Weekly Wire: March 28, 2018

Please note: Inclusion of an item in this e-newsletter does NOT imply endorsement or support of such item by the United States Breastfeeding Committee, unless specifically noted.

USBC Updates

2018 Breastfeeding Legislation & Policy Update

The USBC has launched the "Breastfeeding Legislation & Policy Update." The toolkit features key information on a wide range of legislation and policy topics that impact breastfeeding families. Each update includes background information, current status, individual and organizational action opportunities, key messages, sample social media content, and relevant resources and information. The toolkit will be periodically updated to reflect the latest action opportunities and Congressional action. Stakeholders are invited to submit additions/edits to the policy toolkit by contacting advocacy@usbreastfeeding.org. Please share resources or action opportunities from your organization at any time. 

2018 NBCC Awards Applications Open

The Eighth National Breastfeeding Coalitions Convening will be held Saturday, August 4, and Sunday, August 5, in Atlanta, Georgia. We are thrilled to invite eligible and interested maternal and child health grassroots workers to apply for two awards:

  • The Drs. Ruth Lawrence & Audrey Naylor Emerging Leader Award is offered to two dedicated individuals who are actively involved in maternal and child health in their communities, and/or are active members of a state, territorial, tribal, local, or cultural breastfeeding coalition. Preference will be given to applicants who have never attended a USBC Coalitions Convening, who are working with a coalition serving a state or community (geographic or cultural) with breastfeeding rates that are below the U.S. national rate.
  • The Tribal Trailblazer Award honors seven talented and dedicated individuals who are actively involved in maternal and child health and promoting and supporting breastfeeding in their Tribes. This award recognizes the rich contributions of new, emerging, or aspiring breastfeeding leaders. This award is for individuals of American Indian/Native American and Alaska Native heritage.

Please share these opportunities with your networks!


Federal News

Federal Budget Update

On Friday, March 23, Congress passed and President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill to fund government programs and agencies for the current fiscal year. The spending bill increases the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's overall budget by more than $1.1 billion, and allocates $800.9 million for the Prevention and Public Health Fund. WIC is funded at $6.175 billion ($175 million below FY 2017), including $60 million for breastfeeding peer counselors (level funding from previous years). The bill included funding for REACH, which had been zeroed out in previous spending bills. HRSA's budget will increase by more than $500 million annually, with significant new funding for programs including primary health care, health workforce, maternal and child health, health care systems, rural health and program management. The bill includes an increase in federal child care funding, expanding current discretionary resources by 80 percent for a total of $5 billion in 2018. Funding for community health centers and mental health and substance abuse disorders have been increased. In addition, the Head Start program's funding, which provides early education and health, dental, and nutrition services to young children and their families, is increased by $610 million. Immigration was not addressed in this spending bill. Highlights included:

Dietary Guidelines Public Comment Opportunity, from USDA/HHS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have launched a public comment opportunity on the proposed priority topics and supporting scientific questions that will guide the development of the upcoming 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Since dietary intake during gestation and from birth through two years impacts health outcomes throughout the lifespan, the 2014 Farm Bill mandated that beginning with the 2020-2025 edition, the DGA expand to include for the first time, guidance for infants and toddlers (from birth to age 24 months), and women who are pregnant. The National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) has developed model comments that address the full scope of the 2020-2025 DGA. For a copy of NANA's model comments, please email aamico@cspi.net. In addition, a NANA sub-group developed a reference document specific to pregnancy, lactation, infancy, and early childhood. The USBC is drafting comments using this reference document. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to utilize these resources to submit comments that will inform the advocacy committee selection process and report development. The deadline to submit comments is Friday, March 30.

Request for Public Comments on PRGLAC, from NIH

The National Institutes of Health have published a notice entitled, "Request for Information (RFI): Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (PRGLAC)." The 21st Century Cures Act established the Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (PRGLAC) to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding gaps in knowledge and research on safe and effective therapies for pregnant women and lactating women. PRGLAC is tasked with identifying these gaps and will report its findings back to the Secretary. A series of workshops, open to the public, are being held to develop this report. In addition, the NIH is publishing this Notice to solicit input from the wider scientific community and welcomes comments from the public. Stakeholders are invited to submit responses by email to kaeserl@mail.nih.gov no later than Monday, April 2. 

Bipartisan Dear Colleague Letter in Support of WIC Funding, from Congress

Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Congressman Roger Marshall have circulated a Dear Colleague Letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting adequate funding for the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Fiscal Year 2019.  The letter highlights the importance of WIC nutrition education and breastfeeding support services to increase breastfeeding rates. The letter was signed by 56 Representatives.


Member News

National Public Health Week Activities, from APHA

National Public Health Week (NPHW), hosted by the American Public Health Association, is Monday, April 2 through Sunday, April 8. National Public Health Week shines a spotlight on public health, highlighting how far we have come as well as acknowledging how much more we need to do to make healthy living easier where people live, learn, work, and play. There are many ways to get involved in NPHW activities: sign on as a partner, participate in local events, and join the #NPHWChat on Twitter on Wednesday, April 4 from 2-3 p.m. ET. Download the NPHW toolkit to learn more.

