Skip Navigation Links
Skip Navigation Links
2015Expand 2015
2014Expand 2014
2013Expand 2013
2012Expand 2012
2011Expand 2011
2010Expand 2010
2009Expand 2009
2008Expand 2008
2016Expand 2016

 August 30, 2010

Let’s Make Beautiful Music Together

I just returned from Los Angeles where I attended this year’s American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Annual Conference. The ASAE is the “Association of Associations” where I learn a lot about leadership development and association management. It is also a pretty amazing annual party – many of you may have seen some of my Facebook page postings from the social events which included being in the front row at a members-only Melissa Etheridge concert (AMAZING!) , getting a glimpse of Cyndi Lauper before a private ASAE sponsored concert (I remember all the words to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “True Colors” and “Time After Time”) and a few other celebrity sightings (Ryan Seacrest, Wanda Sykes, Ben Stein, Wolfgang Puck, and even Patrick Simpson from CityMatCH). It was really fun and I learned a lot. There is no place like Los Angeles, that’s for sure, especially when 5,000+ association CEOs and meeting planners are all in one place. Exhausting!  

During the meeting I presented at a breakout session titled "The Top 10 Lessons Learned in Rebuilding and Rebranding." I told the story of the work we have done at AMCHP on our re-branding and new logo development and shared some lessons learned from our strategic planning work and organizational transformation that has taken place over the past three years. The session was on Tuesday at nine o’clock in the morning after a very long night of wine, cheese, live music and dancing at the California Science Center. I figured 10 people might show up. Instead the room was packed and people were eager to learn about AMCHP and its successes. It felt great to share our work-in-progress success story with peers and colleagues doing similar work nationwide. 

During the conference I also attended a “thought leader” session led by Maestro Roger Nierenberg. He was the music director and conductor of two professional orchestras: one in Stamford, CT and the other in Jacksonville, FL. As a fan of classical music I had heard of Roger and was excited to hear him speak on “listening and leadership.” I have often likened being a leader to being an orchestra conductor. Orchestras are like living organisms or systems complete with different parts that have to work together to keep the whole alive and produce beautiful music. In addition to making music, Roger consults with large corporations and associations wanting to transform their organizational culture and improve their organizational performance drawing upon his experience as a musician and conductor.  

Using the orchestra metaphor, Roger demonstrates the power of teamwork and the importance of leadership. Teams or programs within organizations often operate with rules and procedures that are specific to their group (think about your agency’s parts: your MCH section, CYSHCN program, chronic disease, epidemiology, injury, WIC, birth defects, etc.). Like an orchestra those groups have their own professional identities, norms and cultures much like the sections of an orchestra – and with great leadership these parts come together to produce a very specific sound. Technically the musicians in each of those sections can make amazing sounds, much like the staff of particular teams or programs within an organization can produce great things, even without being connected to one another. In good organizations those groups or sections can even make decent music without a conductor. The job of the conductor, however, is to take that technical expertise and specific sound and create beautiful music by bringing out the best in each of those very different sounding groups: something no one of those groups can do by themselves. The conductor leads through the noise and brings out the best in his orchestra to make music by bringing the sounds together, keeping them in tune, in rhythm/time, and pushing the whole orchestra to perform at a level of excellence none could obtain without the other. It is pretty exciting work!

While Roger didn’t do it at the ASAE workshop, he often places members of his orchestra next to participants in his workshops and has them sit within the impromptu “orchestra” to see and hear differently. As part of a workshop he asks one section to tune slightly off-key. By themselves the sound from that group is just fine. But when the out of tune section is brought together with the other sections of the orchestra to play a piece of music the sound is terrible – off-key, out of tune, and just plain hard to listen to! He then asks the leaders in his workshop where they see sections out of tune in their own organizations and how they can work together across the orchestra to fix it – to tune back to the pure “A” that an orchestra must maintain to make amazing music. He talks about leading by listening and identifying the ways to better tune an orchestra and improve performance quality. 

The session with Roger got me thinking more about AMCHP, where we are well tuned and where we need more rehearsal. It was also fun to think about your work in the states and your agencies as orchestras. Do you see yourself as a conductor/leader bringing out the best in each section to produce an amazing tune? Do you see yourself as needing to retune and assess the quality of some past performances so you can do better in the future? All of us deal with these leadership issues, but when we put them in the context of music it seems to make them less threatening and easier to discuss. So, the next time you have an all staff or “all hands” meeting in your agency, think about the music you can make – be it a Mozart concerto or a Mahler symphony or some other beautiful piece. Was the performance well executed, did it give the audience a new appreciation for a familiar tune or was it a new interpretation of an old favorite? Did the performance suffer or fall flat because one section was louder than the other, one section was out of tune, or the conductor could not keep time and rhythm together leading to a cacophony of sound, not music? There are so many ways we can work together to make beautiful music in MCH – I look forward to hearing about them from you, so let me know!

