American Public Health Association
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Maternal and Child Health
Section Newsletter
Spring 2009


Dear MCH Section Members,


I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the Annual Meeting this year in my home town, Philadelphia.  Plan to join other Section members for dinner on Saturday night in Chinatown, at the Vietnam Palace.  Also, we will make sure to have some Philly recommendations of restaurants and historical sites for you to visit. Hotel rates have been lowered for the meeting, but if they are still too high for some people to join us at the Annual Meeting in Philly, we will try to identify some home hospitality.  If you need more information, contact  Special thanks to our local host committee, which includes Jen Breaux, Susan Robbins, Haley Singer, Andrea Kovach, Ilisa Stalberg, and Rob Himmelsbach. 


See you then,


JoAnne Fischer

MCH Section Chair


Have ideas about MCH data and epidemiology? Want to get involved? Help support Data and Epidemiology in the MCH Section! Assistance is needed to moderate sessions for the upcoming 2009 conference, and help design the conference data and epi sessions for the 2010 conference!  Interested?  Contact Ann Dozier at



The Annual Meeting will be held this year in Philadelphia, Nov. 7-11, 2009.  To help with your advanced planning, here is a list of Section Business meetings for 2009.

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009:

MCH Leadership Meeting                                                     2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
MCH Student Fellows Orientation Meeting                               4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009:


ATMCH Greg Alexander Student/Faculty Breakfast                    8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Town Hall on Maternal and Child Health Policy                        10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

MCH Student Poster Session                                                 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

MCH Breastfeeding Committee Meeting                                   2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

MCH Improving Pregnancy Outcomes Committee Meeting            2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

MCH International Health Committee Meeting                            2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

MCH Membership Meeting                                                     4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.


Monday, November 9, 2009:


MCH Child Care Committee Meeting                                        6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

MCH Innovations in Maternity Health Services Committee Mtg      6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.


The leadership of the MCH Section extends many thanks to the following Section members for assisting with the 2009 Policy Archiving Review tasks:

·         Debra Besser-Jackson

·         Anne Keith

·         Judy Lewis

·         Stacy Lloyd

·         Susan Robbins

·         Kelebogile Setiloane

·         Grace Sullivan


The Physical Activity Special Interest Group (SPIG) will again be organizing a 5K Fun Run/Walk at the 2009 APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.  For more information, contact Jim Konopack at


APHA has created the Public Health CareerMart to be the online career resource center in the field of public health.  Here you’ll find only qualified, industry professionals.


Job seekers, instead of searching through hundreds of sites looking for the perfect jobs in public health, you will find it all at the Public Health CareerMart Career Development Center at


Employers, instead of being inundated with stacks of unrelated, irrelevant resumes, you’re much more likely to find the candidates with the skills and experience you’re looking for — and spend less time doing it!  After all, where better to find the best public health professionals than the association that represents them? 



On May 11, Mary Frances Kornak, MPH, was inducted into the George Washington University Omega chapter of Delta Omega, the public health honor society. Mary Frances received a glowing letter of support from her colleague Karyn Pomerantz who emphasized her dedication to the MCH Section of APHA as well as her service to the Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association (MWPHA), the local APHA affiliate, where she was formerly the chair and is now a member of the Governing Council.  Mary Frances is also a member of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs.


The MCH Section likes to highlight student fellows and student authors as a way to showcase the outcomes of the student fellow and student author programs and to continue the connection with them.

·         Ndidi N Amutah, doctoral student in maternal and child health at the University of Maryland, College Park is beginning to work on her dissertation proposal, focused on low birthweight and infant mortality in Washington, D.C.  Ndidi is also getting married on August 1!

·         Katie Baker received her MPH in May from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and will be beginning the DrPH program in community health at East Tennessee State University this fall.

·         Stacey Williams Lloyd received her MPH from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health in December 2008. She is now a research associate with 3-C Institute for Social Development in Cary, N.C., where she continues to focus her work on addressing health disparities in under-served populations.

