March 10, 2022

COVID-19 Resources

CDC Updates List of Underlying Medical Conditions that Increase Risk of Severe Illness for COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its list of underlying medical conditions associated with a higher risk of severe COVID-19 to include a broad range of disabilities, including intellectual and developmental disabilities. The new guidance also recognizes “systemic health and social inequities” as a cause of the risk of severe illness for people with disabilities. Visit the CDC website to view the full list of underlying medical conditions and associated resources and recommendations.


CDC COVID-19 Resources and Webpages


AMCHP COVID-19 Resources and Vaccination Pages

AMCHP is committed to working alongside our federal agency and organizational partners to gather available information, resources, and guidance specific to our MCH population during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources are on our website for your convenience and are updated regularly as untapped resources become available. Find out more about vaccinating MCH populations to stay up to date on well care during the pandemic here.


AMCHP Announcements

Never miss AMCHP’s updates! Check out our new website, and follow us on Twitter (@DC_AMCHP), LinkedIn (Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs), Facebook (AMCHP), and Instagram (@DC_AMCHP).

New MCH Bridges Podcast Episode: Redesigning Birth Work for the Future with the InTune Mother Society

Our new podcast episode is out! Click here to listen to the episode: Redesigning Birth Work for the Future with the InTune Mother Society (TIMS).

AMCHP and the InTune Mother Society (TIMS) are excited to share a two-part podcast episode with guest speakers RaShaunda Lugrand, Founder/Director of TIMS, and Joelisha Fairbanks, a former TIMS client currently pursuing her certification as a Perinatal Wellness Coach.

This episode discusses birth justice, Black entrepreneurship, and how the maternal and child health (MCH) field and workplace can help break down barriers to perinatal wellness work and ideas on equitable partnerships between governmental public health and community-rooted efforts.

Share with your peers and listen to this and other episodes on www.mchbridges.orgApple PodcastsSpotify, or Overcast.

Why tune in to MCH Bridges?

MCH Bridges is designed to help our listeners create new connections to MCH leaders, organizations, and ideas. We aim to inspire and guide listeners towards actions that will improve the systems that impact MCH populations.

Who should listen to MCH Bridges?

MCH Bridges is designed for Title V MCH & CYSHCN leaders, state and jurisdictional health department staff, individuals with lived experience and their families, MCH faculty and students, public health professionals, and others wanting to learn more about supporting MCH populations and equitable systems of care.

We’d like to hear from you! Complete this short survey to share input and let us know who or what you’d like to hear about on future episodes. If you have any questions or suggestions about the podcast, please contact Maura Leahy (


AMCHP Launches Essential Reading for Black History Month and Beyond: The 2022 Edition

February was Black History Month, and to honor this observance, AMCHP launched a yearlong compilation of books that have inspired our team to reflect on Black history, racial justice, and health equity. We are delighted to share our first edition with the maternal and child health (MCH) community – Check it out!


Check out AMCHP’s recent announcements!

Voices of AMCHP

From our Board of Directors: Marcus Allen, MPH, Region III Director (2020-2023)

Marcus Allen is the Region III Director for AMCHP’s Board of Directors. He has been with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for almost 15 years and has been part of the Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Unit (CYSHCN) since 2012, serving as the program director since 2014. Under his leadership, the unit has been able to support two regional health system partners to expand staffing levels at their developmental pediatrics clinic and a third to improve its telehealth infrastructure. Additionally, his staff worked with agency and state government leadership to create an adult sickle cell clinic network.

Marcus is a native Virginian and a current resident of Goochland County. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is married with two daughters and enjoys spending time with family and following the Philadelphia Eagles and Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” football program.


What motivated you to join AMCHP’s Board of Directors?

I believe in the organization’s mission. It sets an excellent example in the field, and I have witnessed its efforts to ensure that women and children, including Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, remain a focus in America.

I genuinely do not know of a non-profit organization that works harder.


How do your background and experience contribute to your role as Region III Director of AMCHP’s Board of Directors?

I have about 20 years of experience in the field of public health. Half of that time has been focused on child health services. I am no better than anyone else, but I have learned a lot from my mistakes and, more importantly, from other leaders over the years! I hope that some of that knowledge will contribute to AMCHP’s success. 


How has your role at AMCHP’s Board of Directors contributed to your work?

AMCHP’s leadership regarding the importance of health equity after the death of Mr. George Floyd was incredibly inspiring to me. There have not been many times in my life when I have been prouder of being part of an organization. It motivated me to push for my programs to do a better job making an intentional effort to serve people of all backgrounds. Also, I have started working with our epidemiologists to take a closer look at some of our data to identify possible inequities to work with our partners to do something about it.  


