Weekly Wire Archive
The USBC e-Newsletter, Staying Abreast, is published in a weekly news brief format, called the Weekly Wire (WW). Past issues are archived below.
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.
The WW goes on hiatus several times a year: the weeks of the Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's holidays, the weeks before the Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day holidays, and the weeks of the USBC membership meetings.
In this issue:
USBC Board Members To Serve as Panelists During U.S. Launch of 2023 Lancet Series on Breastfeeding
USBC Board members, Dr. Sekeita Lewis-Johnson and Tina Sherman are featured panelists on the upcoming USA Launch event for the 2023 Lancet Series on Breastfeeding, which will be held on Tuesday, April 18, at 11 a.m. ET. A panel of experts, along with authors of the 2023 Lancet Series on Breastfeeding, will unpack the new 3-paper series discussing infant behaviors, feeding practices, and multisectoral interventions to support breastfeeding. The discussion will explore the commercial milk formula marketing 'playbook' as well as the power, political, and economic structures that impact on infant feeding, health, and human rights. The event will be live-streamed, and registration is free but required for attendance.
Joint Letter Calling on Congress to Invest in Breastfeeding Delivered to House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee delivered the joint letter calling for increased funding for the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding Program in Fiscal Year 2024 to the offices of all members of the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees. The letter calls on Congress to protect infant nutrition security by investing in this critical program and is signed by 118 organizations. Help amplify the impact of the letter by contacting your Senators and Representative with our easy action tool! If your organization was not able to sign on to the letter, it's not too late. Additional signatures on the organizational letter will be added on a rolling basis as the letter will be delivered again at strategic moments in the federal budget process.
Early Bird Discount Ending Soon: Register for the USBC Conference Today!
The annual National Breastfeeding Conference and Convening (NBCC) brings together a diverse network of clinical, community, advocacy, and research professionals who recognize the public health significance of breastfeeding. This year's theme is Expanding Connections and Partnering for Progress and is designed to develop and strengthen the leadership capacity of the public health workforce to effectively protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. Early bird discounts are only available through Sunday, April 30, so don't delay! Visit the conference webpage to learn more about the preliminary agenda and to register, or to learn more about marketing and sponsorship opportunities.
New USBC Members: Black Women Do VBAC and Milk Like Mine
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is pleased to welcome two new organizations to the USBC membership! The mission of Black Women Do VBAC is to promote the understanding of team building, advocacy, and education on vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) for Black & BIPOC pregnant people resulting in a decrease in surgical births and an increase in empowered birth outcomes. Milk Like Mine is a breastfeeding coalition and community birthing and breastfeeding services center focused on the care of mothers of color and their families. The USBC warmly welcomes both members to the USBC community!
Webinars on Implementing White House Priorities on Hunger and Nutrition
The Food and Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association and the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists are hosting a two-part webinar series titled, Reflect and Act Webinars: Implementing the Priorities of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The sessions will highlight the role of public health nutrition professionals as critical leaders in the implementation of key strategies within the pillars of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The first webinar is titled, "Building Knowledge: Summary of Priority Areas Outlined in the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health and How Public Health Professionals are Centered in Implementation" and will take place on Thursday, April 20, at 1 p.m. ET. The second webinar is titled, "Taking Action: Current Strategies, Projects, and Funding Initiatives in Rural, Tribal, and Urban Health Spaces" and will be hosted on Wednesday, May 24, at 1 p.m. ET.
USBC Insights: Infant nutrition security is a critical part of the conversation on ending hunger and building healthier communities. The "National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health" calls for expanded breastfeeding support and counseling for mothers, including through the WIC program, workplace lactation support, and insurer coverage of lactation support, supplies, and counseling. Learn more about the importance of infant nutrition security, particularly in light of the recent formula shortage crisis, in the USBC blog, "The Four Pillars of Infant Nutrition Security in the United States."
Public Comment Opportunity on RMOMS Program
The Health Resources and Services Administration published a notice of intent to collect information on Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program grants. The annual collection of this information helps further inform and substantiate the focus and objectives of the RMOMS program. HRSA specifically requests comments on (1) the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden, (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden. The deadline to submit comments is Tuesday, June 6.
USBC Insights: RMOMS supports grants to improve access to and continuity of maternal and obstetrics care in rural communities by increasing the delivery of and access to preconception, pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum services, including breastfeeding support.
