Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health

Local health departments (LHDs) play an important role in coordinating the broader public health system’s efforts to improve the health of women, children and adolescents. NACCHO’s Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health (MCAH) Program strengthens the capacity of LHDs to effectively ensure and assess the health of women, children and adolescents by providing learning opportunities, developing tools and resources, providing technical support, and facilitating peer exchange.

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  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

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Request for applications due October 20.

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Join this webinar on Thursday, September 22, 3:00-4:00 PM ET.

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  • Emergency Response
  • Infectious Disease
  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health
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Sep 09, 2022 | Elana Filipos

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  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

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  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

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  • COVID-19
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  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health
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  • Breastfeeding
  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

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Preventing the spread of COVID-19 among children in early care and education (ECE) programs is critical, particularly as many are too young to wear masks and vaccination has not been approved for their age group. Because child care programs typically operate independently, they often do not have the resources or partnerships to implement best public health practices. COVID-19 has highlighted the need to strengthen the partnership between LHDs and ECE providers to establish and sustain collaborative mitigation efforts and to prevent other infectious disease outbreaks and support other infectious diseases, immunization, chronic disease prevention, and other public health goals for young children. This project, funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a collaboration between NACCHO, Pennsylvania State University’s Better Kid Care, and Child Care Aware of America, and will result in training materials and resources to address the COVID-19 response in ECE.

NACCHO, in partnership with Child Care Aware of America and with funding from CDC, developed a COVID-19 checklist to support ECE and Child Care programs in providing a healthy and safe environment for providers, children, and families during this challenging time.

View the full COVID-19 ECE Checklist for ECE programs here. To download a section of the checklist, please select from below.

Section 1: Planning and Preparing

Section 2: Screening, Illness, and Communicating Symptoms & Cases

Section 3: Masks, Hygiene, and other Personal Protective Measures

Section 4: Classes/Cohorts and Physical Distancing

Section 5: Cleaning and Disinfecting

Section 6: Immunizations

Section 7: Staff Resilience and Support

For more information, please contact William Rowe (wrowe@naccho.org).

The period from birth until a child’s second birthday is critical for proper development, and for establishing healthy dietary patterns that may influence health throughout the life course. Human milk is the ideal first food as it is uniquely suited for infants’ optimal growth, and it also has a substantial impact on the birthing persons’ health, which makes chest/breastfeeding support critical for improving community health. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended until 6 months of age, with appropriate introduction of nutrient-dense complementary foods. Many families discontinue chest/breastfeeding prematurely due to many reasons that could be solved with continuity of care in chest/breastfeeding support through the 1,000 days within communities. Moreover, significant breastfeeding and infant/toddler healthy feeding disparities persist by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geography. The Reducing Breastfeeding Disparities through Continuity of Care project, funded through CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, aims to improve local approaches to chest/breastfeeding protection, promotion, and support through the advancement of continuity of care in optimal infant and toddler feeding.

Through training webinars, ongoing technical assistance, and dissemination of resources, NACCHO shares lessons learned and effective strategies for local-level implementation. NACCHO also provides technical assistance to CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) recipients on lactation support and continuity of care. For more information about NACCHO’s chest/breastfeeding work, please visit here.

NACCHO has recently launched the Continuity of Care in Breastfeeding Support: A Blueprint for Communities, and an online repository of CoC resources. Visit here to learn more.

For more information about this project, please contact breastfeeding@naccho.org.

NACCHO, with funding from CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health, has established a Virtual Learning Collaborative (VLC) to develop and train MCH and EPR professionals at local health departments (LHDs) on integrating MCH considerations into EPR planning. This VLC aims to increase the capacity of LHDs to prioritize the MCH population in preparedness plans and responses. In addition, NACCHO works with the VLC to help address the gaps identified and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and other all-hazards events through training, technical assistance, and materials to increase knowledge of MCH priorities among EPR personnel and train MCH personnel to engage in preparedness activities.

For questions about this project, please contact Elana Filipos at efilipos@naccho.org.

NACCHO’s Bridging Preparedness, Infectious Disease (ID), Maternal-Child Health (MCH) and Birth Defects within Cities and Counties project, funded through CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, supports public health and clinical care partnerships at the local level to increase local jurisdictions’ ability to protect, respond, and support pregnant people and their infants from emerging threats. To support these efforts, NACCHO convenes the MIP collaborative workgroup, which is comprised of local health department officials and health department staff with expertise and interest in the intersectionality of preparedness, infectious disease, maternal-child health, and/or birth defects. The goals of the MIP workgroup are to identify variations, gaps, and promising practices in coordinating response and surveillance of the impact of infectious diseases on pregnant people and infants among preparedness, ID, MCH, and birth defects programs; identify and design tools to support city and county health departments with responding to and managing the impact infectious disease on MCH populations and draw from lessons learned in previous infectious disease preparedness practices.

For more information about this project, please contact Elana Filipos at efilipos@naccho.org.

NACCHO receives funding from CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention to address the impact of systemic racism and violence on children and youth in Baltimore, MD. In partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department and the University of Maryland School of Social Work, NACCHO aims to identify racial disparities in experiences of trauma within Baltimore City, establish a data-sharing system in Baltimore City child- and youth-serving agencies to improve coordination and delivery of trauma-informed services and develop a comprehensive plan for referring children and youth who have experienced trauma to behavioral health services.

For more information about this project, please contact Audrey Eisemann at aeisemann@naccho.org.

Pregnancies, deliveries, postpartum journeys, and navigating the needs of children and families during COVID-19 have been characterized by reduced support during labor and delivery, increased anxiety around birthing and the health of children, and changes in prenatal and postpartum appointments due to efforts to increase physical distancing in offices. In addition, data shows that COVID-19 puts pregnant people at increased risk of severe complications and even death.

To better understand the experience of pregnant and birthing people during the COVID-19 pandemic, NACCHO, in partnership with the What to Expect Project and through funding from CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health, developed three needs assessments for What to Expect consumers. The assessments collected information on how COVID-19 has impacted reproductive health decision-making, parental decision-making, mental health during pregnancy, and pregnancy and birth-related health-seeking behaviors. Additionally, NACCHO conducted listening sessions with local health department (LHD) staff that continued to support the maternal and child health (MCH) population during the pandemic.

The results of the needs assessments and listening sessions demonstrate the need to prioritize MCH populations’ integrations into emergency preparedness planning efforts and to utilize a health equity framework to ensure that historically marginalized communities, communities in rural areas, and low-income communities have access to services amidst a public health threat. Furthermore, it highlights the need for LHDs to strengthen partnerships with community partners such as local clinics, schools, and faith-based organizations to reach the MCH populations during a public health threat, as well as the need to center mental health concerns for this population. As LHDs continue to serve MCH populations, it is vital to support LHDs and the mental health needs of LHD staff to avoid burnout, especially during a public health emergency.

The full report can be accessed here.

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