Sunday, Feb. 11, 2:30 p.m. Welcome: George Sigounas, HRSA; MacQueen Lecture: Richard Antonelli; Plenary Panel: Family Engagement with Impact: A Discussion Among Parents
George Sigounas, M.S., Ph.D. Administrator, U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration
HRSA is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable. Before joining HRSA in 2017, Dr. Sigounas spent 23 years as professor of Medicine at the East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, N.C., where he helped establish the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program. He directed the Cellular Therapies Clinical Unit, which provided the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program with the cells used for cancer patients. He also served as an inspector for the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, the nonprofit corporation that inspects and accredits facilities and programs in the field of cellular therapies worldwide.
Richard Antonelli, M.D., M.S. Medical Director of Integrated Care, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Antonelli, medical director of integrated care and of physician relations and outreach for Boston Children’s Hospital, will deliver this year’s address as winner of the prestigious John MacQueen Lecture Award. Dr. Antonelli is being recognized for innovation in the field of maternal and child health, especially for children with special health care needs. Much of his work has focused on improving the coordination of care among services and systems, which is an often overlooked but critical factor in the quality of care.
Plenary Panel: Family Engagement with Impact: A Discussion Among Parents
This parent-run conversation highlights family involvement across several health initiatives, focusing on how to keep families engaged and ensure improved outcomes. Parents who have been involved in MCH programs and policy reflect on what difference their involvement made for themselves, for the agencies and programs with which they’ve worked, and for other parents. Learn about what structures and processes fostered meaningful participation.
Gina Pola-Money, A.S. Director, Utah Family Voices Family to Family Health Information Center at the Utah Parent Center
Gina Pola-Money has over 29 years of experience navigating the health care system for her children with special health care needs, from which grew her leadership role in the field. The Family to Family Health Information Center provides support for family needs as well as information to families and professionals about resources and health care financing. Ms. Pola-Money is also associate director for Utah's Parent Training and Information Center and a member of the family faculty of the Utah Regional LEND program; has been actively involved with medical home and quality improvement initiatives; and serves on the NICHQ and AMCHP boards of directors.
Christy Blakely, M.S. Faculty member, Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network, led by NICHQ
Christy Blakely is the parent of a young adult with significant disabilities, and her professional passion is building parent leaders for the future. While she had higher education degrees in special education when her daughter was born, she learned far more as a parent. Mrs. Blakely has teamed with insurance companies, doctors, schools, advocates, professionals, therapists, hospital staff, and state agencies to improve policies and practices on behalf of children with disabilities. She is the former director of Family Voices in Colorado, has served with the National Initiative for Child Health Quality (NICHQ) as faculty on a Medical Home Learning Collaborative and an Epilepsy Collaborative, and has worked with the American Academy of Pediatrics on the concept of medical home.
Nicole Miller Moderator at Share Your Story, March of Dimes
Nicole Miller is a certified teacher turned home-school mom on the outskirts of Baltimore, Md.. In June 2012, Mrs. Miller's second son, Scott, was born neurologically unresponsive at 37 weeks. Scott lived for only two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit and never got to come home. Mrs. Miller was subsequently introduced to Share Your Story, the March of Dimes online community for parents who’ve experienced prematurity, birth defects, or loss. There, Mrs. Miller connected with other moms who had suffered an infant loss and credits Share Your Story with helping her on this difficult journey. She is now a moderator of Share Your Story, helping other moms who have lost babies.
Anthony Queen, B.A. Parent Representative, Great Start Collaborative, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Anthony Queen is a parent representative at Strong Beginnings, a federal Healthy Start project dedicated to promoting the health of African-American and Latinx mothers, fathers, and babies from pregnancy through early childhood, and to eliminating racial disparities in birth outcomes. He was a Strong Beginnings client for two years with his infant son before going to work on its Community Action Network, where he was trained in such areas as Strengthening Families, Adaptive School Foundation, Inside/Out Dad's Initiative and QI processes. Mr. Queen specializes in going into underserved communities to connect parents with services and supports that they don’t even know exist, and improving those services through his learned experiences.
