CWA Flash E-Newsletter - September 19, 2017
In This Issue:
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Breastfeeding Advocacy
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Kids Need Good Homes
Decent housing supports child development, education, mental and physical health, and more.  WIC Can Help  by referring families to local resources for keeping a roof over their heads.
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Don't Skip Breakfast!
Too much time spent in a chair could shorten our lives, even if we exercise, according to a recent study.  But there's hope: we may reduce our risks by getting up and walking every half hour or so. So get up and get moving!
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Policy Updates
Health Care Provisions - Pay Attention! 
New efforts in the Senate to repeal the ACA are underway via the Graham-Cassidy bill. With a deadline of Sept. 30, key Senators are being lobbied for their support. The CBO will provide a limited analysis  given the short time line. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities provides several analyses on the many damaging effects, including reduced state funding for health care, lack of protections for patients with pre-existing conditions , and  more instability to the individual markets , resulting in increased costs to individuals and more uninsured individuals. The UC Berkeley Labor Center analysis reveals a staggering impact for California when over 3.9 million adults & kids could lose Medi-Cal, and 1.3 million people (everyone) would lose Covered CA coverage .   ACTION: Webinar from CBPP  September 20th at 3:00pm ET (12pm PT) to discuss the latest developments on Graham-Cassidy. Please register here.

Advocate for Fair Labor Standards Act Implementation
The National Partnership for Women & Families has launched
an  easy action tool for individuals to submit comments to the U.S. Department of Labor calling for the full implementation of the final rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations. The updated rule would raise the standard salary level for overtime eligibility, so that salaried workers making up to $47,476 would be eligible for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek, and automatically update the salary threshold every three years. By increasing the number of employees who are considered nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the rule would also expand the right to workplace accommodations for breastfeeding under the federal "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law.
Children's Health Program Financing Extended
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the top Democrat on the Committee have announced an agreement on a five-year extension of federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The current appropriation runs out September 30, and many states will exhaust their funding allotments by early next year. Nearly nine million children, whose families make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford other coverage, receive health insurance through CHIP, at a cost of about $14 billion a year. Orrin Hatch, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said the agreement would provide "uninterrupted funding for CHIP" and "increased flexibility for states to administer the program." ACTION: Tune in to WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM? when Kaiser Health Foundations experts break it down on Facebook Live Friday, Sept. 22 at 12 p.m. ETKHN Chief Washington Correspondent Julie Rovner and Bruce Lesley, a Capitol Hill veteran who heads First Focus, a bipartisan children's health advocacy group, will chat about the state of play on CHIP reauthorization and other congressional issues. You can send questions here .
State Legislative Session Wrap Ups
As the first year of the 2017-18 two-year Legislative Session ends, CWA is pleased to report that our breastfeeding awareness measure, ACR 113 (Rubio) , will be Chaptered by the Secretary of State. Thanks to Assembly Member Rubio for carrying this measure, Senator Holly Mitchell for presenting it on the Senate Floor and Dr. Richard Pan for speaking out in support on the Senate Floor. SB 63 (Jackson) , expanding California's paid family leave policy, is on its way to the Governor's desk... Brown vetoed a similar bill last year, but a mediation pilot program included this year gives us hope for his signature. Other bills CWA supports await the Governor's consideration, including SB 250 Hertzberg (anti-discrimination bill for students whose family may be unable to pay for school lunches), and AB 236 (Maienschein) and AB 557 (Rubio) - measures to improve CalWORKS. A bill opposed by CWA, AB 1250 (Jones-Sawyer) , will now become a two-year bill. We had expressed concern with other non-profit groups that the bill could have limited county governments' outside contracts - - potentially problematic for many local WIC agencies. ACTION: Visit our state policy page for further updates.

CWA News
Two More Free Webinars
Don't miss a chance to participate in the last two webinars in our 2017 WIC Works series! This Thursday at noon, we'll explore the evidence for cultivating happiness and how it impacts wellness at work and beyond. September 28 at noon, we'll hear about California lactation accommodation laws and ways to promote implementation. Attendance is free; dietetics and lactation professionals can earn continuing education credit for a nominal fee. ACTION: Register online and view past webinar recordings, slides, and other resources, on our Webinars webpage .
CWA Education Events: Register by Friday
Three Fall Education Events in Sacramento are just around the corner. Check out the updated agenda for each event and invite your colleagues! Our CWA Education Day , all day on October 4, provides a chance to earn continuing education credit, network with WIC colleagues, and learn interactively how WIC can link together with other food and health organizations within communities, and about impactful leadership practices. Making Capitol Visits (October 2) is a great way to share information with state decision makers about how WIC serves young women and their families in your community. ACTION: Register online  by September 22, or on site for both Education Events and state meetings.

