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 Mar. 4, 2013

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"When elephants battle, the grass suffers..."
-- African proverb

The African proverb above appeared in a Washington Postarticle this past week on the looming federal budget sequester. Animal references aside (we Americans could change it to "When elephants and donkeys battle, the grass suffers...") the proverb speaks to the damage those at the bottom, or on the ground, suffer when two large powers engage in battle. It is an apt saying for these troubling times: reports on the impact of the sequester have shown that we can expect there to be "collateral damage" once it goes into effect. [more]



Sequestration Accelerates a Period of Turmoil for MCH
Right before midnight on Friday, Mar. 1, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the official sequestration order to federal agencies via a memorandum entitled "Issuance of the Sequestration Order Pursuant To Section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985." [more]

Up Next -- The Continuing Resolution
According to media reports, the House and Senate expect to introduce spending bills funding the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year from Mar. 27-Oct.1. It is unclear at this point if this legislation will include any provision to "undo" or minimize the sequester, but funding levels included in the bill will likely reflect the recent sequester order from OMB. [more]

Health Reform Implementation

Few Changes in Final EHB Rule
HHS released the final essential health benefits rule (EHB) on Feb. 20. Essential health benefits are the core set of items covered by all insurance plans that are offered both inside and outside the health insurance marketplace. AMCHP provided comments on several key issues related to habilitation services, the age limit for pediatric services, among others. [more]

New and Updated Frequently Asked Questions
CMS provided an updated frequently asked questions sheet on several issues related to the ACA, including the Basic Health Plan (BHP) implementation, the FMAP for the new adult population, pregnant women coverage, and children's coverage. [more]

Navigator and In-Person Assistors
HHS hosted a webinar on navigators and in-person assisters on Feb. 25. The webinar reviewed the roles of in-person assisters and navigators and the important role they will play when health insurance marketplaces open for enrollment in October 2013. The webinar highlighted funding mechanisms for the navigator program. States that will be running their marketplace are responsible for funding the navigator program. [more]

Final Market Rule
On Feb. 22, CMS released the final rule on health insurance market reforms. The rule finalizes guidance for guaranteed availability of coverage, fair health insurance premiums, single risk pool, guaranteed renewability of coverage, catastrophic plans, and rate review. [more]

State Innovation Models
On Feb. 21, HHS announced the award of "nearly $300 million in awards will provide flexibility and support to states to help them deliver high-quality health care, lower costs, and improve their health system performance. HHS also is releasing a new report titled Medicaid Moving Forward, which underscores the innovative efforts states and HHS have already undertaken to improve care and lower costs in their Medicaid programs." [more]



The AMCHP 2014 Annual Conference is Coming!
The 2013 AMCHP Annual Conference was a tremendous success and I would like to thank our Conference Planning Committee, Board of Directors, staff, and all attendees for their leadership and participation. We broke our 12-year attendance record and surpassed all our expectations. Clearly, our 2014 meeting has a tough act to follow! Plans are in progress now to develop our 2014 event and we need your thoughts on how to make that event even better. If you have not already completed your conference evaluation, please do so. Your feedback is vital to making AMCHP 2014 an even greater success. Would you like to help plan the 2014 Annual Conference? We are looking for volunteers who would like to participate in our Conference Planning Committee. [more] 

Notice of April Board Meeting
The AMCHP Board of Directors will be meeting via teleconference on Apr. 11, 2013. Board meetings are open and all are invited to listen in to board deliberations. If you would like to join the meeting, we ask that you let Nora Lam, executive assistant, know of your intention to participation so we can accommodate you during the call and share the dial-in numbers. [more] 

Welcome New Board Members
AMCHP is pleased to welcome three new board members who were elected to serve as Regional Directors in the most recent election and our two new officers. Millie Jones (Wisconsin) was elected to serve as AMCHP President. Sam Cooper (Texas) was elected to serve as AMCHP President-Elect. Stephanie Birch (Alaska) now serves as the AMCHP immediate Past President. AMCHP delegates Susan Chacon (Region VI), Danette Tomiyasu (Region IX) and Marilyn Hartzell (Region X) were elected to serve as Regional Directors. Congratulations to all! [more]

We Want You!
AMCHP is now accepting nominations to fill several vacant positions on the AMCHP Board of Directors. Region III Director, Region VII Director, and a Director At-Large position are all vacant and nominees are needed to complete these terms. To serve, you must be an active (dues-paying) AMCHP delegate. If you are interested in serving, or would like to nominate a colleague, please contact Nora Lam, Executive Assistant for more information. [more]

Save the Date: ICPID Conference
The Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs (ASIP) and the Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance (PLIDA) are partnering to host the 2013 International Conference on Perinatal and Infant Death (ICPID) on Apr. 18-21 in Minneapolis, MN. The purpose of this conference is to provide evidence-based prevention, research, advocacy and support information and guidelines for those involved in caring for families who experience perinatal and infant death. [more]

To see more ways to get involved, click here.



