Local health departments (LHDs) play critical roles in responding to public health threats across the country. Despite the number of public health threats that impact pregnant people and infants, efforts to increase collaboration between maternal and child health (MCH) and emergency preparedness and response (EPR) departments within LHDs remain limited. NACCHO, with support from CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health, launched a project to increase collaboration between MCH and EPR programs within LHDs with the goal of improving the lives of pregnant people, new parents, and their infants. NACCHO awarded funding to the following four LHDs – two larger LHDs serving medium sized to large metropolitan areas and two in smaller rural communities:
- Jefferson County Public Health, Colorado
- Louisiana Office of Public Health – Bureau of Family Health, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Tri-County Health Department, Missouri
- Western Upper Peninsula Heath Department, Michigan
Each of the four funded programs developed strategic plans outlining how they would address the needs of MCH populations in their community during future public health emergencies. The awardees met with their internal and external stakeholders to form advisory committees to help inform their action plans and move their projects forward.
To wrap up this project, NACCHO hosted a webinar on June 16, highlighting the projects of the four participating LHDs. This provided an opportunity for the awardees to discuss their efforts to prioritize MCH populations in EPR activities and share lessons learned, success stories, partnership opportunities, and resources. A recording of the webinar is available for viewing. The following resources are available to assist LHDs with incorporating MCH needs into emergency planning:
- Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Checklist for Maternal and Infant Health from Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP)
- Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) Toolkit from CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO)
- New Orleans Breastfeeding Center Infant Ready Emergency Planning Kits
- Jefferson County Colorado - Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies Materials
NACCHO is excited to continue supporting LHDs and their efforts surrounding MCH and EPR planning. Please stay connected with us to receive information about future funding opportunities. For inquiries related to this project, please contact Hitomi Abe ([email protected]) and Emily Boyle ([email protected]).