Maternal & Child Health Newsletter, Iss. 29
News from NIHCM
NIHCM Foundation will be presenting at the American Public Health Association annual conference on November 6, 2013. Kathryn Santoro, Director of Policy and Development will present on NIHCM’s recent collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Children’s Safety Network on health plan roles in childhood unintentional injury prevention. Ms. Santoro and Claire Rudolph, Research and Policy Analyst, will present findings from NIHCM’s July 2012 issue brief on health plan and health plan foundation investments in the future health care workforce.
Archived Webinar – STDs and Adolescents: A Call to Action for Providers and Health Plans – On July 24, 2013, NIHCM Foundation held a webinar with the National Chlamydia Coalition on opportunities for improving the prevention and diagnosis of STDs among adolescents.
NIHCM Foundation hosted the first annual meeting of the Coalition for Maternal Mental Health on October 2, 2013. Representatives from non-profit and business organizations discussed screening, diagnosis and treatment barriers for maternal depression. Federal government representatives will participate in a follow-up meeting when the government shutdown ends, and the coalition will meet again in January 2014.
Promising Practices in MCH
NIHCM Foundation recently published a new fact sheet in the Promising Practices in Maternal and Child Health series. “Community Partnerships to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Florida” describes a unique collaboration between the Florida Blue Foundation and six communities across Florida. Together, the Florida Blue Foundation and the communities are changing policies and engaging in activities to reduce childhood obesity across the state.
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
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) is partnering with two new organizations and expanding the Building Healthy Communities school-based nutrition and fitness program to an additional 28 schools. The United Dairy Industry of Michigan and the University of Michigan will join project partners BCBSM, the Michigan Fitness Foundation and Wayne State University, and will introduce new resources, such as the middle school-focused Project Healthy Schools, the Fuel Up to Play 60 student leadership program, and breakfast in the classroom.
Highmark Foundation has awarded a $144,500 grant to implement the Pointing Adolescents Toward Health (PATH) program for improving physical activity and nutrition at George Junior Republic, a residential treatment facility for at-risk male youth. PATH participants, chosen based on body fat analysis, will be assigned to teams guided by a certified personal trainer, registered nurse and outdoor recreation staff for a 20-week program.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation has awarded a two-year, $149,000 grant to the March of Dimes to expand the CenteringPregnancy group prenatal care program in Colorado. This grant builds upon a successful funding history, including a 2011 initiative to provide prenatal care to 3,400 women, which found that preterm birth rates at Foundation-funded CenteringPregnancy sites were 35% lower than overall rates in states supported by the grants.
The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey has awarded more than $500,000 in grants to 25 local non-profit organizations. Many of these grants are for initiatives to support child and adolescent health, including the tour of “Austin the Unstoppable,” a musical comedy about childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes; PEI Kids, to support a crisis intervention program for children who are victims of sexual abuse; and implementation of the Discover: CATCH wellness program at a Jewish Community Center.
Wellmark Foundation has awarded its 2013 Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grants to community-level health improvement programs. Grantees include a partnership in Cedar Rapids to complete the I-WALK assessment and stimulate physical activity among school-aged children, and the YMCA to implement Iowa State University’s SWITCH program that aims to change parenting behaviors and home environments associated with risk of obesity.
WellPoint, Inc. has announced its plan leverage the newborn management expertise of CareNex to enhance maternity and infant care management strategy at its plans. WellPoint will also use CareNex’s clinical data repository and Physician Advisory board, with an overall goal of providing coordinated, patient-centered care for premature infants and their mothers.
The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation has awarded over $2 million in grants to health care organizations across the state. Funded maternal and child health initiatives include school-based health clinics in the Charleston Promise Neighborhood, the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s contraceptive utilization efforts, and Dorchester Children’s programs to address the effects of child abuse on uninsured and underinsured families.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a white paper examining the role technology can play in improving adolescent sexual health. “Adolescents, Technology and Reducing Risk for HIV, STDs and Pregnancy” looks at the way youth are using technology, the risks associated with misuse, and examples of how technology can be deployed to improve the reach and effectiveness of sexual health interventions.
The Office of Adolescent Health released a new research brief and infographic outlining the effects of the ACA on coverage and care for adolescents. “The Affordable Care Act and Adolescents,” outlines various ways young people could gain coverage and expanded benefits, as well the potential impact of other initiatives like school-based health centers, teen pregnancy prevention, home visiting, the childhood obesity demonstration project and community health centers.
The National Governors Association published a paper on state roles in improving birth outcomes. “Improving Birth Outcomes in Medicaid” describes the importance of Medicaid policy in reducing infant deaths. The paper also explains multiple state initiatives aimed at reducing infant mortality and describes which states are participating in the initiatives.
The National Governors Association issued their annual Maternal and Child Health Update. The “2012 Maternal and Child Health Update: The Changing Environment of Medicaid/CHIP Coverage for Children and Improving Birth Outcomes” describes NGA survey data, which reflect an increased state focus on collecting data and measuring MCH programs. The update also indicates that a majority of states are covering Medicaid/CHIP populations through a managed care agreement.
Grantmakers in Health published an article on children’s dental health, “The Role of Evaluation in Designing CHOMPERS! and Bringing Dental Care to Kids.” The article explains the importance of preventing dental disease in children and describes the implementation and evaluation of an initiative of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York aimed at improving the oral health of young children through dental education, prevention and treatment.
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officers released an issue brief explaining the harmful effects of smoking before, during and after pregnancy and the cost savings that Medicaid can realize from instituting smoking cessation programs. “Smoking Cessation Strategies for Women Before, During, and After Pregnancy” also provides recommendations for state and territorial health agencies to increase smoking cessation rates among pregnant women.