December 14, 2023

Graphic Image of AMCHP Member Briefs: A Bi-Weekly AMCHP Newsletter. Image of mom with her daughter and son, all smiling.

AMCHP Annual Conference 

AMCHP 2024 Logo with 5 ribbons of different colored ribbons twisting into an arrow. Banner states theme, Partnering with Purpose, and location/date: April 13-16, Oakland, CA

Have you saved the date for the 2024 AMCHP Annual Conference? Mark your calendars to join us April 13-16, 2024, at the Oakland Marriott City Center, in Oakland, California! We will continue to offer content in-person and virtually through our conference platform with the theme Partnering with Purpose. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our Annual Conference Newsletter to be the first to receive updates and information about the conference, and share the link with your peers!    

Conference Platform is Now LIVE  

Everything about AMCHP 2024 is now available in one place! Visit our conference platform to view the schedule at-a-glance (which includes opportunities for networking and skill-building sessions as well as plenty of impactful workshops and inspiring plenary sessions.), hotel and travel information, and much more!    

Early Bird Registration is OPEN  

Early Bird registration for the 2024 AMCHP Annual Conference is now open! Register to attend in person or virtually by February 12, 2024, to take advantage of the early bird pricing. Visit our conference platform to view more information regarding registration rates, including discounted rates for youth/students, community-based organizations, tribal entities, and family leaders.  

Are you not sure whether you will attend in person or virtually? You can change your attendance status without penalties until March 11, 2024.    

Start planning your attendance and register now to secure your spot!   

Now Accepting Hotel Reservations       

You can now make your hotel reservation to attend AMCHP 2024 in person. Book your stay at the Oakland Marriott in Oakland, CA, by March 16, 2024, or until the block sells out. We look forward to seeing you!    

Support Youth, Family Leaders, Community-Rooted Partners, and Representatives of Tribal Entities at Our Upcoming Annual Conference  

Graphic alerting AMCHP 2024: Support Youth, Family Leaders, Community-Rooted Partners, and Tribal Entity Representatives. Learn more: annual conference is fast approaching. While we can’t wait to see you at AMCHP 2024, we also recognize the deep value of having youth and young adult leaders (including students), family leaders, community-based organizations (CBOs), community-rooted partners, and representatives of tribal entities attend as well.  

AMCHP has composed a letter from our President and CEO providing further details about ways to support these individuals to attend. We shared a similar letter last year, and based on our conference evaluation, it inspired jurisdictions to financially support 10 youth and young adult leaders (including students), family leaders, CBOs, community-rooted partners, and tribal government representatives to participate. Nearly a quarter of those who received the letter indicated that it helped them build or strengthen relationships with the individuals that they sponsored to attend the conference.       

We are hopeful that this letter will have the same, or an even larger, impact this year. We also hope that it inspires you and your colleagues to have conversations about ways that you can further partner with purpose and support these individuals and groups in your own work.   

Check out our conference registration page for more information. 

AMCHP Annual Conference Scholarship  

Graphic alerting detailing the anticipated costs for supporting youth, community-based organizations (CBOs), family leaders, and tribal entities to attend the AMCHP 2024 Conference in Oakland, CA, from April 13-16. The top of the infographic features the conference's logo and the tagline "Partnering with PURPOSE." Below, a table is divided into three columns for different attendance options: Virtual, In-Person (One Day), and In-Person (Full Conference). Each column lists costs for full conference registration, presenter rate, transportation, lodging and meals, time off work, and childcare, with totals ranging from $2,445-$1,645 for virtual attendance to $4,210-$2,330 for the full conference. Early bird rates are also indicated in parentheses. The table is set against a maroon background, with white and black text for readability.The AMCHP Annual Conference Scholarship aims to invite and financially support youth and young adult leaders (including students), family leaders, community‐based organizations (CBOs), and representatives of tribal entities involved with maternal and child health (MCH) efforts to attend. Often, community members and youth and young adults are not involved, integrated, or prioritized when it comes to the various policies and programs that impact their peers and families. Cultivating and sustaining relationships with diverse leaders cannot be achieved without amplifying, supporting, and compensating the efforts of community leaders who contribute to the vitality of maternal and child health. This effort ties directly into the overall theme of partnership for this year’s upcoming conference while also being a focus of AMCHP’s strategic plan around partnership development.   


