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 April 25, 2011

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At a MCHB State-Federal Partnership Meeting several years ago I gave a luncheon presentation on resilience and MCH leadership. Resilience – our ability to “bounce back” and cope from stress or adversity – seems like a relevant subject now as well. We face many threats to the Title V MCH Services Block Grant funding despite promising news for Title V in the final FY 2011 Continuing Resolution. Now more than ever we need to think about how we cope with stress and adversity, especially as we know that the FY 2012 budget process is going to be very, very difficult for discretionary programs like the Title V MCH Block Grant and other programs about which we care so much. 

What are some keys to resilience? Adaptation, communication, and a positive view of what is seemingly a negative situation.  

Let’s start with adaptation. How has our world changed in the last few years, and in the last few months? There are increasing fiscal pressures, there are increasing needs for services. To be resilient MCH leaders we have to adapt: The times are changing and the factors influencing our work have changed. It would be folly to use the same strategies we used even last year to meet the challenges we face today. And so, we adapt. At AMCHP we have adapted our advocacy messages and materials under the counsel of our staff, our Legislative Committee, our board of directors, and our partners and stakeholders. Adaptation does not mean accepting defeat or giving up. Instead, it means surveying the tactical environment and looking for ways to win given the current situation. While we may have the same desired outcomes of our work, the way we achieve those will change if we are to be resilient. 

If there is anything I have learned during my time at AMCHP, it has been the importance of communication. Challenging times require us to be even more intentional in our communication for many reasons. We need each other more than ever in stressful times – and communicating is a way we learn, share, support and coordinate. Over the past few months alone I shudder to think about the cumulative number of hours we have participated in briefing calls, meetings with advocates, meetings on Capitol Hill, coordinating action plans, etc. It would literally be in the 1,000s of hours if we added up all our staff time. Why? Because that communication was key to sharing our message and also gathering information. A resilient MCH leader communicates not only to be heard but also to take in information to make good decisions (and adapt, as above).  

Communication is also important as we have to make important changes in our organizations or agencies. When people know what is going on, and why decisions are being made, they are more likely to be supportive of the organization despite the actual outcomes. Communication leads to resilience as more people feel tied into the work of the organization and rally around its cause. Being in the light, instead of in the dark, allows people to cope better – again, a key to resilience. 

Taking a positive view of what is a seemingly negative situation is probably the hardest part of resilience for me. It is incredibly difficult to “make lemonade” from a seemingly endless supply of lemons here in Washington. I bet you feel the same way in your states. But, as we have learned, adversity shapes who we are and what we do and drives us to make important changes based on priorities. Can we use the current situation to truly prioritize those programs that have the most impact, or support those policies that will result in the greatest good? Are there opportunities in the current environment that might lead to better long-term outcomes and increased effectiveness? Again, I am not sure about your agencies but we have had to have difficult conversations about our work at AMCHP given potential reductions and these have made us think through our work minute by minute. The result has been more critical thinking about what we do, and a chance to recommit ourselves to what is important. Fortunately, we have not had to make any cuts to our programs or staff here at AMCHP, in fact we have grown in the last year. But the resilient MCH leader takes nothing for granted, and the current political landscape is cause for alarm. Maintaining an outlook of opportunity – not just challenge – is an important part of resilience. 

As MCH leaders we have a duty to be resilient leaders. Why? Our actions have a direct and important impact on our most precious and vulnerable members of society. In the months ahead remember these keys to resilience, and let me know if you have others. Those with whom we work and those about whom we care the most need us now more than ever.

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Congress on Recess; Agencies Preparing Spending Plans to Implement CR Cuts
The U.S. Congress is on recess until April 29. Meanwhile, federal agencies are presumably working on spending plans as called for in the final FY 2011 Continuing Resolution (CR) passed March 7 which “requires the departments to provide a spending or operating plan for fiscal year 2011 at a level of detail below the account level within 30 days of enactment.”  

AMCHP has communicated to HRSA leadership our understanding that the final CR includes flat funding for the Title V MCH Block Grant based on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education summary of health provisions in the final agreement that states “The bill assumes $662 million for the Maternal Child Health block grant, the same as the FY10 level.” We are awaiting release of the HHS spending plan for final confirmation on all FY 2011 program levels and will share details as available. 

