Weekly Wednesday Wire: October 4, 2017

Federal News

Health Program Reauthorization Bills Threaten PPHF Offsets, from Congress

On October 2 the House Energy & Commerce Committee released several draft bills to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and extend other health programs. One draft bill to extend funding for Community Health Centers and the National Health Service Corps among others, dubbed the CHAMPION Act, uses the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) as an offset. The bill proposes to cut the PPHF beginning in FY19 for a total of $6.35 billion cut (FY19-FY26)about a 57 percent cut. The Senate may similarly propose the use of the Prevention Fund as an offset to pay for CHIP. The Energy & Commerce Committee plans to mark up the bill on October 4. Advocates are strongly urged to weigh in with Energy & Commerce as well as the Senate Finance Committee in opposition to any PPHF offsets ASAP. Recommend messaging includes: "I fully support reauthorization of the programs included in the CHAMPION Act, but not at the expense of public health efforts to improve community health and safety funded by the Prevention & Public Health Fund. By investing in what works to keep people healthy and safe in the first place, every dollar we spend on prevention yields approximately $5.60 in savings down the road. Access to quality, affordable medical care and community-based prevention work hand-in-hand to improve health and equity. The Children's Health Insurance Program, community health centers, the National Health Service Corps, and the Prevention and Public Health Fund all require full funding to reach their potential."

Home Visiting Reauthorization Bill Action, Congress

Although September 30 was technically the funding expiration date for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other health programs, Congress failed to take action to reauthorize on time. Without action as soon as possible, states might have to begin making cuts to these programs. On September 27, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill to reauthorize MIECHV for five years at flat funding, but the bill includes a new state match requirement. The Senate has a bipartisan proposal to extend MIECHV without the state match, and the Home Visiting Coalition is urging Congress to pass this version into law. Advocates are encouraged to contact their Members of Congress with a simple message of, "I encourage you to swiftly take up S. 1829, the Senate bipartisan bill to reauthorize MIECHV!"

Emergency Operations Center for the Zika Response Deactivated, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced the deactivation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the Zika response. The EOC is the agency's command center for monitoring and coordinating emergency response to public health threats. Zika-related efforts will now transition to normal program operations. A team of experts called the Zika Coordination and Operations Transition Team will lead the transition and ensure timely coordination and collaboration on scientific, communication, and policy activities.

Call for Papers for Health Equity Research, from HSR/CMS

The journal Health Services Research and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Office of Minority Health have released a call for papers for an upcoming Theme Issue on Health Equity. CMS is soliciting studies, evaluations, and policy analyses that use rigorous and scientific research methods to promote health equity and reduce health disparities. All papers must pertain to health equity and must report the results of original research. To achieve health equity and reduce health disparities experienced by racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, persons with disabilities, and individuals living in rural areas, CMS has developed a framework grounded in three domains: 1) better understanding and awareness of disparities, 2) identifying and creating solutions based on that understanding, and 3) accelerating the implementation of measurable actions to achieve health equity. This framework focuses on creating new solutions to achieve health equity and for accelerating the implementation of measurable actions. Cutting-edge research that explores intersectionality, reflecting the theoretical framework related to the intersection of two or more social risk factors (e.g. race, socioeconomic status) as they jointly influence equity in health and healthcare are ideal for this call for papers. The submission deadline for abstracts is Wednesday, November 1.

Toolkit for Improving Perinatal Care, from AHRQ

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has developed the Safety Program for Perinatal Care in order to improve the patient safety culture of labor and delivery units and decrease maternal and neonatal adverse events resulting from poor communication and system failures. The Safety Program for Perinatal Care is organized around three program pillars, which include: teamwork and communication skills, perinatal safety strategies, and In Situ Simulation training. The toolkit was developed to support implementation of the three program pillars. 

Vital Signs Report on Cancers Associated with Overweight and Obesity, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a Vital Signs report on cancers that are associated with overweight and obesity. About 2 in 3 adults in the United States are overweight or have obesity, which is associated with 13 types of cancer. The report highlights what some states and communities are doing to prevent or reduce overweight- and obesity-related cancers, including promoting breastfeeding. Visit the Vital Signs web page to find the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), fact sheet, and other materials. Take advantage of CDC's social media tools, such as the Vital Signs buttons and email updates. In addition, join the CDC on Tuesday, October 10, from 2-3 p.m. ET for this month's Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference entitled, "Taking Action to Reduce Overweight- and Obesity-related Cancers."


Member News

Emergency Response Resources and Hispanic Heritage Month Webinar Recording, from NAPPLSC

The National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color has released the recording of their recent webinar entitled, "Reclaiming Traditions: Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Webinar." The webinar celebrated Latinx/Hispanic leaders working to support equity in the birth and First Food fields, and included a discussion on emergency preparedness and response. In addition, NAPPLSC and Safely Fed USA have published shareable graphics featuring key messaging on safe infant feeding during emergencies, avaliable in both English and Spanish. NAPPLSC and Safely Fed USA have also launched a collaborative effort to recruit lactation support providers to volunteer to support families in hurricane-affected areas. Complete the registration form to volunteer. 

