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General Maternal & Child Health 

AHRQ Newsletter Highlights Cultural Competence
The May 25 issue of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Health Care (AHRQ) Health Care Innovations Exchange newsletter, focuses on “Cultural Competence.” Health care professionals increasingly encounter patients from diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds, yet they are often ill-equipped to understand and respond effectively to the patient's cultural needs. Health care organizations can facilitate the cultural competence of their staff by establishing a set of congruent policies, attitudes, and behaviors that promote effective cross-cultural interactions and patient outcomes. The featured Innovations describe three programs that have implemented strategies to increase providers' cultural and/or linguistic competence. To view the issue, visit here 

March of Dimes Launches Prematurity Prevention Resource Center
The new Resource Center is a comprehensive online source of information on prematurity and prematurity prevention for professionals. The site includes the most current information on interventions, research, advocacy, professional education, global initiatives, teaching tools and resources to use with patients. You must register to use the site and download materials. To learn more, visit here 

Report Outlines Research on Communication Channels to Reach American Indian and Alaska Native Parents
The report, “Discussions with Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Parents: Keepings Babies Safe and Healthy,” published by the Urban Indian Health Institute, a division of the Seattle Indian Health Board, with support from the U.S. Office of Minority Health and the Indian Health Service, describes results obtained from focus groups and individual discussions with American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) parents in four urban areas nationwide: Detroit, MI; Sacramento, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; and Seattle, WA. The authors explore AI/AN parental perceptions, concerns, behaviors, barriers, facilitators, sources of trusted information, and support for keeping infants healthy and safe and effective messages and communication channels for sharing information on these topics. To download the report, visit here 

CDC Issues Report on Great Public Health Achievements
The report, “Ten Great Public Health Achievements -- United States, 2001-2010,” published in the May 20, 2011, issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, describes noteworthy public health achievements in the areas of vaccine-preventable disease, prevention and control of infectious disease, tobacco control, maternal and infant health, motor vehicle safety, cardiovascular disease prevention, occupational safety, cancer prevention, childhood lead poisoning, and public health preparedness and response. The authors also examine the tools in modern public health practice that have played a major role in the achievements, including the establishment of surveillance systems, the dissemination of guidelines, the implementation of research findings, the development of effective public health programs, and the use of the legal system. To download the report, visit here.

Children’s Health 

New Brief Describes Comprehensive Early Childhood Systems
The brief, “A Framework for State Leadership and Action in Building the Components of an Early Childhood System,” published by the Build Initiative, outlines a framework comprising four components of a public early childhood system including (1) health, mental health, and nutrition; (2) early learning; (3) family support; and (4) special needs and early intervention. The authors present an overview of each component in the following areas: the evidence base and effective practices, the current state of development, and exemplary state actions. To download the brief, visit here 

Kellogg Foundation Sponsors Study on Place-Based Initiative for Children
The study, “Health Matters: The Role of Health and the Health Sector in Place-Based Initiatives for Young Children,” sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, assesses successes and gaps in place-based childhood health initiatives. The study outlines ways local, state and national initiatives can work together to accomplish shared goals. To download the study, visit here.

Women’s Health 

Journal Supplement Reviews Research in Abortion and Reproductive Health
The supplement, “Abortion, Reproductive Rights and Health: Highlights from the Charlotte Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellowship 2003-2010,” published in the May-June 2011 Women's Health Issues journal, highlights seven years of research from fellows who were part of the Charlotte Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellowship in Abortion and Reproductive Health. The fellowship encouraged postdoctoral scholars to study abortion and reproductive health and to undertake research that will inform policy and practice. The articles address efforts to advance reproductive health through social science and public health research, a paradigm for adolescent sexual health, associations between perceived partner support and relationship dynamics with timing of pregnancy termination, experiences of women seeking state-subsidized insurance for abortion care in Massachusetts, perceived and insurance-related barriers to the provision of contraceptive services in U.S. abortion care settings, abortion stigma, and conducting collaborative abortion research in international settings. To download the supplement, visit here 

AHRQ Newsletter Highlights Programs and Tools for Underserved Women
The May-June 2011 newsletter, Health Care Innovations Exchange, published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Health Care (AHRQ), focuses on “Health in Underserved Women.” The issue describes programs and tools for women who have difficulty accessing and using health care services. The issue was designed to assist health professionals and others working to address the needs of medically underserved women (defined as women who "reside in rural or geographically remote areas, have a physical or mental disability or low literacy, belong to a minority group or speak a minority language, and are low-income, homeless, elderly, lesbian, migrant workers, immigrants, or refugees"). Featured programs include (1) a Harlem-based breast examination center that assists low-income, minority women ages 50 and older in getting colonoscopy screening for colorectal cancer; (2) a shelter-based medical care and case-management program that enhances access to services for women who are homeless in Boston; and (3) touch-activated, interactive kiosks that deliver authoritative, bilingual health care information to women across Pennsylvania. To view the issue, visit here.  

AHRQ Releases Brief on Complicated Pregnancy and Delivery
The brief, “Complicating Conditions of Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2008,” published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), reports data from the maternal perspective (reflecting the experience of the mother, not the newborn). The report presents information on hospital and client characteristics for the following types of hospital stays: complicated pregnancy during which no delivery occurred, delivery with complicated pregnancy or complicated delivery, and delivery with no mention of complicated pregnancy or complicated delivery. In addition, the report provides information on specific types of complicating conditions of pregnancy and delivery. To download the brief, visit here