Posts Tagged ‘ health care ’

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.

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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.

20 Members of U.S. House Sign Letter in Support of Healthy Start

20 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter in support of $105 million in funding for Healthy Start.  The letter was sponsored by Congressman John Yarmuth and Congresswoman Karen Bass and delivered to the House Appropriations Committee on May 20.  The letter urges the committee to level fund Healthy Start at $105 million, the same amount of funding in fiscal year 2010 and 2011.  House leaders have pledged to cut the Labor/HHS/Ed appropriations bill by 13% this year, so it is especially important to let Members of Congress know of the impact and importance of Healthy Start programs and services.

The Members of the U.S. House of Representatives that signed the letter include:

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY)

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA)

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)

Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)

Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA)

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)

Rep, Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA)

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)

Rep. Eearl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA)

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA)

Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO)

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA)

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

NHSA White Paper

Today, NHSA released its white paper — Federal Healthy Start Initiative: A National Network for Effective Home Visitation and Family Support Services. This document is in response to the historic legislation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is designed to strengthen and approve home visiting programs, improve service coordination for at-risk communities, and identify and provide comprehensive evidence-based home visiting services to families that reside in at-risk communities.  The white paper showcases the strengths and competencies of the federal Healthy Start Initiative, making certain that funders, legislators and other potential supporters know that Healthy Start represent a “shovel ready” network that can offer an array of core services provided through evidence-based and promising home visitation practices.

The recent health reform legislation and the federal Healthy Start Initiative are aligned as both a strategy and response for the delivery of key provisions for addressing the health and health care needs of women and families.  Federal Healthy Start represents a network with 20 years of experience and cultural authenticity to assist in serving underserved and marginalized communities throughout our nation.  The 104 federal Healthy Start sites around the U.S. are well-positioned to play a crucial role in the national effort to build quality, comprehensive, state-wide early childhood systems for pregnant women, parents, caregivers, and children from birth to eight years of age and, ultimately, to improve health outcomes.

You can visit this link to obtain full access to the PDF version of the paper – http://healthystartassoc.org/NHSA_WhitePaper.pdf

Health Reform for Women’s Health

On Tuesday, June 24, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, spoke to the National Partnership for Women and Families about how the Affordable Care Act will not only benefit women and provide for their full range of health needs, but also break barriers as “the best women’s health bill since Medicare.” Secretary Sebelius noted particular provisions that will impact women’s health, including the ban on supplemental charges for women’s health services; the law that all new insurance plans must cover essential health benefits like newborn care and maternity care; and the elimination of co-pays for key preventive services like pap smears and mammograms. To read Secretary Sebelius’ comments, please visit http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/about/speeches/sp20100624.html
(U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Daily Digest Bulletin; June 25, 2010)

Presidential Proclamation–National Women’s Health Week

On May 7, 2009, President Obama issued a Proclamation declaring May 9-15, 2010 as National Women’s Health Week, stating:

The health of American women and girls is not just a women’s issue; all Americans have a vested interest.  Women are the foundation of many families, and by encouraging their wellness, we also promote the vitality of our children and our communities.  By standing firm in our commitment to improve women’s health, we can give our daughters and granddaughters    and all Americans    a brighter future.

National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH). National Women’s Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority. With the theme “It’s Your Time,” the nationwide initiative encourages women to take simple steps for a longer, healthier, and happier life. During National Women’s Health Week, communities, businesses, government, health organizations, and other groups work together to educate women about steps they can take to improve their physical and mental health and lower their risks of certain diseases.

Find National Women’s Health Week activities in your area.

Find out more by visiting http://www.womenshealth.gov/whw/.