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 Jan. 20, 2015

Download a PDF version of Member Briefs 



You have to know the past to understand the present. - Carl Sagan

This week, we move into Phase II of our pre-planning effort to engage members in AMCHP strategic planning efforts. This new phase moves the conversation away from the AMCHP mission as we turn attention to your understanding of the current AMCHP strategic plan, its overarching goals and strategies. [more]



Reminder and Updated Resources for Hill Visits and Congressional Reception
Thank you to everyone who joined for our advocacy training webinar on Jan. 7.  A link to the recording as well as related materials may be found on the AMCHP website here. Please note that we will also make available, at conference registration, an appropriations fact sheet that can be used for educational (as opposed to lobbying) purposes as well as talking points and other leave-behind materials. In addition, updated state profiles will soon be posted to the AMCHP site. Finally, please remember to e-mail with details of confirmed meeting times and to RSVP for our congressional reception on Monday Jan. 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. EST by clicking here. [more]

114th Congress Gets to Work
The 114th Congress was sworn in on Jan. 6, and although members are still completing some organizational tasks, such as finalizing committee and subcommittee assignments, they have already taken a number of votes related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Two bills passed the House with wide bipartisan support: one to exclude veterans who have health coverage through Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs from being counted toward the law's employer mandate calculations and another to exclude volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel from those calculations. Pres. Obama indicated support for both of these measures. [more]

Health Reform Implementation

Open Enrollment 
Since the start of the open enrollment period, nearly 6.8 million individuals have selected a plan or were automatically reenrolled in a Marketplace plan. According to Sec. Burwell, "In the first month, 87 percent of consumers got financial assistance to help lower the cost of premiums." The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed helpful resources to help individuals better understand coverage and benefits through their Coverage to Care initiative. [more]

Who's Covered for What in 2015 and Beyond? 
AMCHP has developed an updated resource that provides an overview of health coverage options for specific MCH populations. The chart identifies coverage options under Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace, and options for those remaining uninsured and includes information for children (including those with special health care needs), adult women (under age 65), and pregnant women. [more]

New Report by Urban Institute 
A recent report by the Urban Institute, Public Education, Outreach and Application Assistance, describes general trends in ACA outreach and education and promising practices by states and territories. For example, states such as Minnesota and Colorado advertised ACA through coverage stories of real people. Kentucky used a "grass-tops" education strategy, involving clergy and community leaders who would then educate their respective constituents. [more]

State Medicaid Expansion Alternative Benefit Plans 
chart developed by the National Academy for State Health Policy State Refor(u)m Initiative tracks the status of stateAlternative Benefit Plan (ABP) decisions for the Medicaid expansion population. ABPs are required to cover the 10 essential health benefits (EHB) as outlined in the ACA. The chart provides useful information including ABP status, benefit package, EHB plan, among other items. [more]



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 device, 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. [more]

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." [more]

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. [more]

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. [more]

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. [more]

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. [more]

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. [more

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. [more]

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. [more]



General Maternal & Child Health

New AMCHP Resource on Quality Improvement
At the 2014 Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) conference, AMCHP and CSTE convened a roundtable discussion to hear about epidemiologists' experiences with quality Improvement (QI) and the challenges and barriers they face to successful QI. In December 2014, based on the needs identified through the roundtable discussion, AMCHP created a resource sheet titled Quality Improvement Resources for Epidemiologists. [more]

AMCHP Releases Two New Resources on ROI 
The AMCHP Community of Practice for Return on Investment (ROI) is a peer-sharing group that discusses mutual interests and experiences in developing economic analyses for MCH programs. Based on the needs identified from the Community of Practice for Return on Investment, AMCHP created the Roadmap of Resources that gathers a wide-range a materials to be used throughout the analysis process. [more]

Current research literature for the economic evaluation of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) programs lacks specific examples of ROI analyses that calculate net financial gain from the provider perspective. In an effort to encourage the implementation of LARC program ROI analyses in state and local health departments, AMCHP created a resource sheet on the Economic Analysis of LARC Programs that can facilitate the process. [more]

