Weekly Wire: January 25, 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.

Federal News

Continuing Resolution Ends Government Shutdown, from Congress

On Monday, January 22, the Senate and House approved, and President Trump signed a 3 week Continuing Resolution that will keep the government funded through Thursday, February 8. The CR brought an end to the government shutdown. A bipartisan deal between Senate leaders, accompanied with an assurance from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to negotiate some kind of immigration deal and put a bill on the floor for a vote before Feb 8, helped get past the gridlock. The CR measure includes language to extend CHIP for six years, but does not include a renewal of funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program or other expired health care programs, such as Community Health Centers, and Family to Family Information Centers (organizations that assist families of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and the professionals who serve them). Congress still has to pass a broader omnibus spending bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2018. So far, there is no agreement on new budget caps, and hard limits on spending for defense and domestic programs. The caps for fiscal 2018 are $549 billion for defense and $516 billion for non-defense. Without raising budget caps, any massive spending bill risks triggering a sequester — across-the-board cuts to domestic and military spending. 

Maternal Health Funding Opportunities, from HRSA/MCHB

The Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau has opened applications for two maternal health programs. HRSA is currently accepting applications for the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) cooperative agreement. The purpose of AIM is to reduce maternal deaths and severe maternal morbidity by engaging provider organizations, state-based public health systems, consumer groups, and other stakeholders within a national partnership to assist state-based teams in implementing evidence-based maternal safety bundles. HRSA is also accepting applications for the Supporting State Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Policy Innovation Program. This program supports innovative state-level policy initiatives that improve access to quality health care for the MCH population. Applications for both funding opportunities will be accepted through Friday, February 16.

Funding Opportunity for State/Tribal Programs for Expectant and Parenting Teens, from HHS/OAH

The Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health has announced a funding opportunity for states and tribes to develop and implement programs for expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers, and their families to improve health and related educational, social, and economic outcomes. OAH will host a technical assistance webinar for potential applicants on Thursday, February 1, at 2 p.m. ET. Letters of intent are due by Monday, February 12, and applications are due by Thursday, April 12.

New Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, from HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced the formation of the new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights. The division will focus on enforcing federal laws that protect conscience and the free exercise of religion and prohibit coercion and discrimination in health and human services. Conscience protections apply to health care providers who refuse to perform, accommodate, or assist with certain health care services on religious or moral grounds. In addition, HHS has released a proposed rule entitled "Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care." Through this rulemaking, the Department proposes to grant overall responsibility to its Office for Civil Rights for ensuring that the Department, its components, HHS programs and activities, and those who participate in HHS programs or activities comply with Federal laws. 

Strategic Policy Roadmap for 2018, from FDA

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has published a document entitled, "Healthy Innovation, Safer Families: FDA's 2018 Strategic Policy Roadmap." The comprehensive document provides an overview of some of the key priorities the Agency's centers plan to pursue in 2018 to advance FDA's public health mission. One of the key initiatives related to the goal to strengthen the FDA's scientific workforce includes advancing a new Prescription Drug User Fee Act Hiring Pilot and implementing the new hiring and compensation authorities provided by the Cures Act that will give FDA the ability to bring on scientific candidates with specialized skills at more competitive salaries. The Cures Act included a provision known as the Safe Medications for Moms & Babies Act, which established a task force of federal and medical experts to advance research and information sharing on medication use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Policy Guidance on State Medicaid Engagement, from CMS

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced a new policy designed to assist states in incentivizing work and community engagement among non-elderly, non-pregnant adult Medicaid beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicaid on a basis other than disability. Subject to the full federal review process, CMS will support state efforts to test incentives that make participation in work or other community engagement a requirement for continued Medicaid eligibility or coverage for certain adult Medicaid beneficiaries in demonstration projects authorized under section 1115 of the Social Security Act (the Act). The policy guidance describes considerations for states that may be interested in pursuing demonstration projects. It addresses the application of CMS' monitoring and evaluation protocols for this type of demonstration and identifies other programmatic and policy considerations for states, to help them design programs that meet the objectives of the Medicaid program, consistent with federal statutory requirements. States will be required to describe strategies to assist beneficiaries in meeting work and community engagement requirements and to link individuals to additional resources for job training or other employment services, child care assistance, transportation, or other work supports to help beneficiaries prepare for work or increase their earnings.

Partner Highlights:


Member News

#SpeakForHealth Campaign, from APHA

The American Public Health Association has launched the #SpeakForHealth campaign. The campaign aims to provide a new way for the public health community to talk about why public health matters and call on elected officials to support this important work. Participate in the campaign by printing a #SpeakForHealth sign and taking a photo to post on social media explaining why you support public health and why these efforts must not be silenced. Use the hashtag #SpeakForHealth. Individuals are also invited to use APHA's easy action tool to share a pre-written and customizable letter with their representatives. Follow the conversation at #SpeakForHealth. 

Blog Submissions Opening for #StayWokeandBF, from ROSE

Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere has announced that they are collecting short blogs and vlogs for their Black History Month #StayWokeandBF Blog Roll taking place in February. Follow the conversation at #StayWokeandBF in the coming weeks to learn how you can participate.

Partnership Website Launched, from ACOG/NWA

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the National WIC Association have launched an ACOG and WIC partnership website. The website highlights the collaboration between ACOG and NWA through the Community Partnership for Healthy Mothers and Children (CPHMC). The website features success stories on CPHMC's impact, and provides physicians with information on how WIC's community resources can help provide follow up and care continuity for patients. 


