September-October 2011 
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.

This e-newsletter is archived.  Find back issues of this e-enewsletter and more information about improving preconception health and health care at
New Tools for Postpartum Visit Released 


The Interconception Care Project for California, led by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), District IX and funded by March of Dimes (MOD), California Chapter, has issued new recommendations, clinical tools, and patient information materials designed to improve and promote the interconception health of women. This important project focuses on "retooling" the postpartum visit - an ideal, and often the only, visit to address a woman's health before another pregnancy occurs.

A panel of obstetric and health experts developed evidence-based postpartum clinical management algorithms and companion patient education materials based on the 21 most common pregnancy and delivery complications in California. The new, evidence-based postpartum visit algorithms are designed to guide risk assessment, management and counseling to improve the mother's health and reduce risks in future pregnancies. The patient handouts (available in English and Spanish) offer explanations and discuss self-care strategies to improve the health of the woman herself, her new baby and any future pregnancies. Click here to download an example of postpartum depression material.

Many US women do not complete their postpartum visit, particularly those with less education and/or limited access to care. For example, among those with Medicaid managed care coverage, only an estimated 60% of women have a postpartum visit. These excellent new materials - informed by the "content of preconception care" recommendations and tested by health care professionals and consumers - offer a way to improve the quality of and participation in postpartum visits.

To find out more and to download, print, and distribute these materials, visit the Every Woman California website.

New Leaders Join National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative


Three leaders have joined the national Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC) in recent months.  Their biosketches are below. 
Susan F. Wood, PhD, has joined the national PCHHC Initiative as the Co-chair of its Policy and Finance Work Group. Dr. Wood has agreed to fill this role as Anne Rossier Markus, JD, PhD, MHS, who served as Co-chair for this Work Group from 2008-2011, steps down.

Dr. Wood holds an appointment as Research Professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, where her work focuses on the use of scientific knowledge in public policy. She is also Director of the Jacob's Institute of Women's Health at GWU.  (To see a recent posting by Dr. Wood regarding the Institute of Medicine recommendations on women's preventive services, visit: 


Susan WoodDr. Wood served as Director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Women's Health from November 2000 through August 2005. She championed women's health both inside and outside the FDA, and then resigned on principle over FDA's delay of approval of emergency contraception for over-the-counter sale.

Previously, Dr. Wood was the Director for Policy and Program Development at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health, where she led the development of policy for the Office. She also coordinated the activities of the Public Health Service Coordinating Committee on Women's Health. From 1990 to 1995, Dr. Wood worked on Capitol Hill for the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues. Prior to her direct role in policy, Dr. Wood was a research scientist at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, in the Department of Neuroscience. She received her Ph.D. in biology from Boston University at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. Dr. Wood has received numerous awards in recognition of her work, including the Warren H. Pearse Lifetime Achievement Award. She is married and has a daughter.



The CDC Division of Reproductive Health and the national PCHHC Initiative welcome Dr. Violanda Grigorescu, MD, MSPH, in a new role. Dr. Grigorescu is a physician and epidemiologist by training with many years of experience in both fields. She received her MD degree from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi, Romania and had many years of clinical experience in her home country. She earned her Masters of Science in Public Health degree from the University of Louisville, School of Medicine. Dr. Grigorescu has made notable and substantial contributions the National Birth Defects Prevention Network, the State MCH epidemiology program, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and CityMatCH.  Her career in public health started in 1999 as a Maternal and Child Health epidemiologist at the Jefferson County (Kentucky)Health Department. In 2002 she became a senior MCH epidemiologist fellow with the CDC and was assigned to work with the Michigan Department of Public Health. In 2006 she became Director of Division of Genomics, Perinatal Health and Chronic Disease Epidemiology in Michigan. Dr. Grigorescu has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Michigan State University and member of the Preventive Medicine Residency Advisory Committee, University of Michigan.