New Resource on Multisector Partnerships for Preventing Violence
There is growing recognition that many sectors must be engaged to effectively prevent violence, but people always don't know what they bring to the table or how their sector can pitch in. This publication clarifies the roles and contributions of 10 sectors and 12 departments, and it walks readers through Collaboration Multiplier, an influential Prevention Institute tool. [more]

New Affordable Care Act Fact Sheets for Families 
Created by the National Center for Medical Home Implementation and the Catalyst Center, these four fact sheets highlight provisions of the Affordable Care Act which benefit children and youth with special health care needs. Each fact sheet is written in plain language, making the content easy to read and understand. [more]

Women's & Infant Health

New CDC Resource on the Impact of Disasters on Pregnant and Postpartum Women and Infants
To promote consistency in the study of the impact of natural and manmade disasters on pregnant and postpartum women and infants, the CDC Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) Emergency Preparedness and Response Program recently released a list of common post-disaster epidemiologic indicators. [more]



  • On Jan. 6, AMCHP staff Krista Granger presented content on the Title V MCH Services Block Grant at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Program Evaluation Practicum. The presentation was part of the MCH at the State Level and at the CDC session. The goal of the presentation was to introduce Harvard practicum students to the activities states and territories accomplish for the application and annual reporting of Title V. The presentation also focused on the Title V Block Grant transformation, and how states and territories are expected to implement new requirements.



AMCHP Seeks Analyst for Adolescent Health
The analyst for adolescent health, child and adolescent health (CAH) is a member of the program team and contributes to the advancement of maternal and child health outcomes by performing a variety of planning and program implementation, research and evaluation projects related to the Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center (AYAH-NRC). General responsibilities include contributing to the development, implementation and evaluation of program activities related to advancing the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults (ages 10-24), collaboration with AYAH-NRC partners, AMCHP members and staff; serving as a liaison to federal project officers; and project promotion. [more]

AMCHP Accepting Applications for Program Associate, Women's and Infant Health
The program associate, women's and infant health (WIH) is a member of the program team and contributes to the advancement of MCH programs by performing a variety of planning and program implementation, research and evaluation projects. This position supports and assists the WIH team in the development, implementation and evaluation of program activities related to MCH and women's and infant health. This position also contributes to the collection of state best practices (Innovation Station), newsletter development, and implementation of communication strategies (MS SharePoint, listserv, social media). [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, the AMCHP 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 up today!


AMCHP is seeking submissions of emerging, promising and best practices in maternal and child health from all states and territories on adolescent health and youth engagement. Do you have a program that fits?

You'll have a chance to:

  • Share successes with your peers
  • Enhance the MCH field
  • Contribute to program replication
  • Get expert feedback from the Review Panel
  • Receive national recognition

The online submission process is simple and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For more information, contactKi'Yonna Jones at (202) 266-3049 or

You can also click here to refer an innovative MCH program that we should know about!



AHA Grants Available to Help Prevent Childhood Obesity 
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have announced the availability of several grant opportunities through the Voices for Healthy Kids program. The program aims to engage, organize and mobilize people to improve the health of their communities and reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. The grants are available in the following priority areas: smart school foods, healthy drinks, marketing matters, active places and active kids out of school. [more]

HRSA National Coordinating Center for the Regional Genetic Service Collaboratives
Deadline: Feb. 2
This program was established to enhance, improve and expand access to quality genetic services over the lifespan, in keeping with the statutory authority Title V, Section 501(a)(2) which requires that HRSA provide for genetic disease testing, counseling and information development and dissemination programs. [more]

NIH Understanding Infancy and Early Childhood Factors That Influence Obesity
Deadline: Feb. 5
Institutions/organizations should propose to characterize or identify factors in early childhood that may increase or mitigate risk for weight gain and fill risk for development of obesity in children research gaps. Studies should propose research in young children and may also assess factors relevant to families of them. [more]

HRSA Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship Program (NAT)
Deadline: Feb. 26
The purpose of the NAT Program is to provide traineeship support for licensed registered nurses enrolled as full-time students in an anesthesia program. Traineeships will pay full or partial costs of the tuition, fees, books/e-Books and the reasonable living expenses of the individual trainee during the period for which the traineeship is provided. [more]

For more funding opportunities, click here.



 Click here to see the AMCHP MCH Events Calendar.