Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

A Helping Hand: Meet Tatyana Louis

Hello to all of readers, writers, and fellow public health advocates!

I am Tatyana Louis, a current student at Elon University in North Carolina and the summer Tatyana Louis2016 intern for the National Healthy Start Association. Studying Public Health and Human Services, I have a great interest in improving community improvement initiatives that result in an increased quality of life and health for residents. My interest not only led me to enter in Public Health Studies but also created a direct path to the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA). Through community-based programs, NHSA aids mothers, fathers, and families in taking control of their health. Through advocacy, teaching, training, and lots of TLC, NHSA provides families with the tools needed be a voice for themselves and a voice for their communities.

Prior to my time here at NHSA, I have worked and served as a volunteer for The Children’s Museum of Alamance County and Kidz2Leaders Inc., the Camp Hope program. These organizations help children build a better future through education and mentoring on life skill topics such as a resume building, communication skills, and leadership development. Within my volunteer role, I lead a group of girls around the camp grounds, lead bible study sessions, and helped the girl’s participate in a leadership course.  Additionally, I have lead the Public Health Society, ALANAMA Women’s Institute, Affinity Bible Study and Service Organizations on my campus in event coordination, meeting planning and hosting, and peer to peer mentoring.

I have a passion for serving others, and in the future I hope to educate young women on topics relating to fitness, nutrition, sexual health and reproduction, and healthy relationships both in the US and internationally! Follow me on my public health journey @TaytanaMLouis

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Kids Need Their Fathers: For Health, For Growth, For Life

Ryan Sanders is the Social Media Manager for the National Fatherhood Initiative.

I’ll never forget the beeps. It’s been five years since first hearing the beeps from inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where my first daughter stayed two weeks due to pre-term labor.

She weighed four pounds, and I was scared to hold her with the wires coming from all directions. But the NICU nurses assured my wife and I that we would do no harm by holding and talking to her. She needed to hear the same two voices she heard throughout pregnancy. She needed to feel our presence in that cold, steel medical room.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America — one out of three — live in homes without fathers. Kids need their fathers.

Kids Need Their fathers…For Health
The same “NICU baby” from above recently proclaimed from the back of the car, “I want coffee, like Daddy!” as I ordered my favorite coffee from the Starbucks drive-thru. As I ordered a short cup of water to mimic my coffee, I realized something big — that for good or ill, the choices I make affect my children. As dad goes, so go the children. With Father’s Day in our rearview mirrors, we must be vigilant about impacting our children positively with the choices we make as dads.

Studies show that men who take care of their health with a good diet, regular exercise, and preventive screenings serve as role models for their kids’ health habits and are more likely to be around for all those important moments like graduations, birthdays and weddings. But more than being around, fathers model behavior for their kids, for good or ill.

Kids Need Their Fathers…For Growth
New research reveals that the love of a father is one of the single greatest influences on the personality development of a child. Results from the journal of Personality and Social Psychology Review showed that kids rejected in childhood felt more anxious and insecure as well as hostile and aggressive as adults.

Professor Rohner who conducted the research says, “children who feel unloved tend to become anxious and insecure, and this can make them needy. Anger and resentment can lead to them closing themselves off emotionally in an attempt to protect themselves from further hurt.”

The same is true for all children regardless of race, culture, and gender – the feeling and effects of rejection are universal.

Professor Rohner adds that research shows the “same parts of the brain are activated when people feel rejected as when they suffer physical pain.” He continues, but ‘Unlike physical pain, however, people can psychologically relive the emotional pain of rejection over and over for years.’ His research shows a father’s input is particularly important for behavior and influences whether a child later abuses drugs or suffers mental health problems.

Kids Need Their Fathers…For Life
The National Center for Health Statistics reports that infant mortality rates are almost twice as much for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers.

Children whose fathers are stable and involved are better off on almost every cognitive, social and emotional measure developed by researchers.

How we start is usually a good indicator of how we finish. Giving kids a chance to start life in a healthy way matters. Involved fathers help infant mortality rates decrease and infant health increase. Being present and involved ensures children will grow and develop into mature, well-adjusted adults.

Dads matter–for good or ill. As dads go, so go the children. And as go children, so goes our society.

