August 2010 
Preconception Health and Health Care Update
This is a monthly communication for individuals interested in improving the health of women and infants through preconception health and health care. We welcome your readership and contributions.
Seizing Opportunities in National Infant Mortality Awareness Monthafrican american couple and babie
September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month. From Alaska to Florida, public health and medical leaders are seizing the opportunity to promotion awareness about infant mortality.  Communities are hosting public forums, community health centers are holding parent awarness events, and baseball teams are holding fundraising events.  Experts are maximizng "free media" by writing columns about their state or local infant mortality statistics and what task forces, policy makers, and health professionals can do to respond. Prevention strategies and shameful statistics are being advanced to make the case for change. 
The National Health Start Association (NHSA) is launching a new campaign Celebrate Day 366...Every Baby Deserves a Chance.  NHSA has created a toolkit that contains fundraising activities, advocay suggestions, useful statistics, and tips on how to implement the campaign. To downloade the toolkit, visit the NHSA website
The Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services continues its focus on infant mortality prevention. For 2010, the campaign message is A Healthy Baby Begins with Two! Minority Fathers Fight Infant Mortality.  For more on this campaign and to view videos or download materials, visit
Congressional Resolution Supporting National Infant Mortality Prevention Month
Expressing support for the goals and ideals of National Infant Mortality Awareness Month 2010.
  • Whereas infant mortality refers to the death of a baby before his or her first birthday;
  • Whereas the United States ranks 29th among industrialized nations in the rate of infant mortality;
  • Whereas premature birth, low-birth weight, and shorter gestation periods account for more than 60 percent of infant deaths in the United States;
  • Whereas high rates of infant mortality are especially prevalent in communities with large minority populations, high rates of unemployment and poverty, and limited access to safe housing and medical providers;
  • Whereas premature birth is a leading cause of infant mortality and, according to the Institute of Medicine, costs the United States more than $26,000,000,000 annually;
  • Whereas infant mortality can be substantially reduced through community-based services such as outreach, home visitation, case management, health education, and interconceptional care;
  • Whereas support for community-based programs to reduce infant mortality can result in lower future spending on medical interventions, special education, and other social services that may be needed for infants and children who are born with a low-birth weight;
  • Whereas the Department of Health and Human Services, through the Office of Minority Health, has implemented the `A Healthy Baby Begins With You' campaign;
    Whereas the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration has provided national leadership on this issue
  • Whereas public awareness and education campaigns on infant mortality are held during the month of September 2010; and
  • Whereas September 2010 has been designated as National Infant Mortality Awareness Month:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) supports the goals and ideals of National Infant Mortality Awareness Month 2010;
(2) supports efforts to educate Americans about infant mortality and its contributing factors;
(3) supports efforts to reduce infant deaths, low-birth weight, pre-term births, and disparities in perinatal outcomes;
(4) recognizes the critical importance of including efforts to reduce infant mortality and its contributing factors as part of prevention and wellness strategies; and
(5) calls upon the people of the United States to observe National Infant Mortality Awareness Month with appropriate programs and activities.
S. Res 602 expressing support for the goals and ideals of National Infant Mortality Awareness Month 2010 passed the Senate in July.  It was introduced by Senator Benjamin Cardin (MD) and co-sponsored by Senator Richard Buss (NC).
H.Res. 1452 was introduced on June 17, 2010 and was referred to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.  See list below to learn whether or not your Representative has co-sponsored this resolution. If yes, you may want to thank them.  If not, this is an opportunity to discuss the topic of infant mortality and ask your Representative to co-sponsor the resolution.
Co-sponsors (21) Reps Bishop, [GA-2]; Blackburn [TN-7]; Brady [PA-1]; Burgess [TX-26]; Butterfield [NC-1];Conyers [MI-14]; DeLauro [CT-3]; Edwards [MD-4] Farr [CA-17]; Grijalva [AZ-7]; Honda [CA-15]; Maloney [NY-14]; McCollum [MN-4]; Moore [KS-3]; Moore [WI-4]; Norton [DC]; Sablan [MP]; Sanchez [CA-47]; Scott [VA-3]; Rep Shea-Porter [NH-1]; Wasserman Schultz [FL-20]
Celebrating Title V at 75
Join in a national webinar to celebrate the legacy of the Title V program and the MCH Services Block Grant. You can particpate and share thoughts on the future of Title V on September 8 at 3 p.m. EST.  The will be a "virtual" kick off for this fall's commenoration of Title V and is intended to connect MCH leaders across the country.
You may want to plan an event in your agency around this important and informative webinar and join in the national celebration. Many state and local festivities will be held. 
For more information, contact the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) at, or visit See information about the Title V 75th Anniversary from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, US DHHS at  Online registration is required, visit to obtain dial-in and webinar information.
Preconception Care: Focusing Messages 

Health and public health leaders across the country have been promotingn preconception health and health care.  One challenge is to consisely describe the purpose of preconception care, the importance of preconception health, and what woman should do to improve her preconception health.


Click on the link below to find a very concise and accurate newspaper article that appeared in the Bahamas Tribun Autust 31, 2010.  This is an excellent model for communications and media work related to preconception health and health care.  Thanks to the Maternal and Child Health Secretariat of the Bahamian Department of Health for this contribution to the field. 

Upcoming Conferences and Meetings

The First European Congress on Preconception Care and Preconception Health will be held in Brussells, October 6-9, 2010.  Click here to see the register or see the program.

The Health Resources and Services Administration's 75th Anniversary Commemoration of Title V on October 20 at the Washington Hilton. For more information on that meeting,visit 


On the day after the 75th Anniversary Commemoration there will be a special meeting on health reform: Looking to the Future: Opportunities and Challenges in Health Reform for Maternal and Child Health. This one-day meeting co-sponsored by AMCHP and CityMatCH will provide a forum for public health and health care leaders to assess the impact of health reform on maternal and child health programs.


The 20th Anniversary CityMatCH meeting will be held  September 12 - 14, 2010 in  Chicago, Illinois.  For more information visit the conference website.


The upcoming AMCHP Annual Conference will be held February 12-15, 2011.  It will be co-located with the Family Voices National Conference in Washington, DC with the theme "Working Together to Improve Maternal and Child Health." The "Call for Session Proposals" is open through August 23, 2010! For more information, visit: 

Issue: 17

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In This Issue
Infant Mortality Awareness Month
Congressional Resolution
Title V at 75
Concise Messaging
Women's Health Chartbook

The Women's Health and Mortality Chartbook is a state-by-state statistical resource on women's health available from the Office on Women's Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.  it contains an easy-to-use collection of current data on critical women's issues.  Key issues related to women's health being measured regularly at the state level are highlighted, with 27 different health indicators featured.  
Click here to access the Chartbook online.
Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative