Weekly Wire: April 7, 2022
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 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
- DEMAND Act Organizational Sign On Letter Delivered
- USBC Supports...
- USBC Conference Corner: Status Updates
- International News
- World Health Day, summarized from WHO
- Toolkit on World Health Day and Breastfeeding, summarized from WABA
- National News
- Public Comment Opportunity on HIV Surveillance, summarized from CDC
- Postpartum Coverage Extension Made Available, summarized from CMS
- Bill on Lactation Space for Veterans Advances in House, summarized from Congress
- Senate Hearing on FY23 HHS Budget Request, summarized from Congress
- Black Maternal Health Week Webinar, summarized from BMMA
- House Resolution on National Public Health Week Introduced, summarized from Congress
- State and Community News
- Article on Paid Leave Outcomes in the Bay Area, summarized from SSM
- Action Tool to Support Paid Leave for State Employees, summarized from South Carolina
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
DEMAND Act Organizational Sign On Letter Delivered
The USBC-affiliated COVID-19 Infant and Young Child Feeding Constellation launched an organizational sign-on letter supporting the DEMAND Act of 2022 (Delivering Essentials to Mothers Amid Natural Disasters Act). The DEMAND Act would ensure that lactation support services and supplies are eligible expenses for emergency assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Critical Needs Assistance program. The letter was delivered to members of the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Additional signers will be added on a rolling basis.
The USBC joined the following organizational sign-on letters from the field:
- AMCHP: Letter to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee urging investment in the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant
- NWA: Letter to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee urging investment in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
USBC Conference Corner: Status Updates
We are taking a moment to share the status of conference-related projects for the upcoming convening. The June 7-9 event will be hosted solely online.
- Registration is open with an early bird discount rate available until April 30. Registration and general FAQs are available on the website. A preliminary agenda will be posted very soon.
- The awards application is now closed, and applicants are being reviewed.
- The call for proposals is closed. Sessions have been selected, and notifications have been sent. (Please check your spam folder if you have not yet seen your notification.)
- Marketing opportunities are available, with virtual exhibit booth spaces and three networking sponsorship opportunities. Exhibitors have the option of selecting an all-access pass, or solely staffing their online booth (and not attending sessions). Additionally, the USBC is thrilled to offer a BIPOC exhibit discount this year. BIPOC-led/owned or BIPOC-serving organizations that are not a USBC member organization are invited to exhibit for just $50.
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World Health Day, summarized from WHO
World Health Day is taking place on Thursday, April 7. Coordinated by the World Health Organization, World Health Day 2022 will focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.
Toolkit on World Health Day and Breastfeeding, summarized from WABA
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action published a social media toolkit featuring graphics, messages, and action points on lactation and World Health Day. The graphics highlight breastfeeding as a climate-smart decision, noting that we can all work together to create a Warm Chain of Support for breastfeeding and contribute towards planetary health.
Public Comment Opportunity on HIV Surveillance, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proposed a data information collection project titled National HIV Surveillance System (NHSS). The NHSS is designed to collect information on cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and indicators of HIV disease and HIV disease progression including AIDS. Data is used to monitor the extent and characteristics of the HIV burden in the United States. The revisions requested in this package include program-initiated modifications to currently collected data elements and forms including the Pediatric Case Report Form (PCRF). Five new variables were added to the PCRF including several related to breastfeeding/chestfeeding. Comments may be submitted through Tuesday, May 31.
Postpartum Coverage Extension Made Available, summarized from CMS
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced new state plan options to offer state Medicaid and CHIP agencies an opportunity to provide 12 months of continuous postpartum coverage. Made possible through the American Rescue Plan, beginning April 1, 2022, states choosing to extend postpartum coverage must elect this option in both Medicaid and their separate CHIP programs, if applicable, and submit required state plan amendments to CMS. The new ARP state plan option is currently limited to a five-year period that ends on March 31, 2027. Read the letter to state health officials.
Bill on Lactation Space for Veterans Advances in House, summarized from Congress
The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs held a markup on pending legislation, including the Lactation Spaces for Veteran Moms Act (H.R. 5738). The bill would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that each of its medical centers contains a hygienic lactation space that is not a bathroom and meets other specifications (e.g., must be easy to locate). The bill was passed with unanimous bipartisan support.
Senate Hearing on FY23 HHS Budget Request, summarized from Congress
The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance hosted a hearing titled "The President's Fiscal Year 2023 Health and Human Services Budget." Funding for a wide range of programs that impact lactation are included in the HHS budget, including the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program. Individuals and organizations may submit their views for inclusion in the hearing record before Tuesday, April 19.
Black Maternal Health Week Webinar, summarized from BMMA
The Black Mamas Matter Alliance is hosting a webinar titled "Policy Leaders in Conversation during #BMHW22" on Wednesday, April 13, from 1-2 p.m. ET. The event, which falls during the fifth anniversary of Black Maternal Health Week, will feature the nation's top policymakers, experts, and advocates who are leading the fight to end the maternal mortality crisis among Black women in the United States. Highlights include a keynote address from Vice President Kamala Harris, along with remarks and panel discussions featuring Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Rep. Alma Adams, Rep. Lauren Underwood, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Sen. Cory Booker, and others.
House Resolution on National Public Health Week Introduced, summarized from Congress
A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced a House Resolution supporting the goals and ideals of National Public Health Week (H. Res. 1027). The resolution recognizes National Public Health Week, taking place April 4 through April 11, and urges action to address racial health disparities, reduce infant and maternal mortality, support a robust public health infrastructure, and beyond.
State & Community News
Article on Paid Leave Outcomes in the Bay Area, summarized from SSM
SSM Population Health published an article titled "Inequities in paid parental leave across industry and occupational class: Drivers and simulated policy remedies." The article analyzes leave-taking among women in the Bay Area who gave birth, where most workers are eligible for partially-paid leave under California's paid family and medical leave program. The authors find significant inequities in access to paid leave for workers in different industries and occupations, and potential causes that policymakers could address.
Action Tool to Support Paid Leave for State Employees, summarized from South Carolina
The Women's Rights and Empowerment Network has launched an action tool titled "S.11, Paid Parental Leave for State Employees." The bipartisan bill would ensure that state employees receive paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child. The bill was advanced with unanimous support in the South Carolina Senate.
News & Views
LER: "Dangerous Donations"
Minnesota Reformer: "Let's make it easier for moms to breastfeed if they want to"
NMBFTF: "Developing a Lactation Room"
Psychology Today: "Safe Infant Sleep and Breastfeeding Are Partners"