Posts Tagged ‘ child health ’

17th Annual Spring Conference to open with Dr. Camara Jones

NHSA is excited to announce Dr. Camara Jones will open  our 2016 Annual Spring Conference on Monday, February 29, 2016! Jones_Camara

Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, is research director on social determinants of health and equity in the Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Dr. Jones received her B.A. degree (Molecular Biology) from Wellesley College, her M.D. from the Stanford University School of Medicine, and both her MPH and PhD (Epidemiology) degrees from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She also completed residency training in general preventive medicine (Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland) and in family practice (Residency Program in Social Medicine, Bronx, New York).

Dr. Jones is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on the impact of racism on the health and well-being of the nation. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high quality health care but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism). As a methodologist, she has developed new ways for comparing full distributions of data (rather than means or proportions) in order to investigate population-level risk factors and propose population-level interventions. As a social epidemiologist, her work on race-associated differences in health outcomes goes beyond documenting those differences to vigorously investigating the structural causes of the differences. As a teacher, her allegories on race and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss.

Dr. Jones was an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health from 1994 to 2000, and is currently an adjunct associate professor at both the Morehouse School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health. She is a member of the World Health Organization’s Scientific Resource Group on Equity and Health and the National Board of Public Health Examiners, and recently completed service on the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association, the board of directors of the American College of Epidemiology, and the board of directors of the National Black Women’s Health Project.

To see more of the speaker line-up and register for the Spring Conference, visit the National Healthy Start Association website.

Advertisements

Spring Conference Opening with Dr. Gail Christopher!

NHSA is excited to announce Dr. Gail Christopher will be kicking off our 2015 Annual Spring Conference on Sunday, March 1, 2015!

Dr. Gail Christopher, DN, is vice president for policy and senior advisorPHOTO_Gail_Christopher at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.

In this role, she serves on the president’s cabinet that provides overall direction and leadership for the foundation. Since joining the foundation in 2007, Gail has served as vice president for program strategy with responsibility for multiple areas of programming, including Racial Equity; Food, Health & Well-Being; Community Engagement and Leadership; as well as place-based programming in New Orleans and New Mexico.

Gail is a nationally recognized leader in health policy, with particular expertise and experience in the issues related to social determinants of health, health inequities and public policy issues of concern to our nation’s future. Gail has more than 20 years of experience in designing and managing national initiatives and nonprofit organizations. She brings extensive knowledge and experience in creating a comprehensive approach to well-being and is nationally recognized for her pioneering work to infuse holistic health and diversity concepts into public sector programs and policy discourse. Her distinguished career and contributions to public service were honored in 1996 when she was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. In 2007 she received the Leadership Award from the Health Brain Trust of the Congressional Black Caucus for her work in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities; in 2009 she was named a Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) Honorary Fellow – the highest recognition given to a non-SOPHE member, who has made significant contributions to health education and to public health; in 2011 she was awarded the “Change Agent Award” by the Schott Foundation for Public Education; in 2012 she was the recipient of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) John C. MacQueen Lecture Award for her innovation and leadership in the field of maternal and child health.

A prolific writer and presenter, Gail is the author or co-author of three books, a monthly column in the Federal Times, and more than 250 articles, presentations and publications. Her national print and broadcast media credits are numerous, and include The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Dallas, Times, National Journal, Essence, “Good Morning America,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” National Public Radio and documentaries on PBS and CBS.

Prior to joining the foundation, Gail was vice president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ Office of Health, Women and Families in Washington, D.C. There, she led the Joint Center Health Policy Institute, a multi-year initiative created to engage underserved, racial and ethnic minorities in health policy discussions. Previously, she was guest scholar in the governance studies department at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and executive director of the Institute for Government Innovation at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has additional experience at the National Academy of Public Administration, Howard University School of Divinity, Americans All National Education Program and Family Resource Coalition of America. She has also launched, led and managed three public commissions. Under her sponsorship, the landmark Dellums Commission research into conditions faced by young men of color produced policy recommendations to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
Gail holds a doctor of naprapathy degree from the Chicago National College of Naprapathy in Illinois and completed advanced study in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in holistic health and clinical nutrition at the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities at Union Graduate School of Cincinnati, Ohio. She is president of the Board of Directors of the Trust for America’s Health.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

To see more of the speaker line-up and register for the Spring Conference, visit the National Healthy Start Association website.