What motivated you to work in the maternal and child health field?

This is an easy question. About ten years ago, I saw a job posting for a State Sickle Cell Coordinator position at my current employer. I was excited about the work being done and wanted to be part of it. The opportunity to contribute in some way to the well-being of others, specifically children who look like me, provided me with something I needed at the time. 


What led you to dedicate your professional life to working with children and youth with special health care needs, and could you tell us about your journey?

The first job I had in the child health field was managing a lead poisoning prevention program in Guilford County, NC. The work felt incredibly meaningful and rewarding. It gave my professional life a purpose greater than just earning a paycheck.

In addition, while serving as State Sickle Cell Coordinator at the Virginia Department of Health, I got an opportunity to visit children and families living with sickle cell disease in a clinical environment. I have rarely seen such courage. Children who have special health care needs are warriors and a true inspiration to me.


What changes are you excited to see in the maternal and child health field that support children and youth with special health care needs and their families?

I want to see the field leading in the area of transition. There have been incredible gains in the life expectancy of children living with certain chronic lifelong conditions. However, we need to do a better job assuring that adults with special health care needs transition to receive the same type of quality care. They matter just as much as the children the health care field has fought so hard to care for.

We need to incentivize adult providers to be willing to accept more young adults with special health care needs into their practices. I believe that many want to, but they are under pressure to see as many patients as quickly as possible. Insurance reimbursement must recognize the additional time it sometimes takes for a clinician to spend quality time working with young adults with special health care needs. We also need to continue to fund research that shows that this type of quality care often saves money, especially when it includes quality care coordination. 


AMCHP is currently working on its strategic planning. What is something you would like to see included?

The transition-related focus that I mentioned in the previous question. We can be leaders in this area and encourage funders and insurers to prioritize this. 


AMCHP Annual Conference

The Latest on the AMCHP 2022 Annual Conference

The AMCHP Annual Conference is one of the country’s largest gatherings of MCH professionals. In 2021, more than 1,300 people attended the conference virtually from nearly every state/territory/jurisdiction in the United States, including directors of states programs, federal officials, advocates, family leaders, researchers, and health care providers.

Considering the 2022 conference theme, “Reflecting on our Past, Shaping our Future,” AMCHP looks forward to identifying practices and policies designed to address the key challenges that MCH programs and families face and strengthening the partnership between local and state MCH programs and families. At the end of the conference, it’s AMCHP’s goal that you: acquire new skills to enhance MCH’s workforce, can implement strategies to improve health equity and inclusion, know the latest research on MCH, and have more awareness about the importance of interpersonal collaboration in the MCH field.


Early Bird Registration for the AMCHP 2022 Annual Conference is Due April 1

Did you register for the AMCHP 2022 Annual Conference? If you have not already, AMCHP invites you to take advantage of our early bird rates through Friday, April 1, 2022, at 11:59 PM EST.

Join maternal and child (MCH) leaders and thinkers at AMCHP 2022! Register for our fully-virtual conference, held May 24-26.


The Full Schedule for the AMCHP 2022 Annual Conference is Live

The full schedule for the AMCHP 2022 Annual Conference is live! It includes live and on-demand sessions, which will remain available for our conference participants for up to one year after the conference.


Quick Links


AMCHP Events & Webinars

Virtual Roundtable: Taking EHDI Telehealth to the Next Level

Join us on Thursday, March 24, from 4 – 5:30 PM EST, to learn more about the latest in tele-audiology evidence and for an opportunity to connect with Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) colleagues nationwide. Register here.


Virtual Roundtable: Working with Families Virtually

Join us on Tuesday, March 29, from 4 – 5:30 PM EST, for a virtual conversation with families and an opportunity to connect with colleagues nationwide on strategies to engage and support telehealth efforts. Register here.


AMCHP Innovation Hub

Be a Part of AMCHP’s Replication Projects!

Do you have a priority or strategy in your State Action Plan that you aren’t sure how to operationalize? Are you interested in building partnerships with MCH organizations while enhancing your organizational capacity? Consider participating in AMCHP’s Replication Projects for the 2022-2023 project year!

Every year, AMCHP offers awards for organizations and agencies to replicate evidence-based/-informed practices from the MCH Innovations Database. AMCHP’s Replication Projects are also an excellent opportunity to:

  • Receive tailored technical assistance and support to build your state’s or organization’s capacity to implement an Innovation Hub practice;
  • Start adapting a practice to your local context; and
  • Strengthen and develop partnerships with relevant organizations to address priority needs.

