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CWA Flash E-Newsletter - January 24, 2017
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Unemployment Assistance
Being unemployed is never easy, and it's even harder when winter brings higher utility bills and holiday expenses. Use our WIC Can Help page to refer families to unemployment resources, including family leave assistance.
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Got a Minute?
Time is not something that most of us have in abundance, so fitting in an exercise routine can be challenging. But we can probably spare 60 seconds, which is how much a new study says might be enough to improve health, if it's intense!
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Policy Updates
ACA Post-Inauguration First Steps
With the election and inauguration behind us, the process of establishing the Cabinet, installing key staff and other necessary transitions continues. While many issues to be addressed by the new administration are of great importance to young families considered working class or poor, the future of access to health insurance has a lot in play right now. Lawmaker's plans for repealing parts of the ACA are due by this Friday, as instructed in last week's budget resolution. Those concepts would be rolled into a reconciliation bill, needing only a simple majority to pass with huge implications for health coverage. Trump promises health care for all, and some Reps are providing plans to provide states options for operating under the ACA. Block grants for health care, framed as providing states flexibility, are getting push back from Governors who see funding shortfalls based on proposed formulas and previous experiences. ACTION:  President Trump declared in his inaugural speech, " We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity." Speak up and voice your support for programs that help working families and the poor. Related to health care, voice your concerns thus: 1) email or call your Senator (thanks to Families USA and Bread for the World for these resources); and 2) use APHA's action tool and talking points to urge your senators and representatives to support full implementation of the Affordable Care Act and to oppose any efforts to repeal the law.
Prevention and Public Health
According to Trust for America's Health, the CDC would lose 12% of its annual budget if the Prevention and Public Health Fund (part of the Affordable Care Act) were repealed. States would collectively lose over $3 billion over the next five years from grants and programs supporting activities such as infectious disease control, prescription painkiller treatment, and obesity and diabetes programs treatment and prevention. ACTION:Has your organization signed the letter to express support for the Prevention and Public Health Fund? Trust for America's Health provides a support sign-on opportunity .
Stepping Back from DACA?
In other actions, President Trump may be stepping back from ending protections for people brought to the US illegally as children, through the DACA and DAPA programs. While there are many ways to impact this program, including deportations or ending renewal of visas, it appears that the focus will be on people with a record with law enforcement, and how far the administration would go in that direction remains to be defined. ACTION:Learn about the great contributions of immigrants. A new report from CA Immigrant Policy Center provides updated data describing the positive impact to our communities, particularly California's economy, the 6th largest in the world.
State of the State Address
Governor Brown delivered his State of the State address today, and affirmed his commitment to protecting California's policies on climate change, healthcare, and immigration. Read the transcript here

CWA News
Save $ on the CWA Conference!
There's less than a month left to take advantage of the early bird registration discount for CWA's 25th Annual Conference and Trade ShowApril 9-12 in San Diego. You won't want to miss the inspiring plenary speakers and four tracks of concurrent workshops your planning committee of peers has put together to showcase ways of Engaging Families for Thriving Communities. Network with your colleagues and get up to speed on quality early-years nutrition and breastfeeding support, worksite wellness and leadership, strengthening families to address challenges, innovation and collaboration, and more.  ACTION:  Review the latest agenda and events, and register by February 17!
NWA Leadership Conference
We're excited that some of you will join us at the  National WIC Association's Leadership Conference Feb 26-28 in Washington DC. This is a unique chance  to provide WIC Program education,   dialogue about the positive health outcomes of WIC participants, promote effective program management, and help ensure that policymakers appreciate why WIC works! ACTION: Let Sarah know that you're going; and attend our informational webinar on February 10th at 9:00 AM PST.
Share Your Story in the WIC Watch
The next issue of our magazine for WIC staff and supporters will be distributed at our Annual Conference. What a great opportunity to share your local agency best practices and success stories with thousands of readers! ACTION: Email Margaret your story ideas and high-resolution photos (in separate jpg files) by February 10 for consideration.

Our Top News Picks
Improved Feeding Practices Among Infants Participating in WIC: WIC Works!
Breastfeeding rates among women participating in WIC have increased significantly in the last two decades, according to a new USDA study . The Infant Year Report from USDA's WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study 2 found that 83% of mothers breastfed their babies, compared to 56% of mothers in the first USDA WIC Infant Feeding Practices Study in 1995. Encouragingly, more than 95% of study participants who breastfed reported that WIC played a role in their decision to breastfeed.  Nearly 60% of participants also turned to WIC for information on feeding their infant, second only to their doctor or other health professional. The study also notes a dramatic reduction in the number of infants being introduced to solid foods too early in life, with only 20% of caregivers introducing babies to foods before 4 months of age, compared to about 60% of caregivers 20 years ago.
Updated Seafood Guidance for Pregnant Women from FDA
Government advisories first issued in 2004 offer advice on how much seafood to eat, and which species should be avoided by pregnant women due to mercury contamination. After an analysis found that pregnant women were eating very little fish, the FDA and EPA have updated the advice , creating a chart of fish species that are the "best choice," a "good choice" or "choices to avoid" for expecting women, along with a guide to portion sizes. Critics say that these new guidelines aren't in step with a prior report from the FDA , that they ignore toxins other than mercury, and that the guidelines remain confusing.
Studies Look at Family Leave
Using national data a study from Ohio State provides several analyses of use of maternity leave, and shows that the number of women in the U.S. who take maternity leave has not increased in 22 years, and only three states (California, New Jersey and Rhode Island) have implemented family leave legislation. Between 1994 and 2015, fewer than half of mothers who took maternity leave were paid during their leave. Paid maternity leave is increasing, but at a very slow rate of only .26% per year. Though men took paternity leave at much lower rates than women, the number has more than tripled, going from 5,800 men in 1994 to 22,000 men in 2015. Over 70% of men who took paternity leave in 2015 were paid for their time off.  Meanwhile, a study of CA families from Dept. of Health and Human Services  provides insights into the use of PFL by low-income families. While the leave options are confusing to access, and less than adequate, families found the time to be with newborns of value to family life. Return to work rates to pre-birth employers were similar for low and higher income earning mothers. President Donald Trump promised during his campaign to provide six weeks of paid leave to new mothers, which would relieve the U.S. of its status as the only developed nation with no paid maternity leave policy.

Maximizing Text Message Programs
Designed to understand self-management for diabetes and physical activity, this study on designing 'discrete choice' texting programs could be useful for other applications for health behaviors or program management.
The Flu is Bad This Year
Influenza (flu) is now widespread, resulting in many severe illnesses. It is not too late to protect the mothers you serve and their children against flu! The California Department of Public Health urges WIC offices to promote flu vaccination by undertaking the following activities: Strongly recommend flu vaccine to all clients 6 months of age and older, especially pregnant women who are very vulnerable to flu complications: "A flu shot is the best way to protect you and your family from flu. Let's find a place where you can get vaccinated." Referrals: For women with Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans (MCPs), the member services number is located on the back of the Medi-Cal Benefits Identification Card. For women with Medi-Cal Fee-For-Service: call 1-800-541-5555 (or 916-636-1980 if calling from a non-California area code).  For more information about flu, visit the CDPH influenza web page.

California WIC Association
3120 Freeboard Dr., Suite 101, West Sacramento, CA 95691

Phone: 916-572-0700; Fax: 916-572-0760