·         Tyra Totson received her MPH and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the LSUHSC School of Public Health.  She also received the Dean's Award for exemplary service to the school. Additionally, Tyra received first place for the oral presentation of her capstone project entitled "Centering Pregnancy in Louisiana: Findings from a Descriptive Study.”  She also completed her Schweitzer fellowship project, teaching a 1/2 credit health course to 9th graders at Sojourner Truth Academy in New Orleans.

·         Chinelo Ogbuanu graduated from the doctoral program in the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina with a PhD in public health. Chinelo was offered a position as the Epidemiologist 3 in the Birth Outcomes Epidemiology Unit at the Georgia Department of Human of Resources, Division of Public Health and will be moving to Atlanta to begin work this summer.


The MCH Section likes to highlight student fellows and student authors as a way to showcase the outcomes of these programs and to continue the connection with the students.   We asked the students to write about how the research presentation and receiving the award has influenced their professional as well as personal lives, what they are pursuing now, and how to encourage other students to submit abstracts to the student sessions.


As an aspiring obstetrician and gynecologist and a third-year medical student of SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, I have only begun to learn about maternal and child health and understand the importance of underlying factors that act in the manifestation of disease.  What I have come to realize, though, is the importance of having great mentors, wise individuals who are willing to give of themselves for the betterment of others.  In the past eight years, I have had the benefit of working with three such individuals in the field of MCH: Dr. George Mussalli, who opened my eyes to the elaborate and diverse field of obstetrics and gynecology; Dr. Janell Mensinger, who instilled in me the skills, knowledge, and encouragement to study my passion; and Dr. Laura Geer, who lent her expertise on environmental exposures and infant morbidity and mortality outcomes.


My first experience in the field of women’s health was as a summer intern in an urban hospital in New York City.  I was only a teenager at the time, and Dr. George Mussalli, an obstetrician and gynecologist, took me under his wing and introduced me to the world of clinical medicine.  It was through his guidance that I came to appreciate some of the medical issues and concerns that women face today.  My time with Dr. Mussalli taught me a valuable lesson, the art of practicing medicine encompasses not only an understanding of the biology of disease but also the psychological, social, and cultural contributors as well.


My desire to learn more about these less understood aspects of medicine led me to pursue a Master in Public Health degree at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.  Although my hopes in starting this program were to acquire a broader knowledge of disease, the program turned out to offer much more -- a venue to continue my studies in maternal and child health.  Under the guidance of Dr. Janell Mensinger, former assistant professor at SUNY Downstate’s Graduate Program of Public Health, I designed and implemented a study focused on determining factors that influenced a mother's decision to breastfeed her infant.  In a second study, Dr. Mensinger and I set out to determine the prevalence of food insecurity in a population of women receiving care in our clinic.  We also hoped to determine if a relationship existed between food insecurity and dietary quality or psychosocial factors.


In October 2008, I was invited to present my research project entitled “Food Insecurity, Dietary Quality, & Psychosocial Factors among Urban Pregnant Women” at APHA's MCH Great Alexander Outstanding Student Paper Session.  This gave me the opportunity to present my research on the national stage and, more importantly, provided a forum to verbalize an underappreciated issue that many women face during their pregnancy -- food insecurity.  The session also allowed me to learn about the research of other students who share my passion in MCH and proved to be a great networking opportunity.  I was able to meet leaders in the MCH field who are keeping me abreast of new and exciting opportunities for students interested in MCH.


Since the MCH session, I have been working with Dr. Laura Geer, assistant professor at SUNY Downstate’s Graduate Program of Public Health.  Dr. Geer studies the effects of environmental exposures on birth outcomes.  Currently, we are examining the relationship between elevated air pollutant levels and infant low birth weight.  We are also examining the methods of mercury exposure in pregnant women and their newborns.  Outside of my research endeavors, I have recently taken on a leadership position in the Downstate Obstetrics/Gynecology Cares Society.  As president, I hope to increase awareness of women health issues among my medical school peers via conferences and fundraising events.