Monday, Feb. 12, 8:30 a.m. Caring for Families Before, During and After Periods of Severe Crisis
How can we translate what we’ve learned from severe crises to help us handle future emergencies, natural or man-made, across all states and territories? Public health professionals from various areas of the country share their experiences responding to Zika, hurricanes, wildfires and the opioid epidemic, including the work done to protect mothers, infants, children and families; the importance of Title V and MCH programs to the planning and response efforts; the impacts on systems; and the critical role of state and local partnerships. Learn how these crises affected state and local MCH populations and created opportunities for state and territorial MCH systems to engage with and improve emergency response efforts. Even if your area has not yet had to cope directly with a crisis, the chances are great that you will be affected by one in the future.
Michelle S. Davis, Ph.D. Health Commissioner and Chief Public Health Officer, U.S. Virgin Islands
Michelle Davis leads an agency of dedicated public health professionals under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In her previous position as the regional health administrator (RHA) with the HHS New York regional office, she served as the principal federal public health authority for the HHS secretary, the assistant secretary for health and the surgeon general, collaborating with public health partners throughout New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S Virgin Islands. Ms. Davis has also served as deputy RHA for the mid-Atlantic region, deputy secretary for health at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, deputy health commissioner for policy and planning with the City of Philadelphia, and senior epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her elected positions with professional organizations include president and chair of the board of the Pennsylvania Public Health Association, and president and vice president of the Black Caucus of Health Workers of the American Public Health Association, as well as serving on several governing boards.
Miguel Valencia Prado, M.D. CSHCN Director, Title V Director, Puerto Rico Department of Health
Miguel Valencia-Prado has served at the Puerto Rico Department of Health for 31 years. His leadership positions include director of the Zika Active Pregnancy Surveillance System, of the Birth Defects Surveillance and Prevention System, and of the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program, as well as project manager for the Newborn Screening for CCHD program and principal investigator for the Zika MCH Services Program. He has worked as a pediatrician and had a private clinical practice focused on developmental disorders for 18 years. Under Dr. Valencia-Prado’s leadership during the Zika public health emergency, a developmental surveillance and services coordination program for infants born to mothers with possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy from birth until their third birthday was established at the seven CSHCN Regional Pediatric Centers in 2016. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, Dr. Valencia-Prado led the CSHCN program response in reaching out to Zika-affected families and technology-dependent children, as well as to the HRSA and Title V program directors in the states on the immediate relocation of families and children to provide coordination of care.
Umair A. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. Executive Director, Harris County Public Health, Houston, Texas
Umair Shah is a clinician, an innovator, an educator, and a leader in public health. He began a career as an emergency department physician at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, then moved to public health work as chief medical officer at Galveston County’s Health District before joining Harris County Public Health (HCPH) to oversee its clinical health system and infectious disease portfolio. Since 2013, Dr. Shah has served as executive director and local health authority for HCPH – the county public health agency for the nation’s third largest county (pop: 4.5 million). He has held leadership positions in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Trust for America’s Health; and Network for Public Health Law. He is president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, representing the nation’s 3,000 local health departments.
Leslie A. Kowalewski, B.S. Chief, Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Division, California Department of Public Health
Leslie Kowalewski’s commitment to improving maternal and infant health outcomes spans two decades. She leads a multidisciplinary team of experts focused on improving the health and well-being of California’s women, children, adolescents, and families. During her 20 years at the March of Dimes Foundation, she established the March of Dimes Big 5 State Perinatal Collaborative and co-led the development of the Elimination of Non-medically Indicated Delivery Toolkit < 39 Weeks Toolkit. Also at the foundation, she co-chaired the California Leadership Summit on preterm birth and established the California Preterm Birth Leadership Council. She continues her work with the Council, now focused on the development of a Community Birth Plan to reduce disparities in preterm birth.
Christina Mullins, M.A. Title V Director, Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
Christina Mullins is responsible for the management and oversight of 26 programs and projects that help to improve the health and well-being of West Virginia’s women, children, and families. In her nearly 20-year tenure with the Bureau for Public Health, she has worked to establish West Virginia’s youth anti-tobacco campaign, facilitated the achievement of all data benchmarks for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program, and worked with a multitude of partners to launch a surveillance system for neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Cassandra G. Pasley, B.S.N., J.D. Director, Division of Children's Medical Services, Florida Department of Health
Cassandra G. Pasley is the director of the Florida Division of Children’s Medical Services, which provides preventive, evaluative, and early intervention services for children at risk for or who have special health care needs, to prevent or reduce long-term disabilities. She has also served as the bureau chief of Health Care Practitioner Regulation for the Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance. An attorney, Ms. Pasley has represented health care entities in both private practice and state government. Prior to her career as an attorney, she worked as a registered nurse.
