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Maternal and Child Health
Section Newsletter
Fall 2010

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Labor Day seems like a holiday of special significance to MCH members.  We help women prepare for labor and birth on a daily basis!  We are also a labor force that is deeply committed to important values. We challenge a culture that too often devalues women, persons of color, and parenting – and makes health care and child care inaccessible. We help make pregnancy, birth and early parenting a time of significance, growth, and development. We know that with new beginnings come hope, change and opportunity.

 

As I write this final column as the chair of the MCH Section, I am reflecting on where we are in this process of creating hope, change and opportunity.  There have been many important milestones these past two years and I am proud of our work in the following areas:

 

·         Health Reform stands out as a personal, organizational and national priority.  However, as many of us know very intimately, our work is not over.  Please join us for our Martha May Elliot Forum on Monday, Nov. 9, 2010 where we will learn more about how the interests of women, children and families were addressed or not, and what important work remains.

·         75th anniversary of Title V:  We are about to celebrate another important milestone in national policy directed toward supporting women and children (see article below on the national celebration).  The MCH Section will have a brief historical overview and celebration at our Martha May Elliot Luncheon, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.

·         Maternal Mortality has finally arrived on the human rights agenda of the UN and among international philanthropists. Learn more about the important recommendations of the Women Deliver Conference and the Amnesty International Report on Deadly Deliveries at our MCH town meeting on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010.  Special thanks to Judy Lewis and our International Health committee for help in organizing this session.

·         Technology has also been a key part of our MCH work. Last year, our town meeting highlighted ways in which we need to advocate for MCH issues on the state and national level as we develop Health Information technology and quality indicators. Text4baby has introduced no cost educational tools for pregnant women and parents of infants. And internally, we have developed a stronger Web presence (Join our Facebook group!) and new list serve for our members, thanks to the efforts of Karen VanLandeghem, Laura Kavanaugh, Katie Baker, and Jane Pearson. Clare Feinson has been the amazing editor of this e-newsletter for the past six years. 

·         Creating community and advocates for change:  The MCH Section has held its own as APHA membership has seen a decline. Thanks to the APHA Nominations Chair, our Chair-elect Debra Jackson and MCH Nominations Chair Jane Pearson, Section members have been nominated and appointed to many APHA leadership positions.  Program Chair Ann Dozier, along with committee chairs, have mobilized an impressive number of members to submit and review abstracts, plan scientific sessions, and engage in the work of the Section.  Our working Midyear Meetings have been standing room only, attracting both prominent professionals and student fellows. We have enjoyed briefings on the APHA agenda and the latest development regarding MCH on Capitol Hill or in Haiti.   With the leadership of Secretary-Elect Lauren Raskin Ramos,  we have recognized emerging leaders through our student fellows program (featured in the September issue of Nation’s Health) and with the leadership of Past Chair Barb Levin, we have expanded our awards program to recognize the many and varied contributions of or colleagues at different points in their careers.  Holly Grason has kept our issues alive and policies archived on the Action Board and worked with Jane Pearson, Lianne Estefan, and Judith Katzburg and others to develop a comprehensive Child Health Policy that we expect to be adopted by APHA this year.

 

See you in Denver?  If you are looking for a home within APHA, colleagues who share your passions and commitments, then you have chosen the right section. Together we contribute to an agenda bigger than what we can do alone or in our local communities. If you will be at the APHA Annual Meeting in Denver, please come and get to know us.  Join us for an informal dinner on Saturday night (see article on the Annual Meeting below) and stop by our booth just to chat.  Attend our Leadership Meeting (identify yourself as a leader and you are one!) on Saturday afternoon, where our Governing Councilors will brief us on APHA policy developments.   And our Membership Meeting on Sunday evening promises to be very participatory and great fun.  If you will not be in Denver but are eager to become a Section leader, all you need to do is say so and our terrific Chair-elect, Debra Jackson and Chair- elect-elect, Judith Katzburg, will put you right to work.  

 

Finally, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to the many Section members and volunteers who have worked with me and Section leadership throughout these two years. I want to acknowledge Glen Bartlett who has created a challenge grant to keep our Section enrichment fund and student program funded.  I also want to especially acknowledge our secretary, Karen VanLandeghem, APHA staff Fran Atkinson and Natasha Williams and Haley Singer and my Maternity Care Coalition colleagues for their time and support.

