Weekly Wire: October 31, 2019

Weekly Wire: October 31, 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​
    • USBC is on Capitol Hill!
    • Native American Heritage Month Resources
    • Federal Appropriations for Breastfeeding Webpage
  • National News​
    • Senate to Debate Minibus Spending Package, summarized from Congress
    • Labor Force Participation Rate Maps, summarized from DOL
    • Action Tool to Support Funding for REACH Program, summarized from SOPHE
    • New Members Elected, summarized from NAM
  • State and Community News
    • Reproductive Freedom Index Published, summarized from NIRH
  • Equity Lens
    • Equitable Doula Access Policy Brief, summarized from HealthConnect One
    • Issue Brief on Supporting Birth Equity, summarized from CHI
    • Webinar on Social Services for Low-Income Pregnant Women, summarized from Systems for Action
  • Collective Impact Connection
    • Virtual Office Hour on Navigating the Backbone Role, summarized from CIF
    • Webinar on Building Transformational Networks, summarized from LLC
  • News & Views

 *denotes a USBC member organization news item

USBC Updates

USBC is on Capitol Hill!

USBC's Executive Director, Nikia Sankofa, and Deputy Director, Amelia Psmythe, are on Capitol Hill this week! They are meeting with legislators on both sides of the aisle to urge action in support of two critical priorities: federal funding for breastfeeding and workplace protections for breastfeeding employees. Please help amplify the impact of their visits by contacting your Members of Congress with our easy online action tool. We particularly encourage constituents in Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Montana, New York, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia to take action. Raise your voice and encourage others to do the same! 

Native American Heritage Month Resources

November is Native American Heritage Month! The USBC has published a webpage titled "Native American Heritage Month." The webpage features a compilation of resources, tools, and materials from USBC and the field. Please send additional resources to newsletter@usbreastfeeding.org.

Federal Appropriations for Breastfeeding Webpage

USBC has launched a new webpage titled "Federal Appropriations for Breastfeeding." The webpage describes the federal budget process, explains how federal appropriations impact breastfeeding families, and features the status and recent analyses of appropriations bills that are relevant to the breastfeeding field.

National News

Senate to Debate Minibus Spending Package, summarized from Congress

The Senate has voted to approve a procedural motion to begin debate on the first minibus spending package (H.R. 3055). The measure includes five of the twelve federal appropriations bills, including the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (Agriculture) appropriations bill.

USBC Insight: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a public health nutrition program under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agriculture and is funded through the Agriculture appropriations bill. Overall funding for the WIC program is equal in the House and Senate versions of the Agriculture Appropriations bill. Both bills represent an increase in funding for the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program from Fiscal Year 2019 levels, however the House version funds the Peer Counselor program at $90 million while the Senate version provides $80 million. The peer counselor program is authorized at $90 million, but has only been provided $60 million for nearly a decade. This funding level is not sufficient to allow all clinics to provide peer counselor services. The National WIC Association (NWA) has launched an organizational sign-on letter in support of the House funding level for WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors. The deadline to sign on is close of business on Thursday, October 31. Individuals are encouraged to use NWA's online action tool "Support the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program" to contact their Senators and Representatives about this funding priority. Find additional information in the Weekly WIC Policy Update

Labor Force Participation Rate Maps, summarized from DOL

The Department of Labor, Women's Bureau has released two interactive maps: "Women's Labor Force Participation Rate by Presence and Age of Children, State and County" and "Labor Force Participation Rate by Sex, State and County." The maps show data at the state and county level on women's labor force participation and mothers' labor force participation by age of their children. Estimates are available for every county/county equivalent.

Action Tool to Support Funding for REACH Program, summarized from SOPHE

The Society for Public Health Education has launched an online action tool titled "Take action! Urge policymakers to vote for and act on behalf of public health programs and services." Individuals are invited to use the action tool to contact their Members of Congress in support of funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program in the final Fiscal Year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill.

USBC Insight: The CDC REACH program works to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities through local, culturally appropriate programs, including breastfeeding support. See the list of REACH 2018 program recipients to learn more.

New Members Elected, summarized from NAM

The National Academy of Medicine has elected 100 new individual members. Election to NAM recognizes individuals in the field of health and medicine who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. The newly elected members bring NAM's total membership to more than 2,200 and the number of international members to approximately 180.

USBC Insight: Newly elected individuals include at least two strong breastfeeding supporters: David Meyers, M.D., FAAFP, chief physician at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Ph.D., professor of public health at Yale University.

State and Community News

Reproductive Freedom Index Published, summarized from NIRH

The National Institute for Reproductive Health has released the "2019 Local Reproductive Freedom Index." The report evaluates the reproductive health, rights, and justice policies of 50 U.S. cities. Breastfeeding support, paid family leave, and paid sick days are included as measured policies in each city's score.

Equity Lens

*Equitable Doula Access Policy Brief, summarized from HealthConnect One

HealthConnect One has published an issue brief titled "Creating Policy for Equitable Doula Access." The publication defines the roles of doulas and community-based doulas and covers processes and approaches to developing policy that will provide equitable doula access. 

*Issue Brief on Supporting Birth Equity, summarized from CHI

Centering Healthcare Institute has released an issue brief titled "How CenteringPregnancy can Support Birth Equity." The publication examines the need for new approaches to maternal child health care to increase birth equity and reduce the growing disparities among mothers and infants, particularly African Americans.

Webinar on Social Services for Low-Income Pregnant Women, summarized from Systems for Action

Systems for Action is hosting a webinar titled "Closing Gaps in Health and Social Services for Low-Income Pregnant Woman" on Wednesday, November 20, from 12-1 p.m. ET. The session will discuss the Los Angeles Maternity Assessment Management Access and Service program, an innovative, multi-sector initiative that seeks to address the constellation of social factors that contribute to adverse maternal and infant outcomes. It will also highlight the work of a research team led by Los Angeles County that will test the effectiveness of the program's four major components: (1) a health home care management model, (2) peer and community support, (3) flexible funding for non-medical services, and (4) an advanced health information technology platform.

Collective Impact Connection

Virtual Office Hour on Navigating the Backbone Role, summarized from CIF

The Collective Impact Forum is hosting a session titled "Virtual Office Hour: Navigating the Backbone Role" on Thursday, November 7, from 2-3 p.m. ET. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about serving on a backbone organization's team. Questions can be submitted during registration or during the live Q&A session.

Webinar on Building Transformational Networks, summarized from LLC

The Leadership Learning Community is hosting a webinar titled "Scaffolding for System Shifting Networks" on Monday, November 4, from 2-3 p.m. ET. Speakers from Network Weaver will discuss the six basic structures that work together to create an environment for rapid change and the necessary scaffolding for truly transformational networks.

News & Views

*AAP News: "Top 10 ways busy pediatricians can support breastfeeding"

*AAP Press Release: "Informal Sharing of Breast Milk Gains Popularity Among Women, Despite Safety Risks"

Big Island Now: "WLC Opens Lactation Room at Capitol"

Brainerd Dispatch: "Incarcerated mom stays connected with baby through jail project"

Breastfeeding Medicine blog: "Towards Improved Support for Medical Trainees Who Are Breastfeeding"

CBS Local: "Life-saving resources for premature babies"

Forbes: "13 Employment Perks Businesses Aren't Offering, But Should Be"

Health Affairs blog: "Five Insights From The First Five Years Of Research On Building A Culture of Health"

Medium: "When 'Upstream' Public Health Falls Short"

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