That is why National Fatherhood Initiative provides skill-building resources to help fathers increase their health literacy and get involved right from the start. Our Doctor Dad series of workshops help fathers learn about the well child, the sick child, the injured child, and the safe child. And our new Dad’s Pocket Guide contains practical tips on how dads can get involved with their newborns.

National Birth Defects Prevention Month

Coleen Boyle, PhD, MS Hyg, is the director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  NCBDDD’s mission is to promote the health of babies, children and adults and enhance the potential for full, productive living.

Each year, we at CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) join many organizations in recognizing January as National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Our state-based tracking system shows that birth defects affect one in 33 babies and are a leading cause of infant death in the United States.  More than 5,000 infants die each year because of birth defects. For me and my colleagues at NCBDDD, those numbers aren’t just numbers. They represent real babies and families and underscore our activities to promote the health of babies, children and adults and enhance the potential for full, productive living.

Every day, NCBDDD’s National Birth Defects Prevention Study teaches us about exposures or other factors during pregnancy that might raise or lower the risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Through this important work, we’ve learned that women who take certain medications, are obese, have uncontrolled diabetes, smoke cigarettes, or drink alcohol during pregnancy increase their risk of having a baby born with a birth defect. We are turning this science into action, but we cannot do this alone.

This month and throughout the year, we invite you to draw attention to the ways we know a woman can increase her chance of having a healthy baby—before she becomes pregnant: take folic acid; have regular medical checkups; make sure medical conditions, such as diabetes, are under control; talk to a health care provider about medication use; have tests for infectious diseases and get necessary vaccinations; and do not use cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs.  It’s important to remember that many birth defects happen very early during pregnancy, sometimes before a woman even knows she is pregnant, so planning a pregnancy is key and can help make a difference.

Like many of you, we are working toward a day when every child is born with the best health possible. We encourage you to use our birth defects prevention resources to help us do that: www.cdc.gov/birthdefects.

NHSA Launches New Website!

The National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) is pleased and excited to announce the launch of our brand new website!

The new site provides great functionality, improved navigation, and more information so that we may better serve you. This site helps make clear the organization’s purpose and direction. It also spells out NHSA’s enhanced Mission & Vision, as outlined in our recently released 2011-2014 Strategic Plan.

NHSA_New_Website

The site features an eye-catching design with a user-friendly navigation system that allows viewers to quickly find the information they need. Including Infant Mortality Awareness resources, a searchable database of Healthy Start Projects, and the most current news in MCH, the website will capture the purpose and dedication of the NHSA members and friends, and draw visitors in to learn more.

We hope you will enjoy visiting the new site as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it for you!

NHSA 12th Annual Spring Conference

We will be hosting our 12th Annual Spring Conference themed, Healthy Start 20 Years and Beyond: Improving the Health of Families, March 6-9 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

The conference will include several workshop sessions and forums that are open to the public. There will be three main Plenary sessions. The first, kicking off Monday morning is called The Voice of Healthy Start and features our most unique conference attendees — Healthy Start families! The second and third are on Tuesday — Strategies for Success: Moving Healthy Start Forward Another 20 Years in the morning and Thinking Outside of the Box: Innovative Strategies to Advance Healthy Start in the afternoon.  On Tuesday morning, the Assistant Secretary of Health, Howard Koh, MD, and Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, Administrator for the Human Services and Resource Administration will bring greetings to conference attendees.

There will be fantastic workshop topics including Community Voice: Taking it to the People; A Study of Depression, Substance Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence Among Pregnant Women; and Support Circles for African American Fathers . The conference will culminate with a kick-off rally to prepare conference participants as they head to Capitol Hill to meet with their respective Senators and Members of Congress about the importance of supporting Healthy Start programs in communities.

In addition, the conference will feature some fantastic guest speakers, including Dr. Camara Jones, Dr. Adewale Troutman, Dr. Michael Lu, and Lisa Bernstein.

It’s not too late to register! Onsite registration opens at 2:30pm on Sunday, March 6 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. Additional information can be found here.

Influenza and Pregnancy: After 2009 H1N1

Contributed by: Sonja A. Rasmussen, MD, MS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Pregnant women have long been known to be at increased risk for severe illness from influenza.  For this reason, flu shots have been recommended for pregnant women by key professional groups for many years.  However, before the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, vaccination rates among pregnant women were low, the lowest of any of the adult groups for whom influenza vaccination was recommended.

