Weekly Wednesday Wire: May 3, 2017

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.

USBC Update

Deadline Approaching 2017 Coalitions Conference Scholarships

The Seventh National Breastfeeding Coalitions Conference will be held August 4-6, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia. The deadline to apply for conference scholarships is Friday, May 5. There are two scholarship programs:

  • The Drs. Ruth Lawrence & Audrey Naylor Legacy Scholarship is offered to two awardees each year to provide support to talented and dedicated individuals who are new, emerging, or aspiring breastfeeding coalition leaders. The scholarship is open to individuals who are actively involved with a state, territorial, tribal, local, or cultural breastfeeding coalition in the United States.
  • The Tribal/Native Trailblazer Scholarship is also offered each year to provide support to talented and dedicated individuals who are new, emerging, or aspiring breastfeeding leaders in tribal/native communities. The scholarship is open to tribal/native individuals who are actively involved in collaborative efforts to support breastfeeding in tribal/native communities.

FY17 Appropriations Update

The House today approved a bipartisan spending package to keep the federal government funded through September and avoid a shutdown at the end of this week. It now heads to the Senate, which is expected to approve it by Friday, when the current Continuing Resolution expires. The text is available on the House Rules Committee website, with the Labor-HHS-Ed section in Division H. We are pleased to report that it includes continued flat funding of $8 million for CDC's Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding programs. The appropriation for the Title V Maternal & Child Health Services Block Grant is increased by $3.5 million, directed to Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) "to fund a study focused on improving child health through a Statewide system of early childhood developmental screenings and interventions." As proposed earlier in the year, however, the bill zeros out the CDC's Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program. Summary resources include:

Federal News

Vital Signs Report on African American Health Disparities, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a Vital Signs report presenting the latest findings on the leading causes of deaths and health risks for African Americans compared to whites in the United States. African Americans are the third-largest racial/ethnic population in the United States. Disparities in the leading causes of death for African Americans compared to whites are pronounced by early and middle adulthood, especially chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The CDC also examined health behaviors and other factors which may impact those disparities, across the life span. Join the Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference on Tuesday, May 9, from 2-3 p.m. ET.

House to Vote on Amended American Health Care Act, from Congress

Republican leadership has announced that the House will fast-track a vote on an amended version of the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628) on Thursday. The expedited vote means that lawmakers will be voting on the bill without an updated report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on how the bill would impact coverage or costs. Additional votes were gained by last week's MacArthur amendment allowing states to waive preexisting conditions and essential health benefits. A new Upton amendment released today would provide $8 billion over five years to help people with pre-existing conditions afford their premiums in states that are granted such waivers.

The latest incarnation of the bill would still repeal the Prevention & Public Health Fund, but would not impact the Preventive Services provision that requires health plan coverage of breastfeeding services and supplies or the "Nursing Breaks" provision for breastfeeding accommodation in the workplace. Major health groups like the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association remain strongly opposed, warning of the coverage losses and other problems that caused the underlying bill to fail in March. Even if the bill passes the House, questions still remain about its chances in the Senate.

Your Guide to Breastfeeding Updated, from HHS/OWH

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health has updated their "Your Guide to Breastfeeding" publication, featuring information and support to help women breastfeed. Download and print a PDF version, or download it through the U.S. Government Bookstore, Apple's iBooks, Google Play, or Barnes and Noble. OWH is also offering the print version to health professionals and lactation consultants in bulk quantities (a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 500). To order hard copies, call the OWH Helpline at 1-800-994-9662. 

Webinar on HP2020 MICH Progress, from HHS

Join the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday, May 18, from 12-1 p.m. ET for a webinar on the progress made toward achieving the Healthy People 2020 Maternal, Infant, and Child Health Leading Health Indicators. Participants will also learn about Cradle Cincinnati's work to reduce infant mortality and preterm birth rates by focusing on the spacing between pregnancies, reducing tobacco use during pregnancy, and promoting safe sleep practices.

U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry Findings, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released the latest findings from the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry (USZPR) on Zika virus infection in pregnant women and infants, which highlight the importance of prevention and early care. Join the corresponding webinar on Thursday, May 4, from 2-3 p.m. E.T. The CDC has also released additional considerations for evaluating and managing infants with possible congenital Zika virus infection. Participants will understand the latest estimates for birth defects associated with Zika virus infection during pregnancy; discuss additional considerations for evaluating and managing infants with possible congenital Zika virus infection, and apply the updated recommendations outlined in the additional considerations for the evaluation and management of infants with possible congenital Zika virus infection.