 In order for an interest to grow into a passion, it needs the kind nurturing hand of a mentor, willing to teach, guide, and encourage.  My mentors have not only influenced the person I am today, but have made an impact on the physician I will become in the future.  I only hope that I will continue to meet individuals like this on my journey through life.



The MCH Section likes to highlight student fellows and student authors as a way to showcase the outcomes of these programs and to continue the connection with the students.   We asked the students to write about how the research presentation and receiving the award has influenced their professional as well as personal lives, what they are pursuing now, and how to encourage other students to submit abstracts to the student sessions.


Impact of the APHA MCH Section Outstanding Student Paper Award


When I applied to attend graduate school almost a decade ago, I knew I wanted to conduct research in women’s and children’s health. This was due to my experience and interests in reproductive health policy during my undergraduate years and my U.S. Student Fulbright Scholarship to Australia. At that time, I knew very little about national and state organizations dedicated to professional networking and exchange of research ideas. In fact, I knew nothing about APHA nor the Maternal and Child Health Section. Since then, many professional and personal events have transpired, most of which are due to my relationships and experiences through the APHA MCH Section.


When I started my doctoral studies in MCH at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I was a research assistant for Dr. Anita Farel. While working for her, I oversaw the research of a MCH masters student. We examined rates of screening and diagnosis of depression and anxiety in pregnant women in three obstetrics/gynecology residency program clinics in the North Carolina. It was then that Dr. Farel and Dr. Jonathan Kotch introduced me to the APHA MCH Section by encouraging me and my colleague to submit an abstract to the student section. To our surprise, our paper won the student award.


A couple of years later, I submitted part of my dissertation research to the APHA MCH student section. In November 2007, I won the APHA MCH most outstanding student award for this research, which was the first study to ever examine the timeliness of services among children with orofacial clefts (e.g. cleft lip and/or palate). It was at this meeting that I met many prominent MCH advocates and public health professionals, such as Dr. Milton Kotelchuck.  It has been through the APHA and MCH annual meetings that I have collaborated and networked with other colleagues.


Since winning the award, I have become involved in many aspects of MCH service. I currently serve as a manuscript reviewer for several journals, the Epidemiology Section Editor for the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, and an abstract reviewer for the APHA MCH student section. I am also involved with several other national organizations dedicated to children with special health care needs like children with birth defects. For the past two years, I have been teaching maternal and child health classes, such as epidemiology, health policy development, and statistics to undergraduates and graduate students as an assistant professor in public health.


Becoming and staying involved with organizations like the APHA MCH Section is vital for a myriad of reasons. It encourages individuals to network and provides a nurturing atmosphere to exchange ideas and collaborate on research projects. Students and public health practitioners can receive peernreview and feedback on research that might not otherwise have been reviewed. It also allows students to be aware of the most up-to-date research and become advocates on a variety of health policy topics, including health care reform and stem cell research. Most of the American Schools of Public Health hold a reunion for current students and alumni at APHA annual meetings. This is definitely one of the highlights of the annual meetings and is a great way to network.


I recommend all MCH students get and stay involved with the APHA MCH community. In particular, I would like to encourage all MCH students to submit abstracts to the APHA MCH student section, which will hopefully greatly enhance careers as it has mine.


The MCH Epi Group is pleased to announce a new tool for MCH epidemiologists, the MCH Epi Online Discussion Forum.  Hosted by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, this discussion forum gives MCH epidemiologists a place to share knowledge and resources that provides functionality beyond the currently available email lists.  File attachments are permitted, the discussion trail is preserved online, and the forum is searchable. The H1N1 virus and the Title V needs assessment are examples of topics that might be discussed.


The forum is open to anyone who registers, regardless of CSTE or other membership status, and there is no cost associated with participating in the MCH Epi Group or the MCH Epi Online Discussion Forum.  To register, go to and click on CSTE Program Forums.  Under Chronic/Oral/MCH, click on the MCH Epidemiologists folder to access the discussion forum.  It is useful to "subscribe" to the forum by checking the appropriate box.  You will get an e-mail with a direct link whenever someone posts a message.


Please feel free to share this announcement.


