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AMCHP Celebrates 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 one in 68 children in the United States. AMCHP will be celebrating by sharing news, resources and information through the State Public Health Resources Center (SPHARC), social media and listservs. The SPHARC website has a calendar of events from current and former state autism grantees, which will be updated throughout the month. Check out the AMCHP Facebook and Twitter pages for regular social media posts all about autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. For more information, click here.

Adolescent Health in Title V: Findings from an Environmental Scan
AMCHP recently completed an Environmental Scan of Adolescent Health (AH) activities in Title V programs. Join us for a webinar on Apr. 14 from 3-4 p.m. EST. The presentation will include an overview of key findings and trends in adolescent health programs as reflected in activities reported by states in their block grant narratives. This includes activities reported under all state performance measures related to adolescent health and three national performance measures: NPM 6, NPM 8 and NPM 16. In addition to an overview of trends, the webinar will include a discussion with state AH program staff and snapshots of state AH program activities. Please join us to get both a birds-eye view and an up-close perspective on adolescent health under Title V! To register for the webinar, click here.

Where Does Adolescent Health Fit in Preconception Health?
Leveraging the life course approach to develop programs and policies that improve the health of women and men throughout the life span has special implications for adolescent health. Priority preconception health topics, such as prevention of unintended pregnancy, reproductive awareness, and risk screening take on new complexity through an adolescent sexual and reproductive health lens. During this webinar, on Thursday, Apr. 17 from 2-3 p.m. EST, state adolescent health coordinators will present to maternal health stakeholders on the uniqueness of adolescence in a life course approach and introduce the positive youth development framework as a tool for addressing emerging issues in maternal and family health. This presentation will engage stakeholders working to improve the preconception health and well-being of youth in shaping approaches and identifying new opportunities to accelerate progress in improving maternal health outcomes. Following the presentation, the speakers will engage with a panel of representatives from the CDC Preconception Health and Health Care Steering Committee, Futures Without Violence and additional State Adolescent Health Coordinators. To register, please click here.

Leading in Changing Times Part 3: Leaders with a Vision -- Coming Apr. 30
In working to improve the lives of women, children and families, leadership is an essential role for maternal and child health (MCH) programs. Leaders must have a vision, take initiative, influence people, solve problems, and take responsibility in order to make things happen. And, whether or not they have a formal title, everyone is engaged in the process of leadership. Likewise, everyone can develop their leadership effectiveness. AMCHP efforts to strengthen the capacity of the MCH community to engage in the leadership process recognize that leadership development is a process, not an event. The Leading in Changing Times Series is an initiative launched by AMCHP as part of our larger efforts to support a diverse, effective and competent workforce in state and territorial MCH programs. The Leading in Changing Times Series is a year-long, three-part series of webinars blending principles of key leadership theory with real-world stories from senior-level MCH leaders. These 45-minutes leadership “conversations” are designed to share leadership ideas and inspiration through a 20-minute presentation and 25-minute discussion. The third conversation of this series, Leaders with a Vision: The ability to see beyond the present, is scheduled for Wednesday, Apr. 30 at 1:15 p.m. EST. Stephanie Wrightsman-Birch, section chief of Women’s, Children’s and Family Health as well as the Title V for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has more than 30 years of MCH experience and currently serves on the AMCHP board as the Past President. Ms. Wrightsman-Birch will provide an overview of the key concept, leadership and vision, followed by her personal experience in rebuilding the MCH program after it was disbanded in a reorganization of her department. To reserve your webinar seat, click here.