 

JoAnne Fischer

Chair, MCH Section

JOIN THE MCH SECTION FOR EXCITING ACTIVITIES IN DENVER

Coming to the APHA Annual Meeting in Denver?  Join the MCH Section for the following activities:

 

MCH Section dinner on Saturday evening Nov. 6

 

The MCH Section is organizing a Section Dinner on Saturday evening as arranged by our Denver Host group, at:

 

Limelight Supper Club & Lounge

1355 Curtis St.

Denver, CO 80204

 

Please RSVP to Sue Purcell ASAP and plan to join

us for the APHA MCH Section dinner Saturday night in Denver.

 

Send your $35 check made out to “APHA MCH Section” to:

 

APHA MCH Section

C/o Karen VanLandeghem

537 S Mitchell Avenue

Arlington Heights, IL  60005.

 

See you there!

 

 

Business Meeting? Membership Meeting? Town Hall Meeting?  What’s the difference?

 

Please join us at our various MCH Section meetings!

 

Membership Meeting:  If you are an MCH Section member please join us at our annual Membership Meeting on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010 from 4-5:30.

 

Everyone is invited

 

Come hear about our Section activities, help plan for the coming year, and meet your leadership including our incoming Section Chair, Debra Jackson, and our outgoing Section Chair, JoAnne Fischer. The meeting is scheduled in the Colorado Convention Center Room 404.

 

Business Meeting:  If you are interested in being more involved in the work of the MCH Section, please join us at our Business Meeting on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 2– 3:30 p.m., 127.0 Colorado Convention Center Room 504. Section Leadership including Section Councilors and Committee Chairs are required to attend. 

 

Committee Meetings:  There are also many Committee Meetings primarily on Sunday from 2-3:30 – look at the online schedule for details!

 

Town Hall Meeting:  Everyone is also welcome to attend the MCH Section Town Hall Meeting. This is our third annual town meeting and is open to all APHA meeting attendees. This year’s topic is  Maternal Mortality:  A Human Rights Issue and features Nan Strauss from Amnesty International USA.

 

 

Agnes Higgins Award Lecture & Reception

 

“The Fetal Origins of Chronic Disease”

Monday, Nov. 8, 2010

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Hyatt Regency Denver, Capitol Ballroom 4

 

This year, the March of Dimes Agnes Higgins Award Lecture and Reception honors David Barker, MD, PhD, FRS.  Dr. Barker is a physician and Professor of Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Southampton, UK.  He is also Professor, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine Oregon Health and Science University, US.

Twenty years ago, Dr. Barker showed for the first time that people who had low birth weight are at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease. In 1995, the British Medical Journal named this the “Barker Hypothesis.”  It is now widely accepted and it has led to a new understanding that chronic adult diseases can be “programmed” by malnutrition in the womb.

The session is sponsored jointly by the March of Dimes, the APHA Food and Nutrition Section, and the Maternal and Child Health Section. Food and beverages will be served.

 

 

Breastfeeding Committee Renamed

 The MCH Section Leadership is pleased to announce that the Breastfeeding Committee is undergoing a change.  It will now be called the Infant and Maternal Nutrition Committee under the leadership of Connie Bish, PhD, MPH.  Connie is the MCH Epidemiologist for the State of Mississippi. The Committee will meet in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center Room 407 from 2-3:30.

 Martha May Eliot Luncheon and Forum

  •  MME Luncheon:  On Monday, Nov. 8, please join us at the Luncheon (purchase tickets when you register for the Annual Meeting) to honor this year’s Martha May Eliot Recipient, our Young Professional Awardee, and our Student Paper awardees. We will also highlight the 25th anniversary of Title V. The luncheon is at 12:30  – 2:00 p.m., CCC Korbel Ballroom 1A/B.            
  • MME Forum:  The Martha May Eliot Forum: Implementing Health Reform follows the luncheon immediately from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. in room CCC 403. Featured speakers include: 
  • Catherine Hess, MSW--National Academy for State Health Policy
  • Michael Fraser, PhD -- AMCHP
  • Judy Waxman, JD -- NationalWomen's Law Center
  • Karen Trierweiler, MS, CNM -- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
  • ________________________________________________________