In the Spring 2008 APHA MCH Section newsletter, we urged the membership to call on the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) to consider the theme of breastfeeding during emergencies in 2009.   We have just learned that the theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2009 will be Breastfeeding:  A Vital Emergency Response.  Are You Ready?  Many thanks to all MCH Section members who wrote in and helped make a difference.  World Breastfeeding Week will be held August 1-7, 2009.  For more information, go to or


The MCH Section has a history of successful activism in breastfeeding, including a key role in the passage of an APHA resolution in the early '80s to join the Nestle Boycott.  This major international campaign was designed to pressure Nestle to stop the inappropriate marketing of infant formula in the Third World.  The support of APHA for the Boycott was the tipping point that forced Nestle to the bargaining table.  Due to the involvement of the Association, in 1984 Nestle signed an agreement with the infant formula activists to change their marketing tactics, a major victory for the health of children worldwide.


In June, IBFAN, the International Baby Food Action Network, made a clear call when it launched its ‘One Million Campaign: Support Women to Breastfeed’ ( ) at the World Health Assembly. The IBFAN team submitted a petition to the President of World Health Assembly, Mr. NS de Silva, signed by more than 45,000 people from 161 countries.

The petition demands concrete support systems for breastfeeding women to increase the coverage of early and exclusive breastfeeding. This would help save more than 1 million newborn and infant lives annually, as well improve the health of their mothers. Needless to say, it would also set a path for healthy adult life.


Dr. Arun Gupta, the regional coordinator of IBFAN Asia, went on to present the demands of the petition to the World Health Assembly, urging the Assembly to adopt a resolution in 2010 to deal with four key issues:


·         to prepare a specific plan of action on infant feeding which is budgeted and coordinated in the same way as action plans for immunization.

·         to ensure the end of promotion of baby milks and foods intended for children younger than 2.

·         to end partnerships in the area of infant and young child feeding and nutrition with commercial sector corporations that present conflicts of interest.

·         to create support and maternity entitlements for women both in the formal and informal sectors, so that mothers and babies can stay close to each other for six months at least.

Today, the World Health Organization recognized the importance for infants to be exclusively breastfed: at the launch of the World Health Statistics Report 2009, for the first time, this key indicator was included in the statistics. While including an indicator on exclusive breastfeeding is good step forward, says Alison Linnecar, of IBFAN, "Early and exclusive breastfeeding should be monitored in the process of tracking progress of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 goal of child survival, both nationally and globally."

The report reveals that about only 48 million of 135 million babies born are able to benefit from exclusive breastfeeding, due to reasons such as aggressive promotion of baby milks and baby foods and lack of supportive health systems.

Many countries have still to enact national legislation to end this promotion in compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes that was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981. Says Annelies Allain of IBFAN, “Action must be accelerated on this crucial intervention.”

According to Dr Gupta, "There is an increasing trend towards mobilizing public private partnerships in these areas, which is not healthy. These are a way for corporations to increase their profits….It is business for corporations meeting their basic objectives. Commercial interference on parents’ infant feeding decisions should end."


For more information, contact Arun Gupta, IBFAN Asia,


A high-profile media assault has been launched against – breastfeeding?!!  It began with journalist Hanna Rosin publishing a story in the Atlantic called "The Case Against Breastfeeding," arguing, among other things, that the medical evidence to recommend breastfeeding is thin at best.  Rosin says that it is ridiculous to pressure bus drivers and waitresses to breastfeed based on little scientific evidence  since it is difficult, given their jobs.   Rosin even went on the Today show and made her case, supported by Today's medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who gushed that, "Formula is WONDERFUL!!"  Rosin also held forth on WNYC, a popular radio show in New York City.  In addition, Rosin’s friend, Debra Dickerson, published a supporting piece in the recent issue of Mother Jones.  Their irresponsible journalism does not even include any experts on either side, to have a real, balanced discussion on this issue.


