Posts Tagged ‘ Healthy Start advocacy ’

Senate Passes NIMAM Resolution

On Friday, September 23, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution highlighting September as National Infant Mortality Awareness Month.  Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland was the lead sponsor of the resolution and Senator Burr of North Carolina and Senator Menendez of New Jersey served as cosponsors of the resolution.

Beginning in 2007, the National Healthy Start Association has asked a Member of Congress to introduce the resolution each September as a way to educate the public and Congressional leaders about infant mortality. The resolution expresses support for the goals of National Infant Mortality Awareness Month and calls upon the people of the United States to observe the month with appropriate programs and activities.

A copy of the resolution can be found here: http://1.usa.gov/oMDlrV.

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

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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)

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.

NHSA Holds Congressional Briefing on Infant Mortality

On Thursday, September 23, 2010, the National Healthy Start Association held a briefing on Capitol Hill focused specifically on infant mortality. The event was titled, “Celebrate Day 366: Strategies to Reduce Infant Mortality and Ensure that Every Baby Has a Healthy Start.” Speakers at the event included NHSA Board Chair Lo Berry, NHSA Executive Director Stacy Cunningham, Congressman Steve Cohen, and representatives from the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Office of Minority Health. The second panel of speakers featured representatives from the March of Dimes, National Fatherhood Initiative and Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies Coalition.

Over forty individuals attended the event, including Congressional staff, officials from federal agencies and representatives from other nonprofits that are committed to improved maternal and child health.  This is the first time that a briefing has been held in the U.S. Capitol specifically to discuss infant mortality and highlight successful strategies to ensure healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. NHSA is committed to playing a leadership role in highlighting the tragedy of infant mortality and educating elected leaders about the need to increase support to disadvantaged mothers, babies and families.

After Congressman Cohen provided opening remarks, Lo Berry provided an overview of Healthy Start and examples of how the Healthy Start program in Tampa, FL has succeeded in improving birth outcomes.  Stacey Cunningham highlighted the work of the National Healthy Start Association and served as moderator during the remainder of the briefing. The event concluded with a personal story offered by the Cooper family of Baltimore Healthy Start.

NHSA wishes to thank all who participated in yesterday’s successful briefing. To paraphrase the Deputy Director of the Office of Minority Health, Mirtha Beadle, the briefing was not the beginning nor end of this important work, but it was an important step in the process of eliminating racial health disparities!

25 U.S. Senators and 25 Members of U.S. House Sign Letter in Support of Healthy Start

We are extremely pleased to report that 25 U.S. Senators and 25 Members of the U.S. House signed onto an appropriations letter in support of increased funding for Healthy Start.   The letter, delivered to the Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate early last week, requests $120 million in funding for the Healthy Start program.  Healthy Start is currently funded at $105 million. A list of the 25 Senators and 25 House Members who signed the letter are found at the bottom of this message.

Last year, 19 Senators signed the Senate letter and 19 House Members signed the House version of the letter. The additional signatures this year are directly attributed to the time spent on Capitol Hill during the NHSA Spring Conference in March.  Conference participants, including Healthy Start project directors, staff and consumers, participated in literally hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill and encouraged federal lawmakers to sign the letter.

An email sent to NHSA earlier this week from Senator Debbie Stabenow’s staff stated, “We got a total of six more signatures on the Healthy Start letter this year.  Many of the Congressional offices mentioned how persuasive your advocates were in their Hill visits, so the credit should really go to them!”  Senator Stabenow of Michigan and Senator Bond of Missouri were the two Senators who organized and spearheaded the letter in the Senate and Representative John Spratt of South Carolina led the effort in the House.

This letter of support represents the very first step in the appropriations process, but it is an extremely important way to show the Appropriations Committees that Healthy Start has strong support and deserves to be strengthened and expanded.

If you see your Senator or Representative listed below, PLEASE take a moment and send their office a short note.

Senators:

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
Sen. Tom Udall (New Mexico)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (New York)
Sen. Russ Feingold (Wisconsin)
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico)
Sen. Ron Wyden (Oregon)
Sen. Chris Dodd (Connecticut)
Sen. Richard Durbin (Illinois)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (New York)
Sen. John Kerry (Mass.)
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey)
Sen. Robert Menendez (New Jersey)
Sen. Roland Burris (Illinois)
Sen. Al Franken (Minnesota)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (Oregon)
Sen. Daniel Akaka (Hawaii)
Sen. Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania)
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia)
Sen. Bob Casey (Pennsylvania)
Sen. Barbra Miklulski (Maryland)
Sen. Carl Levin (Michigan)
Sen. Tim Johnson (South Dakota)
Sen. Ben Cardin (Maryland)
Sen. Kit Bond (Missouri)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow  (Michigan)

House Members:

Rep. John Spratt (South Carolina)
Rep. Raul Grijalva (Arizona)
Rep. Michael Capuano (Massachusetts)
Rep. Gene Greene (Texas)
Rep. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)
Rep. Rush Holt (New Jersey)
Rep. Bobby Scott (Virginia)
Rep. Steve Kagen (Wisconsin)
Rep. Dennis Moore (Kansas)
Rep. John Yarmouth (Kentucky)
Rep. Steven Cohen (Tennessee)
Rep. George Butterfield (North Carolina)
Rep. Kathy Castor (Florida)
Rep. Jason Altmire (Pennsylvania)
Rep. Pete Stark (California)
Rep. Michael Burgess (Texas)
Rep. Stephen Lynch (Massachusetts)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio)
Rep. Elijah Cummings (Maryland)
Rep. Diana DeGette (Colorado)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (New York)
Rep. Danny Davis (Illinois)
Rep. Vern Ehlers (Michigan)
Rep. Bob Filner (California)
Rep. Andre Carson (Indiana)

Healthy Start Projects Prepare for Capitol Hill

Healthy Start Projects and friends are preparing to head to Washington, DC for the NHSA 11th Annual Spring Conference! During their visit, members and families will take time to visit their Senators and Representatives to discuss the importance of supporting Healthy Start Programs.  NHSA has developed a 9 minute video for projects to use in preparation for their visits, and it is shared below:

*We suggest after clicking play,  pause the video to allow time for it to load/buffering.