Posts tagged ‘AMCHP 2016’

An example of m-health: Text4baby

Several of our MPH students attended the annual meeting of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) in April, in Washington, D.C. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Leah Taub, BA

One of my main areas of interest in public health is innovation for behavior change, an example of which is mobile health, or m-health. As such, I was pleased to hear that Zero To Three and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Office of Creative Media and Design would be presenting at AMCHP on Text4baby, a mobile-based system that provides information about newborn care via text messages to new mothers.

The session, entitled, “Leveraging Technology for Outreach: How to Integrate Mobile Based Health Education in Maternal and Child Health,” stood out to me because it addressed an innovative approach to health education and communication that I often fail to see in public health. Not only is Text4baby innovative because it takes advantage of the popularity of information and communication technology, but also because it is a public-private initiative, encouraging collaboration across local, state and federal levels as well as across government and private industries. For instance, in some states, like South Carolina, state health departments partner with mass media organizations to broadcast messages about the app. Another example is Text4baby’s partnership with Too Small to Fail and Sesame Street. This integration with mass media allows the service to reach and hopefully impact a larger number of moms.

Text4baby is also unique because it is a free service, making it more accessible to women of lower socioeconomic status.  In addition, HRSA conducted a randomized control trial on the service, which resulted in a substantial impact on the knowledge and behavior of moms receiving text messages from the app.

Overall, I am drawn to Text4baby’s emphasis on impact and innovation, two areas in which I am very interested and hope to be a part of after graduating in May.

Leah Taub is a second-year MPH student, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health, and a former broadcast media professional. She plans to graduate in May 2016. Her interests include social and behavior change communication, monitoring and evaluation, and maternal, sexual and reproductive health. She also loves yoga, running, cooking, and live music.

May 6, 2016 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

Finding Inspiration in Hidden Treasures

Several of our MPH students attended the annual meeting of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) in April, in Washington, D.C. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Sylvia Adjei, BA

Attending a public health centered conference felt like one of the milestones that every public health student has to experience before graduating and venturing out into the real world. With this notion, I jumped at the opportunity to attend the AMCHP conference. As a first time attendee of a conference focused on the field of public health, I did not know what to expect. Were the attendees going to be public health gurus too high up to even engage with the emerging young public health professionals like myself? Would the topics discussed in the sessions be too complex for my mind to comprehend, yet the fear of not wanting to sound unaware prevent me from asking clarifying questions? These and so much more were the questions that I replayed constantly until my first day at AMCHP.

During my first session, “Building a Multisector Approach to Reducing Infant Mortality,” the uneasiness that I felt prior to the conference began to fade away. I realized, each person in the room, as learned as they are, still thirst for new knowledge and information to take back to their states and cities to shape their public health practices. I learned from the session presenters that in building multisector partnership, we have to do three things: 1. Determine the priority issues, which results from having honest conversations with communities; 2. Get the right partners – the best approach is to use the life course perspective; 3. Determine how to turn it into action – either build off toolkits developed by other sectors or use design thinking to come up with innovative approaches.

This session fine-tuned some ideas that I already held regarding multisector partnerships, but it also imparted unto me some new information. Perhaps, the gem that I came across at this session and the entirety of the conference was learning about Oakland, California’s Maternal Paternal Child and Adolescent Health (MPCAH) Program. Judging by the heads that turned and the hands raised in the room, it was no secret that Oakland’s MPCAH was the first and only one in the nation. Oakland’s MPCAH program addressed a question that I have asked myself several times after choosing to concentrate in MCH. The question being, “If fathers’ involvement is important in addressing maternal and child health issues, why then have we systematically excluded fathers from initiatives addressing maternal, child and adolescent health?” Learning about the MPCAH program made me wonder how bright the future of MCH would be once we begin to shift towards the inclusion of fathers.

Sylvia Adjei is a Master of Public Health (MPH) student with a concentration in Global Maternal and Child Health, and is expected to graduate May 2016. Her interests include health equity, improving minority birth outcomes, and evaluating the impact of public health programs. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and immersing herself in new cultures, going for a walk, drinking tea, and catching up on her favorite comedy shows.