How Can I Support? 

AMCHP is committed to providing a space and audience so that the talent and expertise of community representatives are recognized and integrated into MCH priorities. Fostering an environment at the conference to learn from, network with, and share insights with one another is a great opportunity for you to do so as well! We believe that supporting representatives to attend the conference will increase your program’s capacity in youth and community engagement as well as leadership development and will be a meaningful step toward building and sustaining trusting relationships with these groups in your state or jurisdiction.   

We encourage you to visit our conference registration page and consider making the financial investment to send youth and young adults, family leaders, CBOs, and representatives of tribal entities from your state or jurisdiction to the conference either in-person or virtually.   

Blog Post – Bridging Communities Through Strategic Partnerships: AMCHP 2024 Partnering with Purpose 

As maternal and child health (MCH) professionals, our purpose remains at the heart of every decision, collaboration, and initiative we undertake. This year, as we focus on intentional impact, we introduce our 2024 AMCHP Annual Conference theme: Partnering with Purpose. AMCHP has always believed that collaboration isn’t just about joining forces, but coming together with intent, direction, and vision to make an impact for communities.  

The AMCHP 2024 theme acknowledges a foundational concept: while we are powerful as individuals, our true strength is magnified through collaboration. It calls upon each of us in the MCH community to be deliberate about who we partner with and how we forge these relationships. Through this idea, we are choosing a path rooted in authenticity as we seek to amplify the voices of those we serve, understand power dynamics, and ensure that our joint efforts reflect genuine respect and mutual goals.  [read more

AMCHP Announcements  

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Call for 2024 AMCHP Annual Award Nominations Closes January 12!  

Graphic alerting #AMCHPAnnual Awards 2024. Submit Your Nominations: is still accepting nominations for the 2024 AMCHP Annual Awards! The awards will be presented at the AMCHP Annual Conference, April 13-16, 2024, in Oakland, CA.  

Every year, AMCHP recognizes individuals in the maternal and child health (MCH) community who have gone above and beyond to positively impact those around them. Leaders, innovators, professionals, youth, and legislators are nominated and selected based on their commitment and contributions to advancing MCH.  

Visit our webpage to view the award categories and descriptions.  

Need more information on the nomination process? View our Call for Nominations Webinar recording to learn more about the nomination process from AMCHP Staff and Board leadership. You can also visit our webpage to view past winners from 2022 and 2023 for inspiration! 

Ready to nominate? If you would like to get started, please fill out this nomination form and submit all nomination materials to by January 12, 2024.   

AMCHP’s BirthWork Podcast Releases New Episode Featuring Marna Armstead and Ankita Patel 

Photo collage: Photo of Marna Armstead (black and white photo). AMCHP BirthWork Episode 2: Part 1 - What Makes a Doula? AMCHP hosts speaks with doula and co-founder, Marna Armstead of SisterWeb, as she reflects on her experiences in a system that has medicalized birth and what it truly means to advocate as a birth companion through culturally congruent care. Listen Now. Photo of Ankita Patel. AMCHP BirthWork Episode 2: Part 2 - Supporting the Doula. AMCHP hosts speak with Ankita Patel pf REACHUP as they explore what it means to provide doula care to support a diverse community and the fluidity in the role of a doula. Listen to the second two-part episode of AMCHP’s new podcast, BirthWork, inspired by two doulas representing the community-based organizations engaged with the Safer Childbirth Cities Initiative. The grantees are driving community-led initiatives to address structural determinants of health and strengthen the comprehensive perinatal workforce in their cities.  

Everyone walking this planet is born from someone — yet we rarely celebrate the people and the work of bringing new life into this world. In the face of persistent inequities and threats leading to the Black maternal health crisis and other critical injustices in perinatal health, community-led solutions, policies, and movements are paving pathways toward better birth outcomes. In this podcast, we’ll dig into the work happening today by tremendous individuals to ensure generations of thriving and striving communities.  

