Weekly Wednesday Wire: April 12, 2017

USBC Updates

Recess Advocacy Tools, from CHN/USBC

Members of Congress have left Washington, DC for a two-week recess, April 7–24. Meanwhile, Congress is about to make funding decisions for the rest of this year and is starting to consider FY18 budget proposals. If they cannot agree on finalizing the FY17 budget funding by April 28, much of the federal government will shut down. Your voice is needed to hold members of Congress accountable to support breastfeeding families both in the federal budget and in future action on health reform. Here are some resources for reaching out to your Rep and Senators during recesswhether by scheduling a meeting with in-district staff or attending a Town Hall: 

•     About federal budget: guide from the Coalition on Human Needs
•     About breastfeeding provisions within health reform: USBC "Welcome Congress" packet materials

2017 Coalitions Conference Scholarships

The Seventh National Breastfeeding Coalitions Conference will be held August 4-6, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia. The deadline to apply for conference scholarships is Friday, May 5. There are two scholarship programs:

  • The Drs. Ruth Lawrence & Audrey Naylor Legacy Scholarship is offered to two awardees each year to provide support to talented and dedicated individuals who are new, emerging, or aspiring breastfeeding coalition leaders. The scholarship is open to individuals who are actively involved with a state, territorial, tribal, local, or cultural breastfeeding coalition in the United States.
  • The Tribal/Native Trailblazer Scholarship is also offered each year to provide support to talented and dedicated individuals who are new, emerging, or aspiring breastfeeding leaders in tribal/native communities. The scholarship is open to tribal/native individuals who are actively involved in collaborative efforts to support breastfeeding in tribal/native communities.

Federal News

Secretary's Advisory Committee Meeting Registration, from HHS

Join the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday, April 27, from 12-2 p.m. ET for the third meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030. The Committee will discuss the development of the Nation's health promotion and disease prevention objectives and recommendations for the Healthy People 2030 mission, vision, framework, and organizational structure. This Committee meeting will be held online via webcast and is open to the public.

Accountable Health Communities Award, from CMS

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services has selected 32 participants to serve as local 'hubs' linking clinical and community services. Over a five-year period, CMS will implement and test the three-track Accountable Health Communities model to support local communities in addressing the health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries by bridging the gap between clinical and community service providers. The organizations in the Accountable Health Communities Assistance Track will provide person-centered community service navigation services to assist high-risk beneficiaries with accessing needed services. The organizations in the Accountable Health Communities Alignment Track will also provide community service navigation services, as well as encourage community-level partner alignment to ensure that needed services and supports are available and responsive to beneficiaries' needs. Read the press release.

National Prevention Strategy Report, from HHS/Office of the Surgeon General

The Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health has released its final report on the National Prevention Strategy, entitled "Fulfilling the Legacy." The report is divided into the following sections:

  • Key Messages: Highlights and lessons learned from the past six years.
  • Overview: Assessment of the impact and reach of the Strategy and the case for an updated Strategy that reflects the experience of the last six years as well as new and reemerging public health challenges that merit a multi-sector approach.
  • Recommendations for Updating the Strategy: A Call to Action identifying specific initiatives to empower communities across the nation to adopt a collaborative approach to health promotion.
  • Past Actions of the Advisory Group: A review of the Advisory Group's previous recommendations, emphasizing those still relevant for use by the incoming Administration.

Member News

New Medicaid Toolkit, from Nemours

Nemours has released a new toolkit for state Medicaid officials and managed care organizations with Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees entitled, "Medicaid Prevention Pathways." The toolkit explores and promotes the use of existing Medicaid and CHIP authority to support prevention and highlights how states have successfully created sustainable financing through Medicaid and CHIP for preventing chronic diseases, including childhood obesity, at both the individual and population levels.

Breastfeeding and Mental Health Statement, from LLLI/WABA

In celebration of World Health Day, La Leche League International and World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action have released a joint statement on breastfeeding and mental health. The statement includes data on breastfeeding and depression as well as information about supporting breastfeeding mothers.