HHS Touts New flexibility For States to “Improve Medicaid and Implement Innovative Practices”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week announced four initiatives “to give states more flexibility to adopt innovative new practices and provide better, more coordinated care for people with Medicaid and Medicare while helping reduce costs for states and families. The initiatives support the Obama administration’s work to make Medicaid more flexible and efficient and to address long-term cost growth. Several of the announcements also help implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act.” HHS announced: 

·         Fifteen states will receive federal funding to develop better ways to coordinate care for people with Medicare and Medicaid coverage, also known as dual eligibles, who often have complex and costly health care needs.

·         All states will receive increased flexibility to provide home and community-based services for more people living with disabilities.

·         All states are eligible to receive more money to develop simpler and more efficient information technology (IT) systems to modernize Medicaid enrollment.

·         A proposal by the state of New Jersey for flexibility to expand health coverage for nearly 70,000 low-income residents has been approved.

 For more information about these announcements, visit here.

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HHS Responds to Recommendation to Add Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease to recommended Newborn Screening Panel
On April 21, 2011, Dr. Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., RN, Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, hosted a conference call with stakeholders to discuss HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ decision on recommendations put forth by the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (SACHDNC) related to screening for Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease (CCCHD) in newborns. She was joined by Dr. Ileana Arias, Principal Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Lawrence Tabak, Principal Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Wakefield convened the call in response to the SACHDNC’s 5 recommendations to Secretary Sebelius to consider: 1) Add screening for Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease to the uniform screening panel; 2) NIH shall fund research activities, 3) CDC shall fund surveillance activities, 4) HRSA shall guide the development of screening standards and infrastructure, and 5) HRSA shall collaborate with public health and families to develop training materials about Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease. Dr. Wakefield shared that HHS is not ready to adopt these recommendations at this time, however, Secretary Sebelius finds it to be a very important issue and wants to take immediate action to further explore these recommendations with the SACHDNC. The recommendations have been referred to an Interagency Coordinating Committee for further review. 

The next meeting of the SACHDNC will be held on May 5-6 in Washington, DC. Additional information about the meeting and the Committee can be found here. AMCHP will continue to track this issue and other actions of the SACHDNC.

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
Join AMCHP and partners in raising awareness about child abuse and neglect, and creating strong communities to support children and families. The Administration for Children and Families marked the month by calling for collaborations to ensure young children in child welfare systems “are enrolled in and attending high-quality early care and education programs.” Click here for the “Tip Sheet for Early Childhood-Child Welfare Partnerships.” For more resources and information, click here. 

April is Autism Awareness Month
Please join AMCHP in celebrating National Autism Awareness Month! This month provides a special opportunity to increase public awareness of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which are estimated to affect 1 in 110 children in the Unite States. Be sure to check out AMCHP’s State Public Health Autism Resource Center (SPHARC) for announcements and upcoming state activities. The Autism Society, Autism Speaks and Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (ITAC) websites also provide important information regarding Autism Awareness Month.  

AMCHP March for Babies Walk
Join AMCHP Steps for Babies and participate as part of AMCHP’s team to raise awareness of prematurity and support the Maryland National Capital Area chapter of the March of Dimes. The walk is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at the Nationals Park in Washington, DC. If you can't walk with us, please help by donating to our team. With your help we already raised $1,000 at the AMCHP Annual Conference – but we haven’t reached our goal yet! You can join AMCHP’s team and also contribute by visiting our team page. Thank you for helping us give all babies a healthy start!  

Save the Date: AMCHP and Text4baby Webinar
Text4baby recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Join the webinar on May 11 at 3 p.m. EST., to learn what text4baby has accomplished this past year, to hear best practices from state Title V programs, and to learn about a special new text4baby competition. More details including a registration link will be sent to Title V Directors. For questions and concerns, please contact Cristina Sciuto. 

MCH EPI Call for Abstracts
The Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (MCH EPI) is seeking abstracts for its 17th annual MCH EPI conference to be held in New Orleans on December 14-16. The deadline for abstract submissions from professional and degree-seeking students is May 31. The deadline for first-year fellows, interns, trainers and CDC/EIS officers is September 23. To learn more, visit here 

ABM Call for Abstracts
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) is now accepting abstracts for the 16th Annual International Meeting to be held November 3-6 in Miami. Abstracts may be submitted by physicians, medical students, and those holding post graduate degrees or students working to attain such degrees. Abstracts submitted by non-physicians must be sponsored by a member in good standing of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. The deadline for abstracts is June 24. To learn more, visit here 

NIJ Training Offers Virtual Courses on SUID Investigation
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has just launched two live virtual training courses on sudden unexplained infant deaths investigation, offered by RTI International. The following trainings have been developed with input from many medico-legal professionals and the CDC’s Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation (SUIDI) curriculum and training guidelines: 

·         Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths Investigation: Infant Growth and Development

o    May 3 at 2 p.m. EST.

