Weekly Wire: December 20, 2018

The Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire e-Newsletter is a compendium of news, actions, and resources considered to be of interest or relevance to the breastfeeding field. The newsletter aims to support the USBC’s mission "To drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States." Included items are submitted for consideration or identified by the USBC e-news team via extensive online review. Whenever possible, the newsletter utilizes language directly from the primary source of an item without additional analysis or edits. In some cases, the USBC offers additional perspectives through the "USBC Insights," media and partner highlights, and the "News & Views" section. Inclusion of an item in the e-newsletter does not imply endorsement or support by the USBC of an item or organization, unless specifically noted.

In this Issue:

  • USBC Updates
    • NBCC 2019 Call for Presentation Proposals Open
    • Help Us Meet Our #XOfor20 Goal
    • Breastfeeding Policy Priorities Survey
    • January 2019 USBC Membership Meeting
    • Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire Hiatus Next Week
  • Federal News
    • Healthy People 2030 Webcast, summarized from HHS
    • Ruling on Affordable Care Act, summarized from District Court
    • Federal Budget Update, summarized from Congress
  • Member News
    • Lifetime Achievement Award Presented to Kimarie Bugg, summarized from ROSE
    • Reminder that WIC Clinics to Remain Open in Event of Shutdown, summarized from NWA
    • Webinar on 2019 Advocacy, summarized from NWA
    • Policy and Advocacy Wins Brief, summarized from ZERO TO THREE
    • Policy Opportunities Brief, summarized from ZERO TO THREE
    • Child Development Case for National Paid Leave, summarized from ZERO TO THREE
  • Partner News
    • Breastfeeding Safety Net Webinar, summarized from NACCHO
  • News from the Field
    • Special Call for Publication, summarized from JHL
  • Collective Impact Connection
    • Article on Voices for Healthy Kids Initiative, summarized from BMJ
    • Article on Building an Intentional Culture, summarized from CIF
  • Equity Elements
    • Report on Public Policy and Healthy Equity, summarized from NACCHO
    • Farm Bill Update, summarized from Congress
    • Proposed Rule to Modify Work Requirements for SNAP Eligibility, summarized from USDA
  • News & Views

USBC Updates

NBCC 2019 Call for Presentation Proposals Open

The USBC has released the Call for Presentation Proposals for the Ninth National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening to be held on June 14 & 15, 2019, in Bethesda, MD. The theme of the 2019 NBCC is Taking Equity from Theory to Practice: Advancing Inclusive and Collaborative Breastfeeding SupportSubmission of proposals are invited to be considered for breakout panel presentations, lunch table discussions, and poster presentations. Find additional details in the Call for Proposals Guidelines and learn how to quickly and easily submit your proposal by watching the submission process tutorial.

Help Us Meet Our #XOfor20 Goal

The USBC is 20 years young! To celebrate, we have launched #XOfor20, a capital campaign highlighting the power of collective commitment and reaffirming our dedication to creating a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States. We have seen firsthand what can be accomplished when a group of people come together with love and sustained commitment to contribute to a shared vision. That's the wisdom behind our #XOfor20 campaign. We are calling on breastfeeding advocates like yourself to make a monthly donation of any amount for 20 months. Any donations made before or on Monday, December 31, count toward your 2018 tax deduction. Please join us: www.usbreastfeeding.org/donate.

Breastfeeding Policy Priorities Survey

The USBC has launched a short online survey titled "116th Congressional Session: Breastfeeding Policy Priorities." Feedback collected from the survey will help USBC identify the top priority issues to focus on during the 116th Congressional session and will inform the Welcome Letter and materials for the upcoming virtual "Welcome Congress Week" to be held February 18-22.

January 2019 USBC Membership Meeting

The USBC has announced that the USBC membership meeting will be held virtually on Thursday, January 24, from 12-4 p.m. ET. Details of the event, including the preliminary agenda, will be shared via the Members list serv.

Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire Hiatus Next Week

The USBC has announced that the office will be closed next week and the Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire e-Newsletter will go on hiatus. We look forward to spending time with loved ones and arriving fresh and ready to connect with you all in the New Year.


Federal News

Healthy People 2030 Webcast, summarized from HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that the next meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 will take place on Wednesday, January 30, from 1-5 p.m. ET. The Committee will discuss and deliberate recommendations regarding the proposed Healthy People 2030 objectives, activities designed to implement the disease prevention and health promotion goals and objectives for the nation, and graphics for communicating key Healthy People 2030 elements.