In this ongoing podcast, you’ll hear directly from leaders, organizers, and birthworkers as they share what it takes to confront structural and systemic barriers to health and wellbeing and celebrate the transformation of birth for individuals, families, communities, states, and our nation. Together, we will reimagine what birth experiences can be.   

What Makes a Doula, Featuring Marna Armstead 

Birthworkers have been attending pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum for centuries. In the 21st century, birthworkers, such as doulas, continue to provide vital support to birthing people while simultaneously addressing challenges faced by all mothers in America, and especially birthing people of color. In this special two-part episode, your AMCHP hosts speak with two doulas to explore their inspirations and motivations for birth work. Marna Armstead from San Francisco reflects on her experiences in a system that has medicalized birth and what it truly means to advocate as a birth companion through culturally congruent care. Listen to learn about the joy doulas spread to individuals, families, and communities at large helping to create more respectful and equitable birthing spaces from coast to coast. And don’t forget to catch part 2 of this episode where we talk to Ankita Patel from Tampa, FL.   

Guest Speaker: Marna Armstead, Doula and Co-Founder of SisterWeb in San Francisco, California 

Cohost: Shaquelle Ballou, former Program Manager at AMCHP  

Supporting the Doula, Featuring Ankita Patel 

With the continuing shortage of maternal health care providers, doulas are filling in the gaps to respectfully support birthing people and families to navigate systems of care before, during, and after childbirth. The importance of offsetting the emotional burden from birthworkers is only growing as we rely on their expertise and lived experience to actionably address racial equity in maternal health. As doulas are known for their steadfast support throughout the birthing process, we are reminded in part two of BirthWork’s episode on doulas to prioritize the wellbeing of doulas and other members of the perinatal workforce. Your AMCHP cohost explores what it means to provide doula care to support a diverse community and the fluidity in the role of a doula with Ankita Patel of REACHUP, Inc., a community-based organization in Tampa, FL. Tune in to this episode to garner a new take on how “it takes a village” to equitably bring life into the world. And if you haven’t heard what makes a doula, listen to the part 1 of this episode where we talk to Marna Armstead from San Francisco.   

Guest Speaker:  Ankita Patel, Doula Program Manager at REACHUP, Inc. in Tampa, Florida  

Cohost: Giannina Ong, Program Manager for Reproductive and Maternal Health at AMCHP  

BirthWork episodes can be found on our website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Amazon music.  

Why tune in to BirthWork? 

BirthWork celebrates the ongoing achievements of communities, professionals, practitioners, and families to create safer and more equitable birthing experiences. Our first season features grantees from the Safer Childbirth Cities Initiative who are working towards improving maternal health outcomes by meeting the dynamic needs of their community. Through BirthWork, AMCHP hopes to amplify stories of those working to support perinatal health and create space for those with lived experiences.   

Who should listen to BirthWork? 

BirthWork is tailored to those wanting to learn more about birth justice and efforts led by community-based organizations to create safer spaces for birthing people. Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) & Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (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 transform perinatal health through supporting MCH populations and equitable systems of care should tune in to the BirthWork podcast.  

New MCH Bridges Podcast – What the Health is Ecology of Homelessness?!  

Graphic alerting: MCH Bridges Podcast: Episode 16 "What the Health is Ecology of Homelessness?!" Guest Host: Amber Woodside. Guest Speakers: Lisa Brooks & Mitra Kashani.

Our newest MCH Bridges episode is now live! Episode 16– “What the Health is Ecology of Homelessness?!”  

November is National Youth Homelessness Awareness Month. Severe weather, extreme temperatures, and natural disasters present vastly increased challenges for homeless communities. Listen to our latest MCH Bridges and What the Health?! crossover episode, led by AMCHP’s Youth Voice Amplified (YVA) committee, to learn about how climate change is directly affecting people experiencing homelessness. You’ll hear from guest hosts Mitra Kashani, environmental public health scientist, and Lisa Brooks, expert in the homelessness system, as they share what homelessness can look like from an individual and systems-level perspective – confronting common misconceptions, emphasizing the impacts of climate change on marginalized and rural communities, and highlighting the opportunities to address this issue by partnering with and centering people with lived experience.  