The good news is that the controversy can be used to draw attention to the bigger issue: the need for better breastfeeding support in the United States.  APHA policy statement 200714 talks about paid maternity leave, more Baby-Friendly Hospitals, and worksite laws.   Also, in all this publicity, no one is talking about the public health impact on women from early weaning, a key issue in the "mommy wars" discussion that has started.  It is important to emphasize three areas:

·         the need for more support and better laws.

·         breastfeeding as a women's health issue.

·         the real scientific basis for supporting breastfeeding, as expounded by real experts, not lay journalists who are not scientists.


The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is crafting a response by member organizations, such as APHA, so watch for a call to action.  For more information on the controversy, go to: (has a link to the Atlantic article)


The Women’s and Children’s Health Policy Center is pleased to announce the availability of the fifth module in the MCH Leadership Skills Development Series (MCHLDS), which is entitled Organizational Change.  This module explores issues related to leading and responding to change in an organization, including:

·         the roles of behavior and emotion in resistance to organizational change.

·         strategies for assessing and influencing the readiness of an organization for change.

·         critical steps in creating and maintaining a successful change effort.


The MCHLDS modules use video, interactive group discussion and activities, case studies, and individual self-reflection, and planning exercises to bring leadership concepts to life in an MCH context.  Five modules are now available online, including:

1.    Tapping into your leadership potential.

2.    Creating clarity and shared vision.

3.    Building and supporting teams.

4.    Managing conflict effectively.

5.    Organizational change.


A sixth module on developing people will be available later this summer.  For more information, go to


I'd left for a conference in Manhattan at 6:00 the morning of April 25, 2009, and was well out of the media loop. But the fact that over 100 students at my sons' school, St. Francis Preparatory High School in Queens, had gone home ill on Thursday and Friday hadn't escaped my notice. Rumor was that food poisoning or a gas leak had sickened them. International Night festivities had been cancelled Friday night. The school nurse, Mary Pappas, RN, BSN, had sounded the alert, and appropriate measures were taken.


At 5:00 p.m. my son called me complaining of "burning up," body aches and chills, begging for "drugs." No one could find the thermometer, but concerned, I directed him to take a shower and two ibuprofen.  My 16-year-old son, who also attends Prep, got on the phone. "He has swine flu."


"Don't be ridiculous," I said. "Swine flu is in Mexico."

"No," Adam said. "It's all over the Web, and it's at Prep."


By the time I got home, Nick’s fever was gone, and by the next day, though still coughing, he was in teenage self-isolation, instant messaging his friends.  Testing for H1N1 at Prep had ceased, but the school had e-mailed a questionnaire to track symptoms in pupils, contacts, and family members.  All the Prep students who developed symptoms that we had contact with also recovered quickly. During the week off, they flocked to the movies, the malls and each other's houses, in between doing the lessons and homework assignments posted online.


On Monday, April 27, H1N1 management and control efforts at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx were well under way. Multiple e-mail updates from the DOH, as well as Montefiore's infectious disease specialists, came on a daily basis. At the high school health center I run for the School Health Program, the illnesses I evaluated for the next two weeks were mainly asthma exacerbations from the record high temperatures and soaring pollen counts. A mild upper respiratory and gastrointestinal virus circulated during the weeks of May 4 and May 11, but no one was febrile. Prep students went back to school, other affected schools closed, emergency rooms were flooded with the worried well or quickly recovering, fueled by the media frenzy.


Parents, teachers, principals, and clinic staff are concerned, but not alarmed. The deaths have been saddening, but details that have been released, limited by HIPAA, show that all had underlying medical conditions.


The Department of Health is accessible, their guidelines continually updated as the outbreak spreads like spokes on a wheel throughout the five boroughs and the tri-state area. The press has pulled back on the sensationalized reporting to provide updates the general public needs to stay informed.  Hospitals, clinics and school administrators are swamped, but receiving needed support and assistance from the DOHMH, our own experts, and our occupational health services. Coordinated, effective public health activities are as dynamic and fast moving as H1N1 in New York City.


