Weekly Wire: September 29, 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

Hispanic Heritage Month Webpage

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month! The USBC has published a webpage titled, "Hispanic Heritage Month Tools & Resources." The webpage features key information on Latinx and breastfeeding as well as a compilation of resources, tools, and materials from USBC and the field, including the Urban Institute's newly released "2018 Latina Maternal & Child Health Review."


Special Section on Proposed Public Charge Rule

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released a proposed rule titled, "Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds." Known as the public charge rule, DHS proposes to prescribe how it determines whether an immigrant is inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge. Aliens who seek adjustment of status or a visa, or who are applicants for admission, must establish that they are not likely at any time to become a public charge, unless Congress has expressly exempted them from this ground of inadmissibility or has otherwise permitted them to seek a waiver of inadmissibility. Moreover, DHS proposes to require all aliens seeking an extension of stay or change of status to demonstrate that they have not received, are not currently receiving, nor are likely to receive, public benefits as defined in the proposed rule. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is not listed in the proposed rule. All interested parties are invited to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written data, views, comments and arguments on all aspects of this proposed rule. 

Resources from the field include


Federal News

Appropriations Update, from Congress

Congress has continued efforts to pass appropriations packages ahead of the Sunday, September 30, fiscal deadline. Instead of one single massive omnibus funding bill, Congress has bundled twelve funding bills into three "minibus" appropriations packages. The first minibus Conference Report, HR 5895, was signed by the President on Friday, September 21, providing full-year appropriations for the military construction-Veterans Affairs, energy-water and legislative branch titles. The second "minibus package", HR 6147, includes Agriculture-FDA, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, and Transportation-HUD spending. It is unclear whether there will be sufficient time for both chambers to pass this second spending package by the fiscal deadline. If this does not occur, a continuing resolution would be required to fund these parts of the government. Appropriators also reached agreement last week on the final minibus, HR 6157, the combined fiscal year 2019 Labor-HHS-Education and Defense appropriations bill by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 93-7 in the Senate. The bill provides a $126.6 million increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including $8 million for the Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program, and a $106.75 million increase to the Health Resources and Services Agency. The House must pass the bill this week and send it to the President before the fiscal year runs out on Sunday.

REACH Funding Awarded, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity has announced that funding has been provided to 31 recipients across the country through the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Program. REACH aims to improve health, prevent chronic diseases, and reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest risk, or burden, of chronic disease, specifically for African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Alaska Natives. REACH targets risk factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and poor nutrition. Grantees who select nutrition as one of their strategies are required to address breastfeeding continuity of care. Learn more about the 31 REACH funding recipients.   

SPAN Funding Awarded, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity has announced that funding has been awarded to 16 recipients through the State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program. This award funds statewide initiatives to implement evidence-based strategies at state and local levels to improve nutrition and physical activity. Funded states are required to address one or more breastfeeding strategies. Learn more about the 16 funding recipients

Farm Bill Update, from Congress

The four principals from the House and Senate Agriculture committees have continued to negotiate to reach a deal on the Farm Bill, HR 2 (115)The current Farm Bill is set to expire on Sunday, September 30. It seems increasingly likely that Congress will need to extend the current law since a deal may not be reached before Sunday.

USBC Insight: The USBC joins public health partners to urge Congress to strengthen funding for essential programs. According to an issue brief from Mathematica Policy Research, nearly two million low-income Americans, including 469,000 households with young children, would be stripped of benefits under the House version of the farm bill being considered this week by congressional negotiators. The U.S. Census Bureau has published a report titled, "Supplemental Poverty Measure 2017," which reveals 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.

Employee Benefits Data Bulletin, from BLS

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a bulletin titled, "National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States." The National Compensation Survey provides comprehensive measures of compensation cost trends and the coverage, costs, and provisions of employer-sponsored benefits in the United States. This bulletin presents 2018 estimates of the incidence and key provisions of selected employer-sponsored benefits for civilian workers by various worker and establishment characteristics. Workers in the civilian economy are defined in the survey as those employed in private industry and state and local government. The bulletin shows that 17 percent of workers have access to paid family leave through their employers, an improvement of just two percentage points from last year. 16 percent of private sector workers have access to paid family leave, up three percentage points from last year, and 25 percent of state and local government works have access to paid family leave. Partner highlights included:

Annual Health Trends Report, from CDC

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics has published an annual report on trends in the health of the U.S. titled "Health, United States 2017: With Special Feature on Mortality." The Health, United States series presents an annual overview of national trends in health statistics. The report contains a Chartbook that presents trends and current information on selected measures of morbidity, mortality, health care utilization and access, health risk factors, prevention, health insurance, and personal health care expenditures. The Chartbook includes a Special Feature section, which examines a topic of public health interest and policy relevance. In addition to the Chartbook, the report provides 114 Trend Tables organized around four subject areas: health status and determinants, health care utilization, health care resources, and health care expenditures. Breastfeeding is included in the health status and determinants section. The report shows that, for the first time since 1993, life expectancy at birth has decreased two years in a row, by 0.2 years between 2014 and 2015 and then by another 0.1 years between 2015 and 2016. 

Addressing Opioid Use Challenge Funds, from HRSA/MCHB

The Health Resources Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau has launched the "Addressing Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnant Women and New Moms Challenge." The challenge will award $375,000 in prizes to support tech innovations to improve access to quality health care, including substance use disorder treatment, recovery, and support services for pregnant women with opioid use disorders, their infants, and families, especially those in rural and geographically isolated areas. Applications are due on Monday, November 19, by 5 p.m. ET.


Member News

Resources for Families in Emergencies, from CGBI

The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, through their Lactation and Infant Feeding in Emergencies (L.I.F.E.) Support Initiative, has compiled a bundle of key resources to assist in supporting families with infants and young children (from birth to 2 years of age) in providing safe nutrition during emergencies. The materials in this basic rapid response bundle include information and helpful guides for health workers, frontline responders, shelter managers, and volunteers supporting families in their communities. For technical assistance and training for infant and young child feeding in emergency (IYCF-E) preparedness and response, please contact Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist at apalmquist@unc.edu or 919-966-0928. 


Partner Updates

Funding Approaches for Health Equity Webinar, from TFAH

Join Trust for America's Health on Wednesday, October 3, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Taking Action to Promote Health Equity Series: Show Me the Money -- Innovative Funding Approaches to Promote Health Equity." The presentation will feature place-based initiatives that are leveraging diverse funding, assets, and commitments of multiple sectors to promote health equity.

FAMILY Act and Low-Wage Workers Fact Sheet, from CLASP

The Center for Law and Social Policy has published a fact sheet titled "FAMILY Act Supports Low-Wage Workers and Their Families." The fact sheet describes how the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act has strong public support and would benefit workers, employers, and small businesses.

Report on Rural Health Equity, from NASEM

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released "Achieving Rural Health Equity and Well-Being: Proceedings of a Workshop." The workshop was convened to explore the impacts of economic, demographic, and social issues in rural communities and to learn about asset-based approaches to addressing the associated challenges, and this publication summarizes presentations and discussions from the workshop. 


Collective Impact Connection

Issue Brief on Braiding Funding Streams, from TFAH

Trust for America's Health has released an issue brief titled, "Promoting Effectiveness and Sustainability of Initiatives to Improve Health and Social Outcomes: Methods that Federal Agencies Can Use to Facilitate Coordination and Integration of Funding Streams." Braiding refers to coordinating funding and financing from several sources to support a single initiative or portfolio of interventions (usually at the community level). Braiding keeps funding/ financing streams in distinguishable strands, so each funder can track resources. Federal agencies – which fund a substantial portion of initiatives designed to improve health and social outcomes – can play a key role in enabling braiding and blending to enhance health and social impact. This brief focuses specifically on how federal agencies can facilitate braiding of funding streams within or across departments with a menu of options for agencies to consider. These options allow agencies to promote integration across programs even if funding streams generally retain separate accounting (and other) requirements.

Article on Advocacy Approaches, from SSIR

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published a blog post titled "Two Approaches to Advocacy." Using the example of charter school advocates in Massachusetts, the author examines two approaches to advocacy. Political advocacy does not follow the market-based model of defining an outcome and making the solution more efficient. A nonmarket approach uses a broader lens that emphasizes qualitative progress and a wider range of actors to evaluate both short-term and long-term results—as well as potential adverse effects. A nonmarket thinker takes greater account of potential negative outcomes and may often choose a less direct path to the same goal than a market-oriented counterpart, who searches for the fastest, cheapest, and most straightforward route.


State & Community News

Comprehensive Support System for Birth-to-Three, from DC

The District of Columbia Council has approved the "Birth-to-Three for All DC Act of 2018". The bill offers a road map for creating a comprehensive system of supports for the healthy development of infants and toddlers and will take several years to fully fund and implement. Among the plan's recommendations are fully funding the D.C. child care subsidy program, improving compensation for child development educators, and creating new positions to assist providers with licensing. The plan also calls for strengthening pre- and post-natal support for mothers, expanding mental, physical, and nutritional health programs, and increasing parenting and family supports. The D.C. Council secured funding to seed key components of the legislation in the city's 2019 budget, committing $1.3 million. These include the development of the salary scale for early educators, expansion of the Healthy Steps pediatric model, additional home visiting services, and on-site classes for early educators earning higher credentials.


News & Views

CDPH blog: "Evelyn's Story: Home Visitor’s Encouragement and Support Make the Difference"

Medium: "Hurricane Florence Can Be a Metaphor for Infant-Toddler Poverty — But It Needn't Be"  

Harvard Business Review: "What Managers Should Know About Postpartum Depression"

The Detroit News: "Detroit changes break policy, adds stations for nursing workers

Jezebel: "More Babies at the U.N., Please and Thanks

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