MCH Section Sponsors Over 40 Scientific Sessions in Denver

More than 30 oral sessions and 14 poster sessions are being sponsored by the MCH Section this year, representing over 240 papers. (CCC=Colorado Convention Center)

 

Student sessions include:

 

Monday 10:30 – 12:00 CCC 403

Greg Alexander Outstanding Student Paper Session: Maternal and Child Health Research and Implications

 

Sunday 2 - 3:30 CCC Halls A/B

Student Poster Session

 

Our Invited Scientific Sessions include:

 

Monday 10:30 – 12:00 CCC 404

Fetal Origins of Adult Disease

Organized by Michael Kogan, HRSA/ Maternal and Child Health Bureau            

 

Tuesday 10:30 – 12:00 CCC 502

Preterm Birth and Social Justice

Organized by March of Dimes

 

Wednesday 8:30 – 10:00 CCC Korbel Ballroom 1D

Improving Pregnancy Outcomes and Social Justice: Cutting Edge Research of Invited Leaders in the Field

Organized by HHS Office of Minority Health

 

Wednesday 10:30 – 12:00 CCC Korbel Ballroom 1D

CDC Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey: 2009 Results and Practical Applications for States, Hospitals, and Researchers

Organized by Deborah Dee, PhD MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity

 

Wednesday 12:30  – 2:00 p.m. CCC Korbel Ballroom 1C

A Quiet Breastfeeding Revolution: Taking The Ten Steps across the USA

Organized by Miriam Labbok, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (see newsletter article)

 

For a full listing of oral and poster sessions and the sessions we are cosponsoring please click here.

SAVE THE DATES

The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) asks you to save the following dates.  For more information, contact AMCHP.

 

·         75th Anniversary of Title V

Oct. 20, 2010

Washington, D.C. (see newsletter article)

 

·         Looking to the Future:  What are the Opportunities and Challenges of Health Reform for Improving Maternal and Child Health?

Oct. 21, 2010

Washington, D.C.

 

·         AMCHP Annual Conference

Working Together to Improve Maternal and Child Health:  The 2011 AMCHP and Family Voices National Conferences

Feb. 12-15, 2011

Washington, D.C.

MEMBER NEWS

 

·         JOANNE FISCHER TO BE HONORED:  Women’s eNews will hold a gala on Oct. 20 to honor Philadelphia Leaders 2010, “an awe-inspiring list of individuals dedicated to improving the lives of women.”  One of the honorees is our own JoAnne Fischer, who heads the Maternity Care Coalition.  Click here for more information.

 

·         NEW BABY:  Leo de la Cruz Redei was born Sunday, Aug. 22 at 11:01 p.m., weighing in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces.  His mom, MCH Student Fellow Cara de la Cruz said, “The birth was truly incredible and everyone is doing beautifully!  Thank you all so much for your love and support.”

 

 

 

·         RUTH LUBIC ON THE MEND:  Section Member Ruth Lubic was hospitalized in Washington, D.C., at the beginning of September with viral meningitis, but was recovering nicely at last report.  Updates and good wishes can be transmitted to her through former Section Chair Linda Randolph, President and CEO, Developing Families Center, 801 17th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002, (202) 398-2007.  Ruth took her MacArthur Grant to an under-served area of Washington, D.C., where she established a birth center combined with other family support services, child care, and preventive health services for children.  This unique facility serves as a national model, and is conveniently located where it can be visited easily by members of Congress and federal officials.

 

·         JANINE LEWIS TO HEAD ILLINOIS MCH COALITION:  Section Member Janine Lewis PhD (c) has recently been hired as the new Executive Director of the Illinois MCH Coalition (IMCHC).   Her passion for improving health outcomes for mothers, children, and families, coupled with her extensive academic and practice-based knowledge, make her uniquely qualified to lead the organization.  Lewis received her MPH from Boston University in international health, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her dissertation focuses on stressors in the lives of African-American women and how these stressors may lead to adverse birth outcomes.

 

·         REGULATIONS ISSUED ON WORKPLACE BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: The Department of Labor has issued regulations on lactation support.  Included in the regulations are requirements for reasonable break time for lactating mothers to express their milk, and the provision of a private space (not a bathroom) for breastfeeding needs.   Breastfeeding Committee member Chris Mulford was a part of the task force that developed the recommendations.  Click here for the regulations.