WIC Legislative and Appropriations Agenda Released, from NWA

The National WIC Association has published their "Fiscal Year 2019 WIC Legislative and Appropriations Agenda." NWA requests $6.3 billion in budget authority, along with $250 million in contingency funds, to meet projected WIC caseload and to fund set-asides for designated essential purposes. This request includes $90 million—the full authorized amount—for the WIC breastfeeding peer counselor program to ensure more breastfeeding mothers have access to critical breastfeeding support. Since 2005, Congress has set aside monies to fund what has become a successful breastfeeding peer counseling initiative. Currently, only 69% of local agencies operate a peer counseling program.

Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Celebrates 500 Hospitals, from Baby-Friendly USA

Baby-Friendly USA has announced that, for the first time, more than 500 hospitals/birthing centers are designated as Baby-Friendly in the United States. This important milestone indicates widespread recognition for Baby-Friendly practices in maternity facilities across the country. As recently as 2010, there were fewer than 100 Baby-Friendly designated facilities implementing these practices in the US. Reaching the 500 mark means that currently approximately 24% of babies born in the US are born in Baby-Friendly designated facilities; and approximately 1 in 6 hospitals/birthing centers in the US are Baby-Friendly designated.


Partner News

EMPower Training Enrollment Opened, from EMPower Breastfeeding

EMPower Breastfeeding has announced that they are now accepting enrollment forms from hospitals to participate in EMPower Training, a new initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The initiative is aimed at improving knowledge and skills in evidence-based maternity care practices supportive of optimal infant nutrition. Through EMPower Training, coaches will work with hospital teams to make available the materials and resources needed to build a sustainable, skills-based training plan and provide ongoing technical assistance to support implementation of the plan. Enrollment forms are due by Friday, April 13, at 5 p.m. ET.

County Health Rankings Launch, from RWJF

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin's Public Health Institute, has launched the 9th annual County Health Rankings. The annual County Health Rankings measure vital health factors, including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, unemployment, access to healthy foods, the quality of air and water, income inequality, and teen births in nearly every county in America. The annual Rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. This year's rankings include state reports that focus on persistent gaps in opportunity that contribute to poor health outcomes. The 2018 Key Findings Report shares the results of new analyses, which show that meaningful health gaps persist not only by place but also by race.

Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Young Toddlers, from RWJF

Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has published a report titled "Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Young Toddlers: A Responsive Parenting Approach." The guidelines in the report are based on current scientific evidence related to responsive parenting practices, and include specific information about breastfeeding and breast milk. The aim of the guidelines is to empower caregivers to address the nutrition and well-being of infants and toddlers by offering them healthier food and beverage options in response to their behavioral cues. The guidelines can be used by parents and caregivers in the home, as well as be applied in child-care settings where many infants and toddlers are served. The report is available in both English and Spanish.


News from the Field

Case Study on New York Breastfeeding Outcomes, from NICHQ

The National Institute for Children's Health Quality has published an article titled "New York Engages Partners to Improve Breastfeeding Outcomes." The article features a case study on NICHQ's partnership with the Bureau of Community Chronic Disease Prevention at the New York State Department of Health to develop and lead hospitals in a quality improvement initiative to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates. The post includes a description of NICHQ's approach as well as the positive results of the partnership.


State & Community News

Breastfeeding and Incarceration Toolkit, from Michigan

The Michigan Breastfeeding Network has published the new "Breastfeeding and Incarceration Toolkit" as part of the Breastfeeding Roadblock Kits series. The toolkit guides readers through the issues surrounding breastfeeding and incarceration. It includes template prison lactation policies, resources for incarcerated mothers and breastfeeding advocates, and a platform for sharing stories.


Collective Impact Connection

Webinar on Collaboration and Childhood Obesity, from NCCOR

Join the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research on Thursday, March 29, from 2-3 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Collaborating for Impact: Lessons Learned from NCCOR." Presented as part of NCCOR's Connect & Explore series, the webinar will highlight NCCOR's approach to building the field of childhood obesity research, showcase aspects of the collaborative model, and include a discussion on how to apply this approach to other complex public health problems.

Community Readiness Paper and Resources, from Tamarack

The Tamarack Institute has published a paper titled "Ready, Set, Go: Building Readiness for Collaborative and Community Impact." The paper explores community readiness from several different perspectives and is designed to help community change practitioners set in to place all the conditions required to move from idea to execution to impact. It also includes links to tools and resources to assess and build readiness for collaborative and community impact.


News & Views

Lactation Matters (ILCA blog): "Discussions with the WHO and UNICEF Regarding the Future of the Global Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative"

New Haven Register: "Cut in payments for breast milk pumps concerns Connecticut moms, advocates"  

Voices for Human Needs (CHN blog): "Child Care Advocates Deliver More Than 43,000 Petitions In Support Of Child Care For Working Families Act

HMBANA blog: "Nonprofit Donor Human Milk Distribution Reaches Record High in 2017"

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