USBC Insight: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released the proposed objectives for Healthy People 2030. The USBC has developed a background document titled "Overview of Healthy People 2030 Objective Proposal and Public Comment Opportunity." The document provides background information on the Healthy People initiative, explores how the initiative impacts breastfeeding families, the history of breastfeeding objectives in Healthy People, and the proposed objectives for Healthy People 2030. The Breastfeeding Public Health Partners will share key messages and sample talking points in future editions of the Weekly Wire to support individuals and organizations responding to the public comment opportunity. 

Ruling on Affordable Care Act, summarized from District Court

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Fort Worth Division has issued a memorandum opinion and order in the Texas v. United States lawsuit. Plaintiffs allege that after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is no longer constitutional. The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs by determining that the individual mandate is no longer a tax and is therefore an unconstitutional exercise of congressional authority. The judge also found that the individual mandate was inseverable from the rest of the ACA, which makes the entire ACA unconstitutional. 

USBC Insights: The ruling will have no immediate effect on health coverage since the ACA will remain in place until the appeals have been exhausted, which could take years. The ruling will almost certainly be appealed, first to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then potentially to the U.S. Supreme Court. There are three provisions of the ACA that impact breastfeeding: health plan coverage requirements for preventive services, including breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; workplace breastfeeding support ("Break Time for Nursing Mothers" provision); and funding for CDC breastfeeding programs through the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Federal Budget Update, summarized from Congress

The White House and Federal Agencies have been preparing for a possible partial government shutdown following the December 21 expiration of H.J. Res. 143, the Continuing Resolution for seven unfinished spending bills comprising 25% of the federal government. House and Senate leaders reached an agreement for a stopgap spending bill to fund the government through February 2019, in an effort to avert a shutdown. The Senate passed a short-term measure Wednesday night and the House is expected to take up the bill today (Thursday). Although Congressional leaders have agreed to support the stopgap bill, it is not clear if it will be supported by the president. Media highlights included:


Member News

Lifetime Achievement Award Presented to Kimarie Bugg, summarized from ROSE

The Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research has presented Kimarie Bugg, Co-Founder, President/CEO, and Change Leader for Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. Kimarie has been celebrated in honor of her long-standing dedication to breastfeeding and maternal child health equity.

WIC Clinics to Remain Open in Case of Shutdown, summarized from NWA

The National WIC Association has released a Weekly WIC Policy Update on efforts to pass the remaining appropriations bills before current funding expires on Friday, December 21. The update states that WIC agencies are expected to have enough funds to continue normal operations for two to three weeks in the event of a short-term government shutdown. 

Webinar on 2019 Advocacy, summarized from NWA

Join the National WIC Association's Government Affairs team on Thursday, January 10, from 3-4 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "WIC Advocacy in the New Congress." Speakers will discuss new legislative opportunities including the chance of a Child Nutrition Reauthorization as well as new members of Congress who are potential allies for WIC.

Policy and Advocacy Wins Brief, summarized from ZERO TO THREE

ZERO TO THREE has published an advocacy summary titled "2018 Policy and Advocacy Wins for Babies." The report highlights national and state policy accomplishments, including reauthorizing funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, passing a bipartisan budget deal that included an extension of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, and paid family leave legislation in Massachusetts.

Policy Opportunities Brief, summarized from ZERO TO THREE

ZERO TO THREE, in partnership with the Center for Law and Social Policy, has released a policy resource titled "State and Federal Opportunities to Improve the Lives of Infants and Toddlers and their Families." The publication names six potential policy opportunities at the state and federal levels to improve outcomes for babies and encourages policymakers to consider potential effects of policy on families and communities of color and immigrant families and communities.

Child Development Case for National Paid Leave, summarized from ZERO TO THREE

ZERO TO THREE, in partnership with the National Partnership for Women & Families, has released "The Child Development Case for a National Paid Family and Medical Leave Program." This fact sheet summarizes key research on how paid family and medical leave helps ensure that infants and young children have adequate bonding time with parents and primary caregivers, which is essential for healthy brain and emotional development. Updates to the fact sheet include new research on positive outcomes of state paid leave programs, including for maternal health; cross-national research on how paid leave reduces infant mortality; and a new section outlining why parents and caregivers need paid leave for family caregiving, as well as for childbirth and adoption.