 

·         PATERNAL INVOLVEMENT:  Section Member Dr. Jermane Bond has been appointed to serve a three-year term on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Public Health.  Dr. Bond is the convener of the Commission on Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes (CPIPO), a trans-disciplinary working group focused on raising awareness of the importance of paternal involvement in pregnancy and family health. CPIPO recently released a report endorsing 40 best and promising recommendations on paternal involvement in pregnancy outcomes. Dr. Bond will be presenting a poster session at APHA entitled Two to Tango:  Enhancing Paternal Involvement to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes.  Her colleague, Dr. Michael Liu, will be presenting the recommendations in a session entitled Men and Fathers:  the missing link for improving birth outcomes. CPIPO is funded by the DHHS Office of Minority Health.

 

·         OFFICE ON WOMEN’S HEALTH LAUNCHES ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PAGE:  Section member Claudia Ruland wants everyone to know that www.girlshealth.gov now has a new page addressing environmental issues.  We know environmental health is an important part of our overall health, and learning about hazards in the environment at a young age can help girls take charge of their health and find ways to clean up the earth at the same time!  Remember: it’s up to each of us to do our part to keep the earth — and ourselves — healthy. Girlshealth.gov was developed to promote healthy, positive behaviors in girls age 10 to 16, giving them reliable useful information on health issues they will face as they become young women, with the tagline:  “Be Happy.  Be Healthy.  Be You.  Beautiful.”

 

·         No link between vaccines and autism, appeals court rules:  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a decision last year by a special vaccine court, which concluded vaccines are not to blame for autism. For the full story, click here.

MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH BUREAU (MCHB) CELEBRATES 75 YEARS OF TITLE V

On Oct. 20, 2010, the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) celebrates the 75th Anniversary of Title V of the Social Security Act — the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to the states.  In Washington, D.C., MCHB will be holding its 75th Anniversary MCH Federal/State Partnership Meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010 at the Washington Hilton Hotel, and invites MCH professionals, families, and advocates across the country to celebrate this landmark legislation and 75 years of successfully ensuring the health of our nation’s women, infants, and children.  To register for this free conference, or to look at ideas for planning a local celebration, such as 75 minutes of service in your community, click here . 

 

When Title V of the Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935, it was both a progressive change for the future and a continuation of long-standing public health traditions. It represented a new and unique commitment of the federal government to support states in improving the health and well-being of all women and children in the nation. At the same time, it extended a path begun decades earlier, when the Children's Bureau was established by Martha May Eliot in 1912 to "investigate and report upon matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of people." The principles and methods institutionalized in the Children's Bureau carried through into the Title V program, most notably the importance of the health of mothers and children to the health of the nation, and the use of data and assessment to inform policy and programs. Over the course of its 75-year history, the Title V program has adapted to changing needs and new scientific knowledge, but its founding principles and functions have endured, setting the stage for further innovation based on sound scientific and management principles.

 

As the only governmental program responsible for ensuring the health and well-being of the entire population of women, infants and children, the Title V program plays a critical role in coordination, capacity building, and quality oversight at the community and state levels. By connecting people to services, programs to programs, and agencies to agencies, Title V programs reduce fragmentation and duplication, maximize resources, and increase quality and effectiveness.  The emphasis on collaboration is built into the Title V legislation, which requires MCH programs to collaborate with major programs such as Special Education, Family Planning, and Medicaid.

 

Title V has adjusted over the years to the changing context of MCH priorities.  Some conditions, such as malnutrition, polio, spina bifida, and neonatal survival are not the significant concerns they were when Title V was enacted. Other problems persist and new ones are emerging – injuries are still a major priority, but they tend to be caused by motor vehicle accidents, not farm work.  Breastfeeding, obesity, asthma, autism, and the developmental effects of chemicals in our food, water, and consumer products are all major concerns.  And while we have made great strides over the decades in reducing rates of infant mortality, African-American infants still die at more than twice the rate of non-Hispanic white infants.  Title V currently emphasizes connection and capacity building in MCH services, and includes four focus areas:

 

·         Infrastructure building services

·         Population-based services

·         Enabling services

·         Direct care services

 

MCH programs have been leaders in implementing the community-oriented public health approaches that have evolved over recent decades, from social determinants and neighborhood effects to community engagement in research and program planning. Scientific knowledge and public health tools will continue to evolve, as will population health concerns. For 75 years, the Title V program has built capacity around a core set of functions that will continue to serve its mission of ensuring the health of women, infants, children, and adolescents in every US state and community.  So celebrate our success, and pledge to continue this excellent work over the next 75 years!

