Weekly Wire: July 11, 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

National Breastfeeding Coalitions Conference – Hotel and Marketing Deadlines This Week

The USBC is hosting the Eighth National Breastfeeding Coalitions Convening August 4-5, in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme for this year, Advancing Public Health Through an Equity-Centered Breastfeeding Movement, highlights the event's unique intersection of public health topics, equity learning sessions and peer sharing. Registration is open, and you can stay connected with the action on the Facebook event page. The deadline to book hotel rooms at the conference rate is tomorrow Thursday, July 12. The deadline to sponsor, exhbit, or advertise is Friday, July 13.

Twitter Management Training Module Launched

The USBC has launched a new 4-week training program titled, "Managing Twitter with Hootsuite." Each week will include a downloadable worksheet and pre-recorded instructional video. The training program will include a weekly virtual group meeting taking place from 10-11 a.m. ET each Friday for three weeks, beginning on Friday, July 13. Optional individual meeting times will also be available. Breastfeeding coalitions and other organizations are invited to email Lynette Anigbo at lanigbo@usbreastfeeding.org to register.

Federal News

Resolution on Infant and Young Child Feeding, from WHA

As reported by The New York Times, this spring, the U.S. Delegation to the World Health Assembly (WHA) undermined a global resolution aimed at supporting breastfeeding, threatening trade sanctions against Ecuador before yielding to a proposal put forth by Russia. Breastfeeding organizations and advocates across the country have raised concerns about the role of industry in international policy and the aggressive tactics of the U.S. delegation.

USBC Insights: National, state, and local organizations are invited to sign on to a joint letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Commerce by Friday, July 13. The USBC Board of Directors has released a statement on the actions of the U.S. Delegation to WHA. USBC will continue to call on our government to ensure that policy decisions and actions are based on current scientific evidence and free from industry influence and will continue to explore opportunities for collaborative action with our member and partner organizations. 

A selection of statements that have been released to date include:

Zero Tolerance Prosecution and Family Reunification Policy, from HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services has published a News Release titled, "Zero-Tolerance Prosecution and Family Reunification." The release states that the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services has established a process to ensure that family members know the location of their children and have regular communication after separation to ensure that those adults who are subject to removal are reunited with their children for the purposes of removal.

USBC Insights: The USBC has published a statement expressing strong opposition to the zero tolerance policy and also to the separation of children and their caregivers. The statement also urges the Administration to expedite the reunification of the babies and children already separated from their parents and ensure appropriate staffing in all facilities where children are being detained. National, state, and local organizations are invited to sign on to the joint statement on unlawful family separation.

Social Determinants of Health Website, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) website with resources for understanding and addressing SDOH. The website features SDOH data sources, tools for action, descriptions of relevant CDC programs, policy resources, and scholarly articles recently published by CDC authors.

Small Business Funding Opportunity, from CDC

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has announced a funding opportunity through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants programEligible United States small business concerns (SBCs) are invited to submit SBIR grant applications. The goals of the Innovative Approaches for Maternal and Infant Safety in Maternity Hospitals topic are to develop creative, innovative approaches, including but not limited to technological applications to standardize methods and procedures to support safe implementation of skin-to-skin for healthy infants and safe rooming-in throughout the birth hospitalization. Full details on the topic can be found on pages 216-217 of the funding announcement. Please share this information among your networks and contacts. The submission deadline is Wednesday, September 5.

Breastfeeding Funding in FY 2019 Appropriations, from Congress  

The Senate Committee on Appropriations has advanced the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Act, which includes $8M for the hospitals promoting breastfeeding program. In addition, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Subcommittee has released their report on the FY2019 LHHS appropriations bill, which includes $10M for the hospitals promoting breastfeeding program. The full House Appropriations Committee has not yet taken action to move the bill forward.

USBC Insights: The National Association of County and City Health Officials has published a summary of public health programs funding levels and key language included in the House LHHS Subcommittee report. Learn more about the federal budget process with ZERO TO THREE.

Rescissions Package Fails in the Senate

The Senate has rejected the rescissions package submitted by the White House to repeal funding for specific programs that were approved as part of the FY2018 Budget. The package included domestic spending cuts of almost $15 billion for housing, health, and other programs.  Partner highlights included:

Strong Senate Farm Bill

The Senate has passed the Farm Bill, strengthening SNAP/food stamps, and avoiding the deep cuts and eligibility changes proposed in the House version. The Senate version would reauthorize SNAP/Food Stamps, bringing improvements to program integrity, operations and administration. Partner highlights included:


Member News

Evaluation of Pilot Text Messaging Program Webinar, from NWA

Join the National WIC Association on Thursday, August 2, from 3–4 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Evaluation of DC's Pilot BfedDC Text Messaging Program on Breastfeeding Behaviors." Webinar participants will learn how District of Columbia (DC) WIC implemented and evaluated "BfedDC," a mobile-health, text-messaging program with two-way texting capacity to addressed the lower than average breastfeeding rates among DC WIC recipients. Attendees will be able to define the components of a text messaging peer counselor program to promote breastfeeding among WIC mothers and the implications of timing of enrollment; explain the possible pathways by which confounders, including demographics and location of birth, may impact breastfeeding outcomes and displace the effect of BfedDC; and describe the importance of using rigorous evaluation methods to understand the impact of the program and to improve program outcomes.