[back to top]


Congress remains on recess until September 14. 

Home Visiting Needs Assessment Guidance Released
On August 19, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance to states for completing the required home visitation program needs assessment in the form of a Supplemental Information Request, available here. As noted, the new deadline is September 20. AMCHP will convene a national teleconference Wednesday, September 1 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EST. Click here to register. 

AMCHP Comments on Home Visiting Evidence Criteria
AMCHP’s comments in response to the Request for Public Comment on Criteria for Evidence of Effectiveness of Home Visiting Program Models are available here.

[back to top]


Nominations for AMCHP Board of Directors Now Being Accepted!
AMCHP's Governance Committee is currently accepting nominations for 2011 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 2011 election include: 

1.     President-Elect

2.     Director-At-Large

3.     Family Representative

4.     Region II

5.     Region III

6.     Region V

7.     Region VII 

Volunteer leadership is critical to AMCHP's success. We hope that you will consider participating in the nominations process. More information about these positions, the necessary qualifications and the nominations process may be found on the AMCHP website or by clicking here. We ask that all nominations be forwarded to the Governance Committee by September 30 to ensure ample time for the Committee to review all candidates' materials. Please note: Only named AMCHP delegates may be nominated to the Board. To verify your membership status, contact Julio Arguello, Publications & Member Services Manager. 

Celebrating Title V at 75 Nationwide – September 8!
Please join AMCHP and MCHB in a national webinar to celebrate the legacy of the Title V MCH Services Block Grant and share thoughts on its future on September 8 at 3 p.m. EST. The webinar is designed to “virtually” connect MCH leaders across the country at the same time and kick off this fall’s commemoration of Title V in Washington, DC, and other state and local festivities. Plan an event in your agency around this important and informative webinar and join in the national celebration! More information will be forthcoming, including a “celebration guide” with ideas for activities to engage your state and local MCH leaders and helpful resources on Title V to help plan your own event. For more information, contact AMCHP at, visit or Online registration is required, visit to obtain dial-in and webinar information! 

Home Visiting Program Needs Assessment National Teleconference
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released guidance to states for completing the required home visitation program needs assessment in the form of a Supplemental Information Request. The deadline is September 20. AMCHP stands ready to support and assist states and will convene a national teleconference on Wednesday, September 1 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EST to gather initial questions and provide a forum for state MCH leaders to share strategies. Please send any initial questions and materials you would like to share to Michelle Alletto. To register for the conference call, visit here. 

AMCHP and ASIP to Co-host a Webinar on Health Reform and Infant Death
The webinar, “Opportunities in Health Reform to Prevent Infant Death,” sponsored by AMCHP and the Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs (ASIP), is the third in a series of live, interactive webinars which have been developed to provide participants with the latest research, resources, information, and tools regarding MCH, SUID, SIDS, infant mortality and bereavement. The webinar will convene on September 16 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EST. Registration and additional information to follow. For more information, please contact Jessica Hawkins or Sandra Frank. 

MCHB Call for Papers
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) is seeking submissions for papers for a supplement to the Maternal and Child Health Journal, devoted to national, regional and state-level analyses of the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). If you are interested in contributing to the articles for this proposed supplement, please contact Drs. Michael Kogan, Reem Ghandour or Ashley Schempf. At this point, only a proposed title, authorship list, and up to one page outlining your research are required, however data analysis results are welcome. Please send this information by September 10. If you work in a state or local MCH department, MCHB and CDC are sponsoring a program to assist people with writing manuscripts for publication. If your topic is chosen, and would like assistance in preparing a manuscript on state-level data from this data set, please contact Michael Kogan.

[back to top]


General Maternal & Child Health 

MCH Library Resource Page devoted to the 75th Anniversary of Title V
In recognition of the 75th Anniversary of Title V, the MCH Library has put together a webpage providing access to unique historical documents, new and emerging MCH literature, and podcasts featuring some past and current leaders in the field. It includes links to podcasts from Dr. Vince Hutchins and Dr. Peter van Dyck, and historical materials at the MCH Library. They have also initiated 75 Books for 75 Years, collecting 75 seminal MCH publications over the next year and posting selections on their website. To learn more, visit here. 