The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) has committed the time and expertise of Dr. R. Louise Floyd, who is on detail to the PCHHC Initiative. Her experience and skills in science and government will be an important addition to the Initiative. R. Louise Floyd, RN, DSN, is a Supervisory Behavioral Scientist, Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, NCBDD, CDC. Prior to joining the CDC in 1988, Dr. Floyd began her career in public health at the Georgia Department of Human Resources. At CDC she has served as Project Officer of Smoking Cessation in Pregnancy Randomized Controlled Trial; Chief and Team Leader of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Prevention Team; and CDC representative to the federal Interagency Coordinating Committee on FAS. She oversaw the development of the National Task Force on FAS/FAE, serving as its first Executive Secretary. Dr. Floyd was the CDC Primary Investigator of Project CHOICES, an innovative program shown to reduce alcohol-exposed pregnancies in high risk women. Dr. Floyd received her BS degree in nursing from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky and a masters degree in nursing from Emory University. She received a Doctorate of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Alabama.


Looking for Authors: Opportunities to publish your work on the promoting preconception health


A special issue of the  American Journal of Health Promotion will publish a special issue on "Effective Strategies for Promoting Preconception Health - From Research to Practice". This special issue will emphasize (1) audience research to inform preconception health promotion strategies and tactics among consumers (teens, women, men, couples) and health care providers; (2) policy and legislative approaches that influence preconception health and health care promotion; (3) innovative public and private partnerships in reaching women of childbearing age; (4) new media and interactive health communication approaches that promote preconception health; (5) social marketing or health communication interventions that have demonstrated impact on preconception health behaviors; (6) promising practices in reaching special populations in the context of their communities; (7) theoretical frameworks to evaluate approaches to influence preconception health; and (8) evaluation of preconception health tools, materials, and messages.  
 Manuscripts addressing one or more of these topics are especially encouraged. We are interested in commentaries, systematic reviews of the literature, empirical research and concept proposals. Manuscripts should be prepared according to the American Journal of Health Promotion's standard guidelines for authors: here. For this issue, we are interested in emerging research, innovative and promising practice, community and policy-based approaches to improve preconception health. The deadline for manuscript submission is January 15, 2012.
Procedures for Submitting Proposals Prospective authors who wish to discuss manuscript ideas can contact Elizabeth W. Mitchell, Ph.D. at CDC, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Prevention Research Branch, 1825 Century Center Blvd, NE Atlanta, 30345; phone 404-498-0251, facsimile 404-498-0792 or email at before November 1, 2011. Full manuscripts will need to be submitted by January 15, 2012.


Special Issue International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health focused on Impact

Environmental threats to the health of pregnant women, nursing mothers and children are a natural focus of public health research. This special journal issue will focus on the impact of environmental and occupational exposures on maternal and child health with special attention to the impact and policy implications of these findings. The objective of this special issue of the journal is not merely to publish articles that report a particular scientific result but to provide analysis of policy and/or public health impact of the research results. Methodological articles that address specific challenges that characterize this area of research are particularly welcome when they aim to improve the overall quality of research even if the innovations are not necessarily novel in their home disciplines (e.g. statistics, informatics). The guest editor is Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University.

You may send your manuscript now or up until the deadline: 31 December 2011 Website:
November Issue of Journal of Preventing Chronic Disease Now Available 



The November issue of Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is now available!

Please visit our site at, where you will find downloadable articles and information on PCD. This issues includes a special focus on Best Practices for Screening Reproductive-Aged Women for Chronic Disease and Related Risk Factors, with articles on topics such as following. 

Click on these titles to read or download selected articles. 
Presentations from the 3rd National Summit on Preconception Health and Health Care Now Available 

Unable to attend the Summit?  Missed a presentation you had hoped to hear? You can find more than 100 PowerPoint presentations at   
Check it out now to download videos of plenary session speakers and presentations from concurrent session speakers.
Issue: 23

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In This Issue
Tools for Postpartum Visit
New Leaders
Journal Requests for Authors
Special Issue on Chronic Disease Prevention
Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative