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Attending AMCHP 2015? Download the Mobile App Today!
Our mobile app for AMCHP 2015 is ready to download on your iPhone, iPad, or Android! Click from your amchp2015 QR.pngdevice, or scan the QR code. Apple and Android users can also search for the app in the iTunes store or Play store. You will need the event code: amchp to complete the download. Once installed, you'll have instant access to awesome features, like:

  • The full event schedule
  • Contact info of other attendees
  • Social sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Detailed info about speakers, including presentation, exhibitors, and sponsors

Have questions? Stop by the social media lounge at the conference, we're happy to help! Looking forward to seeing you at AMCHP 2015!

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month
Birth defects are common, costly, and critical conditions, affecting one in every 33 babies in the United States each year. Birth defects are also a leading cause of infant mortality and account for one in every five infant deaths. This year's theme is "Making Healthy Choices to Prevent Birth Defects – Make a PACT for Prevention." Although not all birth defects can be prevented, actions can be taken to increase a woman's chance of having a healthy baby. This year we are encouraging all pregnant women and those who may become pregnant to:

  • Plan ahead
  • Avoid harmful substances
  • Choose a healthy lifestyle
  • Talk to your health care provider

Throughout January, help promote birth defects prevention through these activities:

  • New research: Check the CDC MMWR website each week this month for new birth defects-related research findings
  • CDC January Public Health Ground Rounds: Tune in on Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. EST for a live webcast on birth defects research, including an overview of current and historical efforts to understand the major causes of birth defects.
  • Twitter campaign: @CDC_NCBDDD will tweet facts each day in January to raise awareness about birth defects. Daily facts will be marked by the hashtag: #1in33 (a reference to the number of babies affected by birth defects)
  • Inaugural launch of state data on major birth defects: The March of Dimes PeriStats website provides easy, free access to National Birth Defects Prevention Network data on major birth defects by state
  • New Web features: Each week in January, CDC will highlight a different action to Make a PACT for Prevention via web features posted on the CDC website

Now Available: Application to Participate in the National MCH Workforce Development Center's Cohort 2 Training
The National MCH Workforce Development Center offers a range of trainings, tools and resources to strengthen MCH workforce capacity to lead through health transformation. The Center offers training in four key areas: access to care, quality improvement, systems integration and change management. State/territory Title V agencies/MCH programs and their partners will have the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills, and tools in the four key areas and apply them to a current health transformation project of interest. Cohort 2 participants should plan to be actively engaged with the Center from April through December 2015. All applications must be received by Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. EST. Applications are available via the AMCHP website and the Center website.

Maternal Mortality Prevention Project Webinar
This webinar, hosted Jan. 21 from 1-2:30 p.m. EST, will highlight Colorado's efforts to identify what works for pregnant or postpartum women who are experiencing severe pregnancy related depression, substance abuse or intimate partner violence. Colorado's maternal mortality data and Title V needs assessment efforts have identified gaps in mental and behavioral health systems within the state, specifically with regards to pregnant and postpartum populations. With funding from a recent Every Mother Initiative (EMI) grant from AMCHP, Colorado conducted a pilot project to identify what worked for women who experienced severe pregnancy-related depression (PRD), substance use (SA) or intimate partner violence (IPV) but were able to get help. While a review of mortality data can clearly identify what could have been done differently, there is limited available research or standardized practice focusing on what worked well for women who experienced severe PRD, SA or IPV but were able to obtain the support or help needed. The presentation will explore the findings and include opportunities for future action. To register, click here.

 Upcoming ASTHO Webinar on Newborn Screening Quality Improvement
Every year, as part of the newborn screening process, millions of newborns are routinely screened for genetic and metabolic conditions. Though these conditions are rare, if identified and treated promptly, newborn health outcomes can improve and potential disabilities can be avoided or mitigated from timely screening. Newborn screening has improved or saved the lives of more than 12,000 newborns each year. In 2013, a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found evidence of serious delays in newborn screening programs across the country. Since that time, newborn screening programs in public health departments across the country have undertaken quality improvement initiatives to improve timely submission and testing of newborn blood samples. Join this webinar on Jan. 28 from 3-4:30 p.m. EST, hosted by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), and learn about quality improvement initiatives in Arizona, Wisconsin, and the Association of Public Health Programs. Discuss successes, challenges, and lessons learned to strengthen newborn screening systems across the United States. To register, click here.

Webinar: Assessing Public Health's Role in Outreach and Enrollment
The ACA lays the groundwork for a substantial increase in the number of people who will have access to health insurance through either Medicaid expansion or the Health Insurance Marketplace. States are now tasked with reaching out to and enrolling newly eligible persons. State and local public health departments remain a relatively untapped resource for such efforts as they are often trusted entities in the community with reach into populations living in the most vulnerable conditions, and may be able to leverage resources and data to facilitate outreach and enrollment. In 2014, RAND and the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) conducted an environmental scan, key informant interviews, and site visits in order to explore innovative models and best practices that leverage public health assets. During this 60-minute webinar, presenters will share barriers and facilitators and offer compelling models to guide local health department engagement in outreach and enrollment. The webinar will be held Jan. 28 from 2-3 p.m. EST. To register, click here.

E-Cigarette Messages: Exploring Messages on E-cigarettes Aimed at Women and Youth
In 1964, the U.S. Surgeon General released a milestone report that formally addressed the severe health risks of smoking and tobacco use. In the fifty-years since the report's release the United States has made considerable progress in reducing the tobacco-use epidemic. However, public health agencies are now facing new challenges due to the emergence of smokeless tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes ("e-cigarettes"). This webinar, hosted by ASTHO with the support of AMCHP, NACCHO, and the Children's Safety Network, will explore messages that have been developed regarding the poisonous threat that e-cigarette liquids pose to young children and the negative effects that nicotine has on brain development in adolescents. Furthermore, we will explore public health messages aimed at women before and during pregnancy on the use of e-cigarettes. The intended audience for this webinar includes state and local health agencies addressing tobacco and/or maternal and family health, and community assistance organizations. The webinar will be held on Jan. 29 from 2-3:30 p.m. EST. To pre-register for the webinar, please click here. A recording of the webinar and slides will be made available on the ASTHO website within two weeks of the webinar.  

National Child Health Policy Conference
Register today for the AcademyHealth 2015 National Child Health Policy Conference (CHPC), being held on Feb. 11 in Washington, DC. The CHPC will feature sessions that highlight the key policy priorities for child health in the evolving health care systems on the federal, state and local levels. Sessions will cover timely policy initiatives for child health while addressing relevant evidence to bridge gaps in child health services research. Speakers will put policy issues and priorities into context specifically for child health experts. With more than 300 attendees and a discussion-focused format, the CHPC offers unique opportunities to gain access to child health policy stakeholders and build your professional network. Register online by Jan. 30. For more information about the conference, click here.

Call for Applications: Training Course in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology
The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), CDC and CityMatCH are offering a Training Course in MCH Epidemiology on Jun. 1-5 in Baltimore, MD, as part of their ongoing effort to enhance the analytic capacity of state and local health agencies. The training course is an intensive program, combining lectures, discussion, hands-on exercises and opportunities for individualized technical assistance. Content for the 2015 course will include: needs assessment; target setting for performance measurement; program evaluation; statistical and epidemiologic methods: from descriptive statistics to multivariable modeling; and presenting data: linking high quality analysis to reporting. A brief series of webinars prior to the training will set the stage for the onsite training. This national program is aimed primarily at professionals in state and local health agencies who have significant responsibility for collecting, processing, analyzing and reporting MCH data. This year, the course is geared to individuals with basic to intermediate skills in statistical and epidemiologic methods, preferably in MCH or a related field. The deadline for applications is Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. PST. To learn more and apply, click here.