SCHEDULING THE FIRST PRENATAL VISIT: A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Two articles in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) decry the flaws in our prenatal care system that cause women, especially primiparas, or those with medical or lifestyle issues, to delay the first prenatal visit until “after many organs have formed or interventions that could minimize risk to the fetus should have been initiated.”  This opportunity to ask the patient about general well-being, medication use, hypertension, diabetes, history of pregnancy complications, smoking, or alcohol use, is lost forever along with the opportunity for early evaluation and treatment.

 

For the first article, a research assistant called all obstetrical clinics in a state.  Posing as a pregnant, fully insured woman, the research assistant asked each clinic when she should come in for her first prenatal visit.  The recommended appointment times ranged from immediately (4 weeks of gestation) to 10.6 weeks, with 25 percent of the clinics recommending a first appointment at 8 weeks or later.  Scheduling calls were not a source of prenatal advices.  Dr. Nettleman and her colleagues concluded that, “Office-based delays in scheduling the first prenatal visit occur in a substantial proportion of clinics, even for fully insured women. There is a need for a standard source of advice in early pregnancy.”

 

The second article, an editorial by Dr. Arnold W. Cohen, points out that the first encounter with pregnant patients is often handled as a “non-event,” when, in fact, it “should be used as an effective educational and triaging opportunity.”  Dr. Cohen provides a list of eight simple questions that take approximately 60 seconds to ask, to effectively triage patients who need to be seen right away.  This would allow the physician to provide better care and with fewer traditional prenatal care visits.  Dr. Cohen says, “By instituting individualized prenatal care first appointments and using reduced scheduled appointments or group prenatal care for low-risk patients, obstetrics care providers could use their time and efforts more effectively to improve prenatal care, rather than just provide prenatal care. . . To do this though, we each must ask ourselves what the barriers are in my practice to the implementation of this type of care and find ways to overcome them.

 

The citations for the two articles are:

·         Nettleman MD, Brewer J, Stafford M. Scheduling the first prenatal visit: office-based delays. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010;203:207.e1-3.

·         Cohen, AW.  Scheduling the first prenatal visit:  a missed opportunity.  Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010;203:192.

PREMATURITY AND STILLBIRTH: MORE RESEARCH VITAL TO CLOSE GAPS FOR MILLIONS

Prematurity, a leading cause of infant death, affects one in eight babies born in the United States. Stillbirth, another adverse pregnancy outcome, devastates 25,000 U.S. families each year.  Ethnic and racial disparities persist, and few solutions exist. The Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth ( GAPPS ), an initiative of Seattle Children’s, is accelerating progress on these local and global health crises.

 

While recent U.S. data show a promising decline for the overall prematurity rate, the rate for early preterm births (24-32 weeks) has not improved. These newborns have the greatest short- and long-term health risks, including infant mortality, and incur the highest health care costs. An alarming discrepancy exists between costs and investments to identify causes and solutions: prematurity is a leading U.S. health care expenditure ($26B in 2005), but is not a relatively high funding priority for the NIH (prematurity research ranks 101st).

A comprehensive report, led by GAPPS, highlights the enormous global impact of preterm birth and stillbirth — and what can be done to decrease these crises. Globally, an estimated 13 million babies are born prior to 37 completed weeks of pregnancy each year. Preterm birth contributes to one million neonatal deaths annually, and many survivors have serious disabilities. Additionally, an estimated 3.2 million are stillborn each year, and many of these losses are linked to maternal deaths.

The Global Report on Preterm & Stillbirth, published with BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, identifies an urgent need for increased research to close the solution gaps. For example, existing, cost-effective interventions would only prevent less than 4 percent of all preterm births if implemented globally. Research investments are crucial to understand causes and speed up development of diagnostic, treatment and prevention strategies. The report was written by an interdisciplinary team of maternal, newborn and child health experts from around the globe. It was released earlier this year and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Seattle Children’s, a leading pediatric hospital and research institute.

