Maternal & Child Health Newsletter, Iss. 30
News from NIHCM
Webinar Archive – Expanding Nutritional Counseling to Prevent Childhood Obesity – On December 12th NIHCM Foundation held a webinar on opportunities for improving access to nutritional counseling for children through primary care providers and registered dieticians. The event featured Dr. Michael Lu, Associate Administrator for HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, who shared remarks on the importance of proper nutrition.
NIHCM Foundation staff gave two presentations at the American Public Health Association annual meeting on November 6th. Kathryn Santoro, Director of Policy and Development, discussed NIHCM’s collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Children’s Safety Network on childhood unintentional injury prevention. Ms. Santoro and Claire Rudolph, Research and Policy Analyst, presented NIHCM’s 2012 issue brief on health plan and health plan foundation investments in the future health care workforce.
The New York Times recently published an in-depth series following a young family in New York City through the day-to-day struggles of homelessness. Housing instability can have major health consequences for kids. Children who are homeless are sick four times as often as their peers and are more likely to suffer from acute and chronic illnesses. NIHCM Foundation has worked on strategies for the health system to help stabilize housing and improve health care for homeless youth. See our webinar archive and fact sheet for more information.
Promising Practices in MCH
We continue to update our Promising Practices in MCH searchable database, a collection of emerging and promising health plan programs and collaborations. This database allows you to learn more about the MCH activities and priorities of health plans and foundations from across the country with a goal of facilitating program replication and fostering new collaborations between health plans and other MCH stakeholders, especially those working in communities and in the public sector. We invite you to submit your public-private partnership success stories for inclusion in the Promising Practices in MCH database.
Health Plan Initiatives to Improve MCH
The Blue Zones Project, an innovative population health program supported by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, continues to make progress in Iowa. Spencer, IA was recently named the first certified Blue Zones community, recognizing the city’s efforts to improve the well being of all its citizens through sustainable environmental changes. For more information on the project, see NIHCM Foundation’s fact sheet highlighting Wellmark’s efforts to bring Blue Zones to Iowa.
The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas recently awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to 42 communities throughout the state. The grants are designed to bring communities together in healthy ways. Grantees include the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, to implement physical activity breaks in public schools, and the Save the Children Federation, Inc., to provide nutrition education and activities to children across the state.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has recently announced more than $1.6 million in grant funding to 38 organizations throughout the state. As part of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative, these grants aim to engage children and families in nutritious eating, increasing physical activity, improving immunization rates and promoting safe environments. Grantees include the YWCA of Fort Worth, Texas Children’s Hospital Foundation, Family Promise of Odessa and more.
Florida Blue has teamed up with Marvel Custom Solutions to create a comic book designed to convey positive messages about healthy lifestyles. The comic book shows readers that even superheroes need to make healthy choices every day. The book includes a training guide and will be available in English and Spanish. Florida Blue is hosting statewide events to promote the comic book, and children will have the opportunity to meet characters from the book.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), Walgreens and the Boston Public Health Commission are working together to increase flu vaccinations among Boston residents this season. A donation from BCBSMA will support free vaccinations for children, Walgreens will provide 2500 free vaccination vouchers for adults, and a media campaign will concentrate outreach in areas of Boston that traditionally see higher-than-average rates of flu-like illness.
The California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative is co-hosting a networking reception and forum, Innovation for Mom’s Minds & Hearts, on January 23, 2014 with the L.A. County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The event will focus on improving birth outcomes and mental health, with topics including disparities in reproductive health, preterm birth, maternal depression and preconception health.
The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital released a study on injuries resulting from high chairs and booster seats. The study finds that 24 children are treated at emergency departments for high chair-related injuries each day in the U.S. and that nearly all injuries involve a fall. The report also includes tips for keeping children safe in high chairs.
Children’s Safety Network recently released an infographic on child pedestrian safety. The infographic illustrates statistics on deaths and risk factors for child pedestrians. It shows that more than 67,000 child pedestrians are injured each year and highlights injury risk factors, which include age, gender, location and race.
The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) released an issue brief on screening for critical congenital heart defects (CCHD). The brief builds on recommendations from a February 2013 meeting attended by AMCHP, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state newborn screening and birth defect program representatives. The brief highlights key components and best practices for CCHD screening, as well as successful collaborations and state programs.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) published an issue brief that describes the current landscape of potential maternal, child and adolescent health partnerships for local health departments. Findings from the Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health 2012 Survey are also presented. The goal of the brief is to provide insight on the existing collaborations with these partners and possibilities for maintaining or expanding these collaborations.