News & Events

  • This webinar, hosted by USC Annenberg's Center for Health Journalism with support from NIHCM Foundation, will look at groundbreaking new research on what private insurance plans are paying for common procedures in markets across the country and how those prices are influenced by provider consolidation.

  • Living in poverty can have serious health consequences. Lower-income Americans are at higher risk of developing chronic diseases, and providers report challenges ensuring compliance with treatment guidelines when their patients have limited resources.

  • Americans spend more than $30 billion a year on vitamins and supplements. But how do we know these pills are safe? In Supplements and Safety, FRONTLINE, The New York Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation team up to investigate the supplement industry...

  • To recognize the critical role of researchers and journalists in improving the health care system, each year NIHCM Foundation presents awards for outstanding work in these fields. We are pleased to announce a call for entries for our 22nd annual awards program.

  • The New York Times has a front-page story today highlighting new research about variations in health spending. This research, led by Yale University's Zack Cooper and supported by grants from NIHCM Foundation and The Commonwealth Fund, marks a major advance in the understanding of prices and spending in private insurance.

  • NIHCM Foundation hosted a webinar on strategies to improve adolescent health and reduce teen pregnancy...

NIHCM Foundation Health Update. Women, Children and Adolescents

In This Issue

News from NIHCM
Summaries of Recent MCH News
Promising Practices in MCH
Health Plan Initiatives to Improve MCH
Partner Spotlight

News from NIHCM

Upcoming Webinar! The NIHCM Foundation will host a webinar on April 2, 2012 at 1:00 PM (EDT) - Bullying remains an epidemic in the United States with one in three children affected. This webinar will share how the Highmark Foundation spearheaded the creation of a coalition of experts to implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) in the largest statewide bullying prevention initiative in the country and how other stakeholders around the country can replicate this unique, model program. We will discuss new cost-benefit-analysis data along with the positive results of Highmark’s efforts to create safer school climates and healthier, happier children. Register for this webinar.

The Association for Community Health Improvement held their annual conference in Denver, CO March 14-March 16 to share knowledge among conference attendees and enhance their performance in achieving community health goals. Kathryn Santoro, NIHCM Foundation’s Director of Policy & Development and Claire Speedling, NIHCM Foundation’s Research and Policy Analyst presented the Foundation’s recent issue brief on adolescent health literacy. Susan Zimny, a Senior Manager at Health Care Service Corporation and Peter Komendowski, President of The Partnership for a Drug Free Iowa, presented alongside Kathryn and Claire at the conference and shared more details about their efforts to promote adolescent health literacy.

The Southern Sociological Society held its annual conference March 21-March 24 focusing on shifting social contracts. Kathryn Santoro presented NIHCM Foundation’s adolescent health literacy work as part of an esteemed panel focused on health literacy.

Summaries of Recent MCH News

Promising Practices in MCH

NIHCM Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of our Promising Practices in Maternal & Child Health searchable database—a collection of emerging and promising health plan programs and collaborations. This database allows you to learn more about the MCH activities and priorities of health plans from across the country with a goal of facilitating program replication and fostering new collaborations between health plans and other MCH stakeholders, especially those working in communities and in the public sector. We continue to invite you to submit your public-private partnership success stories for inclusion in the Promising Practices in MCH database. Please visit our website for more information and the submission form.

NIHCM Foundation’s Promising Practices in Maternal and Child Health fact sheets highlight and recognize emerging and promising collaborations between health plans and other MCH stakeholders. Each quarter, NIHCM selects one partnership success story to highlight in a NIHCM fact sheet. NIHCM’s first fact sheet, published in September 2011, highlighted health plan partnerships with the text4baby program.

We are always looking to improve our work—please provide feedback about the database or our fact sheets to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Health Plan Initiatives to Improve MCH

The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas has awarded over $1.5 million in grants to 21 organizations focused on improving the health of the citizens of Arkansas. Grantees include the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, to extend a dental sealant program to an additional 1200 kids; Monticello School District, to support compliance with USDA school meal guidelines; Community Clinic at St. Francis House, to offer primary care and integrated behavioral health services to an additional 1500 children; and Arkansas Children’s Trust Fund, to provide home safety kits to young, expectant mothers and car seats to teen parents.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) Foundation has provided ChildhoodObesity180 with a $125,000 grant to support the Active Schools Acceleration Project's Innovation Competition. This contest rewards innovative technologies and impactful school-based programs that encourage physical activity. The grant is part of BCBSF Foundation’s long-term Embrace a Healthy Florida initiative, which has awarded more than $4 million to support childhood obesity prevention.

BCBSF Foundation has announced the honorees for the 2012 Sapphire Award for excellence in community health programming and leadership. Two of this year’s honorees are focused on improving adolescent health: the PACE Center for Girls, an education, counseling and advocacy program; and Teen Xpress, a mobile health unit for at-risk youth through the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Since 2005, the BCBSF Foundation has awarded $2.2 million to 37 health-related non-profits through the Sapphire Award.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation has launched a new website called Inspired that highlights the work of local non-profits focused on improving the health of North Carolinians. Each time an Inspired story is shared via email or social media, BCBSNC Foundation will donate $1 to the featured organization up to $100,000. Among the nine featured organizations are the North Carolina PTA, advocating for healthier school environments; the Appalachia Sustainable Agriculture Project, to train teachers to facilitate farm-to-school activities; and several other non-profits that advance MCAH.

BCBSNC is calling on innovative North Carolinians to offer up their best ideas for reducing obesity within the state. The 2012 Health Innovation Challenge will award $20,000 and provide mentoring support to help implement up to three winning proposals. The competition is open for submissions through April 16.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation has released short videos spotlighting five organizations that are making strides to improve the health and well being of Minnesotans. Featured organizations include the Mankato Area United Way’s First Steps Collaborative, which provides resources to first-time parents; Healthy Homes Healthy Kids, a project of Preventing Harm Minnesota that works to improve the quality of rental housing in Minneapolis; and the Carlton County Collaborative’s Jump Start 4 Kindergarten, a data collection and program improvement initiative aimed at better preparing children for kindergarten.

Partner Spotlight

Child Trends, through a partnership with the National Adolescent Young Adult Health Information Center, has published a brief entitled “What Works to Prevent or Reduce Internalizing Problems or Socio-Emotional Difficulties in Adolescents.” This brief analyzes programs designed to prevent or treat internalizing problems and identifies best practices.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated its recommendations for childhood immunizations with new immunization schedules for children from birth to 6 years of age and adolescents aged 7 to 18 years, as well as a catch-up schedule. The AAP’s also offers a printable worksheet to help parents keep track of their children’s immunizations.

The AAP published a new policy statement entitled “Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk.” In this statement, the AAP reaffirms its recommendations for duration of breastfeeding—six months of exclusively breast milk and continued breastfeeding in combination with other foods throughout the first year—and emphasizes the role of the health care community in improving maternal and child health by supporting breastfeeding.

The Commonwealth Fund and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs co-authored a new issue brief called “New Opportunities for Integrating and Improving Health Care for Women, Children, and Their Families.” This brief explores state efforts to coordinate private and public delivery of health care services for low-income women and children.

In observation of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 9, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration is encouraging the MCH community to share data about trauma and resilience in children via email signatures, social media networks or blogs. Twitter users should include the hashtag #HeroesofHope.
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