Tune in now to listen to guest host Amber Woodside and speakers Lisa and Mitra as they share their lived experiences and professional insights. In addition, as we enter into this season of giving and gratitude, consider ways you might be able to give back to your community members experiencing homelessness, especially youth.  

Disclaimer: This episode discusses topics of climate change, natural disasters, loss, death, discrimination, and homelessness. Please prioritize your mental health and consider if you are ready to listen to this episode. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a crisis, please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. You can also sign up to join virtual sharing and listening sessions for people experiencing climate anxiety at Additionally, the findings and conclusions in this podcast shared by Mitra Kashani are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   

Why tune in to MCH Bridges?  

MCH Bridges is intended 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.   

Recent AMCHP Announcements    

Voices of AMCHP 

Janis Gonzales, MD, MPH, FAAP – Region VI Director (2022-2025)

Headshot of Janis Gonzales, MD, MPH, FAAP - Region VI Director (2022-2025)

As part of our Voices of AMCHP series, designed to highlight our dedicated Board members and their work, we invited Dr. Gonzales to share some insights on her background, journey serving on AMCHP’s Board of Directors, and her advice for established MCH professionals to foster meaningful partnerships. 

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

I have always admired AMCHP for its mission and the work they do to support maternal and child health (MCH) programs and families nationwide, especially families with children with special needs. As a mother of a child with special needs myself, that resonated deeply with me. After being Title V Director in NM for several years, I wanted to contribute in a larger way by serving on the AMCHP Board. I was also excited about the AMCHP role after talking to past Board members who loved their experience on the Board and the relationships they built. Joining the AMCHP Board seemed like a natural next step in my progression of MCH work. 

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

I believe I bring a unique combination of education and lived experience to this role, which allows me to relate to all the various aspects of the MCH work. I have had three children, one with complex medical needs, and I have had to navigate the medical and insurance systems both as a parent and a physician. As a pediatrician, I am trained to look at the health of the whole child – physical, mental, relational, and spiritual health – and to view the child in the context of their family and community. As a public health professional, I understand the need to work with, not on, communities and to listen deeply to the people being impacted by the policies we create, as well as the need to develop programs that reach and serve ALL, not just the majority. 

Read the full interview. 

AMCHP Events & Webinars  

Maternal and Child Health Journal Special Issue: Public Health Approaches to Perinatal Substance Use   

Graphic alerting: Univeling of The Maternal and Child Health Journal Special Issue on Public Health Approaches to Perinatal Substance Use. Dec. 19m 2023. 12:30-2:00 pm ET. Sponsored by AMCHP and ASTHO. The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) released a special Maternal and Child Health Journal issue on Public Health Approaches to Perinatal Substance Use.  The special Maternal and Child Health Journal issue features 21 open-access articles focusing on the latest research, programs, and policy initiatives related to perinatal substance use.  

Please join AMCHP and ASTHO on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at 12:30 pm ET for a virtual forum to unveil the special issue. The event will feature remarks by AMCHP, ASTHO, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau within the Health Resources and Services Administration, and a select group of authors from the special issue will present their work and engage in enriching discussion.    

Please visit AMCHP’s social media toolkit to access sample posts, graphics, and more to share across your networks and social media channels. 

For inquiries, please contact Amani Echols at    

AMCHP Information & Resources 

New AMCHP Blog Post! Building Policy Skills for the MCH Workforce: AMCHP’s Evidence Informed Policy Initiative  

Policy is one of the 12 Essential Maternal and Child (MCH) Leadership Competencies as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and yet one-third of state health agency staff members who consider “influencing policy development” as important to their work do not consider themselves to be capable of doing so. Additionally, policy is listed among primary job functions for nearly half of Title V respondents surveyed by AMCHP; however, it was also one of the top three reported training needs in terms of both critical thinking and management skills.   