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 9:10 a.m. Guys’ Café: The Value and Reality of Engaging Dads and Young Men in Family Health
Too often, fathers and young men are barely present or even absent in the development of MCH programs, policies, and practices. MCH leaders and providers increasingly see the need to meaningfully engage fathers, young men and male adolescents – and have tried with mixed success. Men and youth who have been involved in public health policy and practice talk about the status of male engagement in MCH, the outcomes of meaningful male involvement for programs and families, and lessons from efforts to increase that involvement.
Kenn Harris Vice President of Community Engagement, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven; Director, New Haven Healthy Start
Kenn Harris began his public health and maternal and child health work with the Boston Healthy Start initiative in 1991. His 25-plus years of public health experience includes work on community development, father engagement, racism, and equity. He serves as the president of the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) and leads its fatherhood work. He is co-creator of the NHSA's Core Adaptive Model for Fatherhood, an evidenced-informed training framework for fatherhood programs. Mr. Harris’ work with men and fathers focuses on health and includes a life course perspective. He conducts research on how to better integrate fatherhood and men's health into MCH practice in order to optimize health outcomes for families and communities.
Jermane Bond, Ph.D. Co-Founder, Health Equity Analytics Lab and Advocates for Men’s Health
Jermane Bond is a senior fellow at the National Collaborative for Health Equity in Washington, D.C. and on the adjunct faculty at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health in the Department of Prevention and Community Health. He founded and chairs the Maternal and Child Health Section’s Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes Committee at the American Public Health Association, where he leads efforts to improve the role of expectant fathers in maternal and child health research.
James Biggers Student Health Advocate, Oregon School Based Health Alliance
James, 21, got involved with the Oregon School Based Health Alliance as a high school senior in 2013, and has continued after graduation as a student health advocate. He focuses on training doctors and nurses in school-based health clinics on the best ways to reach youth and to work with them in the clinics in ways that make them feel comfortable, and training young people on legislative advocacy related to health issues.
Alex Tyson President, Geared Up Dads
Alex Tyson was raised in Oakland, Calf., and Omaha, Neb., and served eight years in the U.S. Army, including three Iraq deployments. Now living in Junction City, Kan., with his wife and two children, Mr. Tyson devotes his time to empowering and strengthening youth and men in the community. He coaches sports, mentors youth, and runs Geared Up Dads – a two-year-old initiative that creates spaces for dads to gather, talk, and learn, as well as events to strengthen father engagement with their families.
Albino Garcia, Jr. Founder, Executive Director, La Plazita Institute
Albino Garcia is recognized for his community leadership and for creating successful traditional and cultural programing for more than two decades. His work includes the founding of Rivals in the Redwoods, a gang intervention program in Salinas, Calif., and co-founding the New School in Watsonville, Calif., to give youth a second chance for education in an alternative setting. The nonprofit La Plazita Institute, in Albuquerque, N. Mex., engages youth, elders, and communities in comprehensive, holistic, and cultural approaches. Designed around the philosophy of “La Cultura Cura,” or “culture heals,” La Plazita guides people to draw from their own roots and histories to express core traditional values of respect, honor, love, and family.
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1:30 p.m. The Future of Maternal and Child Health
Dr. Lu will discuss opportunities and threats to maternal and child health in the next decade, from new technologies to deadly pandemics, from big data to climate change; and what we must do as a field to prepare for the future of MCH.
Michael Lu, M.D., M.P.H. Former Director, U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau, HRSA Professor, senior associate dean for academic, student and faculty affairs, George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health
Dr. Lu lead the MCBH from 2012 to 2017, transforming the Title V Block Grant and launching initiatives to reduce maternal, infant, and child mortality. Before that, he held a joint faculty appointment in obstetrics-gynecology and community health sciences for nearly 15 years at the UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health. He was best known for his research on racial-ethnic disparities in birth outcomes, and his leadership in developing, testing, and translating a unified theory on the origins of maternal and child health disparities based on the life course perspective.