We hope you are enjoying your summer and taking full advantage of this beautiful weather. The Help Me Grow National August E-note includes important updates from the National Center, exciting news from HMG affiliates, and timely and relevant resources from key partners.

As a reminder, if you have a story or news to share, please send us your news via the Affiliate section of the Help Me Grow National Center website or email Tamisha Phillip from the National Center staff.

National Center News

Addressing Disparities in Early Childhood
new article published on the front page of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) describes powerful research that suggests many disparities in health and well-being have roots that can be traced to stressors in early childhood, such as poverty, neighborhood safety and a lack of access to early childhood education; if unaddressed, such stressors can have detrimental effects. The article highlights the Help Me Grow model as an example of a program that enhances cross-sector coordination to transform child-serving systems around the country by reducing service gaps for children. 
The article summarizes the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Public Health Grand Rounds titled “Addressing Disparities in Early Childhood“. In his July Blog post, Dr. Paul Dworkin shares his experience as one of four presenters at the session.

Dr. Dworkin participated in the CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds with three other presenters. Shown in photo left to right: Ross Thompson, PhD, Paul Dworkin, MD, Mary Ann McCabe, PhD, and Georgina Peacock, MD

HMG on CBS News
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) article, Addressing Disparities in Early Childhood gained a wider audience than its usual millions of people worldwide on July 29, when CBS This Morning ran a segment on the article and named Help Me Grow as a model working to reduce health disparities in children.

 Resources of Note

HRSA forecasts more than three dozen funding opportunities for FY18
To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of both the Agency and its applicants, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has forecasted about 40 funding opportunities for Fiscal Year 2018. This includes approximately 765 expected awards and nearly $2 billion in potential funding to cities, states, and local community-based organizations (non-federal entities). Read more from HRSA on FY18 opportunities here.

Act Now For Families: Urge Legislators to Back Quality Child Care
The Children First Act of 2017, introduced by Representatives Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Lois Frankel (D-FL), would grow the existing mandatory funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to be able to serve all families with children under age four living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Under Children First, significant funding increases would ensure states set provider reimbursement at levels needed to cover the costs of high-quality care and increase compensation and other incentives to attract and support the highly-qualified workforce needed to nurture early brain development.
Take action now – It is critical that Congress recognizes and provides meaningful support for the child care needs of families with young children. Contact your Members of Congress now and urge them to support access to high-quality child care for infants and toddlers.

AMCHP Offers New Learning Module: Communicating the Value of Developmental Screening
The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) has released a new learning module focused on communicating the value of developmental screening. This easy-to-use learning module incorporates evidence-based practices with perspectives from physicians, parents, and the director of a Title V program for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).

Early Childhood Homelessness in the United States: 50-State Profile
What can your HMG system do to meet the goal of ending family homelessness in the nation by 2020? Find your state in the recently released report by the Administration for Children and Families, providing a snapshot of early childhood homelessness in each state plus the district of Columbia.

Strengths-Based Approaches to Screening Families for Health-Related Social Needs in the Healthcare Setting: Preview of Recommendations
Compared to a risk-driven approach to screening, screening children and families for health-related social needs may benefit from a different approach that takes into account existing family strengths. A recently released brief from the Medical Legal Partnership (MLPB) and the Center for the Study of Social Policy describes six recommendations to guide a strengths-based screening approach, including, for example, screening for risk and protective factors.

Exploring Early Childhood Care and Education Levers to Improve Population Health: A Workshop
On September 14, 2017, the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement will hold a free workshop (webcast live) to explore the intersection between health and early care and education, including strategies to partner with the ECE sector.

Affiliate Network

Help Me Grow Adoption in Lamoille County & Beyond
In his new HMG VT blog post, Steve Ames describes with clarity and detail Vermont’s approach to HMG system implementation in Lamoille Valley Region. As a Regional Coordinator for Lamoille and Central Vermont at Building Bright Futures, Steve captures the key strategies and particular value to parents and providers of the unique HMG VT system. Visit the blog post to sign up for the newsletter and follow HMG VT on Facebook for more!

New HMG CA Website Now Live 
HMG CA is proud to announce that www.helpmegrowca.org is now live. The website showcases the collective statewide efforts to improve California’s early identification and intervention system, provides information on joining California’s affiliation, links communities to local HMG systems, demonstrates statewide our scale and spread, and allows easy access to early childhood resources. 

HMG CA Statewide Convening
On June 20th, Help Me Grow California (HMG CA) held a statewide convening where representatives from 24 counties met to review 2016 outcome data, discuss setting state-and-county level goals for the upcoming year, receive information on optional funding streams to improve system sustainability, and consider ways to better share the impact of Help Me Grow’s scale and spread by defining county developmental screening efforts. 
Attendees were able to interact and engage on topics with their peers and participate in rich conversations about how to ensure a statewide story that balances accomplishments with need.  

Affiliate Resources

Jump into HMG Slack Conversations
HMG National has created an Affiliate-Only Slack Team, which will allow affiliates to talk to each other in real time. If you haven’t joined yet, use the following invitation to get started: http://bit.ly/2w61HE4
Once a member, the Join Slack link will bring you directly to the Slack dashboard to start joining conversations or to start a new one of your own.
If you have joined the HMG Slack channel, don’t forget to enable notifications on your handheld device and/or desktop to help stay on top of important activity. You can also set handy Do Not Disturb preferences to manage when you receive notifications.
This Step by step document will guide you through the brief, Slack sign-in process. For more info on using the new HMG National Center website, check out How to Use the Website-Affiliate Administrator Instructions and Affiliate Member Instructions. For additional questions, contact tphillip@connecticutchildrens.org.

New and Trending Slack Conversations
From HMG California, Heather Little asks, HMG CA would like to know how others determine if the number of children reached/served through a HMG system represents a significant impact on their state/region/county.  And if yes, what data are you using to make that determination?
From HMG Washington, Stephanie Orrico asks, When you evaluate your HMG system or describe it to partners, do you include early learning providers in your “provider outreach” component? Why or why not?
Here at the National Center, we’re wondering, Federal partners are interested in learning more about the creative and fruitful approaches that you have found to support your HMG work through public dollars. Examples may include blending funding and nontraditional funding streams.
Have something to contribute to these topics? Want to ask a question to the Affiliate Network yourself? Log on to Slack and join in today!

Affiliate Resource Co-Op
Do you have materials or resources that may be valuable to other affiliates of the HMG National Network? The affiliate side of the National Center website serves as an platform to share and discover new and effective materials, developed and tested by other HMG affiliates to support similar system building goals.
The HMG National Center is urging all affiliates to consider sharing:

  • Presentation and training materials you have found to be particularly successful in your physician outreach efforts
  • Documents outlining strategies for update and maintenance of your resource directory
  • Protocols or standards for linkage to services or follow up to families and closing the feedback loop with physicians
  • Materials related to hosting or participating strategically in community networking events
  • Any other resources you have created for HMG that serve efforts well!

Don’t wait for the next annual Forum to exchange valuable resources with the Affiliate Network – contribute your own outstanding resources and gain access to new and noteworthy materials from across the Network today. All affiliate administrators can post a new resource to share with the affiliate community, simply log on to the affiliate side of the website and click Post a Resource in your Dashboard. More details on posting a resource here.   



Have a story to share with HMG National?
Send us your news via the Affiliate News section of the Help Me Grow National Center Affiliate Dashboard



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