Partner News

Report on High-Value Maternity Care and Physiologic Childbearing, from NPWF

The National Partnership for Women & Families has published a report titled "The Blueprint for Advancing High-Value Maternity Care Through Physiologic Childbearing." The report details six strategies to advance high-value maternity care by promoting, supporting, and protecting women's capacity for healthy childbearing and by safely limiting use of consequential interventions around the time of birth. The report highlights the importance of breastfeeding support and breastfeeding-friendly maternity care practices.

New Reports Build on Business Case for Racial Equity, from Altarum/WKKF

Altarum and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation have recently released several state-specific reports that build on the national case study "The Business Case for Racial Equity: A Strategy for Growth." The reports include analyses on how Michigan, Mississippi, New Orleans, and New Mexico each stand to benefit economically by closing the racial equity gap by the year 2050.

News from the Field

Report on Health Equity and Early Childhood, from RWJF

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has published a report titled "Early Childhood is Critical to Health Equity." The report, produced in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco, examines some of the barriers to health equity that begin in a person's first five years of life as well as promising strategies for overcoming health equity barriers. 

Working Woman's Bill of Rights, from Legal Momentum

Legal Momentum has published "The Working Woman's Bill of Rights." The document envisions the workplace as a place of equal opportunity for all women. It provides a framework to guide policymakers in developing legislation that can advance women's economic equality and a checklist to assess progress at the local, state, and national levels. The Bill of Rights features 13 core principles, including fair treatment during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and after childbirth.

Collective Impact Connection

Neighborhood Atlas Tool, from University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, has released "The Neighborhood Atlas," an online platform to help researchers visualize socioeconomic data at the community level. The tool allows researchers to rank and map neighborhoods according to socioeconomic measures, such as income, employment, and housing quality.

Article on Systems Change, from FSG

FSG has published an article titled "The Water of Systems Change" that aims to clarify what it means to shift the conditions holding problems in place and provides an actionable model for those interested in creating systems change, especially with an equity focus. The article uses an inverted triangle model to define the differences between structural change and transformational change.

State & Community News

Lawsuit Halts Enforcement of Lactation Consultant Licensure Law, from Georgia

The Institute for Justice has filed a lawsuit arguing that Georgia's Lactation Consultant Practice Act, which established licensure for lactation consultants in Georgia, violates the Georgia Constitution. Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, Inc. is named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit. The lawsuit argues that under the constitution's guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process, Georgia cannot license an occupation irrationally and without there being a "real and substantial" connection between the license and the public good. In addition, the lawsuit argues that the Due Process Clause of the Georgia Constitution prohibits the government from passing laws that interfere with the right to earn a living, unless those laws have a real relationship to a public harm. The Act would prohibit paid lactation consulting except by IBCLCs and other licensed professionals. The court published a Joint Stipulation, halting enforcement of the law which was set to begin on Sunday, July 1. Media highlights included:

Paid Leave Bill Signed Into Law, from Massachusetts

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed a paid family and medical leave bill into law, making Massachusetts the sixth state, plus D.C., to adopt paid family and medical leave. When it goes fully into effect in 2021, the new state program will provide up to 12 weeks of family leave, up to 20 weeks of medical leave, and up to 26 weeks to deal with an emergency related to deployment of a family member for military service. Weekly benefit amounts will be calculated as a percentage of the employee's average weekly wage, with a maximum weekly benefit of $850. The bill also included an increase in the state minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023 and creates a sales tax holiday.

Executive Order on State Employee Paid Leave and Child Care Options, from Virginia

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has issued Executive Orders on paid parental leave and child care options for state employees. Executive Order Number Twelve authorizes paid parental leave for employees of executive branch state agencies. The new benefit provides up to eight weeks of paid parental leave to enable employees to bond with a newborn, or to care for a child under the age of 18 newly-placed for adoption, foster or custodial care. Executive Order Number Thirteen authorizes the formation of an advisory commission to study the feasibility of providing evidence-based early care and learning programs for young children of state employees working on or around Capitol Square in Richmond. The commission will also explore the creation of similar programs for state workers in other parts of the Commonwealth, evaluate benefits related to supporting the early care and learning of employees' children, and provide recommendations on policies that will help Virginia attract and retain talented state employees with young children.

 News & Views

Vox: "It's not just cruel to separate a breastfeeding baby from a mom. It's medically dangerous."  

UCLA School of Public Health blog: "Making Rooms for Campus Mothers"

WGN-TV: "Sen. Duckworth returning to work after maternity leave"

Fatherly: "The 50 Best Places to Work for New Dads in 2018

HRSA eNews: "Charting a Course on Maternal Mortality

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