Updated Infographics & Video for Families, from AAP

The American Academy of Pediatrics' HealthyChildren.org has released updated resources for families. Updated resources include the "Healthy Habits to Master in Your Baby's First Two Years" and "Stick with Breastfeeding – It's Worth It!" infographics as well as the "Is Your Baby Hungry or Full? Responsive Feeding Explained" video.

Report on New Parents' Experiences with Food and Nutrition, from 1,000 Days

1,000 Days has released a new report entitled, "The First 1,000 Days: Listening to America's Mothers." The report summarizes the findings from nearly 60 interviews conducted with mothers across the country about their experiences with food and nutrition in their children's earliest years. The report is accompanied by a social media toolkit and blog post featuring audio clips from three of these interviews.


Partner News

Expansion of Accountable Communities for Health Initiative, from PHI

The Public Health Institute has announced that the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative (CACHI) has expanded to 15 communities throughout California. In addition, PHI's Population Health Innovation Lab will be providing coaching, webinars, and convenings with an additional nine communities, called Accelerator sites. These nine locations will build a pipeline of communities ready to implement CACHI best-practices where they live. Launched in 2016, the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative brings together clinical providers with public health departments, schools, social service agencies, community organizations and others, to modernize health systems and build on the Accountable Communities for Health model. 

Telehealth Resource Guide, from ASTHO

The Association of State & Territorial Health Officials has published a document entitled, "2017 Telehealth Resource Guide." The guide includes information on telehealth modalities, summaries of related legislation and regulation at the federal and state levels, and considerations for developing a telehealth pilot. In addition, the document summarizes external resources available for state and territorial health officials and their staff as they look for innovative ways to increase access to care for vulnerable populations and improve population health. 

Perinatal Quality Collaborative Coordinating Center Announcement, from NICHQ

The National Institute for Children's Health Quality has been selected as the coordinating center for the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives. In this role, NICHQ will serve as the resource hub for state-based perinatal quality collaboratives working on initiatives to improve maternal and child health outcomes. NICHQ will provide change management and quality improvement technical assistance and facilitate network communication.


News from the Field

Shareholder Resolution on Unequal Paid Leave, from PL+US

PL+US and Zevin Asset Management have announced the first ever shareholder resolution on unequal paid family leave. In the resolution, shareholders of Starbucks Corporation requested that the Board of Directors prepare a report on paid family leave which evaluates the risk of employment discrimination that may result from Starbucks's approach to paid family leave. The resolution requests that the report be made available on the Company's website no later than the 2019 annual meeting of shareholders. A shareholder resolution is a non-binding proposal from shareholder(s) to the company management. 


State/Community News

Community Engagement Initiative, from Michigan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Women, Infants, and Children program has announced a community engagement initiative to coordinate with and support the work of breastfeeding partners across the state, particularly hospitals and prenatal clinics. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to improve care coordination so that mothers are surrounded with the support they need to reach their breastfeeding goals. The initiative aims to educate mothers prenatally and in the hospital about breastfeeding and its benefits, implement evidence-based practices in the hospital, and use community organization breastfeeding support services earlier in pregnancy and after discharge. Partners in the initiative include the Michigan Breastfeeding Network, hospitals, WIC agencies, and coalitions to provide continuity of care for mothers and babies and other community supporters of breastfeeding.

Workplace Breastfeeding Support Success Story, from Ohio

The Creating Healthy Communities program at the Ohio Department of Health has released the 2016 Success Stories booklet. Creating Healthy Communities is funded from the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is working to increase opportunities for physical activity, improve access and affordability to healthy food, and assure tobacco-free living to improve the health of Ohioans and prevent chronic disease statewide. The report highlights successful efforts to implement a workplace lactation program in a local school district. The program is helping to build a culture that promotes breastfeeding, improves the health of babies and moms and lays the foundation for reducing obesity in Knox County. 


Collective Impact Connection

Profiting from Racial Equity Report, from FSG/PolicyLink

FSG and PolicyLink have released a report exploring the business case for racial equity entitled, "The Competitive Advantage of Racial Equity." The report highlights examples from leading companies who are driving innovation and growth by advancing racial equity for employees, customers, and communities of color. In addition, FSG and PolicyLink have published an article in Fortune that shares how advancing racial equity is an economic imperative that strengthens the competitive advantage of corporations.


News & Views

The New Yorker: "Why Aren’t Mothers Worth Anything to Venture Capitalists?"

FDA Voice (FDA blog): "Working to Improve Information on Medication Use during Pregnancy"

The Guardian: "Starbucks investors press coffee chain for change on unequal family leave"

Essence: "A Matter Of Life  & Death: Why Are Black Women In The U.S. More Likely To Die During Or After Childbirth?"

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