New Brief on State Options for Covering Recent Immigrants in CHIP
The brief, “Expanding Coverage for Recent Immigrants: CHIPRA Gives States New Options,” published by Families USA, examines the provision that lifts the ‘five year bar’ for legally residing immigrant children and pregnant women to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP during the first five years of residence in the United States. The brief outlines the eligibility for coverage, how the option is financed and discusses why states should take advantage of this new option to expand coverage. To download the brief, visit here.

Adolescent Health  

New Report on Adolescent Health among Latinas
The report, “Removing Stigma: Towards a Complete Understanding of Young Latina’s Sexual Health,” published by the National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health, reviews recent research on adolescent sexuality and reproductive health, sets forth a reproductive justice framework for advancing the sexual health of Latina adolescents, and establishes policy approaches to ensure communities make healthy decisions about sexuality and reproduction that are supported and available to adolescents. To download the report, visit here. 

New Report on Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
The report, “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance –United States, 2009,” published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, summarizes results from the 2009 national school-based Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) conducted by CDC and by state and local education and health agencies among students in grades 9 to 12. The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six categories of priority health-risk behaviors among youth and young adults: 1) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; 2) tobacco use; 3) alcohol and other drug use; 4) sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; 5) unhealthy dietary behaviors; and 6) physical inactivity. In addition, YRBSS monitors the prevalence of obesity and asthma. To download the report, visit here.

Children's Health 

New Study on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Systems
The study, “State Case Studies on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Systems: Strategies for Change,” published by the Commonwealth Fund, analyzes efforts in Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts and Rhode Island to conduct early identification and intervention strategies for children with developmental and mental health problems. The report highlights various approaches to accomplishing this goal, such as using frequent mental health screening tools in Medicaid’s Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment program to improve the health of low-income children. To download the study, visit here.

[back to top]


AMCHP staff Jessica Hawkins represented AMCHP and state MCH programs at the recent Public Health Leadership Initiative Expert Panel Meeting in Atlanta in July. The subject of the meeting was child maltreatment – a serious public health issue as millions of children are abused or neglected every year. Because public health plays a leading role in preventing child maltreatment, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, in partnership with the CDC Foundation and the Division of Violence Prevention at the CDC, created the Public Health Leadership (PHL) Initiative. The PHL is a three-year project created to assist and support state-based health efforts to address the problem of child maltreatment through three main objectives: 1) Serve as a foundation for building a strong national public health prevention system that promotes safe, stable and nurturing relationships (SSNRs) for children and prevents child maltreatment; 2) Raise awareness about child maltreatment prevention as a public health issue; and 3) Identify ways to support, improve and expand child maltreatment prevention efforts in public health agencies.  

AMCHP, along with state public health program staff from the five PHL case study states, leaders from national public health associations, experts on child maltreatment prevention and experts on developmental and behavioral pediatrics worked to provide guidance and suggest tools that will allow state public health agencies become leaders in the primary prevention of child maltreatment. Next steps are to develop, test and disseminate recommendations and tools to promote leadership in child maltreatment prevention and the promotion of SSNRs in state public health agencies.

[back to top]


AMCHP Program Manager of Family Involvement
This 50 percent part-time position supports and assists the Associate Director for Workforce and Leadership Development, Family Involvement in the development, implementation and evaluation of program activities related to family involvement and leadership development. The Program Manager will also assist in implementing project activities related to children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), birth defects and disabilities and early childhood. To learn more about this open position, visit AMCHP’s Career Center. 

AMCHP Senior Epidemiologist 
AMCHP is seeking a Senior Epidemiologist to be accountable for the development and implementation of program activities related to maternal and child health data and assessment. The Senior Epidemiologist, a member of the Women’s and Infant Health team, develops and maintains partnerships with relevant federal agencies, funders, and other national organizations, coalitions and groups concerned with MCH epidemiology. For more information about this open position, visit AMCHP’s Career Center. 

RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research Program Fellowship Opportunities
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Scholars in Health Policy Research program is looking for up to nine highly qualified individuals for two-year fellowships at one of three nationally prominent universities with the expectation that they will make important research contributions to future U.S. health policy. The program seeks recent graduates of doctoral programs in economics, political science and sociology, including junior faculty, to apply. The program will give preference to applicants who have not previously worked extensively in health or health policy research. The deadline to apply is October 13. To learn more, visit here 

Fellowships for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
The Doris Duke Fellowships for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect aim to identify and nurture promising leaders in child abuse prevention in doctoral and dissertation students. Each fellow will receive an annual stipend of $25,000. The deadline to apply is December 15. To learn more, 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]