“We can save more lives, but we urgently need more action and resources to better understand the causes of prematurity and stillbirth, and to guide development of cost-effective interventions,” said Dr. Craig E. Rubens, executive director of GAPPS. “For the first time ever, experts from around the world have agreed to a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to solving these global tragedies.”

For further information please contact Toni Nunes or visit www.gapps.org.  Our mission is to lead a collaborative, global effort to increase awareness and accelerate innovative research and interventions that will improve maternal, newborn and child health outcomes.

COMMUNITY-BASED DOULA PROGRAMS WORK!

 

Community-based doula programs, which have made a big splash in the news media and on the federal stage in the past year, improve infant health, strengthen families, and establish supports to ensure ongoing family success – including improved prenatal care, fewer pre-term births, increased breastfeeding rates, increased birth weight, fewer medical interventions, fewer c-section deliveries, more positive birth experiences, increased mother-child interaction, and improved parenting skills.

What is a community-based doula?  Across the nation, HealthConnect One (HC One) connects mothers-to-be in under-served communities with other women in their community who are specially trained to provide support during pregnancy, birth and the early months of parenting.  We focus on this sensitive period in a family's life, when intervention makes the most difference, creating long-term linkages to networks of support.  Our programs succeed because the doulas are of and from the same community as their clients and are able to bridge language and cultural barriers in order to meet health needs. This is the power of peer-to-peer support!

HC One community-based doula programs include five essential components:

  1. Employ women who are trusted members of the target community.
  2. Extend and intensify the role of doula with families from early pregnancy through the first months postpartum.
  3. Collaborate with community stakeholders/institutions and use a diverse team approach.
  4. Facilitate experiential learning using popular education techniques and the HC One training curriculum.
  5. Value the doulas' work with salary, supervision, and support.

 

The success of these programs was recognized on the Senate Floor by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), a longtime champion of the community-based doula program, during Senate debate of the Health Reform legislation, on Dec. 23, 2009, when he said: 

"I am encouraged by the language in Section 5313 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Grants to Promote the Community Health Workforce, and want to ensure that the definition of community health worker includes community-based doulas. The Federal Government currently funds community-based doula programs through the Maternal and Child Health Bureau's Special Projects of Regional and National Significance. Expanding the definition of community health workers in the reform bill will give these evidence-based programs greater support to meet the needs of families in under-served communities."(See Senator Durbin’s full statement here.)

 

We are very grateful for the support of Senator Durbin and the work of his staff. We are beginning now to advocate with the Department of Health and Human Services as they design health reform to ensure that community-based doula programs will be eligible for the HRSA Grants to Promote the Community Health Workforce.  To participate in this effort, click to contact Mac Grambauer or call (773) 728-0271.

 

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and a growing understanding of the need to incorporate community health workers into mainstream health systems, HC One has decided to move our conference to D.C.  We are now planning our fifth national conference, Birth, Breastfeeding and Beyond: Sustaining Community-Based Practices, for March 21-23, 2011, to be held at the Arlington Hilton just outside Washington, D.C.  This conference is currently scheduled to open with a session on community health workers in health reform and will close with legislative lobbying and congressional meetings. This will be the first time we pair our national conference, which gathers energy over two days and culminates in advocacy training, with our now-annual Lobby Day.  We hope you will consider joining us.  For more information on the conference, click here or contact Conference Co-coordinator RoiAnn Phillips. 

 

Additional Resources:

Doula becoming a household name (ABC News Chicago, May 2010)

 

There's No Place Like Home (Center for American Progress - Jan. 5, 2010)

 

Doulas Support Young Moms (The National Clearinghouse for Families & Youth - December 2009)

NEW MCH PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION RESOURCE

The Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has posted a new MCH Professional Education resource to help students, faculty, and professionals locate just the right information to meet their educational needs. It guides site visitors in the use of the library collections and points to significant external resources in MCH fields.

 

This resource is part of a new MCH Library website redesign that provides an updated look and makes it easier to locate information aimed at specific audiences.  In addition to the MCH Professional Education resource, there are pages for professionals, for families, and for schools. The Resources for Families page contains a new set of 19 briefs that list resources for care, services, and support and Web sites that are aimed at parents, kids and teens.

