News & Events

  • Palliative care is one of the fastest growing areas in health care, with three times as many hospitals providing palliative services today as did just 15 years ago.

  • Annual spending for cancer treatment in the U.S. is set to reach $184 billion by 2020. The large and growing bill has raised concerns that fee-for-service payments for oncology are promoting over-treatment and use of more expensive drugs irrespective of patient benefit. 

  • This health policy briefing on Capitol Hill will bring together top health care leaders with diverse business and policy expertise to share their unique perspectives as key players in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, market leaders driving change, and policy experts with alternative ideas for the future of health care.

  • Drug abuse during pregnancy is a growing problem, evidenced by the three-fold increase in newborns diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) between 2000 and 2009. Infants with NAS can suffer violent withdrawal symptoms that result in traumatic and costly NICU stays.

  • NIHCM Foundation seeks a highly motivated individual to join our team as a research and policy analyst. The research and policy analyst would support the Foundation’s work to foster public-private collaboration to improve the U.S. health system.

  • With the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and related increase in heroin dependence, the health system is facing an alarming rise in neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS afflicts newborns exposed to drugs, most commonly opioids, while in utero.

NIHCM
 
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 healthychildren.org 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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