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NCQA Seeks Public Comments on Specialty Practice Measures
The National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) is seeking comments on proposed Specialty Practice Recognition (SPR) 2013 standards, which are slated to be released in March 2013. NCQA developed its SPR program to encourage specialty providers to work toward communication and coordination with primary care providers, and to be recognized for this important work. The goal of this program is to enhance collaboration and coordination between primary care and specialty care and to support patient access to specialty care. The intent is to create a set of standards that apply to a range of adult and pediatric specialty practices with a variety of patient relationships. This is an important opportunity for pediatricians to give their invaluable feedback on continuous and effective care coordination and co-management of patients in the medical home model of care. Reviewers are asked to submit their comments in writing via the public comment website by 5 p.m. EDT on Jul. 6.

Women’s and Infant Health Info Series Webinar
AMCHP and the CDC will host a national webinar, “Using Evidence to Inform Efforts to Confront Childhood Obesity,” on Jul. 10 from 1-2 p.m. EDT. This webinar, accompanied by the release of the AMCHP Issue Brief: Using the Community Guide to Improve Childhood Obesity Prevention, will include an introduction to the Community Guide and highlight a specific state example of using evidence-based interventions to address childhood obesity. To register for the webinar, click here.

AMCHP/ASTHO Webinar: Improving Birth Outcomes in the U.S.: State Efforts to Reduce Prematurity
National momentum to coordinate efforts to address stagnating declines in infant mortality and persistent disparities among populations within the United States is growing. In September 2011, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) President David Lakey issued his President's Challenge: The Healthy Babies Initiative. His goal for the challenge is to improve birth outcomes by reducing infant mortality and prematurity in the United States. Specifically, the goal is to decrease prematurity in the United States by 8 percent by 2014. On Jul. 12 from 2-3 p.m. EDT, AMCHP and ASTHO will cosponsor a webinar that will provide examples of how a state can move forward in achieving the goal of prematurity reduction. Presenters will highlight the experience and strategies of two states that have already met the ASTHO Presidential Challenge goal (Alaska and Vermont), and one state currently working towards that goal (Oklahoma). To register for the webinar, click here.

UMN National Maternal Nutrition Intensive Course
This continuing education program, offered by the University of Minnesota (UMN), focuses on the improvement of maternal and infant health through the delivery of risk-appropriate, high-quality nutrition services. It is designed for dietitians, nutritionists, certified nurse midwives, registered nurses and nurse practitioners, physicians and public health professionals who serve preconceptual, pregnant, postpartum and breast-feeding women. Distance education options are available for the sessions held on Jul. 25-26. Up to 12.5 continuing education units are available for distance viewers. The distance education program will be available from Aug. 17 through Oct. 19. To learn more, click here.

AAP CATCH Program Call for Proposals
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Program is seeking grant applications for innovative community-based projects to improve access to mental health services for children who are most likely to experience barriers. Eligible initiatives reach out to the community at large. Up to $12,000 will be awarded to pediatricians and $3,000 to pediatric residents to work collaboratively with local community partners to ensure that all children have medical homes and access to health care services, including mental health services. Applications are due Jul. 31. For more information, click here.

PHSSR Center Releases Call for Proposals
The Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) is a multidisciplinary field of study that examines the organization, financing, delivery and quality of public health services within communities and the resulting impact on population health. The National Coordinating Center for PHSSR and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) seeks to expand the evidence-base for effective decision making in public health practice and policy through research that responds to the questions defined in the National Agenda for PHSSR. This solicitation is intended to strengthen the pool of researchers available to conduct PHSSR and to build on successful principles and models previously demonstrated in public health and health services research. The awards support mentored, intensive career development experiences through funding, educational experiences and protected time to conduct independent research. Proposals are due by Aug. 8 at 3 p.m. EDT. For more information, click here.

RWJF Releases Call for Proposals for Midcareer Consultants and Junior Investigators
New Connections: Increasing Diversity of RWJF Programming aims to expand the diversity of perspectives that inform RWJF programming and introduce new researchers and scholars to the foundation who would help teams with their research and evaluation needs. The program invites midcareer consultants – scholars from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented communities who have between 10-15 years of research and/or evaluation experience – and junior investigatorsscholars from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented communities – to address program priorities for RWJF teams and portfolios. The brief proposal deadline is Aug. 29 at 3 p.m. EDT. For more information, click here.

RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program Call for Applications
The RWJF Health & Society Scholars program is now accepting applications for its scholars program. RWJF provides two years of support to postdoctoral scholars at all stages of their careers to build the nation’s capacity for research and leadership to address the multiple determinants of population health and contribute to policy change. Its goal is to improve health by training scholars to investigate the connections among biological, genetic, behavioral, environmental, economic and social determinants of health; and develop, evaluate and disseminate knowledge, interventions and policies that integrate and act on these determinants to improve health. Applications are due by Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. EDT. For more information or to apply, click here.

Save the Date – Alaska MCH and Immunization Conference
The third biennial Alaska Maternal Child Health and Immunization Conference will take place Sept. 27-28, at the Anchorage Marriott Hotel. This conference is organized by the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center (EpiCenter) and the Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Women’s, Children’s, and Family Health. It provide an opportunity for rural and urban Alaskan health professionals to come together to learn about best practices, tools, and surveillance data related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women’s, children’s and adolescent health issues in Alaska. Presenters include national and Alaskan leaders and experts who are working hard to improve the well-being and health of women, children, and families. For more information, click here.

2nd Annual Food Day Celebrates Healthy, Affordable and Sustainably Produced Food
Food Day brings together organizations and individuals working on food issues as varied as hunger, nutrition, agriculture policy, animal welfare and farm-worker justice. This year, Food Day will take place on Oct. 24, just 12 days before the 2012 elections, providing an excellent opportunity for citizens to make their voices heard and for candidates to discuss important food policy issues. To help make Food Day a great success and get involved, go to FoodDay.org.

Scientific Writing for Peer Reviewed Publications for Public Health Professionals Course
This course, offered as part of the American Public Health Association Learning Institute at their annual meeting, will help public health practitioners turn their work into manuscripts for publication. The trainers, along with experienced authors or editors, will work with participants on partially completed manuscripts. The course will be a mixture of presentations and hands-on work. Participants will be strongly encouraged to come to the training with an abstract, manuscript outline, data analysis results or a draft of an article that they would like to see turned into a manuscript. The course will take place on Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. To learn more or to register, click here.