Title V Five Year Needs Assessment Virtual Training – Part 2: Nuts and Bolts on Using Data
Title V legislation requires each state and jurisdiction to conduct a statewide, comprehensive needs assessment every five years. Hard to believe that the time has come for Title V programs to prepare for the next comprehensive needs assessment! The needs assessment process can be a useful tool for strategic planning, strategic decision making and resource allocation. It also provides a way for Title V programs to benchmark where they are and assess progress over a five-year period. To assist states or jurisdictions in preparing their assessments AMCHP is hosting a series of virtual trainings to provide guidance on the needs assessment process. The second webinar, The Nuts and Bolts on Using Data, is scheduled for Thursday, May 1 from 3-4 p.m. EST. This webinar will feature a presentation from Caroline Stampfel, MPH, currently the senior epidemiologist at AMCHP and formerly an MCH lead analyst with the Virginia Title V program, on using data in the needs assessment process. Ms. Stampfel’s presentation will be followed by two states-in-action profiles, Rhode Island and Alaska, who will share their data strategies, resources and lessons learned from conducting the five-year needs assessment process. In order to capitalize on the information presented in the virtual training, AMCHP recommends that states consider team participation in the training, i.e., participation from both program and data staff. Click here to register.

Building and Retaining a Resilient MCH Workforce for Tomorrow
Several forces, such as full implementation of the Affordable Care Act and enduring budget cuts, deficits and hiring freezes, are having a huge impact on the knowledge and skills needed for a competent public health workforce. To continue to effectively meet the needs of children, families and communities they serve, building and retaining a resilient MCH workforce has become especially critically important for state Title V programs. In order to support state efforts to maintain a talented workforce, AMCHP is hosting the Building and Retaining a Resilient MCH Workforce for Tomorrow webinar on May 15 at 2 p.m. EST. This webinar will feature stories from two states, Michael Warren, MD, MPH, FAAP, director of Maternal and Child Health for the Tennessee Department of Health and Meredith Pyle, systems development chief in the Maryland Office for Genetics and People with Special Health Care Needs, highlighting their successes in building a resilient workforce. The webinar will also feature a brief overview from Mark Law, PhD, director of operations for CityMatCH, of two concepts, Positive Psychology and Emotional Intelligence, that have demonstrated effectiveness in building a resilient workforce. Click here to register.

Celebrate National Public Health Week
Apr. 7-13 is National Public Health Week (NPHW), focused on guiding communities through the evolving public health system with the theme Public Health: Start Here. An initiative of the American Public Health Association, NPHW 2014 is an opportunity for public health and clinical health professionals to engage with individuals and communities to lead them through the changing world of public health. Local events and activities are designed to help raise awareness of the critical role that public health and prevention play in keeping communities healthy. Each day of the week addresses a specific theme, with Monday, Apr. 7 focused on "Be healthy from the start" and including maternal health. Check out the NPHW website for all of the daily themes, and to link to the NPHW 2014 toolkit with materials and resources for effectively shaping and promoting key messages during the week.

Starting and Supporting Family Advisory Groups: A “How-To” Webinar
Join the National Center for Medical Home Implementation on Apr. 24 from 11 a.m. – noon CDT for the final installment of a free three-part webinar series focusing on the promotion of partnership and teamwork in pediatric medical homes. This webinar will provide a detailed “how-To” description of starting and supporting family advisory groups, examples of best practices, and insights from parent partners. Register here.

The Surprising Life Course Impact of Premature Birth for Life Course Health Development
This webinar the seventh in the Life Course Research Network series on The State of Life Course Health Development Research: Past, Present and Future features Michael Msall, MD. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Msall has been involved with understanding the complexity of child, adolescent and young adult health and developmental outcomes after translational technologies, whether genetic, pulmonary, cardiac, oncological or neurosensory. His clinical and teaching priorities have been to develop interdisciplinary systems of care in settings of scarce resources for children at highest biological or social risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities. The webinar will take place Thursday, Apr. 24 from 12-1 p.m. EST. To register, click here.

NICHQ Mastering Skin-to-Skin Course
The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) has taken its years of experience in helping hospitals improve maternity care practices to support breastfeeding and packaged the key strategies into a series of virtual learning programs for healthcare professionals. The first program, Mastering Skin-to-Skin, focuses specifically on how to overcome barriers to implementing skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, a key component in the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The course consists of three one-hour interactive, virtual coaching sessions on Apr. 29, May 13 and May 27 at 12:30 p.m. EST. To learn more, click here 

AMCHP is For Babies
On Saturday, May 3, AMCHP staff will participate in the 2014 March for Babies in Washington, DC to support the March of Dimes in improving the health of babies. Click here to support our team, AMCHP Steps for Babies!