CWA Flash E-Newsletter - October 10, 2017
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Kids Need Good Homes
Poor mental health of parents is associated with childhood food insecurity, independent of family income. Children can also experience mental illness; even babies' mental health matters.  Even with barriers to services, like access, stigma, and insurance, WIC Can Help families get the support they need.
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Practicing Self-Care After a Tragedy
The world is a scary place lately. With natural disasters, political turmoil, and mass shootings happening way too frequently, we're constantly surrounded by fear and anxiety. It's important to make sure that you protect your mental health and take the time to truly care for yourself. Here are some tips to get you started. 
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Caring Every Day
Last week was the annual CWA state education day for the California local agencies and state staff. We sat in silence reflecting on the senseless tragedy in Las Vegas. Just a few weeks back we thought about our sister programs and the families hit by hurricanes who will be years rebuilding their lives. Close to home, we prepare for the annual 'wildfire season' when large swaths of California burn up each year and participants and staff lose homes and communities.Then there are federal issues that create threats from various angles. It is overwhelming and we can feel that while we want to help, it is just a drop. We spent the afternoon last week discussing how in WIC we are fortunate to work in a program that cares, and in doing our jobs, we create rich cultures of caring, from simple actions and conversations to policies and leadership roles. Those caring WIC cultures make a difference with the everyday stresses and especially when communities are hit with tragedy.

Policy Updates
Federal Round-Up
Many policy issues impact the WIC community even if they aren't specific to WIC program operations or funding. Here we summarize some current hot topics.
Health Care:
The Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal, that was headed up for a Sept. vote without a full CBO analysis and debate, was analyzed by  the Brookings Institute , revealing minimally 21M people would lose health insurance coverage annually between 2020-2026. Future legislative efforts to derail the ACA could arise, but ongoing bi-partisan efforts to address improvements in the healthcare marketplace have continued, led by Alexander (R-TN) and Murray (D-WA). The Administration continues to utilize various ways to undermine current efforts to provide robust health care, particularly during open enrollment, including no assurance of federal cost sharing subsidies for exchanges , a slashed marketing budget and an order that will reduce provision of contraceptive benefits .
Children's Health Insurance (CHIP):
Congress missed the Sept. 30 deadline to renew funding for the CHIP program and states will have to consider their budgets and benefits for women and children without assurance of continued funding. House and Senate committees are working on resolving the issue, but differences exist in how the program is funded, with a with a GOP version, the HEALTHY KIDS Act, passed late last week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Budget and Taxes: The focus of the Senate and House now shifts to passing budget resolutions and addressing tax reform by Nov. 13 in order to use budget reconciliation to pass major reforms with a simple majority. Both houses have released their proposed budgets which include: program cuts directed at non-defense discretionary programs, which could include WIC; reduced spending; tax reform; and a reduction in the federal deficit. Among conservatives reaction is mixed as the tax cuts will greatly reduce revenue and require extraordinary economic growth to not add to the deficit. A majority of Americans will lose money , while the wealthiest 1% of Americans will gain significantly.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): October 5th was the deadline set just weeks ago by Attorney General Jeff Sessions for DACA recipients whose paperwork expires between Sept. 5 and Mar. 5 to renew their participation. For those with renewal dates after Mar. 5, there is no opportunity to renew. Unless Congress agrees to a set of immigration actions , the Administration plans to phase out the program.  The impact on CA is significant when 200,000 youth, many completing their college education , are threatened. State Attorney General Xavier Beccera , along with 15 states and universities, has filed a suit against the federal action.
Child Care for Working Families Act
Sen. Patty Murray (WA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (VA) have introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act . The bill would create a federal-state partnership to ensure families making less than 150 percent of their state's median income do not pay more than seven percent of their income on child care. The bill also supports access to high-quality preschool programs for low- and moderate-income 3- and 4-year olds. The bill would amend the Child Care and Development Block Grant and provide funding to increase professional development and compensation for the child care workforce; increase the supply of child care; improve the quality of child care; support family, friend, and neighbor care providers; expand the availability and affordability of infant care; expand equitable access to high-quality preschool; and increase funding for full-school-day, full-school-year Head Start. ACTION: Read the National Women's Law Center's fact sheet .
California Legislative Finish Line
Gov. Brown has until Oct. 15 to decide on the remaining bills on his desk with either a veto or signing, or no action which results in passing the bill. Two more bills on CWA's support list were signed last week, AB 291 , to protect immigrants' housing rights, AB 236 , that would better assist homeless families with children. The big news last week was the signing of SB 54 , which establishes CA as a sanctuary state. Law enforcement and immigration officials worked with the legislature to identify appropriate jurisdiction, address crime prevention and also protect immigrants and state resources, despite that, federal immigration officials reacted strongly to signing of the bill. ACTION: Check the CWA bill list for updates.