We are now well into the first influenza season following the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.  However, we entered this flu season armed with considerably more knowledge about influenza and pregnant women than we ever had before.  The focus on influenza and pregnancy that occurred during the 2009-2010 flu season led to unprecedented collaborations between CDC and its partners in maternal and child health.  These collaborations resulted in research to better understand influenza during pregnancy.   We now know that pregnant women with influenza who are otherwise healthy can become severely ill and die, even in the 21st century.  We also now know that early treatment can prevent severe illness and death. Pregnant women with 2009 H1N1 who were treated early with antiviral medications were less likely to require admission to an intensive care unit and less likely to die.  And we have more data to show that getting a flu shot during pregnancy can protect infants from influenza for up to 6 months after birth. These babies are at high risk of complications from influenza, but the flu shot is not recommended for them because it doesn’t work well – their immune systems are too immature to respond appropriately.

Equally as important, we know more about what motivates pregnant women to get the flu shot.  Surveys conducted by CDC colleagues have shown that health care providers’ recommendations are powerful:  pregnant women whose health care providers recommended flu vaccination are much more likely to receive flu shots.  Based on this research, messages targeting pregnant women and their health care providers were developed, and these messages were disseminated in new ways – moving beyond the brochure to social media, videos, and posters.  And the great news is that these efforts paid off — recent data suggest that influenza vaccination coverage among pregnant women was higher last year than ever before.  Data from 10 states participating in the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) showed vaccination coverage during the 2009-2010 flu season for pregnant women was 50.7% for seasonal influenza and 46.6% for 2009 H1N1.  This compares to 11.3% of pregnant women receiving the seasonal flu shot during the 2008-2009 season, according to data from the National Health Interview Survey.

But how do we build on this success, now that the media attention has faded?  As professionals who care about the health of mothers and babies, we need to continue to work together to do the research and to develop and disseminate messages that work. I’d like to thank you for your continued partnership – together our efforts are making a difference in the lives of mothers and babies!

My CDC colleagues have developed influenza communications materials that target pregnant women:

  • Posters to promote flu vaccination for clinics and patient rooms:

Print posters yourself:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/pregnant/preg.pdf (English)

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/pregnant/preg_esp.pdf (Spanish)

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/pregnant/flu_pregnancy_poster_508.pdf (English)

Or order from the warehouse http://wwwn.cdc.gov/pubs/ncird.aspx (scroll down to Flu Materials/Pregnant Women)

  • Patient-friendly educational DVD movie and PSA for your waiting room:

You can preview the movie or send patients to this link: http://www.cdc.gov/CDCTV/ProtectBaby/

Order from the warehouse http://wwwn.cdc.gov/pubs/ncird.aspx (scroll down to Flu Materials/Pregnant Women)

  • Podcasts for pregnant women:

Pregnant Women: Know the Signs and Symptoms of Flu http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/player.asp?f=4062255

Pregnant Women Need a Flu Shot   http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/player.asp?f=4061727

Additional information about flu and pregnancy can be found below:

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Healthy People 2020 Launched

Healthy People is a ten year national agenda designed to improve the health and well-being of people living in United States. Today the Department of Health and Human Services launched Healthy People 2020. Healthy People 2020 was put together by professionals in several different areas to reflect how health and health care objectives have changed in the past ten years since the release of Healthy People 2010. Some of the new topics included in this plan are Adolescent Health, Early and Middle Childhood, Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Health, and Social Determinants of Health.

For a complete list of Health People 2010 topics please visit:

http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/default.aspx

Along with the new goals and objectives for the next ten years, the Healthy People 2020 website was also launched. It includes the history of Healthy People, as well as a variety of tools available to understand the nation’s current health status and the ways that Healthy People 2020 will be implemented.

To view the Determinants of Health video please visit:

http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/DOHAbout.aspx

During the launch, it was noted that one of the main objectives of Healthy People 2020 is to ensure health equity for everyone in the U.S. so that each individual can reach the highest attainable quality of health. Doing that will take hard work and commitment from people all around the country.

To follow the progress of Healthy People 2020 or to get involved please visit:

http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/connect/default.aspx