Weekly Wire: October 3, 2019

Weekly Wire: October 3, 2019

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​
    • Welcoming Nikia Sankofa as USBC Executive Director! 
    • Webinar on Breastfeeding and Safe Infant Sleep Practices
    • Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Resource Month Webpage Launched
    • Organizational Sign-On Letter in Support of Lactation Accommodations in Small Airports
    • Celebrating Reaching Our Advocacy Goals! 
  • National News​
    • Traveling Parents Screening Consistency Act Passes House, summarized from Congress
    • Joint Letter Supporting REACH Program Funding, summarized from Various
    • Beverage Guidelines from Birth to Five, summarized from HER
    • Early Care and Education and Obesity Prevention Report, summarized from NRC
  • State/Community News
    • Survey Launched on Maternal and Child Health Care Needs, summarized from Alabama
    • Initiative Launched to Improve the Health of Mothers and Babies, summarized from Michigan
    • Local WIC Programs Recognized for Breastfeeding Support, summarized from Missouri
    • Impact Brief on Massachusetts Paid Sick Days, summarized from IWPR
  • Equity Lens
    • Webinar on Advancing Racial Equity, summarized from Tamarack
  • Collective Impact Connection​
    • Article on Onboarding New Partners, summarized from CIF
    • Webinar on Cross-Sector Collaboration, summarized from NACCHO
  • News & Views

  denotes a USBC member organization news item

USBC Updates

Welcoming Nikia Sankofa as USBC Executive Director! 

In her final act as USBC Board Chair, Mona Liza Hamlin has announced that Nikia Sankofa, MPA, MPH, has accepted the position of Executive Director. Nikia will be joining the organization on Tuesday, October 15. Focused primarily on reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, Nikia's public health work encompasses a broad range of functions, including multi-site project management and team leadership; program design, monitoring, and evaluation; data management and analysis; advocacy; and delivery of training and technical assistance. Nikia's full bio is available on the USBC staff webpage. The announcement extends sincere gratitude to Amelia Psmythe for her outstanding leadership throughout this lengthy time of transition.

Webinar on Breastfeeding and Safe Infant Sleep Practices

Join the USBC and speakers from the National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ) and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) on Tuesday, October 8, from 2-3 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Safe Infant Sleep Practices: Integrating Breastfeeding & Safe Sleep." Presented as part of the CDC-USBC Bi-Monthly Webinar series, presenters will discuss the HRSA/MCHB-funded National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Improvement and Innovation Network (NAPPSS-IIN) initiative, led by NICHQ. NAPPSS-IIN is making infant safe sleep and breastfeeding the national norm by activating systems, supports, and services to systematically work together. Attendees will also learn about NICHD's Safe to Sleep® campaign and the #SafeSleepSnap toolkit.

Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month Resource Webpage Launched

October is Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month. Approximately 3500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related infant deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and SIDS disproportionately impact families of color, especially black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and low-income families. The USBC has published a webpage featuring key resources from the USBC and the field. Please submit additional materials via our online form.

Organizational Sign-On Letter in Support of Lactation Accommodations in Small Airports

Senator Duckworth and Senator Fischer are preparing to introduce the Friendly Airports for Mothers Expansion (FAME) Act, the Senate companion bill for the Small Airports Mothers' Room Act introduced in the House in June. Under current law, all large- and medium-sized airports are required to provide a clean, private, non-bathroom space in each terminal for the expression of breast milk. The FAME Act would expand this provision to small hub airports. These airports would have three additional years to come into compliance, and would be able to use Airport Improvement Program funds for the purpose of complying with the new requirement. USBC has launched a joint letter thanking the Senators for introducing the FAME Act, to be delivered shortly after the bill's introduction. Organizations are invited to sign on to the letter by completing the online form. Please share this sign on opportunity widely with the organizations in your network. The deadline to sign on is Friday, October 11. 

Celebrating Reaching Our Advocacy Goals! 

The USBC has exceeded our goal of 250 people sending messages to Members of Congress on each of three current policy priorities! We're so pleased that 452 people have contacted Members of Congress about funding for CDC breastfeeding support programs, 398 have contacted Members of Congress about House and Senate breastfeeding resolutions, and 320 have contacted Members of Congress about the Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness (MOMMA's) Act! Thank you to all of the advocates who took the time to take action and help create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the nation! While these messaging goals were met, the action tools will remain relevant throughout the Congressional session, or until the bills pass. Connect with your legislators today (you can take action more than once!) and please share widely with your network. 

National News

Traveling Parents Screening Consistency Act Passes House, summarized from Congress

The Traveling Parents Screening Consistency Act of 2019 (H.R. 3246) has passed the House by voice vote. The bill would require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a review of the Transportation Security Administration's implementation of the Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act, as well as the effectiveness of TSA in ensuring screening protocol clarity and screening consistency relating to the screening of breast milk, formula, purified deionized water for infants, and juice. The Senate version of the bill was introduced in July and referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Joint Letter Supporting REACH Program Funding, summarized from Various

The Prevention Institute, Society of Public Health Educators, Trust for America's Health, Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum, National REACH Coalition, YMCA, and Public Health Institute, are circulating a joint letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education. The Senate's FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill eliminates funding for the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program. The joint letter urges the Senate to fund the REACH program at $71.95 million, the level included in the House bill. Organizations are invited to sign on via the online form. The deadline to sign on is Friday, October 4.

Beverage Guidelines from Birth to Five, summarized from HER

Healthy Eating Research has published a consensus statement titled "Healthy Beverage Consumption in Early Childhood: Recommendations from Key National Health and Nutrition Organizations." The consensus statement, developed by an expert panel of representatives from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association, provides authoritative guidance on optimal beverage consumption during early childhood and supports a life course approach to the development of healthy dietary patterns and prevention of chronic disease. The consensus statement provides recommendations for what children from birth to age 5 should be drinking as part of a healthy diet and is intended to aid health care providers and practitioners in communicating with parents and caregivers about healthy beverages. The technical report describes the rationale, methods, and evidence that support the consensus recommendations and is intended for stakeholders, such as researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and health care providers. The report states that babies aged 0-6 months need only breast milk or infant formula to get enough fluids and proper nutrition.

Early Care and Education and Obesity Prevention Report, summarized from NRC

The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education has released a report titled "Achieving a State of Healthy Weight: 2018 Report." Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report is published annually and assesses the extent to which Early Care and Education licensing regulations in all fifty states and DC include nationally recommended obesity prevention standards, including supporting breastfeeding and feeding of breast milk. The authors of the report conclude that the data show improvements in states' efforts to strengthen child care licensing regulations and prevent childhood obesity in Early Care and Education programs.

State/Community News

Survey Launched on Maternal and Child Health Care Needs, summarized from Alabama

The Alabama Department of Public Health has launched a series of anonymous online surveys to assess the health needs of women of childbearing age, infants, children, and youth in the state. Families, youth, and healthcare providers are invited to complete the survey. ADPH is also collecting information through key informant interviews and focus groups hosted around the state by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The purpose of collecting this data is to ensure that public funds are being used wisely and to meet the requirements of the federal Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program.

USBC Insight: The Title V Maternal and Child Health federal block grant is a key source of support for promoting and improving the health and well-being of the nation's mothers, children, including children with special needs, and their families. Breastfeeding rates are included as one of fifteen National Performance Measures for the Title V program. 

Initiative Launched to Improve the Health of Mothers and Babies, summarized from Michigan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has published the "2020-2023 Mother Infant Health and Equity Improvement Plan." The improvement plan includes comprehensive statewide strategies that will align stakeholders around key goals to improve the health of mothers and babies, with a goal of zero preventable deaths and zero health disparities. Support for breastfeeding is included in three of the six primary priorities.

Local WIC Programs Recognized for Breastfeeding Support, summarized from Missouri

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recognized five Missouri Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs with the Loving Support Awards of Excellence. The Loving Support Awards were established to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities.

Impact Brief on Massachusetts Paid Sick Days, summarized from IWPR

The Institute for Women's Policy Research has released a briefing paper titled "Valuing Good Health in Massachusetts: The Costs and Benefits of Earned Sick Days." The publication estimates the costs and benefits of the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law, which has been in effect since 2015. The analysis estimates the fiscal impact of many of the documented effects of paid sick days, including reduced public health costs and turnover.

USBC Insight: Paid sick days make it possible for breastfeeding employees to access preventive services, including breastfeeding support and counseling, when needed.

Equity Lens

Webinar on Advancing Racial Equity, summarized from Tamarack

Join the Tamarack Institute on Tuesday, October 22, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Reckoning, Repair, and Change: Authentically Advancing Racial Equity." Presenters will share business case examples where equity has driven corporate success and discuss the ways in which corporate community leaders can pursue these steps to more effectively support collective impact and community change efforts. They will also discuss how stakeholders in the philanthropic and non-profit sectors can apply these steps, and how such intentionality can support change at a systems level.

Collective Impact Connection

Article on Onboarding New Partners, summarized from CIF

The Collective Impact Forum has published a blog post titled "Welcome to the Party! How to onboard new collaborative partners." The article highlights strategies for onboarding new partners into Collective Impact initiatives. 

Webinar on Cross-Sector Collaboration, summarized from NACCHO

Join the National Association of County and City Health Officials and Apolitical on Wednesday, October 9, from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "How to be a better collaborator: Working with others to achieve your goals." With a focus on public service, speakers will discuss how being an effective collaborator can help achieve goals; lessons from case studies about how to put collaboration into practice; and how to brings others onto the policy journey.

News & Views

artnet news: "The Art World Is Considered a Progressive Place, But It Has a Big Blind Spot: Supporting Working Mothers"

Center for American Progress blog: "How Universal Home Visiting Models Can Support Newborns and Their Families"

Forbes: "The Business Of Breastfeeding: The CEOs Redefining Motherhood and Work"

The Huffington Post: "How Employers Make It Impossible For Working Women To Breastfeed"

NICHQ blog: "Applying an Equity Lens to Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding Efforts"

Reuters: "Health workers aim to save lives of mothers and babies with smartphone data"

Slate: "Stop Blaming Black Women for the Black Maternal Health Crisis and Start Blaming American Workplaces"

Recent Stories
Weekly Wire: November 8, 2019

Weekly Wire: October 31, 2019

Weekly Wire: October 24, 2019