CWA News
Latest WIC Watch now Available
The Fall 2017 Edition of our member magazine,  WIC Watch , is now available online. Learn about new resources, upcoming events, and legislative activities. Enjoy reading about local WIC agency successes in community partnerships, breastfeeding, and worksite wellness. Get inspired by all that CWA members are doing!  ACTION: Look for hard copies to be mailed to local agencies soon. Until then, view and share it online.  Email us your stories  for the 2018 Spring Conference Edition by March 1.
Fall Education Day Wrap Up
Thanks to about 180 dedicated and engaged WIC Directors/Managers from throughout California, our Education Day on October 4 was a valuable time to learn from guest speakers and from each other about health care reform and emergency food network collaborations. Exploring Cultures of Caring together also gave us new insights and ideas. CWA appreciates the efforts of the 50 WIC employees who educated their legislative representatives about WIC during Capitol Visits last Monday. ACTION: Please complete the evaluation survey emailed to attendees. View the presentation slides on our Fall Events webpage through November.

Our Top News Picks
Anti-Depressants & Anxiety Meds During Pregnancy
Many expecting parents have concerns around taking medication while pregnant. It can be a difficult choice whether to continue taking benzodiazepines like Xanax, used to treat conditions like anxiety, insomnia and seizures, or antidepressant SSRIs like Zoloft, but recent studies have shown no clear evidence of an increase in birth defects. A recent study does point to some risks: an increase in C-section deliveries, an increased likelihood that babies of mothers taking these drugs would need extra oxygen or other respiratory support after birth, and a slightly shortened duration of pregnancy. There are remaining questions, about whether prenatal exposure to the drugs can influence behavior. Researchers say that the findings suggest that people who need treatment for these disorders don't need to stop taking these medications during pregnancy, but that they should speak with their doctors about the benefits of continuing treatment vs. the risks.
High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Increases Risk of Childhood Obesity
High blood pressure during pregnancy poses serious risks to mothers and babies. It may also increase the risk for childhood obesity, a new study reports . Researchers studied 88,406 mother-child pairs, with complete data on maternal blood pressure during pregnancy and multiple follow-ups between ages 4 and 7 for the children. In the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, each 10-unit increase in systolic (the top number) or diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure was associated with a 5 to 8 percent increase in the risk for childhood obesity, even among women who were not hypertensive. Among all women, whatever their blood pressure before pregnancy, a reading higher than 140/90 in the second trimester was associated with a 49 percent increase in the risk for childhood obesity, and in the third trimester a 14 percent increase.
Obesity and Cancer
The most recent CDC Vital Signs report details the strong correlation between cancer and obesity with 13 types of cancers and 40% of all cancers being linked to overweight and obesity. For women obesity is thought to be responsible for 55% of all cancers.

USDA Food Environment Atlas
The Food Environment Atlas is a web-based mapping tool developed by USDA's Economic Research Service that allows users to compare U.S. counties in terms of their "food environment"-indicators that help determine and reflect a community's access to affordable, healthy food. Food environment factors-such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics-interact to influence food choices and diet quality. The Atlas currently includes over 275 indicators of the food environment. The year and geographic level of the indicators vary to better accommodate data from a variety of sources. The most recent county-level, State, or regional data are used whenever possible.
Breastfeeding Cost Calculator
A new study published in Breastfeeding Medicine contains an online calculator to estimate the changes that would result in population health if breastfeeding rates were to change. The calculator allows users to select a population and specify a predicted or desired future breastfeeding rate to generate information on the expected impact on five maternal and nine child diseases. The research was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, in a grant to Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard teaching institution. The calculator is hosted by the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee. Read the press release .
Patient Hand-Off Resource
The Joint Commission has released " Sentinel Event Alert 58: Inadequate hand-off communication " and an accompanying infographic  with 8 Tips for High-Quality Hand-offs. Health care professionals typically take great pride and exert painstaking effort to meet patient needs and provide the best possible care. Unfortunately, too often, this diligence and attentiveness falters when the patient is handed off, or transitioned, to another health care provider for continuing care, treatment or services. A common problem regarding hand-offs, or hand-overs, centers on communication: expectations can be out of balance between the sender of the information and the receiver. This misalignment is where the problem often occurs in hand-off communication.

California WIC Association
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Phone: 916-572-0700; Fax: 916-572-0760