, approaches or strategies that contribute to the prevention of complications experienced by people with blood disorders. Priority preference will be given to abstracts that demonstrate the application of public health strategies to promote the health and/or improve outcomes of people with blood disorders. The deadline for all abstracts is August 9. For more information about submission guidelines or to submit an abstract, visit here.
[back to top]
ASK AN EXPERT
AMCHP is collecting state effective models for CYSHCN for a report to the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. If you have examples that you would like to share with AMCHP, please send them to Darlisha Williams. AMCHP is especially interested in learning about the financing, sustainability and evaluation of models around: Overall system of care for CYSHCN; Family-centered care; Care coordination; Service integration; Medical home; Palliative care/Hospice care; Respite care; Cultural competency; Transition; Financing of care for CYSHCN; and Health Information Technology.
ON YOUR BEHALF
On Friday, July 17, AMCHP member Nan Streeter (UT) and AMCHP staff Lauren Raskin Ramos participated in an HHS “Summit for Action: The Health of Women and Girls Beyond 2010.” This meeting was convened by the HHS Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health as a mechanism to set priorities for action to improve the health, wellness and safety of women and girls for the next 10 years. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, both addressed the participants. AMCHP will continue to track the agenda set forth during this Summit and share resources and information with AMCHP members.
[back to top]
PUBLICATIONS & RESOURCES
General Maternal & Child Health
New Toolkit to Help Employers Develop Workplace Breastfeeding Programs
The toolkit, “Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies: An Employer's Toolkit,” produced by the Center for Prevention and Health Services, National Business Group on Health with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau, provides resources to help employers understand the components of breastfeeding programs, get started and measure success. Resources include breastfeeding program options, employer case studies, and materials for employees. To download the toolkit, visit here.
Family Voices Platform on Health Care Reform
Family Voices has developed a policy platform to include Title V which will inform Family Voices’ advocacy activities as health reform activities unfold in Congress. They are using this policy platform to assess legislation and determine specific actions that the Family Voices network and partners can take to advocate for CYSHCN. To download a copy of the platform, visit here.
[back to top]
New Resource on Breastfeeding During a Crisis
The pamphlet, “Breastfeeding: Coping with Crisis,” produced by Platypus Media, is designed to help breastfeeding mothers prepare for the hard times, stay calm and continue to feed their babies when faced with obstacles. Available in English now, and soon in Spanish, it explains to moms that breastfeeding helps protect a baby’s health and well-being, as well as promotes strength and tranquility within the mother. The information and answers provided by this pamphlet are designed to help mothers to confidently breastfeed even when faced with challenges. To order a free copy, email Denise. To learn more about Platypus Media, visit here.
[back to top]
Updated Guide on Fetal and Infant Mortality Review
The National Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (NFIMR) has updated its “Fetal and Infant Mortality Review: A Guide for Communities” after receiving input from local and state Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) programs. The revised guide features three new chapters on the group process, taking stock of the FIMR process, and other maternal and child health reviews. To download the guide, visit here.
Report on Partnering With Parents and Families to Support Immigrant/Refugee Children
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools has published a new report on “Partnering with Parents and Families to Support Immigrant and Refugee Children at School,” which describes several programs that engage schools, communities and community organizations in building effective and easily-accessible mental health services for children and youth. The report discusses the impact of the immigrant and refugee experience, effective ways of offering school-based mental health services, and strategies for forming effective partnerships with immigrant families to support mental health. To download the report, visit here.
Newborn Screening for Cystic Fibrosis Update
In early July, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced that all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have passed legislation requiring that all newborns be screened for cystic fibrosis by the year 2010. Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening, inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. Early diagnosis of cystic fibrosis can have a dramatic impact on the health of those born with the condition. Texas and Connecticut, the last two states without mandatory newborn screening, will now establish programs. Connecticut will begin screening Oct. 1, 2009, and Texas is expected to start in December 2009. For more information, visit here.
MCH Library’s Autism Spectrum Disorders Knowledge Path
The Maternal and Child Health Library (MCH) at Georgetown University has released a new Knowledge Path about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The Knowledge Path offers a selection of current resources about ASD screening and diagnosis, treatment and intervention, communication, education, vocational challenges, and impact on family life. Separate sections identify resources that address early identification, early intervention and education, concerns about vaccines, environmental health research, and inappropriate use of seclusion and restraints. To learn more, visit here.