·         Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths Investigation: Death Scene Recreation

o    May 10 at 2 p.m. EST.

o    June 14 at 2 p.m. EST.


Join the Woman Challenge!
The Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services started the Woman Challenge in 2001 as a part of National Women's Health Week to encourage women across the country to get active. This year, they're partnering with the President's Challenge to reach even more people. To learn about how to join the group and be part of a nationwide effort to get women and girls moving, visit here 

Evidence-Based Interventions for Children with Autism Conference
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Section of Developmental-Behavioral and Rehabilitative Pediatrics along with Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Partners for Inclusive Communities, Interdisciplinary Leadership Education Excellence in Caring for Children with Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) and the Arkansas Department of Human Services will jointly sponsor the “Team Up 2011: Evidence Based Interventions for Children with Autism Conference.” The conference will be held in Little Rock, Arkansas on May 19–21, at the Holiday Inn Airport and the speakers include experts from across the country. To learn more and to register, visit here 

Call for Nominations for the 2011 MCH Section Awards
Each year the APHA Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Section recognizes leaders in the maternal and child health field at the Martha May Eliot Luncheon at the APHA Annual Meeting. At the luncheon, APHA also presents the prestigious Association-wide Martha May Eliot Award that honors an individual with exceptional achievement in the field of maternal and Child Health. This year, the MCH section is seeking nominations for the following awards:

·         The Young Professional Award

·         The Effective Practice Award

·         The Outstanding Leadership/Advocacy Award

·         The MCH Section Distinguished Service Award

The deadline to complete the nomination forms is April 30. To learn more, visit here.

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Does your state have an innovative neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) follow up initiative or program for premature infants? Please e-mail your response to Jessica Hawkins.



Title V MCH Block Grant Guidance Work Group
On Thursday, April 14, MCHB hosted a “Title V MCH Block Grant Guidance Work Group” to discuss issues for potential updates to the Title V MCH Block Grant, including discussion of women’s health, vision care, and oral health performance measures, as well as facilitating discussion around family involvement and tribal health collaborations. In accordance with the Office on Budget and Management requirements, MCHB reviews and updates the Title V MCH Block Grant Guidance and reporting requirements every three years. AMCHP members Nan Streeter (UT), Danny Bender (MS), Millie Jones (WI), Shabbir Ahmad (CA) and Bill Sappenfield (FL) participated in the meeting, along with AMCHP staff Lauren Raskin Ramos. AMCHP will continue to provide information on future developments surrounding changes to the Title V MCH Block Grant guidance to all members.  

2011 School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision
On April 11-12, The American Optometric Association hosted the “2011 School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision.” The summit centered on the visual aspects of learning, and the importance of comprehensive eye care to a child’s learning and school readiness. A range of representatives from nonprofit, academic, federal and private organizations participated in the summit. Participants worked in groups to strategize the promotion of adequate vision performance in children prior to entering school, and to develop a broad coalition committed to improving school readiness and success. AMCHP staff, Melody Gilbert, participated in the summit.

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General Maternal & Child Health  

AMA Releases Health Literacy Toolkit
The American Medical Association (AMA) has released a Health Literacy Toolkit and additional resources aimed at addressing the needs of the more than 89 million Americans who have limited health literacy skills. To learn more, visit here. 

CMS Unveils Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective
Published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the toolkit provides a detailed and comprehensive set of tools to help make written material in printed formats easier for people eligible for or enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program to read, understand and use. To learn more, visit here.

Children's Health

AHRQ Releases New Report on Children with ASD
The report, “Comparative Effectiveness of Therapies for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), finds that some medical and behavioral treatments show promise for reducing certain behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but more research is needed to assess the potential benefits and harms. To download the report, visit here.