Format and structure

This project provides two technical assistance tracks depending on your organization’s level of readiness to replicate a practice. The Capacity Building Track focuses on capacity building and developing the infrastructure necessary to implement a chosen practice. The Implementation Track provides support to begin the actual implementation of a practice. Both tracks operate as cohorts, with participants receiving TA in the form of quarterly webinars which focus on specific tools and pieces of training aligned with the Implementation Stages Framework.

Want to learn more about this opportunity?  

Visit our Innovation Hub page and watch an overview of the Replication Projects. Next, review the Replication Project Readiness Statements to apply.

Ready to apply? Click to sign up for an initial conversation with AMCHP. Please email us at for any questions.


AMCHP Mental Health Corner

Mental health is an important component of well-being for women and children. To recognize its importance, we will use this space to highlight resources for MCAH professionals to support their own mental health, as well as the mental health of those they serve. Read more about AMCHP’s organizational work on mental health and substance use here.

This month, AMCHP will be sharing resources to support children with disabilities and highlight the importance of inclusion and belonging in wellbeing and mental health. March includes National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, World Down Syndrome Day, and World Autism Acceptance Week. Be sure to follow AMCHP on Twitter (@dc_amchp) for original and valuable partner content that demonstrates mental and emotional health and well-being as integral to overall health.

Interested in receiving more information on what’s happening related to mental health/substance use and MCH?Sign-up for the PRISM Digest, our monthly mental health/substance use newsletter, by sending an e-mail tojcohen@amchp.organd check out the#AMCHPMentalHealthhashtag on Twitter. Have questions or want to learn more? Contact the mental health team


AMCHP National Policy Calls

AMCHP National MCH COVID-19 Townhall Series

Thanks to those of you who joined us on the February 10 webinar. Watch the recording:

The next call in this series is April 14, 2022, 2:00-3:00 PM EST. Please use this link to register. For follow-up materials and resources from the previous call, please be sure to check out AMCHP’s COVID-19 page.


Legislation & Policy

Explore our Maternal Health Bill Tracker for More Information About Pending Federal Legislation to Improve Maternal Health

House Passes Bill to Fund Government for Remainder of FY22

On Wednesday, March 9, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) omnibus appropriations bill that, when enacted, will set discretionary funding levels through the rest of the current fiscal year. The U.S. Senate is expected to approve the bill in the next few days and send the bill to President Biden for his signature into law. The FY22 omnibus appropriations bill includes funding for the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant at $747.7 million, an increase of $35 million above the FY21 funding level. The omnibus appropriations bill includes authorizing language from two bills focused on improving maternal health outcomes: 1. the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act (H.R.4387/S.1675); and 2. the Rural MOMS Act (H.R.769/S.1491). Upon passage of the omnibus appropriations bill, these two authorizing bills will also become law. For further details about these two bills and the full FY22 omnibus appropriations bill, see this AMCHP legislative alert.

Looking forward, AMCHP’s advocacy efforts for the next fiscal year are well underway as we ask Congress to provide $1 billion for the MCH Block Grant in FY23 and greater investments in maternal and child health and public health programs overall.


Legislation Addressing Pregnancy-Related Needs of Incarcerated Women Introduced in House

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA-37) and Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA-14) have introduced bipartisan legislation to address the pregnancy-related needs of incarcerated people entitled The Pregnant Women in Custody Act (H.R.6878). The Act establishes minimum standards for healthcare for pregnant women, fetuses, and newborns in federal custody, and specifically prohibits the use of restraints and restrictive housing on federal prisoners who are pregnant or who have recently given birth. The legislation also requires the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide training and technical assistance to state and local corrections and law enforcement agencies to meet and exceed the established standards for healthcare; collect data on women’s mental and physical health in corrections facilities during the pregnancy and post-partum period; and establish grant funding to states for implementation. AMCHP has endorsed this legislation.

To learn more about what is included in The Pregnant Women in Custody Act, you can read the full text of the Pregnant Women in Custody Act, check out the press release from Rep. Bass’ office, and follow its movement in Congress on AMCHP’s Maternal Health Bill Tracker.


Women’s Health Protection Act Fails to Pass in Senate

The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 (WHPA) (H.R.3755, S.1975), which would prohibit governmental restrictions on the provision of, and access to, abortion, did not receive enough votes to pass in the Senate after passing in the House last year. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-27) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in the House and Senate, respectively, would establish federal statutory protections for health care providers to provide abortion services and for individuals seeking abortion services. WHPA passed the House, which has a Democratic majority, along party lines in September 2021. However, it did not receive the 60 votes necessary to close the debate and hold a vote in the 50-50 split Senate. These votes occur as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which could alter the standard of access to abortion set by Roe v. Wade in 1973, with a decision expected in early summer 2022.