Reported by Carole Ann Moleti, CNM, FNP-BC, MPH, MS,  


·         A Doctor in Little Lhasa:  One Year in Dharamsala with the Tibetans in Exile by Tim Holtz, MD.  Following medical school, Dr. Holtz, a long-time member of APHA, spends a year caring for the men, women, and children of the Tibetan community that have fled their country for the north of India.  In addition to basic primary care, childbirth, family planning, immunization, and mental health, he also finds time to address the issue of child labor and meets with the Dalai Lama.  Dr. Holtz teaches courses in tuberculosis, health and human rights, and social medicine at Emory University, and is the co-author of the Textbook of International Health:  Global Health in a Dynamic World, along with Anne-Emmanuelle Birn and Yogan Pillay.

·         Statistical Briefs from AHRQ:  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released reports from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Brief series include the following, which can all be accessed at

o    Medicare Hospital Stays: Comparisons between the Fee-for-Service Plan and Alternative Plans, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #66)  

o    Trends in Uninsured Hospital Stays, 1997-2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #67)  

o    Hospitalizations for Brain Cancer, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #68)

o    Hospitalizations for Colorectal Cancer, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #69)

o    Hospitalizations for Eating Disorders from 1999 to 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #70)

o    Hospitalizations Related to Childbirth, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #71)

o    Nationwide Frequency and Costs of Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #72)

·         Communicating with children and families: from everyday interactions to skill in conveying distressing information (Levetown M).  American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Bioethics.  Pediatrics 2008.  May; 121(5):e1441-60.

·         Introduction to Global Disparities in Indigenous Children’s Health:  This report documents what we know about the health of indigenous children (from birth to age 12) and evaluates the quality of indigenous child health data collection in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.  Similar exclusionary social policies active in all four countries are at the root of these profound and unjust differences in child health.   Available at

·         Traditional Tribal Subsistence Exposure Scenario and Risk Assessment Guidance Manual:  This document provides a framework for evaluating risks for Indian sites. Under the paradigm used by the federal government (NRC 1983), human health risk derives from the combination of human exposure to contaminants and the toxicity of the contaminants. In the risk assessment process, contaminant data is gathered to estimate present or future exposures to determine if resources are, or could, become harmful to the health and well-being of a community.  Environmental contact rates are used to estimate contamination doses to exposed individuals via inhalation, ingestion of food and water, and dermal absorption during a defined set of activities in particular locations.  Conversely, the degree of allowable contamination required to keep human health risks below a specified risk level can also be calculated.  The manual can be accessed at:

·         Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Manual:  APHA is proud to annouce the release of Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners. This manual provides public health professionals with information, skills and tools needed to conduct screening and brief intervention (SBI) to help at-risk drinkers reduce their alcohol use.  Download the manual free:

·         Online manual?  APHA wants to know your opinion on whether you would use an online version of the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual.  Help us by taking a survey at We appreciate your input.

·         New Book on Disability Studies:  Disability and Public Health, published by APHA, is now available. The publication is an important and overdue contribution to the core curriculum of disability studies in public health education. It is a particularly timely book because, as our nation ages, disability is an increasingly significant interdisciplinary area of study and service domain in public health. Visit the APHA online bookstore at  APHA members can also take advantage of a 30 percent member discount whether ordering online or via our toll-free number, (888) 320-2742.

·         Help Make America the Healthiest Nation in One Generation:  Let’s face it – as a nation we’re not nearly as healthy as we should be. Compared to other developed nations, we’re lagging far behind. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With your help, we can make America the healthiest nation in just one generation.  As a central component of this year’s National Public Health Week (NPHW) observance, APHA launched an exciting, new viral video campaign. The Healthiest Nation in One Generation video tells the story of the many ways that public health touches our lives. Nearly 25,000 people have already viewed the video online, and the numbers continue to grow each day. If you haven’t checked out the video, watch it today and be sure to share it with your colleagues, family and friends. And stay informed by visiting NPHW 2009 is over, but our campaign to make America the healthiest nation in one generation is just beginning.  We all have to do our part. What will you do?