GAO Issues New Report on Medicaid and CHIP
The report, “Medicaid and CHIP: Reports for Monitoring Children's Health Care Services Need Improvement,” published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), looks at the accuracy and completeness of information on children's access to primary and specialty care. It also examines how selected states are coordinating care for children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP and the extent to which required state reports collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provide information on the provision of services to these children. To download the report, visit here 

New Report on Obesity Prevention Terminology in Child Care Regulations
The report, “Achieving a State of Healthy Weight: A National Assessment of Obesity Prevention Terminology in Child Care Regulations,” developed by the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education with support from the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau, examines the degree to which key obesity-prevention concepts are reflected in states' child care regulations. The content is based on an examination of documents for licensed child care centers, large or group family child care homes, and small family child care homes. To download the report, visit here. 

FVPF E-journal Offers Resources on Domestic Violence for Home Visiting Programs
The e-journal, “Family Violence Prevention and Health Practice,” published by the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), looks at how intimate partner violence (IPV) affects children's health, what is known about the impact of home visiting programs on IPV, research on home visiting interventions to address IPV, and recommendations for translating research into policy and practice. Additional topics include lessons learned from the implementation and field testing of an innovative home visiting program (Domestic Enhanced Visitation Intervention) and suggestions for home visiting programs on addressing the safety and developmental needs of children exposed to violence. To learn more, visit here.

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CMS Funding for Medicaid Incentives for Prevention of Chronic Diseases
Deadline: May 2
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new program that will test and evaluate the effectiveness of a program to provide financial and non-financial incentives to Medicaid beneficiaries of all ages who participate in prevention programs and demonstrate changes in health risk and outcomes, including the adoption of healthy behaviors. A grant solicitation directs that applicants must demonstrate they are addressing at least one of the following prevention goals: tobacco cessation, controlling or reducing weight, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and avoiding the onset of diabetes or improving the management of the condition. The Office of the Governor or the state Medicaid agency may apply for funding under this grant opportunity. AMCHP encourages state MCH leaders to consider exploring collaborations to pursue this opportunity with your state chronic disease and Medicaid colleagues. State notices of intent are due to CMS by April 4. Complete grant applications are due to CMS by May 2. To learn more, visit here. 

Funding for Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships
Deadline: May 5
The purpose of the program, Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships, is to build local public health capacity to establish a comprehensive community-wide Teen Dating Violence Prevention Initiative that focuses on 11 to 14-year-olds to promote respectful, nonviolent dating relationships among youth in high-risk urban communities. Demonstration sites will build capacity to implement two models of TDV prevention (standard and comprehensive) to see how effective, feasible, and sustainable these approaches will be in high-risk urban communities. To learn more, visit here 

CDC Funding for National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Disease and Tuberculosis Prevention, Public Health Conference Support
Deadline: May 13
The CDC is meeting its overall goal of dissemination and implementation of new cost-effective intervention strategies through conference support funding. The purpose of conference support funding is to provide partial support for specific non-federal conferences in the areas of health promotion and disease prevention and education programs. Conferences supported under this program announcement must be specific to one of the following focus areas; HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB. To learn more, visit here 

NIH Funding for Combined Multipurpose Strategies for Sexual and Reproductive Health (R21/33)
Deadline: May 18
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), invites research applications for projects focused on development of combined multipurpose prevention strategies for sexual and reproductive health. To learn more, visit here 

Administration on Aging Funding for Lifespan Respite Care Program
Deadline: May 20
Development and enhancement of lifespan respite care at the state and local levels; the provision of respite care services for family caregivers caring for children or adults; training and recruiting of respite care workers and volunteers; the provision of information to caregivers about available respite and support services; and assistance to caregivers in gaining access to such services. To learn more, visit here 

HRSA Funding for Public Health Training Center
Deadline: May 23
The purpose of the Public Health Training Centers Program is to improve the Nation's public health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, managerial, and leadership competence of the current and future public health workforce. A public health training center plans, develops, operates, and evaluates projects that are in furtherance of the goals established by the Secretary in the areas of preventive medicine, health promotion and disease prevention, or improving access to and quality of health services in medically underserved communities. To learn more, visit here 

SAMHSA Planning Grants for Expansion of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families
Deadline: June 2
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year 2011 for Planning Grants for Expansion of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families (System of Care Expansion Planning Grants). The purpose of these grants is to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for improving and expanding services provided by systems of care (SOC) for children and youth with serious emotional disturbances and their families. A "system of care" is an organizational philosophy and framework that involves collaboration across government and private agencies, providers, families and youth for the purpose of improving access and expanding the array of coordinated community-based, culturally and linguistically competent services and supports for children and youth with a serious emotional disturbance and their families. Since the inception of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program (i.e., Children's Mental Health Initiative or CMHI) in 1992 by an act of Congress, the SOC approach has served as the conceptual and philosophical framework for systemic reform in children's mental health. To learn more, visit here 