Virtual Training for Employers on Workplace Laws
The U.S. Small Business Administration is coming together with the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Labor, and Columbus, Ohio Environment Protection Services to host a virtual training titled, "Get in the know with SBA, EPA, IRS and DOL for Employers and Businesses" on Wednesday, April 26, at 11 a.m. ET. The agencies will provide up-to-date information for employers and businesses on laws and regulations, including information on the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law.
Revamped Maternal and Child Health Bill Tracker
The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs released the revamped "Maternal & Child Health Bill Tracker," a tool for professionals and individuals interested in federal legislation focused on improving and advancing maternal and child health. The bill tracker was first launched in 2021 and is updated regularly to track legislation benefitting the health of women, children, and families. This easy-to-navigate resource highlights pivotal maternal and child health bills passed in previous Congresses, including the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act and Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, as well as legislation that has been introduced during the current Congressional session.
MODERN WIC Act of 2023 Introduced in House and Senate
The More Options to Develop and Enhance Remote Nutrition (MODERN) in WIC Act (S.984/H.R. 2424) has been introduced in both the House and Senate with original bipartisan cosponsorship. The MODERN WIC Act would make WIC benefits more accessible to low-income families, while increasing child retention in the program, by allowing them to certify and recertify for WIC services remotely. The bill would also allocate $60 million to WIC offices around the country to support and upgrade office technology in order to make these changes to the program. Read the press release.
Report on Rural Healthcare Access
Chartis published a report titled, "Rural Health Safety Net Under Renewed Pressure as Pandemic Fades." The report shares the results of a study examining the stability of the rural health safety net, declining access to services in already vulnerable rural communities, and the potential impact of the new Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation. The report found that 217 rural hospitals have ceased to provide obstetrics care since 2011. The states absorbing the highest loss of access to obstetrics care are Minnesota, Texas, Iowa, Kansas, and Wisconsin. Media highlights include:
NIH Innovative Approaches to Improve Maternal Health Workshop
The National Institutes of Health is hosting the "2023 Innovative Approaches to Improve Maternal Health Hybrid Workshop" from May 8-9 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. each day. This event connects the research community with small businesses that are developing new approaches to improve maternal morbidity and mortality and its associated health disparities. Panel session experts will discuss the best ways to integrate new maternal health technology into the community, address health disparities faced by pregnant people, and improve access to diagnostic and treatment tools. Participants can join the workshop in person in Bethesda, Maryland, or via videocast.
2023 County Health Rankings National Findings Report
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R) released the "2023 County Health Rankings National Findings Report." CHR&R's County Health Rankings model is designed around the reality that a wide range of factors influence our quality and length of life. These factors include opportunities for education, income, and wealth generation, safe, secure, and affordable housing, and the right to shape policies and practices that impact our everyday lives. This year's report focuses on the link between civic infrastructure and participation and healthy, thriving communities, and shows that there are disparities in access to civic infrastructure across the nation. The report includes measures on obesity, infant mortality, food security, and childcare costs.
State & Community News
San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition Recruiting Board Members
The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition (SDBC) is seeking candidates who reflect the full diversity of the communities that they serve to fill vacancies on the Board of Directors for 2023. Visit the SDCB website for information on the vacancies, expected commitments, and the application process.
Pennsylvania Bill Introduced to Provide Medicaid Coverage for Pasteurized Donor Human Milk
Pennsylvania Senator Brooks introduced Senate Bill 500, which would amend the Human Services Code to provide Medicaid coverage for medically prescribed pasteurized donor human milk. The donor milk would have to be obtained from a milk bank licensed in Pennsylvania or through a hospital licensure process in accordance with the Keystone Mother's Milk Bank Act of 2020.
Health Resources and Services Administration:
National Institutes of Health: Research to Improve Native American Health. Application deadline: September 7.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: American Indian and Alaska Native Behavioral Health Center of Excellence. Application deadline: May 26.
News & Views
Birth & Breastfeeding Leadership Institute: "Meet the Spring 2023 Cohort"
Nashville Scene: "Paid Family Leave Policy for State Employees Passes in Senate"
Society for Human Resource Management: "Train Managers as PUMP Act Enforcement and PWFA Effective Dates Approach"
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology: "State paid family and medical leave and postpartum outcomes"
International Breastfeeding Journal: "Emotional and informational social support from health visitors and breastfeeding outcomes in the UK"
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