We received a number of articles on books and resources in Spanish for this issue, including the following:


·         Health Information in Every Day Language. Wellness Zone is a health literacy project in public libraries and nonprofits developed by The Humana Foundation.  The Spanish portal was launched in April at  This portal links to 56 sites with basic health information in Spanish. Hispanic talking video guides are being added to provide a brief tour of the home page.


·         The Maternal and Child Health Library released a new edition of the knowledge path, Spanish-Language Health Resources. The knowledge path points to health hotlines and help lines, Web sites, publications, and databases for health professionals and consumers. The knowledge path presents Spanish-language resources covering a wide range of health topics, including many of interest to the maternal and child health community. It is available at  A Spanish-language version of the 2009 edition is also being developed.  Knowledge paths on other maternal and child health  topics are available at


·         The Hesperian Foundation ( is a non-profit publisher of books and newsletters for community-based health care. They have recently published two titles in Spanish: Un manual de salud para mujeres con discapacidad, the Spanish version of A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities and Helping Children Who are Deaf, Ayudar a los Nios Sordos. Packed with simple activities, this book is a great resource for parents, caregivers, health promoters, and others in teaching children who do not hear well how to communicate to the best of his or her ability. Both titles can be downloaded and purchased from their new Spanish Web site, and the online library with free downloads,


·  is a social networking site in Spanish dedicated to people of all ages with diabetes and to the parents of children with diabetes. The main purpose is for them to share their experiences in dealing with the disease, as well as to offer to others, like them, information about diabetes that they have come across. The site also provides breaking news on diabetes.


A Collaborative Project of the March of Dimes, ACOG, AAP, ACNM, and


Oct. 8 and 9, 2009

Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Va.

For more information, go to


On Oct. 8 and 9, 2009, the Symposium on Quality Improvement to Prevent Prematurity is dedicated to exploring the present state of quality initiatives to prevent preterm birth and developing an agenda for action to decrease the rate of those preterm births that are not inevitable or medically necessary.  The Symposium will serve as a forum where experts and stakeholders can share ideas and challenges, describe model programs that have successfully improved the nature and quality of patient care and services targeted to prevent prematurity and reduce costs, and recommend quality improvement action plans.


This Symposium is being organized by the March of Dimes with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Nurse-Midwives, and the Association of Women's Health.  Continuing education credits are available.


Last fall, Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. held a contest to name the mine-detection dog they began sponsoring through the Marshall Legacy Institute. Two clients came up with the winning name: Friendship.  The MLI has provided over 100 mine-detection dogs to more than a dozen war torn countries around the world. The dogs they train and place in these countries have saved thousands of lives and have a remarkable record of safety and success.


Friendship's journey from Texas to Afghanistan:  Late this past March, after completing several months of extensive training in San Antonio, Texas, Friendship was flown to Afghanistan. According to his trainers and handler, Friendship arrived in excellent health, with plenty of energy to commence the next phase of his training.  Currently in Kabul, the handsome black German shepherd is completing his training and -- equally important -- bonding with his Afghani handler. By mid-summer, Friendship and his handler will be out in the field, finding landmines so they can be disabled and removed.


Safety first for Friendship and his Handler: Because safety is a top priority, Friendship and his human partner are going through an extensive training program. Each time Friendship sniffs out a mine, he will follow this specially designed protocol:  sit still, stay safe, alert his human partner to mark the spot. After each successful identification, Friendship will receive plenty of praise from his handler -- plus a reward like a ball or a toy.


Why dogs?  Thanks to their detection skills, as well as their agility and size, dogs are one of the most versatile and valuable partners in the landmine removal team. On average, a mine detection dog working with a human handler can search up to 1,500 square meters per day. (To put this figure into perspective, a person with a probe or metal detector can search only about 50 square meters a day.)


Why de-mining matters in Afghanistan:  Landmines kill four Afghani children under the age of 16 EACH DAY.  One out of every 10 adult men is a landmine victim.  Sixty-five percent of the land is unusable, due to the presence of landmines.


For more information and a picture of Friendship the dog, go to


For more about the Marshall Legacy Institute and its mine-detecting dogs, see