White House Releases Federal Plan to Address Mental Health Crisis

The Biden Administration has released a national mental health strategy in response to the nation’s worsening mental health crisis. The strategy outlines a series of federal policy priorities meant to bolster mental health and social systems infrastructures ahead of the release of the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request. Core tenets of the President’s strategy include: strengthening system capacity by addressing the shortage of behavioral health providers; reducing barriers to access to behavioral health care, including cost and insurance reimbursement; and expanding access to services in tele- and virtual mental health, school, community, home-visiting, and other settings. You can learn about the full strategy with this fact sheet from the White House.


Opportunities & Funding 

AMCHP is Accepting Host Sites Applications for the Summer 2022 Graduate Student Epidemiology Program

AMCHP is accepting applications for the Summer 2022 Graduate Student Epidemiology Program (GSEP). Host sites applications are being received, vetted, and approved on a rolling basis through Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at 11:59 PM EST.

This maternal and child health leadership program is funded by the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) and administered by AMCHP. This program:

  • Provides paid, 10-week, 100% remote graduate student summer internships to develop leaders in MCH epidemiology
  • Does not require host sites to incur associated costs; AMCHP covers all intern stipends and site visit expenses
  • Offers AMCHP’s assistance with intern recruitment and supports host sites throughout the summer.
  • Allow interns to focus their efforts on agency/organization priorities
  • Allow staff to gain meaningful mentorship experience.

Additional details about host site applications are offered through an informational webinar recording and our website. For questions, please get in touch with Maura Leahy at


Join the National MCH Workforce Development Center for the Accelerating Equity Learning Community

The deadline for applications is extended to March 11, 2022. Title V staff and agencies must implement a conceptually valid, holistic, and sustained approach for achieving racial equity to ensure improved outcomes for all underrepresented populations and for improvement in overall MCH outcomes.

The Accelerating Equity Learning Community (AELC) will equip up to six Title V teams with the knowledge and skills needed to address the transformative demands of health equity programming within the contexts of contemporary MCH practice by providing an array of training opportunities that meet the diverse workforce development needs of Title V leaders, staff, community, and interdisciplinary partners.

The AELC will be formally structured as relationships among teams are built, and can continue to function as a mechanism for the learning community to conduct joint problem solving and thought partnership with respect to sustaining equity practice in Title V contexts.

Visit the website to apply, and please contact Rebecca Greenleaf ( if you have questions.


AMCHP Career Center: Connecting Talent with Opportunity

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) lists the top jobs available in our industry. Search and apply to open positions or post jobs on AMCHP Career Center! Search for Jobs | Post a Job.


Publication and Resources

National Research Agenda Highlights Priority Research Topics for Children with Special Health Care Needs 

On March 2, the Research Network on Health Systems for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCNet) released a supplement to Academic Pediatrics titled “National Research Agenda on Health Systems for Children and Youth With Special Health Care Needs.” This supplement provides a blueprint of research priorities to improve the health outcomes and the wellbeing of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and their families and caregivers.

The supplement encompasses seven papers that explain each agenda’s priority topics, plus an executive summary paper. The topics include:

  • Child health and social determinants of health, to examine how the places people live, learn, work, and play impacts health
  • Family health and how to support the adaptability of families with CYSHCN
  • Caregiving and at-home support
  • Telemedicine and supporting families living in rural areas
  • Principles of care, to better understand the keys to successful care management
  • Health care financing, including payment models and value outcomes
  • Youth-to-adult transitions and how gaps in support impact outcomes

Access the supplement using this link.



March 2022

Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month
Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month
Myeloma Action Month
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
National Endometriosis Awareness Month
National Kidney Month
National Nutrition Month
National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month
Save Your Vision Month
Trisomy Awareness Month
Workplace Eye Wellness Month

Weeks to Note:

National Pulmonary Rehabilitation WeekMarch 8 – 14
Patient Safety Awareness WeekMarch 13 – 19
National Sleep Awareness WeekMarch 14 – 20
National Poison Prevention WeekMarch 14 – 20
Brain Awareness WeekMarch 14 – 20
National Drug and Alcohol Facts WeekMarch 21 – 27

Days to Note:

World Birth Defects DayMarch 3
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness DayMarch 10
World Kidney Day 2022March 10
World Sleep DayMarch 18
National Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day; March 20
World Oral Health DayMarch 20
World Down Syndrome DayMarch 21
World Tuberculosis DayMarch 24
American Diabetes Alert DayMarch 26
Epilepsy Awareness – Purple DayMarch 26
National Doctors’ DayMarch 30