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 Member Briefs - August 1, 2011


Advocacy = Educate + Urge Action
Last week I traveled to Chicago to speak to a group of MCH leaders attending the University of Chicago-Illinois’ Maternal and Child Health Leadership Retreat. The topic of my presentation, “Advocating for MCH in Challenging Times,” was a chance to share some thinking about the larger forces and issues impacting AMCHP’s advocacy for state maternal and child health programs. In my talk I used a pretty standard definition of advocacy: advocacy involves education (sharing the facts) with urging action (doing something about them). I thought sharing some of the major themes from the presentation might be good for us all to consider as we forward our MCH advocacy agenda. While the final outcome of federal deficit reduction and budget cut negotiations remains cloudy, it is very clear that the coming year’s appropriations season will require the tremendous need for all of us to redouble our efforts in support of the Title V MCH Services Block Grant and other critical MCH programs. [more]

Legislative corner

Federal Budget Update
As of press time (August 1, 2011), Congress appears to have come to an agreement on the debt ceiling, agreeing in principal to legislation that would raise the debt ceiling, while making significant cuts to the federal budget. The bill would immediately enact 10-year discretionary spending caps generating nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction; authorize the president to increase the debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion, eliminating the need for further increases until 2013 and establish a bipartisan committee to identifying an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, including from entitlement and tax reform. Congress would be required to vote on Committee recommendations by December 23, 2011. If the Committee is unable to come up with the necessary cuts, an enforcement mechanism will trigger spending reductions beginning in 2013 – split 50/50 between domestic and defense spending. [more] 

HHS Issues Guidelines for Preventive Health Services for Women
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidelines to ensure that women have access to eight preventive health services at no cost sharing. Developed by the Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans beginning on or after August 1, 2012, to cover the below services without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible. These guidelines will contribute significantly to state efforts to improve women’s health overall, and support efforts to promote preconception and inter-conception care for women of child bearing age. [more]   

Health Insurance Exchange Regulation
AMCHP is continuing to sift though the “Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans” regulation released on July 11, 2011. This regulation provides a framework from which states will build their health insurance exchanges. AMCHP staff is meeting with children’s health groups this week to explore the impact this regulation will have on maternal and child health populations. [more]    


AMCHP August 8 National Policy Teleconference to Focus on Debt Deal Implications
Please join us on Monday, August 8 at 3 p.m. EST., for a national policy teleconference. We'll discuss the expected impact of the emerging deficit reduction framework on the Title V MCH Block Grant and other vital public health funding. We'll also outline AMCHP's August and September advocacy plans and what you can do to help shape critical future funding decisions. [more]

AMCHP Call for Volunteer Leaders!

Long Term Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

  • Board Nominations: AMCHP's Governance Committee is currently accepting nominations for 2012 AMCHP Board positions. These leadership positions guide, direct, inform and contribute to moving AMCHP's strategic directions and goals forward. [more]

  • Committee Appointments: One of the benefits of being an active AMCHP member is the opportunity to participate as a volunteer leader on AMCHP’s Organizational and Board Committees. AMCHP committees assist the organization in carrying out its mission, goals and strategic plan. They serve to engage members in activities, provide advice and guidance to the Board and staff, and make recommendations for policy analysis and development. They are comprised of AMCHP members and staff liaisons, and may also include representatives from federal agencies and involve partner organizations when appropriate. AMCHP is currently seeking members who are interested in volunteering to serve by being committee members. [more]

Short Term Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

  • Social Media Task Force: The Task Force will advise AMCHP on its implementation of social media strategies in coordination with current plans, including the AMCHP Strategic Plan, AMCHP Operational Plan, and AMCHP Communications Plan. The group will provide input to staff and the Board on how AMCHP can support state health agencies using social media in their work, and ways that AMCHP can leverage the use of social media including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and connect to other social media initiatives such as text4baby. [more]

  • Annual Conference Session Proposal Reviewers Wanted: AMCHP is seeking interested members to review the 2012 Annual Conference session proposals. Reviews will be conducted online and are tentatively scheduled to be done between September 6-20 (just following the Labor Day holiday). Reviewers will be assigned no more than 10 proposals to review, which should altogether take approximately two hours to complete. [more]

2012 AMCHP Annual Conference Call for Session Proposals
The 2012 AMCHP Annual Conference will take place February 11-14, 2012, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. The conference theme is “Improving Maternal and Child Health Across the Life Span: Acting Today for Healthy Tomorrows.” The AMCHP conference is the ideal venue to present your ideas, research, innovative programming, best practices and effective outreach strategies to MCH and other public health practitioners, directors of state programs, family leaders, researchers, federal officials, advocates and healthcare providers. [more] 