 

The site is visually appealing, with new photos and graphics. An enhanced search feature allows users to select display formats and to create their own resource lists by checking off items from materials found in their searches. An updated sidebar and an A-Z Index guide visitors through the site, as well.

 

A new feature highlights the 75th anniversary of Title V, and presents "75 Books for 75 Years," a book list of seminal and historical materials that are nominated by MCH Library visitors. An "In the News" page highlights significant developments related to public health and links to numerous federal and national public health news sources.

 

The site will continue to be developed with new features and new information, and user suggestions are always welcome.  Click here for the website, or contact the library here. To receive notices of new features and information, subscribe to the weekly MCH Alert here.

NEW BOOK ADDRESSES SEPARATION BETWEEN FATHERS AND CHILDREN DURING DEPLOYMENT

MCH Section member Dr. Chanda Nicole Holsey has written and self-published her first children’s book, Savvie Sunshine, Will You Remember Daddy When I Am Out to Sea? The book is a charming story that addresses the separation anxiety experienced by Navy dads when facing military deployment.  This book is important because in our society, men are often socialized to hide their feelings or withdraw, even when a man has to leave an adored young child who he is really just getting to know.  This book focuses on how moms and children can help relieve dads’ nervousness from having to depart from the family.  It is entertaining, yet instructional.  Savvie Sunshine, Will You Remember Daddy When I Am Out to Sea? is a delightful book that kids will enjoy and parents will appreciate and embrace. The characters in Savvie Sunshine, Will You Remember Daddy When I Am Out to Sea? are African-American, since a significant percentage of enlisted Navy personnel are ethnic minorities, which are currently underrepresented in published military children’s books.

 

Dr. Holsey is the founder of Healthy Aims for Little Ones and for their Families (HALO for Families), an organization whose mission is to meet the unique physical health, mental health and social needs of children and families by identifying, developing, and promoting high quality, relevant resources that are child-focused, family-centered and culturally and developmentally appropriate.   HALO for Families salutes all Navy dads. 

 

For more information about HALO for Families or to purchase a copy of Savvie Sunshine, Will You Remember Daddy When I Am Out to Sea? click here.

 

Dr. Holsey has earned a Doctor of Public Health degree in Maternal and Child Health, and a Master of Public Health degree in Behavioral Sciences/Health Education.  She has a passion for influencing children and families, especially the under-served and indigent. She has worked with young children for much of her professional career in the area of health services and also understands the importance of emotional health and early literacy development.  Dr. Holsey can offer a unique perspective on the topic of the difficulties with family separations that are long term, as she is the wife of an enlisted sailor and the mother of a toddler.

FREE PUBLICATIONS FROM THE FOUNDATION CENTER

Click on “PubHub Link” to download the following publications from the Foundation Center:

 

·         Oral Health During Pregnancy and Early Childhood
CDA Foundation


Outlines the benefits of perinatal oral health care, barriers, and limits; examines access by age, income, race/ethnicity, and coverage; and recommends expanding interdisciplinary collaboration, advocacy and education, and provider Medicaid participation.

 

·         Will Health Care Reform Increase the Deficit and National Debt?
Urban Institute


Examines the Congressional Budget Office's projection for health care reform to reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion in 2010-19, the debate over its accuracy, and uncertainties including changes in coverage, Medicare payments, and private premiums.

WATER: I HEART H20

I love water.  I drink out of faucets, coolers, fountains, and my backyard hose.  I catch snowflakes on my tongue.  I love to be in rivers, streams, oceans, pools, and my pond, stomping in mud puddles.   I love to be in sailboats, kayaks, canoes, ferries, and big truck inner tubes.  And I just love to look at water and listen to it.  To me, water looks and feels and sounds like life itself: the trickle of a waterfall melting after a winter freeze or the crashing of an ocean wave on a sandy beach.  I can’t imagine my life without it.

 

This summer in New York was a hot one, and we all became more aware of water than usual.  People complained about the humidity while gulping from plastic bottles of designer water.  Leaving work via the streets of the Bronx, I would have to close my sun roof and nudge through the powerful spray of an open hydrant, where children and adults soaked up the blast of cold water.  Concerned about women and children traveling to our child advocacy center on subways and buses and hot sidewalks, I ordered cases of bottled water and instructed staff to make sure everybody who visited the center got water.  And yes, I worried about the plastic getting warm and releasing long-lasting toxins, but it was a matter of situational ethics.  Gotta get water into every man, woman, and child.

