FY 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill
On December 18, the President signed the 2016 omnibus spending bill into law, a $1.1 trillion spending plan that funds the federal government through September 2016. This followed the enactment of a two-year bipartisan budget deal that established overall spending levels and partially lifted sequestration through fiscal year 2017. The 2000-page omnibus bill included several wins for programs related to breastfeeding, but also some setbacks.
- Provides $60 million for WIC breastfeeding peer counselors.
- Continues $8 million in funding for CDC's breastfeeding programs.
- Fully funds and allocates the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
- Maintains funding for Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH).
- Reserves funding for the third and final year of the Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) program, though the details of this particular allocation are still unfolding.
- Fails to reauthorize child nutrition programs, including the WIC Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (although the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry have indicated that this is a top priority for the new year, with plans pending to mark up bipartisan legislation).
- Places new restrictions on future dietary guidelines that may limit discussions of long-term food security and environmental sustainability.
- Eliminates funding for workplace wellness and scales back funding for health promotion.
Updated U.S. Pregnancy Rates, from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released the 2010 pregnancy rates among U.S. women. Pregnancy rates continued to decline in 2010, to 98.7 per 1,000 women aged 15–44, a record low for the 1976–2010 period.
Report and Summit on Equity for Women and Girls of Color, from The White House & DOL
Scholarly research and public data about women and girls of color are often limited, can be difficult to access, and as a result are not always adequately considered in policy making. To address this, a summit on advancing equity for women and girls of color brought together academics, members of the private sector, government officials, and philanthropists at the White House on November 13. Headlining the event was the release of a White House report which identifies five data-driven issue areas where interventions can promote opportunities for success at school, work, and in the community. The White House also announced a $100 million, five-year funding initiative by Prosperity Together, a group of women's foundations formed to improve the economic security of low-income women. U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles participated on a panel about the Administration's efforts to close opportunity gaps, speaking about women in the workforce, apprenticeship opportunities, and paid leave.
Video of WIC Story/Petition Delivery, from NWA & 1000 Days
The National WIC Association and 1000 Days have released a video of a December visit to Capitol Hill where they delivered stories and nearly 61,000 signatures collected this fall in conjunction with a petition imploring Congress to fully support WIC.
Updated Clinical Bulletin on Home Birth, from ACNM
The American College of Nurse-Midwives has released an updated clinical bulletin entitled Midwifery Provision of Home Birth Services, on the practice of home birth from the midwifery perspective of care. The evidence-based bulletin outlines the science to support the optimal care and treatment of women and newborns in the home birth setting, reviews the current science on caring for women and families who plan to give birth at home, and reviews best practice models to support the transfer of women, if necessary, from one birth site to another.
4th Trimester Project, from CGBI
The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute has announced the launch of the 4th Trimester Project, a two-year project with the goal to bring together mothers, health care providers, and other stakeholders to define unmet health care needs during the 4th Trimester. The term "4th Trimester" reflects the concept that during the first months of life, newborns continue to function like a fetus in many ways; they require months of intense, 'womb-like' nurturing. A 4th Trimester perspective views the mother and infant as a mutually dependent unit, behaviorally and physiologically intertwined via breastfeeding and other interactions such as skin-to-skin contact.
New State Fact Sheets and Related Resources, from ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE has published 2015 State Baby Facts which include factors such as poverty, health insurance status, immunizations, and child care. The state-by-state guide can be used by professionals to determine state rankings in each topic area and identify areas where improvement is needed. The 2015 State Baby Facts web page includes a link to each state's fact sheet, a toolkit, and a presentation on the State of America's Babies: 2015.
Structural Barriers to Breastfeeding Webinar, from NACCHO
On Tuesday, January 12, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET the Breastfeeding Project Team of the National Association of County and City Health Officials will host a webinar entitled, Health Inequities & Structural Breastfeeding Barriers. The webinar will provide an overview of how public health can influence the unequal structuring of life conditions and share resources to identify and address structural barriers leading to breastfeeding inequities. The webinar is targeted to breastfeeding support providers, but will be useful to anyone working with underserved communities.
News from the Field
Health Insurance Literacy Fact Sheets Now in English and Spanish, from My Health, My Voice
My Health, My Voice has released Spanish language versions of their three health insurance literacy fact sheets. The fact sheets briefly summarize content from the Step-by-Step guide such as "What is a Well-Woman Visit" and "5 Steps to Using Your Insurance Wisely."
New Public Health and Community Development Resources, from PHI
The Public Health Institute's Build Healthy Places Network has released two new resources to help public health practitioners collaborate and leverage resources with the community development sector. The Community Close Ups series examines how community developers are working in low-income neighborhoods to integrate health into their projects. And a new report entitled Making the Case for Linking Community Development and Health explores recent research, policies, and case studies on such collaborations, helping the reader make the case to potential funders and partners, identify partnership strategies, and recommend approaches to evaluation. In addition, a blog post entitled "It's All Connected: Why Community Development and Health Go Hand-in-Hand" explores the connection between health and the built environment.
Health in Community Development Funding Opportunity, from Reinvestment Fund & RWJF
Invest Health, a partnership between the Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has released a Call for Proposals for a new initiative that will work to fully incorporate health outcomes into community development activity and fundamentally change the process of neighborhood revitalization across the country. Leadership teams representing up to 50 mid-sized cities will be chosen to collaborate on ways to align people, strategies, and capital to improve the factors that drive health in low-income neighborhoods: from a scarcity of quality jobs, affordable housing, and nutritious food, to high crime rates and unhealthy environmental conditions. Letters of intent are due Friday, January 29.
Paid Leave for City Workers, from New York City & Portland, Oregon
New York City and Portland (OR) have joined the growing number of localities providing paid leave to their own workers: both began to provide six weeks of paid leave for all employees as of January 1, 2016. City leaders celebrated the policies as a key first step in joining a growing national movement.
Collective Impact Connection
Evaluating Complexity, from FSG
FSG has released a blog post entitled "Increasing Our Ability to Evaluate Complexity," with highlights from their recent report, Evaluating Complexity: Propositions for Improving Practice. One of the core ideas in the report is that we can't evaluate complex, non-linear phenomena like those found in nearly all social change settings using linear, reductive, simplistic measures. If we do, the resulting guidance provided by the measures will at best be useless for building judgement about future decisions, and may actually be harmful, making things worse and masking valuable potential insights.
News & Views
BloombergBusiness: "Abbott Labs Wins Block on New York Baby-Formula Ad Subpoena"
America's Tomorrow (PolicyLink Newsletter): "How to Bring Healthy Food to Indian Country"
The Seattle Times: "Accommodating pregnant workers is key step toward gender equality"
Refinery29: "Celebrities Rally Around Paid Family Leave"