Celebrating Healthy Babies

Louisville Metro Healthy Start has added a new event for recognition of the families served by having its First Birthday Party on momandbabyApril 24, 2013. Healthy Start recognizes that often families do not remain in the program following the child’s first birthday.  For this reason Louisville Metro Healthy Start took the opportunity to provide health education message on early childhood development during a celebratory birthday party reception.  Graduation ceremonies are held at or near the child’s second birthday.

“I’m a first time mother…young so, it’s hard,” said 20-year-old Briana Stoner, Keimarieon’s mother, who is due to give birth to her second child May 19. ”In the last year, they helped me a whole lot with playpens and utensils that I didn’t have at home that I couldn’t purchase when I didn’t have money.”

LaDasha Downs, a mother of three, said the program helped her get Pampers for her 1-year-old baby, D’zarion Downs.

“It made a whole lot of difference, because some of them days I wouldn’t have had any Pampers, and Healthy Start provided me with Pampers,” said Downs, 30. “It helped me over until I was able to purchase them on my own.”

Celebrating healthy babies, Courier Journal

baby

Infant Mortality and Inequality

Larry Adelman is co-director of California Newsreel  and the creator and executive producer of Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? and RACE-The Power of an Illusion.  “When the Bough Breaks”, the episode from Unnatural Causes exploring African American infant mortality, can be screened on-line for free during the month at www.newsreel.org.

I still remember when first researching our documentary series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?  being steered to the work of two neonatologists from Chicago, Drs. James Collins and Richard David.

It’s well-known that African Americans have infant mortality rates more than twice as high as white Americans.  Collins and David wanted to know why.  According to the CDC, complications due to low-birth weight are the leading cause of African American infant deaths. In one study, Collins and David compared the birth weights of newborns of three different groups:  white Americans, African Americans and African immigrants born in the U.S.

They discovered that while African American babies are born, on average, about half a pound smaller than white Americans, babies born here to African immigrants are about the same weight as white American babies.

In a subsequent study, Collins and David found that just one generation later, the daughters of those very same African immigrants were giving birth to lower birth-weight babies.

What changed in a generation? Not genes; genes don’t change in a generation. But kids born to African immigrants grow up here as African Americans, their bodies subject for decades to the cumulative stressors of racism experienced by other African Americans (many studies show that large racial gaps in birth outcomes remain even after controlling for pre-natal care, education, nutrition and other factors).

Our earlier documentary series, RACE – The Power of an Illusion , tried to help viewers negotiate a two-step:  the idea of ‘race’ as innate biological difference between population groups makes little scientific sense, yet race as lived experience is very real – and can even have biological consequences.

And among the most enraging as well as heart-rending of those consequences is high infant mortality.  Why enraging?  Because it doesn’t have to be this way.

Nancy Krieger and colleagues found that in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement and the War on Poverty both racial and class infant mortality gaps narrowed between 1966 and 1980. But progress ceased as the Reagan presidency initiated a 30-year binge of rollbacks of social programs, tax cuts for the rich and corporate deregulation which helped spawn unprecedented growth in inequality.

Health tracks wealth as well as race. On average, the wealthier you are, the healthier. And our growing inequality is taking a toll on white American babies as well.  I just took a look at the infant mortality tables at CIA’s World Fact Book. By my calculation, if white Americans were a separate nation, their infant mortality rate of 5.6 / 1000 would rank them about 33rd in the world (even lower if small entities like Guernsey and Andorra are included).

There are many exciting initiatives tackling infant mortality one city, one county at a time. They are each important. But if we want to make a lasting difference, if we want to give all our children the opportunity for a healthy start, shouldn’t we also be reversing those policies which have increasingly channeled the nation’s wealth, power and resources into the hands of what FDR used to call the plutocrats and the financial elite?