[back to top]
Brief on Young Adult Attitudes About Relationships and Marriage
The brief, “Young Adult Attitudes about Relationships and Marriage: Times May Have Changed, But Expectations Remain High,” published by Child Trends, finds that most young adults in the United States have positive views of marriage and wish to marry someday. Young adults also value love, fidelity and commitment in their relationships, and have positive attitudes about cohabitation. To download the brief, visit here.
Health Reform and Adolescents Issue Brief
The brief, “Health Reform and Adolescents,” published by the National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health, offers recommendations for improving insurance coverage and achieving service delivery reforms for adolescents. To download the brief, visit here.
Health Disparities and Minority Youth Reports
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released reports on the health risks and disparities for both African-American and Hispanic youth. Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. Disparities often begin early in life, starting during childhood or adolescence.
[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 (CDC), 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 (CDS) 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 email@example.com or call (404) 498-3007. For questions regarding the posting, please contact Lara Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
AMCHP’s CAREER CENTER
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]
Support Systems for Rural Homeless Youth: A Collaborative State and Local Demonstration
Deadline: August 3
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is accepting applications for a five-year Demonstration project targeted to young people ages 16-21, in rural areas (including Tribal lands and other rural Native communities) who are approaching independence and young adulthood, but have few or no connections to a supportive, family structure or community. This collaborative Demonstration project, funding States to work with local community-based organizations, is intended to influence policies, programs and practices that affect the design and delivery of services to runaway and homeless youth in Transitional Living Programs (TLP), as well as to homeless youth aging out of State child welfare systems and into Independent Living Programs (ILP). The Children's Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families will provide technical assistance to support the collaborative engagement of ILP grantees in the project. To learn more, visit here.
Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Outreach and Enrollment Grants Cycle I
Deadline: August 6
On February 4, 2009, the President signed into law the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA). CHIPRA reauthorizes the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through Federal FY 2013, providing an additional $35 billion in federal funds to enable States to maintain their current CHIP programs and increase enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP. CHIPRA includes a number of provisions increasing outreach funding and activities to enroll eligible, but uninsured children, in coverage with a particular focus on those who are the most difficult to reach. The provisions for the Outreach and Enrollment Grants are the subject of this solicitation. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will award a total of $80 million during two or more award cycles to eligible entities to conduct targeted outreach, resulting in increased enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP of eligible but un-enrolled children. To learn more, visit here.
CDC Funding for Childhood Immunization Support Project
Deadline: August 19
CDC’s Procurement and Grants Office has published a funding opportunity announcement entitled, “Childhood Immunization Support Project”. Approximately $200,000 will be available in fiscal year 2009 to fund one award. The purpose of the program is to improve pediatric provider’s knowledge, practices and strategies necessary for high quality immunization delivery. To learn more, visit here.
CDC Funding for Increasing Immunization Rates through Healthcare Provider Partnerships
Deadline: August 19
CDC’s Procurement and Grants Office has published a funding opportunity announcement entitled, “Increasing Immunization Rates through Healthcare Provider Partnerships.” Approximately $700,000 will be available in fiscal year 2009 to fund four awards. The purpose of the program is to develop and implement innovative programs for healthcare providers to change their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about immunization in order to improve immunization coverage. To learn more, visit here.
HRSA MCH Research Grants
Deadline: September 1
The Maternal and Child Health Research Program will award grants to support applied research relating to maternal and child health 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.
[back to top]
National Maternal Nutrition Intensive Course
World Breastfeeding Week 2009 - Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response Are you ready?
Community Partnerships in Addressing Perinatal Mood Disorders: Clinical and Integrative Perspectives
Los Angeles, CA
18th Annual Summer Institute for Public Health Practice
National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media
International Swine Flu Conference
CityMatCH 2009 Urban Maternal and Child Health Leadership Conference
New Orleans, LA
10th National Conference on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention
New Orleans, LA
Seventh Annual Public Health Information Network (PHIN) Conference
August 30–September 3
American College of Epidemiology Annual Meeting
Silver Spring, MD
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2009 Annual Conference
2009 ASTHO Annual Meeting
Strengthening Families Leadership Summit: Creating Opportunities in Challenging Times
15th Annual Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (MCH EPI) Conference
Making Methods and Practice Matter for Women, Children and Families
[back to top]