On Your Behalf
AMCHP Working On Your Behalf
- On Sept. 5, AMCHP staff Piia Hanson and Maritza Valenzuela attended the Place Matters National Health Equity Conference in Washington, DC. The conference examined health inequities in minority and low-income communities and explored initiatives that are working to promote health equality. For more information and materials from conference presentations, click here.
- On Sept. 6, AMCHP CEO Mike Fraser and AMCHP staff Erin Bonzon and Brent Ewig met with Dr. David Willis, Director, Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Services, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The meeting with Dr. Willis and leadership staff of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program focused on building collaborations and enhancing partnerships between maternal and child health, early childhood and home visiting.
- On Sept. 6, AMCHP staff Mike Fraser and Lauren Raskin Ramos participated in a meeting with leadership from the March of Dimes, ASTHO and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau to discuss coordination of national infant mortality initiatives. The group agreed to continue to meet regularly and develop a strategy to improve coordination and develop strategies to best benefit state health agencies and others working to improve birth outcomes and reduce infant mortality.
- On Sept. 11-12, AMCHP President Stephanie Wrightsman-Birch, AMCHP CEO Mike Fraser and AMCHP staff Erin Bonzon attended the ASTHO Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. Stephanie and Mike visited with the Texas Department of State Health Services Office of Family Health & Title V and learned about efforts in Texas to reduce infant mortality, including the Healthy Texas Babies program. Following the visit to the state, they attended the ASTHO affiliates meeting – a council of state-based public health associations – to share updates and coordinate activities. On the council agenda was a debrief on Dr. Lakey’s 2012 President’s Challenge to reduce prematurity, an update on advocacy and federal affairs, as well a discussion of workforce challenges for state health agencies.
Following the council meeting, Mike attended several sessions at the ASTHO Annual Meeting, including a general session on the Healthy Babies Challenge where, state health officials from Connecticut and Oklahoma followed remarks by Dr. Michael Lu and Dr. Jennifer Howse by shared successes in improving birth outcomes in their states. New Hampshire, Vermont and Alaska were recognized by ASTHO and March of Dimes for obtaining at least an 8 percent reduction in prematurity – part of the ASTHO President’s Challenge. Ruth Ann Shepherd, the Kentucky Title V director, was recognized by ASTHO President David Lakey for her leadership in Kentucky and nationwide to reduce infant death with the 2012 ASTHO Presidential Meritorious Service Award. Dr. Howse was also recognized for her partnership with ASTHO to move the President’s Challenge forward.
- On Sept. 12, AMCHP staff Maritza Valenzuela attended the Fall Meeting of the National Coordinating Committee on School Health and Safety (NCCSHS) in Washington, DC. The theme of the meeting was “Addressing Student Disparities in Health and Education: Moving to Action.” Speakers from national and state organizations spoke on a variety of issues regarding the linkages between health disparities and educational disparities, and solutions to both. AMCHP member Laura Rooney, Adolescent Health Program Manager at the Ohio Department of Health, was a featured speaker at the meeting.
- On Sept. 19, AMCHP brought together a representative group of state leaders to discuss the future of the Title V MCH Services Block Grant in a reforming health system with the White House Office of Management and Budget. While Affordable Care Act is helping to move health care in this country forward in great strides, there will still be a similar demand, if not an increased one for this flexible source of funding for the 59 states and territories to address their most pressing needs not addressed by the ACA. AMCHP members provided clear and concise examples of the important work that the MCH Block Grant is funding in states that supports some of the most vulnerable populations in our country, which will not be obviated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. AMCHP will continue to promote the need for this critical funding.