MCHB Call for Comments to Proposed Changes to the MCH Block Grant Application Annual Report
Please note that MCHB has published a notice in the Federal Register summarizing revisions and requesting comments on proposed changes to the Title V MCH Services Block Grant Application Annual Report guidance. AMCHP encourages Title V programs to review the Federal Register notice and provide feedback as appropriate. [more] 

RWJF Call for Applications
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Scholars in Health Policy Research program develops and supports a new generation of creative health policy thinkers and researchers within the disciplines of economics, political science and sociology. Each year the program selects 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. Application deadline is October 12. [more] 

New Webinar Series on Epi Info 7
The CDC's Epidemiology and Analysis Program Office (EAPO), Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (OSELS) will sponsor a series of Epi Info 7 webinar demonstrations through September 27. Epi Info 7, scheduled for release in fall 2011, represents a complete technology overhaul of the Epi Info platform. The Epi Info development team invites interested public health professionals who work with epidemiological data to attend one of these upcoming LiveMeeting webinars. The next webinar will occur on August 9 from 1 to 2 p.m. EST. [more]   

The National Health Care Transition Center to Host a Webinar on Transitions from Pediatric to Adult Health Care
The webinar, “Paving the Way to Adult Health Care - The New Clinical Report on Health Care Transition,” will convene on August 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. EST. The webinar will be based on a new clinical report published in the July 2011 issue of Pediatrics, describing what is needed for smooth transitions from pediatric to adult health care. [more]


Publications & Resources

General Maternal & Child Health

New Report on Tobacco Use and Mental Illness
The report, “A Hidden Epidemic: Tobacco Use and Mental Illness," published by Legacy, puts a spotlight on the issue of the high prevalence of tobacco use and nicotine dependence among people with mental illnesses and highlights barriers to effective tobacco cessation efforts to help people with mental illnesses quit. It also features examples of five projects that demonstrate how organizations across America are addressing tobacco-related disparities faced by people with mental illnesses. These examples represent a broad range of tobacco prevention and cessation projects implemented by past Legacy grantees to deal with the issue of the high prevalence of tobacco use in this population. [more]

ASTPHND Releases New Brief on the Nutrition of Women, Children and Families
The brief, “Improving the Nutritional Well-being of Women, Children and Families,” published by the Association of State and Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors’ (ASTPHND) Maternal and Child Health Nutrition Council, provides state and national leadership on food and nutrition policy, programs and services. It includes a call to action and specific recommendations for state and territorial health agencies to strengthen their public health nutrition services. [more]

Children’s Health  

CDC Launches Fragile X Syndrome Website
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new Fragile X Syndrome website that features information on Fragile X facts, inheritance, associated conditions, and related concerns; a compilation of important data and scientific publications; an overview of the work CDC and its partners are doing in the area of Fragile X. [more]

CCF Releases New Brief on CYSHCN and Medicaid
The brief, “Medicaid and its Role for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN): A Family Perspective,” published by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (CCF), researchers review the current data on CYSHCN and Medicaid, summarize the routes to Medicaid coverage for CYSHCN, and outline state-level policy options that would increase CYSHCN accessibility to Medicaid. Throughout the paper, family stories convey the reality of what CYSHCN and their families experience and how vital Medicaid is to their survival. [more]


AMCHP Staff Working On Your Behalf       

  • On July 15, AMCHP staff members Mike Fraser, Lauren Raskin Ramos, Jessica Hawkins, Caroline Stampfel and Kate Howe; with Dr. Ursula Bauer, Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, visited with senior staff at the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health and the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities to discuss shared priorities for AMCHP and CDC and ways to continue to partner. 
  • On July 17-18, AMCHP staff members Mike Fraser, Treeby Brown, Melody Cherny and Michelle Jarvis convened a Summer Grantee Meeting in Baltimore, MD for the State Implementation Grants for Improving Services for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities grantees. Twelve state teams participated in the meeting, and representatives from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Autism Society and Catalyst Center presented on various issues regarding autism spectrum disorders. Key topics of the meeting were sustainability, opportunities for collaboration and the six core MCHB outcomes for CYSHCN: medical home, insurance coverage, screening, organization of services, families’ roles and transition to adulthood. 
  • On July 20, AMCHP staff member Brent Ewig presented on health reform and the Affordable Care Act to the Improving the System of Services for CYSHCN State Implementation Grantee Meeting. Brent also presented on July 20 on “The Impact of State Budget Deficits and Health Care Reform on Access to Substance Abuse, Chronic Disease and Mental Health Services” to the UNC School of Public Health’s Women’s Integrated Systems for Health Webinar Series.