 

Sometime in late July, an e-mail popped up on my computer from an organization called End Water Poverty.  The message, advertising an open position on the project, ended with the statement, “Our ambition is massive.”  Massive ambition indeed and massively needed, for there in the opening paragraph was the statistic that to this day causes me to catch my breath every time I find myself taking water for granted:  every day 4,000 children die from drinking dirty water.  That is 1,460,000 children a year, a massive number of special, lovely, individual children who die because there is no clean water for them to drink.

 

I first became aware of the global tragedy due to unclean water and unethical business practices in the early 1970s as I was about to have my first baby.  Researching the benefits of breastfeeding, I came across information about the campaign against Nestle infant formula in developing countries.  With a decrease in infant formula sales in the United States and Europe as more women chose to breastfeed their babies, Nestle stepped up their marketing of “breast milk substitute” in Africa.  The marketing strategy included sending company salespersons wearing white uniforms into local hospitals in Africa and giving women samples of a month’s supply of powdered formula -- enough so that by the time they ran out, they had also stopped lactating and had to buy the formula.  But they soon learned that the formula was very expensive, a month’s worth often costing more than the family income for a month. And so the formula that was purchased was watered down and often with unclean water. The number of babies who died cannot be calculated, but WHO spent millions of dollars on a generation of sick babies.  It was my first small public health effort to demonstrate against Nestle in my local grocery stores, to raise awareness of what the company that made chocolate milk for our kids was doing to mothers and babies in Africa. That was 40 years ago but UNICEF still estimates that a non-breastfed child living is 6 to 25 times more likely to die of diarrhea and 4 times more likely to die of pneumonia than a breastfed child.  I suggest that any MCH advocate take a look at this issue online.  Maybe we still have to be in grocery stores protesting and questioning the business practices and marketing strategies that put our babies and children at risk of death and disease.  Along with End Water Poverty we all need that massive ambition to get the water of the world cleaned up so the good fresh water we do have can restore and refresh those around us. 

 

It is now late August in New York, and the heat has somewhat subsided, although midday is still oppressive on the sidewalks of the Bronx.  Yesterday I had to run between our medical center and my advocacy center.  I had patients and budget issues and the next meeting to go to on my mind, but most prominent in my consciousness was the aching in my sweaty wet feet as they rebelled against the cute princess heels and pointed toes of my shoes.  “Ah, when I get home I’ll dangle my feet in my pond,” I was thinking as I looked up and saw, through the shimmering heat waves, what seemed to be an apparition in the desert approaching me.  She was tall and elegant, swathed in red and orange, the scarf of white wrapped over her dark brown face.  It wasn’t until she was 10 feet away from me that I could see that she looked exhausted, beads of water on her forehead, streams running down her face, her eyelids lowered.  She reached out to me and I realized that we were both fortunate enough to be next to the front steps of a house under the shade of a maple tree.  Her name was Ann, and she was on her way to a nearby bus stop.  I asked her if she would like to come into my office for a while, but she said she had to get to the bus and home to her apartment where her grandchildren would be arriving after school.  As we shared a grandmother moment, I remembered that I had stuck a bottle of water in my briefcase, and I pulled it out and offered it to her.  She tipped her beautiful head back, closed her eyes, took a drink and smiled and then I remembered a line from The Little Prince:  “This water was indeed a different thing from ordinary nourishment. It was good for the heart, like a present.”

 

The gift to me from Ann was a moment of rest under a maple tree when I could slip off those shoes, two women sharing our love of our families, her smile and a reminder that we all need water to sustain us and keep us massively ambitious.

 

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Once again, Section member Karel Amaranth brings us her special musings on our lives in public health.   End Water Poverty opposes the global injustice that causes millions to live without access to clean water and sanitation.  For more information, click here.  Also, long-time MCH members may recall that our Section was instrumental in resolving the Nestle Boycott by lobbying APHA to pass a resolution endorsing the boycott.  The group that organized the Nestle Boycott is now called Corporate Accountability International, and their Think Outside the Bottle campaign works to promote and protect funding for public water systems.  For more information, click here.