What is the test of a good and strong society?

Jon Terry is the NHSA Government Relations Consultant and President of Capitol Youth Strategies LLC.

“I believe the test of a good and strong society is how we look after the most vulnerable, the most frail and the poorest.  That’s true in good times, but it’s even more true in difficult times.”

This quote from David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, immediately came to mind when I was asked why it is important to raise awareness about infant mortality.  Regardless of the economic climate or the state of the current fiscal mess in Washington, D.C., we have a responsibility to care for the most vulnerable in our society.  At the top of the ‘most vulnerable list’ are disadvantaged mothers and babies who need basic health services and access to prevention programs.

The bad news is that the United States ranks a dismal 41st when compared to other industrialized nations’ infant mortality rate.  In the United States, African American infants are 2.4 times as likely as white infants to die before their first birthday.  These deaths are especially tragic because they are so preventable.

The good news is that we know what works at preventing infant mortality and making sure babies live to see their first birthday. Services such as outreach, home visitation, case management, health education, perinatal depression screening, interconceptional care and other approaches are all effective at improving birth outcomes. These types of community-based services will not only save lives, but also save billions of dollars in health care costs.

Caring for disadvantaged mothers and babies is certainly a test of whether our society is good and strong.  It’s a test that we can’t afford to fail.

Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding week in celebrated every year from August 1 to 7. This year, more than 170 countries are celebrating this great event with the theme Talk to me! Breastfeeding – a 3D Experience which emphasizes the importance of communication. When we look at the breastfeeding support, not only should we see it in the two dimensions of time (from pre-pregnancy to weaning) and place (the home, community, health care system, etc), but also in the third dimension of communication at various levels and between various sectors. That is what “3D” means.

Breastfeeding is regarded as a good way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need and protect them from illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old and continued breastfeeding with the addition of nutritious complementary foods for up to two years or beyond.

Although breastfeeding has been increasing in popularity in many countries in the Americas, much remains to be done to optimize breastfeeding practices. In most countries of the Americas, fewer than half of babies begin breastfeeding within the first hour of life. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is low, ranging from 8% to 64% of babies in different countries of Latin America.

To promote the advantage of breastfeeding, all of us can use our most powerful tool — COMMUNICATION — to tell others why breastfeeding matters. By enhancing the perception and knowledge about breastfeeding and bringing the dialogue to life, we can make this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebration a true 3D experience: an opportunity for outreach, an investment in a healthy future, and ultimately, a unifying lens through which to see the world.

For more information, please visit http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org.

National Movement for America’s Children

Citizens and organizations across the country are awakening a National Movement for America’s Children, a grassroots coalition that is collectively calling for a national strategy to help ensure that every child has an equal opportunity for healthy growth and development. We will deliver policies and actions – from government, business and media, to schools, faith-based organizations, communities and individuals across the country – that are focused on giving every child the best chance to succeed.

Until November 6th (exactly one year before the 2012 election) movement members and partners will be hosting town hall sessions and logging onto www.movementforchildren.org to contribute different answers to what we refer to as “The Big Question”: How can we ensure that every child has an equal opportunity for healthy growth and development?

The National Healthy Start Association is proud to be a founding partner as a National Movement for America’s Children grows across the country. We think the Movement is of great importance to the development of the United States. By raising the awareness that children’s health is the top priority for our nation, by asking Americans to stand up and join the call for a national strategy and help us decide what the policies and actions should be within that strategy, this Movement can help to ensure that every child in America is given an equal opportunity for healthy growth and development.

Every American can join in and contribute to the Movement. It begins with signing the National Children’s Pledge at www.movementforchildren.org and sharing and debating answers to The Big Question. Supporters can also organize your friends and neighbors in your community to sign the pledge, hold house parties to share the message and recruit others, call on your elected officials to support community-based approaches to healthy child development and many, many more activities. For specific ideas on how you can participate, advocate and/or donate to support the Movement, please visit www.movementforchildren.org or contact the National Healthy Start Association.