Partner News

Updated Paid Leave State Laws Chart, from A Better Balance

A Better Balance has updated their comparative chart on paid leave laws. The updated chart reflects the start of paid leave benefits in New York as well as changes to the California paid leave law. Currently, six states and the District of Columbia have paid family leave laws. This document provides an overview of each law, including coverage, funding mechanism, and benefits. 

World Breastfeeding Week Theme, from WABA

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has announced the theme for World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2018: Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. The campaign will focus on breastfeeding as the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers. WBW objectives include to inform people about how breastfeeding is linked to nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction; anchor breastfeeding within the nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction agenda; engage with individuals and organizations working on these issues; and galvanize action to advance breastfeeding as part of nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction strategies.  

Study On Workplace Breastfeeding Support Differences by Employment Type, from Breastfeeding Medicine

The journal Breastfeeding Medicine has released an article titled, "Workplace Breastfeeding Support Varies by Employment Type: The Service Workplace Disadvantage." The article reports the results of a survey of women's experiences returning to work while breastfeeding. Survey results showed that workplace support varies by employment type, specifically, that women in the production/transportation and service industries appear to be at a disadvantage for workplace breastfeeding support. 

Culture of Health Leaders Call for Applications, from RWJF

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released the Culture of Health Leaders 2018 Call for Applications. The Culture of Health Leaders three-year program will develop a large group of leaders from diverse sectors (e.g., for-profit/business, government, nonprofit, social enterprise) to work with organizations, communities, health systems, and policymakers to build a Culture of Health in America. RWJF welcomes applications from individuals who are highly motivated and ready to lead and collaborate within and across sectors. The program will select up to 40 leaders for the 2018 cohort. The deadline to submit an application is Wednesday, February 21, at 3 p.m. ET 

Brief on Achieving Health Equity in the U.S., from TFAH

Trust for America's Health has published an issue brief titled "Racial Healing and Achieving Health Equity in the United States." The brief shines a spotlight on health inequities and the factors that influence them. In addition, the brief highlights programs currently addressing health inequities and includes policy recommendations that can help the U.S. achieve health equity. The document was issued by TFAH in conjunction with the second annual National Day of Racial Healing.

Paid Family Leave State Legislative Tracker, from PL+US

Paid Leave for the United States has launched a legislative tracker that follows the status of statewide paid family leave bills introduced in 2018 state legislatures and the District of Columbia. The tracker includes bill summaries, sponsors, and current status. PL+US will regularly update the tracker to reflect status changes and bill introductions.


News from the Field

Million Hearts Partner Call, from ACPM

The American College of Preventive Medicine has announced that they are partnering with the Million Hearts® campaign in an effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2022. Join Million Hearts® on Tuesday, January 30, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a national partners call with ACPM Associate Executive Director Danielle Pere. The call will include an overview of how ACPM is using lifestyle medicine to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in African-Americans with hypertension and 35-64 year olds at risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Report on Community-Based Organizations, from ASFC

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities has released a report titled "A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America." Published in conjunction with the American Public Human Services Association, the report focuses on the impact of human services community-based organizations (CBOs) and the need to strengthen their role. It also highlights several initiatives designed to improve population health and well-being through the success of CBOs, and includes a cross-sector call to action to address the challenges that CBOs face.

Panel on Innovative Relationships and State Public Health Agencies, from NACDD

Join the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors on Thursday, February 1, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a panel discussion and webcast titled "Better Health Through Better Partnerships: How State Public Health Agencies Can Foster Innovative Relationships to Support Population Health." VADM Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General; Brenda Fitzgerald, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director; and other chronic disease experts will participate in the presentation.


State and Community News

Sick Leave Law, from Maryland

Maryland has passed the Maryland Healthy Families Act into law. The law requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide employees with paid sick and safe leave, and requires employers with 14 or fewer employees to provide unpaid earned sick and safe leave. In addition, the law requires the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to develop a specified model paid sick and safe leave policy for use by specified employers. 

Paid Family Leave Report, from Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has published a report titled "Paid Family and Medical Leave in Pennsylvania: Research Findings Report." The report includes Pennsylvania-specific data on the impact and benefits of a statewide paid family and medical leave program. It also reports on survey data that shows a majority of Pennsylvanians and employers would favor a statewide paid family and medical leave program and includes a cost-benefit analysis of implementing a paid family leave program in Pennsylvania.

Nutrition Education Policy Reports, from New York State and New York City

The Tisch Food Center has released two new reports that examine the landscape of nutrition education policy at the federal, New York state, and New York City levels. Titled "Empowered Eaters," both the state and city reports provide a road map to the public systems that support nutrition education. The reports include information on a variety of state and city laws and regulations that impact breastfeeding families, as well as resources and initiatives from state and local agencies. The reports include key findings and recommendations for future policy changes and research questions.


Collective Impact Connection

Blog Post on Collaborative Leadership, from SSIR

Stanford Social Innovation Review has posted a blog post titled "Redefining Leadership." Written by former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina, the post re-examines leadership through a collaborative lens. Fiorina highlights empathy and humility as two key values for a collaborative leader.


News & Views

CHEER Blog: "CHEER Champion of the Week: Suzanne Haynes"  

Rewire: "As Providers, We Must Pay Attention to the Social and Systemic Factors Behind Health"

Yahoo Lifestyle: "There is now a nursing mothers' room in the Maine State House — thanks to women in leadership

ProPublica: "How Hospitals Are Failing Black Mothers"  

NICHQ blog: "Closing the Breastfeeding Disparity Gap: Methods for Improvement"

The Chicago Sun Times: "Tammy Duckworth is pregnant; will be 1st Senator to give birth

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