Our Top News Picks
NICUs More Likely to Use Human Milk 
Historically NICUs have fed preterm babies with formula if their mother's milk was not available, but now they are increasingly using donated breast milk for babies born too soon, per AAP recommendations. The percentage of advanced neonatal care hospitals in the U.S. that provide donated breast milk rose from 22 percent in 2011 to nearly 40 percent in 2015, according to an unpublished analysis of data from the CDC. The rate is even higher - between 65-75 percent - for Level 3 and 4 NICUs. But human milk can be cost prohibitive compared to formula. A survey of Level 3 NICUs published in 2013 found that "safety net" hospitals, where more than 75 percent of patients use Medicaid, were less likely than other hospitals to provide donor milk. To prevent this disparity in access to human milk, a few states have approved Medicaid coverage for the cost of donor breast milk for premature infants. Thus far, California has not taken such measures.
Drug-Related Deaths Increasing Dramatically
Deaths in the U.S. caused by drug overdoses were up 22% in 2016, jumping from 52,404 to 64,000. Drug overdoses are expected to remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, as synthetic opioids like fentanyl continue to be misused at an alarming rate; drug deaths involving fentanyl more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, accompanied by an upturn in deaths involving cocaine and methamphetamine. There has been increasing awareness that fentanyls were behind the growing count of drug deaths in some states and counties - nationally deaths involving synthetic opioids, mostly fentanyls, have risen to more than 20,000 from 3,000 in just three years. These deaths and the addiction behind them have strained the budgets and capacities of local and state medical , police and foster care resources. In March, President Trump  created a commission   to study the crisis. The commission's interim report  made a number of recommendations, but the administration has  yet to take concrete action   on any of them.
Coke Tries to Crowdsource a Sugar Alternative
As Americans become more educated about the various ailments that sugar is linked to , they are  drinking less soda , which is good for our health, but not great for companies like Coca-Cola. The company has launched a  competition   to see who can come up with "a naturally sourced, safe, low- or no-calorie compound that creates the taste sensation of sugar when used in beverages" by October 2018 for a prize of $1 million. Nutritional scientists say that the task at hand will be a difficult one, due to safety questions, regulations, and the difficulty in approximating the taste of sugar. There are already several plant-based sweeteners on the market, including stevia and monk-fruit-based sweeteners (which Coca-Cola has excluded from its competition). But, so far, they're not as popular as analysts had anticipated. Ultimately, drinking unsweetened beverages, especially plain water, continues to be the most sound nutritional decision!
Junk Food Manufacturer Strategies in Brazil
And another recent article outlines the opportunistic strategies of big food and beverage manufacturers to frame their advances into Brazil and other countries as health and economic opportunities for communities and individuals. Expanding company presence and sales that parallel staggering increases in diabetes, hypertension, obesity and overweight are debilitating to local and national health outcomes and economies and will impact generations to come.

Supplement on WIC and Breastfeeding
The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior has released a supplemental issue on WIC and breastfeeding . The special issue informs the public about breastfeeding promotion and support activities in WIC and discusses USDA's breastfeeding priorities.
Report on "Child Care Deserts"
The Center for American Progress has released " Mapping America's Child Care Deserts ," a report and accompanying interactive map that analyzes the locations and capacity of licensed child care providers in 22 states and provides policy recommendations to increase access to high-quality child care. Findings of the analysis are that about half of Americans live in neighborhoods or communities that are either lacking any child care options or have so few child care providers that there are more than three children for every licensed child care slot. Child care deserts are especially prevalent in rural areas, and disproportionately impact Latino and Native American populations.
Home Visiting Issue Brief
The Center for American Progress' new issue brief, " Home Visiting Programs Are Vital for Maternal and Infant Health ," explores how evidence-based home visiting programs, funded by the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, address maternal risk factors that directly influence maternal and child health and demonstrates how home visiting programs contribute to women's economic security. The brief also examines continued challenges to funding for home visitation programs and potential solutions.

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

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