HRSA Funding for Area Health Education Centers Infrastructure Development and HRSA Funding for Area Health Education Centers Point of Service Maintenance and Enhancement
Deadline: June 10
The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) programs consist of interdisciplinary, community-based, primary care training programs wherein academic and community-based leaders work to improve the distribution, diversity, supply, and quality of health care personnel, particularly primary care personnel in the health care services delivery system and more specifically in delivery sites in rural and other underserved areas. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits applications for a one-year project period for AHEC Infrastructure Development awards and AHEC Point of Service Maintenance and Enhancement awards, as authorized by Title VII, Section 751, of the PHS Act, as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148. Successful applicants will be awarded cooperative agreements to establish and advance statewide or multi-county AHEC programs. To learn more, visit here 

RWJF Grant for Childhood Obesity Prevention
Deadline: July 1
The purpose of this funding opportunity, provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), is to support research to analyze and improve policy and environmental strategies to increase physical activity among children and adolescents. Proposals will support opportunistic, time-sensitive studies on emerging or anticipated changes in physical activity-related policies or environments. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until the deadline. To learn more, visit here. 

Administration for Children and Families Grants to Tribes, Tribal Organizations and Migrant Programs for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Programs
Deadline: July 5
The primary purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to provide financial support to selected Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Migrant Programs for child abuse prevention programs and activities that are consistent with the goals outlined by Title II of Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. This legislation specifies that one percent of the available funding from Title II will be reserved to fund Tribes, Tribal Organizations and Migrant Programs. The goal of the programs and activities supported by these funds is to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of abuse or neglect within the Tribal and Migrant populations. The funds must support more effective and comprehensive child abuse prevention activities and family support services, including an emphasis on strengthening family life and reaching out to include fathers, that will enhance the lives and ensure the safety and well-being of Migrant and Native American children and their families. To learn more, visit here.

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The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation - Public Policy Fellowship Program 2011-2012
The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation is seeking exemplary professionals and/or family members of persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are currently working or volunteering in the field of inclusive services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for an intensive one-year Public Policy Fellowship in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the Fellowship is to prepare both early career and seasoned leaders to assume leadership in the public policy arena in their home state and/or nationally. During this one year Fellowship, the successful applicant will learn how federal legislation is initiated, developed, and passed by the Congress, as well as how programs are administered and regulations promulgated by federal agencies. To learn more, visit here 

University of South FL Chair of the Department of Community and Family Health and the Director of the Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies
The University of South Florida, College of Public Health is searching for a dynamic leader to serve in the joint role as its Chair of the Department of Community and Family Health and the Director of the Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies. The Chair/Director will be an integral member of the College’s leadership team reporting to the Dean of the College and will assume responsibility for leading the department and the Chiles Center to a position of academic and professional eminence. Specifically, the Chair/Director will be responsible for managing department and Chiles Center fiscal and human resources; fostering excellence in education, research and public health practice; recruiting, mentoring, and retaining a diverse and talented faculty and staff; recruiting and nurturing excellent students; actively participating in local, national and international service efforts; and contributing to the reputation and overall expression and development of the College and University. The deadline to complete the application is May 1. For more information about the position, please contact Sandy Wirth or call (813) 974-6494. To see the full job description, visit AMCHP’s Career Center.

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MCH Events 

National Autism Awareness Month
April 2011 

Hospitals and Communities Moving Forward with Patient- and Family-Centered Care: An Intensive Training Seminar—Partnerships for Quality and Safety
May 2-5
St. Louis, MO  

National Women's Health Week
May 8-14 

Team Up 2011: Evidence Based Interventions for Children with Autism Conference
May 19–21
Little Rock, AR 

3rd National Summit on Preconception Health & Healthcare
June 12-14
Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL 

2011 Western Regional Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (MCH EPI) Conference
June 19-20
San Francisco, CA 

2011 National School-Based Health Care Convention
June 26-29
Chicago, IL 

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

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

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

2011 AUCD Conference
November 6-9
Crystal City, VA 

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

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