Member News

2016 Annual Report, from BMBFA

The Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association has released its 2016 Annual Report, "The Tree of Life." The report features stories from families and highlights BMBFA programs and advocacy efforts.

Partner News

New Zika Care Website, from MoD

The March of Dimes has launched Zika Care Connect (ZCC), a website that helps families affected by Zika find information and specialty healthcare professionals who can provide care that matches their unique needs (for example, location, language, insurance). Healthcare professionals can also use ZCC as a resource to access patient education materials and to identify other specialists that care for families affected by Zika. ZCC was developed and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the website is hosted and maintained by the March of Dimes.    

Health Equity and Strategic Partnership Webinar, from PHI

Join the Public Health Institute on Thursday, June 1, from 1-2:30 p.m. ET for a webinar entitled, "Build Power for Health Equity: Strategic Practices for Local Health Departments." The panelists will provide concrete examples of how they have implemented health equity practices, their lessons learned, and their practical guidance to local health department staff interested in tackling similar efforts. The webinar will cover specific practices such as hiring and contracting, staff training, partnering with community organizing groups, and using Health in All Policies. Broader themes to be discussed include confronting the root causes of inequity and supporting leadership and innovation to advance equity.

New Funding Award, from CHAMPS

Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices has received the support of a three-year, $1,500,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan. CHAMPS will increase breastfeeding rates, reduce disparities and improve maternity care practices in Mississippi through the Mississippi Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices (MS CHAMPS) project. CHAMPS will accomplish these goals by providing technical assistance to 32 Mississippi hospitals in navigating the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation process. Read the press release.

News from Field

CHIP Extension Sign-On Letter, from Various

First Focus and other leading stakeholders are circulating a sign-on letter to Congressional leaders urging Congress to act quickly to enact a long-term extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The groups call for securing CHIP's future so that this essential program will continue to be available for the 8.9 million children and hundreds of thousands of pregnant women who rely on CHIP for their coverage. The deadline to sign on is Wednesday, May 10. 

Clinician Guide on Pacifiers, from BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth has released, "When is the use of pacifiers justifiable in the baby-friendly hospital initiative context? A clinician's guide." The guide reviews the current literature available on pacifier use to enable critical decision-making regarding the justifiable use of pacifiers, especially in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative context, and provides practical guidelines for clinicians. Guidelines are presented for assessing and guiding safe pacifier use, for a specific design to ensure safety, and for the cessation of use to ensure normal childhood development.

New Childhood Obesity Funding Opportunity, from CHOICES Project

The Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) project at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is seeking applications for a learning collaborative partnership opportunity. Funding from CHOICES will support states, cities, and counties in preventing childhood obesity and associated health outcomes by building local capacity among decision makers to choose and implement cost-effective strategies. The expected impact of this Partnership will be to engage decision makers and promote discussion and action to ensure that more of our scarce local, state, and national public health resources are directed towards more cost-effective interventions. This funding will cover a 12-month project period from July 2017-June 2018. Funding levels are expected to be up to $50,000 per awardee. Applications are due at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 31.

New Population Health Studies, from NAM

The National Academy of Medicine, via its population health roundtable, has released three new study papers exploring and promoting the use of Medicaid to support prevention:

Collective Impact Connection

Five Keys to Successful Systems Change, from SSIR

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has released an article entitled, "Solving the World's Biggest Problems: Better Philanthropy Through Systems Change." The article explores how philanthropists and nonprofits are embracing the principles of systems change as an effective way to solve the world's biggest problems. It asserts that our focus should be more on solving problems through creative collaboration, and less on the establishment and perpetuation of new institutions. The article contains five keys to successful systems change that can help coalitions understand how to be successful with this model. 

News & Views

JAMA Peds Viewpoint: "Relationship Between the American Academy of Pediatrics and Infant Formula Companies"

TechDirt: "Want To Promote Breastfeeding? That's A Trade Barrier, Says US Trade Rep"

Fortune: "Delta Settles With Flight Attendant Who Says She Had Nowhere to Pump Breast Milk"

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