General Maternal and Child Health

MCH Library Releases Resource Guides About Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health
The Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University presents a new resource on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health. The resource, known as a knowledge path, directs readers to a selection of current, high-quality resources about preventing, identifying, and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health. Health professionals, program administrators, policymakers, and researchers can use the knowledge path to learn more about racial and ethnic health disparities, health equity, and removing barriers to care; for program development; and to locate training resources and information to answer specific questions. [more]

Women's and Infant Health

Journal Features Safe Lists for Medications in Pregnancy
The journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety published a new report online, Safe Lists for Medications in Pregnancy: Inadequate Evidence Base and Inconsistent Guidance from Web-based Information, 2011. The report finds numerous internet websites post lists of medicines that are safe to take during pregnancy; however, these lists are based on limited evidence of harmful effects, including potential birth defects and provide inconsistent guidance for women. [more]



  • On Feb. 13, AMCHP staff CEO Mike Fraser moderated a session on state best practices for MIECHV program implementation at the Pew Charitable Trusts National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting Programs in Washington, DC. AMCHP staff Erin Bonzon, Carolyn McCoy and Megan Phillippi participated in various summit sessions on Feb. 13-14. One of the main focuses of the summit was the implementation of quality home visiting programs and showing the value in the great investment the country has made in this program. During the conference, a representative from the White House announced the intention of President Obama to further the work in early childhood programs by investing in universal preschool, expanded home visiting and quality child care programs. Also, Dr. Cano from MCHB announced the implementation of a home visiting COIN effort. AMCHP will have more details as they become available.
  • AMCHP CEO Mike Fraser and Board Members Debra Waldron and Sam Cooper participated in a MCHB-funded Technical Expert Panel on Title V and the Affordable Care Act. The Panel will share recommendations and input with HRSA contractors working to establish the role of Title V Post-ACA implementation.
  • On Feb. 26, AMCHP staff Carolyn Stampfel and Dr. Bill Sappenfield from the University of South Florida presented an update on the Life Course Metrics Project on the MCHB DataSpeak Web conference "From Theory to Data to Practice -- Practical Applications of The Life Course Approach." The purpose of this project is to identify a set of indicators that can be used to measure progress using the life course approach. AMCHP is working with state teams to develop these metrics, which will be made available for public comment this spring.
  • On Feb. 26, AMCHP staff Brent Ewig and Carolyn McCoy attended a reception in the U.S. Capitol hosted by the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) to honor program graduates. Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) stopped by and provided enthusiastic and encouraging support for home visiting, and touted its impact on society and improvement of the lives of children, mothers and families in the United States. Leadership from NFP also provided highlights from a new report commissioned by PEW Home Visiting Campaign that shows the average government savings of $29,605 per family serviced by NFP.

To see more of what AMCHP is doing on your behalf, click here.



MCHB Hiring Genetic Services Branch Chief
Incumbent will serve as chief of the Genetic Services Branch (GSB) within MCHB, providing professional and clinical leadership on genetic medicine to all MCH professionals. The chief will consult on the bureau's position with regard to current and topical policy issues, with various professional organizations. The successful candidate also will exercise authority in planning, developing, monitoring, implementing and evaluating a program for genetic services, specifically for heritable disorders. [more]

Faculty Position Open at Boston University School of Public Health
The Boston University School of Public Health seeks a faculty member to join the department of Community Health Sciences. Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent degree in public health, the social and behavioral sciences, maternal and child health, or related fields. The department seeks candidates who are committed to teaching excellence and student mentorship and who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship through publication and show potential for securing external funding. [more]

The Career Center is the premiere online job board for individuals seeking employment in Maternal and Child Health programs. Whether you are looking for an entry-level position or are a more seasoned professional looking for new opportunities, AMCHP's Career Center has great openings for great people! Searching our database is free and open to all job-seekers. AMCHP members receive a discount on job postings -- so sign uptoday!



HHS ACL University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Grant
Deadline: Mar. 6
Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families are the primary decision makers regarding the services and support such individuals and their families receive, and play decision making roles in policies and programs that affect the lives of such individuals and their families. Toward these ends, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) seeks to support and accomplish the following: Support the increasing ability of individuals with developmental disabilities to exercise greater choice and self-determination and to engage in leadership activities in their communities; Enhance the capabilities of families in assisting individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve their maximum potential; Promote systemic change activities that ensure the active and meaningful engagement and participation of individuals with developmental disabilities in community-based programs and services; Promote the active involvement of individuals with developmental disabilities and families in all aspects of grantee programs, activities and services; and Ensure the protection of the legal and human rights of individuals with developmental disabilities. [more]

HHS, CDC Quantifying Social Contact Rates and Mixing Patterns in the U.S. Population Grant
Deadline: Mar. 7
The purpose of this funding opportunity is to facilitate research to describe social contact and mixing patterns in the U.S. population. Results from this research will improve contact rate estimation and parameterization for infectious disease transmission models that can be used to evaluate infectious disease prevention and control strategies. [more]

CDC Monitoring Cause-Specific School Absenteeism Linked to Influenza Transmission Grant
Deadline: Mar. 7
Influenza transmission among school-aged children and young adults is frequently predictive of subsequent community transmission. Early recognition of school-based transmission of influenza, therefore, could contribute to the timely implementation of mitigation efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality in the wider community. Due to variability, more studies are needed to assess the utility of cause-specific school absentee data during future pandemics, as well as during outbreaks of severe seasonal influenza. [more]

SAMHSA Statewide Family Network Program
Deadline: Mar. 7
The purpose of this program is to enhance state capacity and infrastructure to be more oriented to the needs of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances and their families. These grants will provide information, referrals, and support to families who have a child with a serious emotional disturbance and create a mechanism for families to participate in state and local mental health services planning and policy development. [more]

For more funding opportunities, click here.



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