CDC Funding for Enhanced Comprehensive HIV Prevention Planning and Implementation for Metropolitan Statistical Areas Most Affected by HIV/AIDSDeadline: September 2
The purpose of this program is to facilitate the development and implementation of Enhanced Comprehensive HIV Prevention Plans (ECHPPs) for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) most affected by the HIV epidemic in order to reduce HIV risk and incidence in those areas. This program will be conducted in two phases. In Phase I, which will be supported under this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and will have a one year project period, grantees will develop focused ECHPPs for the targeted MSAs and begin the implementation of those plans. The plans will be guided by the best available evidence and tailored by the jurisdiction with intensive guidance from HHS/CDC. The enhanced plans are intended to identify the optimal combination of coordinated HIV prevention, care, and treatment services that can maximize the impact of these services on reducing new HIV infections within that jurisdiction. In Phase II, which will be supported under a separate FOA, a subset of the jurisdictions funded under Phase I will be selected, through a competitive process, to further implement their ECHPPs over a two year project period. To learn more, visit here. 

CDC Funding for State Competitive Supplemental Funding for Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
Deadline: September 8
The purpose of this supplement is to provide state health departments with resources to maintain previous projections in sample size, enhance and expand the utility of BRFSS, and support ongoing state-based public health surveillance infrastructure. Resources are needed specifically to collect BRFSS data to assess the prevalence of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) at state and local levels to support Pandemic Influenza response and preparedness activities as well as to support optional modules of public health significance at the state level (Components IA, IB, and IC). Financial support will be provided for activities related to data collection for the evaluation of interventions and assessment of the effectiveness of activities funded with Affordable Care Act through the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (ACA CPPW) (Component II). Those states eligible to apply for Component II will be notified individually. The amount of funding for individual states will be determined through a competitive evaluation. To learn more, visit here. 

IHS Funding for National Indian Health Outreach and Education
Deadline: September 8
The Indian Health Service (IHS) has designated funds for the Limited Competition National Indian Health Outreach and Education Cooperative Agreement program to further health program objectives in the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) community with outreach and education efforts in the interest of improving Indian health care. The goal of this program is to conduct outreach and education, training and technical assistance on a national scale for the 564 Federally-recognized Tribes and Tribal organizations on the changes and authorities of the new legislation for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Indian Health Care Improvement Reauthorization and Extension Act (IHCIA). To learn more, visit here.

CDC Funding for PS10-1001 HIV Prevention Projects Supplemental Resources to Enhance HIV Prevention Strategies
Deadline: September 13
The purpose of the supplemental funding is to enable state and local health departments to address gaps within or enhance their HIV prevention portfolio. Jurisdictions should assess current activities within their current HIV prevention plan and, where appropriate and feasible, utilize these funds to further enhance or address gaps. To learn more, visit here 

HRSA Funding for Affordable Care Act (ACA) Infrastructure to Expand Access to Care Program
Deadline: October 4
The purpose of this program is to provide funding for the debt service on, or direct construction or renovation of a health care facility that provides research, inpatient tertiary care, or outpatient clinical services. The program supports the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by expanding access to care through the debt service on, or construction, or renovation of infrastructure. To learn more, visit here. 

CDC Funding for Cooperative Agreement Program for the National Academic Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention
Deadline: December 6
The goal of this program is to establish National Academic Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention (ACEs). The specific objective of this program is to support Academic Centers of Excellence to reduce youth violence in one defined high–risk community by implementing and evaluating a multifaceted, evidence-based approach to prevent the perpetration of youth violence. To learn more, visit here.

[back to top]



Special Events 

Celebrating Title V at 75 Nationwide Webinar
September 8
3 to 4 p.m. EST 

MCHB 75th Anniversary of Title V Commemoration
October 20
Washington, DC 

Looking to the Future: Opportunities and Challenges in Health Reform for Maternal and Child Health
October 21
Washington, DC  

Working Together to Improve Maternal and Child Health: The 2011 AMCHP and Family Voices National Conferences
February 12-15, 2011
Washington, DC 

Other MCH Events 

The 20th Anniversary CityMatCH Conference : Celebrating Urban MCH Leadership
September 11–14
Chicago, IL 

AHRQ’s 2010 Annual Conference
September 27-29
Bethesda, MD 

National Academy for State Health Policy Conference
October 4-6
New Orleans, LA 

2010 AUCD Conference
October 30-November 3
Crystal City, VA 

WIC Food Package Evaluation Symposium
November 30
Washington, DC 

Fourth National Conference on Genomics and Public Health
December 8-10
Bethesda, MD 

Registration Now Open through September 9: 16th Annual MCH EPI Pre-Conference Data Skill Trainings
December 13-14
San Antonio, TX 

16th Annual CDC MCH EPI Conference
December 15-17
San Antonio, TX

[back to top]