Partner News

Breastfeeding Safety Net Webinar, summarized from NACCHO

Join the Breastfeeding Team at National Association of County and City Health Officials on Tuesday, January 15, from 2-3 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Weaving a Breastfeeding Safety Net: Creating a Breastfeeding Ecosystem." This is the first session of the four part Weaving a Lactation Safey Net webinar series. Speakers will address the public health significance of community breastfeeding continuity of care to increase breastfeeding duration and exclusivity rates, and mechanisms that can be used to create a breastfeeding ecosystem including a seamless continuum of care to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in African Americans and low-income communities who are disproportionally affected by structural barriers to breastfeeding.


News from the Field

Special Call for Publication, summarized from JHL

The Journal of Human Lactation has issued a Call for Papers for an upcoming issue with the theme State of the Science. The research question being addressed in these manuscripts is "What is known about your topic?". JHL is calling for critical literature reviews and meta-analyses, using established methodologies, about any one of the many and varied aspects of lactation. Accepted manuscripts will provide a critical analysis of the evidence that identifies gaps in what we know, evaluates methodologies researchers have used and hypotheses the next steps needed to continue building our evidence. Manuscripts are due Friday, February 1. 


Collective Impact Connection

Article on Voices for Healthy Kids Initiative, summarized from BMJ

The British Medical Journal has published an article titled "Voices for Healthy Kids: a multisectoral collaboration to accelerate policy changes that promote healthy weight for all children and adolescents in the United States." The article reports on how a multisectoral collaboration of more than 140 stakeholder organisations is advancing policy changes to improve food and physical environments in the United States to promote healthy weight for all children and adolescents.

Article on Building an Intentional Culture, summarized from CIF

The Collective Impact Forum has published an article titled "To Go Further, Get Serious About Culture." The article explores various transformational initiatives that involved multiple stakeholders. In all of these initiatives an intentional culture emerged as a necessary element in achieving dramatic change, with several shared characteristics:


Equity Elements

Report on Public Policy and Health Equity, summarized from NACCHO

The National Association of County and City Health Officials has published a handbook titled "Advancing Public Narrative for Health Equity and Social Justice." The handbook provides guidance in identifying, examining, and countering dominant public narratives and the systems that support them. Relying on examples, exercises, and questions for reflection and dialogue, this resource supports public health practitioners and their allies in becoming effective narrative strategists, as they strive to achieve health equity. The handbook also offers insights to promote a social justice-based public narrative to realize a more equitable and socially just society by engaging people in collective action. It is recommended for use in a facilitated dialogue process.

Farm Bill Update, summarized from Congress

The Senate has passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Conference Report to provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2023. This is frequently referred to as the farm bill. The conference agreement reauthorizes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and provides for modest improvements to program integrity and administration, prioritizing approaches to job training and other employment-related activities which have proven successful from employment and training pilot projects that the 2014 farm bill established. 

USBC Insight: The U.S. Census Bureau has published a report titled, "Supplemental Poverty Measure 2017." The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) extends the official poverty measure by taking account of many of the government programs designed to assist low-income families and individuals that are not included in the official poverty measure. Underscoring the positive impact of these programs, the SPM data show that in 2017, SNAP lifted 3.4 million people out of poverty, school lunches lifted 1.2 million out of poverty, and WIC lifted 279,000 people out of poverty.

Proposed Rule to Modify Work Requirements for SNAP Eligibility, summarized from USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a proposed rule to modify waiver requirements related to eligibility to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) generally limits the amount of time an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) can receive SNAP benefits to 3 months in a 36-month period, unless the individual is working and/or participating in a work program at least 80 hours per month, or participating in workfare. On the request of a State agency, the Act allows the Department of Agriculture (the Department) to waive the time limit in areas that have an unemployment rate of over 10 percent or a lack of sufficient jobs for ABAWDs to meet the work requirement. The Department is proposing to modify the criteria in order to encourage broader application of the statutory ABAWD work requirement. Read the press release.

USBC Insight: Almost all states have utilized the important waiver flexibility during local economic downturns, disasters, and to support residents in high unemployment areas. Reducing waivers would force states to impose the time limit and reduce job training, and severely restrict their ability to provide SNAP benefits to childless adults. This rule would harm workers with relatively lower educational levels who already face disadvantages in the labor market.


News & Views

AMCHP Pulse: "CHWs Find Training and Empathy are Essential Tools"

Pew Research: "A record number of women will be serving in the new Congress"

Roll Call: "House, Senate Democrats Identify Slate of Committee Leaders for New Congress"  

Women's eNews: "Exclusive Investigative Report: Harvard's Pediatric Nutrition Star Comes Under Scrutiny for Conflicts of Interest"

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