To address these policy workforce needs, AMCHP launched the Evidence-Informed Policy Initiative. This initiative aims to develop tools, resources, and opportunities to support the MCH workforce to develop skills and confidence to engage in the policy process. We are excited to share two key activities of the Evidence-Informed Policy Initiative: expanding the MCH Innovations Database to include evidence-informed policies and publishing the first two modules of our Policy Essential Series. [read more] 

Legislation & Policy 

Explore our revamped Maternal & Child Health Bill Tracker for more information about pending federal legislation to improve maternal health. Also, download AMCHP’s 2023 Federal Policy Agenda outlining where we intend to focus our advocacy work. 

AMCHP Policy and Partnerships Town Halls                

Thank you to those of you who joined us for AMCHP Policy and Partnerships Town Halls in 2023. You can find the full recordings of past Town Halls on our Government Affairs webpage.

Town Halls occur on the second Thursday of every month from 2-3 PM ET. We invite you to register for all future Town Halls starting in 2024 at this link.

Opportunities & Funding 

AMCHP Career Center: Connecting Talent with Opportunity                  

AMCHP lists the top jobs available in our industry. Access the AMCHP Career Center to search and apply for open positions or post your jobs and opportunities! Search for Jobs | Post a Job.   

Be a Part of AMCHP’s Replication Projects! 

Graphic alerting: AMCHP Innovation Hub. Explore. Build. Share. Be a Part of AMCHP's Replication Projects. AMCHP awards organizations up to $25,000 to replicate a practice from our MCH Innovations Database. Learn more & get started. a practice in AMCHP’s MCH Innovations Database that caught your eye? Interested in building partnerships with other MCH organizations while enhancing your organizational capacity? Consider participating in AMCHP’s Replication Projects for the 2024-2025 project year! Each year, AMCHP offers awards between $15,000-$25,000 for organizations to replicate an Emerging, Promising, or Best Practice from the MCH Innovations Database. You’ll receive peer coaching from a representative of the practice as well as tailored assistance from AMCHP to help you adapt the practice to your unique context and situation.   

 The Replication Project offers two levels of support (capacity building or implementation) depending on your organization’s level of readiness to begin replication.     

  • Capacity Building focuses on growing your organization’s capacity and partnerships to help you prepare to replicate a practice.   
  • Implementation focuses on helping you plan for and begin adapting a practice to your setting. 

Want to learn more about this opportunity?    

Visit our Innovation Hub: Replication Projects webpage and review our Readiness Checklist to get started.    

Questions?  Email us at    

Publications & Resources  

More Point-and-Click 2022 NSCH Data Available Now! 

Logo for Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health. A project of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. Title V National Performance and Outcome Measures (NPMs and NOMs) derived from the 2022 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) have been available on the Data Research Center for Child and Adolescent Health (DRC) website since October. Now hundreds of additional child and family health measures are also available!   

Want to do your own analysis with the 2022 NSCH data? In January fully coded data sets and accompanying codebooks will be freely available from the DRC. Be on the lookout for combined 2021-2022 NSCH data in early spring of 2024. Combined data sets allow for better estimates of less common services and conditions.   

The NSCH is a national survey, funded and directed by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (HRSA MCHB), that provides rich data on multiple, intersecting aspects of children’s health and well-being – including physical and mental health, access to and quality of health care, and the child’s family, neighborhood, school, and social context. Request NSCH datasets in SAS, Stata, and SPSS formats with accompanying codebooks on the DRC website. The DRC is brought to you by the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI).   

For more information, take a short video tour or contact the CAHMI-DRC team through our Ask Us a Question page. There you will find frequently asked questions (FAQs) and common technical assistance (TA) questions and responses. If you still cannot find what you need, please submit your question through a TA request form. Please note that you will receive a response once you submit your question or request through the webpage for reporting purpose.  


December 2023    

National Safe Toys and Gifts Month 

Weeks to Note:     

National Handwashing Awareness Week, December 3-9 

National Influenza Vaccination Week, December 4-8 

Days to Note:            

World AIDS Day, December 1 

International Day of Persons with Disability, December 3 

Human Rights Day, December 10 

International Human Solidarity Day, December 20