May 4, 2016 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

Transforming Neighborhoods and Communities

Several of our MPH students attended the annual meeting of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) in April, in Washington, D.C. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Georgena Desrosier, BS

It was after checking in for my flight in January that I received the message that AMCHP was canceled due to a winter storm. I was sad since I have been waiting for two years to attend the conference. Amazingly, they were able to reschedule the conference. Now, having had the opportunity to go to AMCHP, I fully understood why it is such an important conference. AMCHP met all of my expectations and beyond. I was there for the whole conference and enjoyed every minute of it.

The Transforming Health Care for Adolescent and Young Adults: Improving Quality and Access through Innovation and Collaboration skills building session was very insightful. My takeaway points from this session were that adolescents and young adults need to be educated on how to access health care and understand health coverage. Public health can step in to help fill that gap through insurance literacy education. The health care system needs to create a bridge between pediatricians and primary care physicians to help these groups make a successful transition. The other skills building session I attended was Transforming Title V Program Activities and Workforce Development by Incorporating Telehealth Technologies. I already knew about telehealth from a previous project and how it was being used internationally to increase access to care. It has been incorporated in different areas such as maternal and child health, mental health, newborn screenings, and oral health. I learned about the various technologies needing for delivering telehealth.

Prior to the conference, working with America’s Health Rankings report, I was curious to know why Hawaii has been number one for four consecutive years. At the telehealth session, I had the chance to talk to some people from the Hawaii Department of Health. I was so excited about the opportunity. I learned that telehealth has played a part in reaching people in the remote islands who don’t have access to care. Hawaii also has a high health insurance coverage, and employers have to provide health coverage for eligible employees that are employed at least half-time.

Lastly, the other workshops I attended were how the language of maternal and child health has to shift to include fathers and adolescent.  The Alameda County Public Health Department in California shows an excellent example of how that should look by naming their division Maternal Paternal Child Adolescent Health (MPCAH). The Life Course Theory has been integrated into this health department to help improve family health. Healthy families create healthy neighborhoods and communities. A transformation will occur in communities when the health care needs of all members of the family are met. Overall the conference was very beneficial and not only answered some vital questions but also equipped me with newfound knowledge that will assist in helping me to excel in my career goals.

Georgena Desrosier is a second-year MPH student in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences concentrating on Community Health Sciences with a certificate in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in May 2016. Her interests include community health, community engagement, child development, adolescent health, pediatric cancer, HIV, and women’s health. She also loves volunteering at her church and community, Zumba, watching football, and basketball.

April 28, 2016 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Realizing the American Dream of Health Equity

Several of our MPH students attended the annual meeting of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) in April, in Washington, D.C. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Lauren Cenac, BA

Since I first enrolled at Tulane, it has been clear to me that I want to work in domestic health. Despite the global focus of our MPH program, I have always felt drawn to tackling problems we experience here in the United States. One of the most perplexing issues in this country is the staggering disparity in health outcomes experienced by different groups of people. Whether these differences are influenced by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, gender, or geography, these inequities directly conflict with the principles we, as a nation, idealize as uniquely American.

The gravity of these health disparities was reiterated in many sessions throughout this year’s conference for the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP). During the conference’s opening event, Dr. Michael Lu, head of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, briefly described his family’s journey to the United States as a testament to the strength of American ideals like opportunity, equality, and hard work that are embodied in the American Dream. Despite the fact that his mother had to drop out of school during the 5th grade, his family’s immigration to the U.S. gave him access to the social mobility that allowed him to become the head of a major federal program. His presentation ended with a picture of his two daughters in the Capitol building.

In an era of polarization in American dialogue and politics, it’s important to hear stories like Dr. Lu’s. These tales remind us of the real people behind health statistics. And his family’s story, in particular, helped me remember the focus of my own journey into public health: to create a better, more equitable society for my own daughter. My goal in pursuing my MPH is to help write the narrative in which this country truly realizes the American Dream by ensuring optimal health for all people.

Lauren Cenac is a second-year MPH student and a scholar in the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health at Tulane. She plans to graduate in August 2016 from the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. Her interests include prenatal and postpartum care, breastfeeding, and health communication, policy, and research.

April 26, 2016 at 10:29 am Leave a comment


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