Partner News

Litigating Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Accommodation Claims Webinar, from WorkLife Law/NELA

Join the Center for WorkLife Law and the National Employment Lawyers Association on Thursday, April 13, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET for a webinar entitled, "The Do's and Don'ts of Litigating Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Accommodation Claims After Young v. UPS." The webinar will present the Young holdings in clear and usable terms, incorporating interpretations from lower court decisions. The expert presenters will discuss the types of evidence needed to make out a Young claim, and provide practical tips for discovery, motions practice, and trial. The panelists will also cover how to bring pregnancy accommodation claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and state pregnancy accommodation laws, and various ways to litigate lactation and breastfeeding claims.

Appropriations Action Alert, from Various

The Coalition for Health Funding, the Campaign to Invest in America's Workforce, and the Committee for Education Funding are circulating a sign-on letter in support of increased funding for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations for the 302(b) allocation, which is the amount of funding the House and Senate Appropriations Committees provide to the subcommittees. The subcommittees then divvy up the funding between the agencies and programs within their respective jurisdictions. Under President Trump's budget request, the Labor-HHS allocation would be roughly 15.5 percent lower than current levels, and more than 25 percent below FY 2010 in inflation adjusted terms. The sign on deadline is Friday, April 21.

Potential Nutrition Label Delay, from CSPI

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has reported that the food industry is urging a delay for an updated Nutrition Facts Label, currently scheduled for June 2019. The revised Nutrition Facts label includes a line for added sugars, a critical step forward in addressing this country's obesity epidemic. The new label changes apply to conventional foods, and dietary supplements (21 CFR 101.9 and 21 CFR 101.36) specifically purported to be for infants and children. However, infant formulas are exempt from the requirements of these regulations. Requirements for the labeling of infant formula are provided for in other regulations (21 CFR 106 and 21 CFR 107).

Union Support for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Workers, from Center for WorkLife Law/Labor Project for Working Families/AFL-CIO/ UFCW

Join the Center for WorkLife Law, Labor Project for Working Families, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, and the United Food and Commercial Workers on Tuesday, April 18, from 2-3 p.m. ET for a live workshop entitled, "In Solidarity: Union Support for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Workers." Participants will learn about the supportive role unions can play in promoting protections for pregnant and breastfeeding workers, the accommodations pregnant and breastfeeding employees may need to continue working while maintaining a healthy pregnancy, as well as practical tips for counseling members and handling related grievances. This workshop will also provide valuable information for workers wanting to understand their legal rights and best workplace practices during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


News from the Field

FAMILY Act Impact Analysis, from Diversity Data Kids

Brandeis Universit's Diversity Data Kids has released a report entitled, "How Can Family & Medical Leave Affect Economic Security?" The analysis found that the FAMILY Act would reduce the share of families falling into financial hardship (earnings below 200 percent of the federal poverty line) by more than three-fourths when they need to take 12 weeks of time away from their jobs to care for a new child, seriously ill family member or their serious health condition compared to taking 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The analysis also compares economic stability for workers taking unpaid leave versus paid leave under the FAMILY Act for six and 12 week periods and includes breakdowns by race and ethnicity for selected data categories. 


Collective Impact Connection

Strategic Communication for Skeptical Audiences, from SSIR

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has released an article entitled, "To Win Against False Information, We Must Play Offense." The article provides insight about how to engage the public in what some are referring to as the "post-truth" world. The article also provides insight into how to reach audiences skeptical of the data.


News & Views

The Washington Post: "What's really keeping women from breast-feeding? The answers may surprise you"

The U.S. News & World Report: "CDC Backs Breast-Feeding"

Parents: "Target Is Testing Public Breastfeeding Lounges in Its Stores"

Kimberly Seals Allers: "Setting the Record Straight: Breastfeeding Saves Lives, Doesn't Cost Lives; Beyond the Recent Headlines"

CHIRblog (Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's Center on Health Insurance Reforms blog): "New Network Adequacy Rules: Less Federal Oversight, More Deference to States"

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