Click here to see more On Your Behalf listings.


AMCHP Program Manager, Adolescent Health
This position serves as key support in developing, implementing and evaluating program activities related to adolescent health; assumes the lead for specific projects within AMCHP's adolescent health portfolio; and, partners with relevant agencies and other national organizations, coalitions and groups concerned with adolescent health to support AMCHP's efforts to build capacity and provide resources for state Maternal and Child Health programs.

Organizational Performance & Member Services Intern
As a member of AMCHP’s Organizational Performance and Member Services team, the intern will support our member services activities. The intern will assume responsibility for a wide range of projects and functions, requiring professionalism and task orientation. Responsibilities include working with the Member Services Manager on membership campaigns, including dues renewals and member retention programs; analyzing member assessment data and using those data to inform AMCHP’s membership services; assisting in managing the AMCHP member database, including updating AMCHP member information; providing reports to AMCHP staff, including the CEO and Executive Committee, on membership statistics; supporting member services; tracking new and retiring members; coordinating the production of member welcome packets, including membership cards. And perform related work as assigned. This is a paid internship.  

CDC’s MCHEP Seeks Senior MCH Epidemiologists to Assign to State Public Health Agencies
The Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program (MCHEP) is a collaborative effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The program’s mission is to promote effective public health action for improving the health and well-being of women, children and families by building MCH epidemiology and data capacity at the state, local and tribal levels. The mission is accomplished by developing MCH epidemiology leaders, promoting peer exchange among professionals in the field, and providing training and education. The MCHEP has had a significant impact on building state, local, and tribal MCH capacity through the placement of MCH epidemiology leaders. The program provides direct assistance to public health agencies, to develop and promote the analytic capability of public health agencies and the MCH field.

Click here to see more career opportunities.


ACF Funding for Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) Program: Regional Performance and Innovation Consortia
Deadline: August 8
The Office of Community Services (OCS) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announces that competing applications will be accepted for a new grant to establish Regional Performance and Innovation Consortia (RPIs). This cooperative agreement will fund 10 RPIs to serve as regional focal points to lead T/TA capacity-building activities. RPIs will coordinate activities designed to strengthen the ability of State Associations to leverage resources; promote and sustain relationships between State Associations and the corresponding State CSBG Lead Agencies; and increase the capacity of State Associations to address the broad T/TA needs of CSBG-eligible entities. The core functions of the RPIs are T/TA coordination and information dissemination. For purposes of this funding opportunity, the well-defined geographic areas will align with established ACF Regions. Regional coordinators will be physically located in the geographic area they propose to serve. Funding will be limited to one award per region. Within each region, a single State Association will serve as the grantee. [more]

Funding for Prevention of HIV Transmission/Acquisition through a better understanding of Reproductive Health (R01)
Deadline: August 11
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), invites Research Project Grant (R01) applications to further the understanding of HIV acquisition/transmission by increasing the knowledge regarding the intersection between reproductive health and HIV prevention. The emphasis of the FOA is to encourage comprehensive behavioral-biomedical approaches that can lead to new insights in HIV prevention research. This FOA is not intended to fund drug discovery or large scale clinical trials. [more]

CDC Funding for Sexual Violence Prevention and Education
Deadline: August 30
The purpose of this program announcement is to announce the availability of fiscal year (FY) 2012 funds to award formula-based cooperative agreements to states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Island Territories and Jurisdictions (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands). Funds are to be used for strategies that prevent first-time perpetration and first-time victimization. This program addresses the Healthy People 2020 focus area(s) of Injury and Violence Prevention. [more]

Click here to see more funding opportunities.


MCH Events 

World Breastfeeding Week 2011
August 1-7 

25th Anniversary Postpartum Support International Conference
September 14-17
Seattle, WA 

NASHP 24th Annual State Health Policy Conference
October 3-5
Kansas City, MO 

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
October 29-November 2
Washington, DC

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s 16th Annual International Meeting
November 3-6
Miami, FL 

2011 AUCD Conference
November 6-9
Crystal City, VA  

Joint Program in Survey Methodology Course: Designing Mixed-Mode Surveys
November 10-11
Arlington, VA

17th Annual MCH Epidemiology Conference
December 14-16
New Orleans, LA