CWA Flash E-Newsletter - October 30, 2019
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October: Domestic Violence Prevention Month  
Domestic/intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive problem in virtually all countries, cultures, classes and income groups. WIC Can Help end the cycle of domestic violence by becoming familiar with and using resources to ensure families get the help they need. 
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Handling Holiday Stress  
Whether it is food choices at work, family visiting, or friends needing support over the holidays, stress levels can certainly rise. Print out these tips from Harvard Medical School, and set your intentions to practice positive self-care for the last few months of 2019. 
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Senate to Vote on WIC Funding This Week  
The Senate is likely to vote on a spending package, including the Agriculture Appropriations bill which encompasses WIC funding, this week, following its passage out of the Appropriations Committee in September. WIC funding between the House and Senate versions are consistent at $6 billion, but the Senate version contains a smaller increase in set-aside funding for breastfeeding peer counselors - $80 million vs. the House's $90 million. After passage, the Senate's Appropriations bills must be reconciled with the bills passed by the House of Representatives in June 2019 by November 21, or another continuing resolution will be required to avoid government shutdown.  
CWA News
Read All About It!
The new fall edition of the WIC Watch is now available. In addition to federal and state policy updates, WIC WISE news, and career information, it is full of great stories from local WIC agencies and about WIC staff. We won't give any hints and spoil your reading enjoyment. You can read it online and copies are in the mail to local California WIC agencies. 
Annual Conference
This year's conference theme showcases the power of the WIC workforce, and the vital role WIC has in raising up California's young families. We will have a lot to celebrate in 2020 - eWIC rollout and beyond, new ways to conduct business, and our premier nutrition and breastfeeding services! Your conference curriculum committee will have an agenda for you this fall. One way we can learn about new ideas, is by sharing with each other! Plan to be part of local agency sharing. Conference registration will be open next month! Check the conference webpage and see if you are in the conference video.
WIC Works Webinars
NWA webinar series provides opportunities to learn about strategies to maximize WIC participation and issues relevant to providing WIC services. CWA has partnered with NWA for four webinars this fall. Register below and mark your calendars for Thursdays, 12-1pmPT/3-4pmET. These webinars will feature examples from CA and valuable information from NWA.
  • TeleWIC: Providing Services in New Ways 
    This webinar was Oct. 17, you can sign in and watch the recording here. Shout out to, Arina Erwin, Trinity County WIC and Andrea Weiss, Community Medical Centers WIC for presenting.
  • Exploring New Opportunities for Co-Location in Hospitals and Health Centers
    This webinar was on October 24th, click here for the recording. Snaps to George Verastegui and Azalia Garduno of Mendocino WIC and Mary Sammer from North County Health Services for Presenting. 
  • Challenges and Strategies for Retaining and Developing the WIC Workforce webinar on Oct. 31. Much is in play for the WIC workforce for the coming years. Masters requirements for RDs, student debt, and competing salaries are challenges. Nutrition experts are in the healthcare setting to address chronic disease and food insecurity. We will hear of the long term work in CA WIC to maintain a culturally competent and diverse workforce, including dietetic internships, RD exam preparation, and grad school counseling. NWA's Recruitment and Retention of RDs in WIC Task Force will provide updates from the national view.
  • Improving Program Linkages for WIC webinar on Nov. 21. Applications for federal benefits programs are complicated and, in many ways, redundant. WIC participants expect use of technology and streamlined business processes. This webinar will provide examples of successful program linkages between federal benefits and highlight recent findings among California WIC agencies related to data sharing and program linkages for health care and state and federal programs.
Our Top News Picks
More CA Children in Low-Income Neighborhoods
Nearly 1.2 million California children live in low-income neighborhoods, a number that has decreased in the decade since the Great Recession, but troubling, researchers said in a new report. The type of neighborhood low-income children live in can influence their health, access to quality public schools, healthy food, medical care and green spaces to play. Nationally, African American and Native American children are seven times more likely than white children to live in a low-income area, and Latino children are five times more likely. California and Texas have the highest number of Latino children living in concentrated poverty. The report recommends that governments, businesses and non-profits work together on development of affordable housing and home ownership, putting vacant properties to use, changing zoning rules to allow for more apartment buildings, and ending housing discrimination against people with housing vouchers or criminal records. Additionally, large community institutions such as hospitals and universities should be incentivized to hire and contract locally and from minority-owned businesses, the report states. 
FDA Cautions Against Cannabis Use During Pregnancy, Breastfeeding 
Studies show that a growing number of pregnant women in the United States are using the drug, especially those with severe nausea and vomiting. The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a statement in which it "strongly" advised women not to use cannabis in any form - including CBD - when pregnant or breastfeeding, because it may pose "serious risks." The FDA pointed to research showing that THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, crosses the placenta and can affect fetal brain development, can be passed through breast milk and prenatal exposure to it increases the risk for premature birth. 
Sugary Drinks Target Kids with Confusing Ads 
The AAP recommends children under 2 never be given fruit juice, and for children 2 to 18 a daily limit of 25 grams of sugar, or six teaspoons. Yet nearly two-thirds of the $2.2 billion in beverages marketed to children contained added sweeteners, according to a report released last week by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. Companies like Coca-Cola, Kraft Heinz and Harvest Hill spent nearly $21 million last year advertising sugary drinks to children. The report found that packaging and marketing of these products often leaves parents confused, and that drinks made with 100 percent fruit juice are often sold side by side in supermarkets with sugary juice "cocktails" and fruit-flavored drinks. Sugary drinks are responsible for almost half the added sugar consumed by American children. The Rudd Center analyzed 23 of the best-selling children's drinks and ranked those with the highest sugar content and those most heavily advertised to children. The center also flagged products most likely to subtly misrepresent their front-of-label ingredients. 
Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Sales at Work? 
After a ban on sales of  sugar sweetened beverages across the UC San Francisco campus and medical center venues, a study of employees, described as frequent SSBs drinkers (>12oz/day),  revealed positive health outcomes. Study participants consumed fewer SSBs and experienced a decline in waist circumference and abdominal fat. The researchers identified ways the study could have been stronger, but the results should be considered when establishing contractual agreements in workplaces for beverage sales, and the impact on health and productivity. 
Racial Bias in Health Algorithms 
Algorithms, a process used to make predictions and decisions for health care and many other important aspects of daily life, like credit scoring, hiring, and policing, is increasingly coming under scrutiny for racial and gender bias. In one example scientists discovered racial bias in a commonly used algorithm for determining health care needs. Using health care costs, not illnesses, the algorithm incorrectly identified white patients with complex health needs as more in-need of care, rather than black patients, who were actually experiencing more complex illness. Because fewer dollars for health care had been spent by the black patients, who actually had less access to health care, the algorithm incorrectly determined their need for care.
Think Babies -Early Head Start Advocacy Toolkit
Created more than 25 years ago, Early Head Start's comprehensive approach embodies and is proven to support what all babies need to thrive: good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences. Spread the Think Babies message and take action using this toolkit from Zero to Three! Urge your policymakers to Think Babies™ by supporting Early Head Start with this this advocacy toolkit: Learn more about Early Head Start in this brief; Engage fellow community members and your policymakers in conversations about Early Head Start using the talking points; Share social graphics that highlight Early Head Start; Submit an op-ed to your local newspaper about the need for Early Head Start in your community; Explore related resources. 
FMLA Explainer
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed by Congress with bipartisan support and signed into law in January 1993. Twenty-six years later, FMLA remains a key tool in helping millions of American workers balance family and work. This explainer from the Bi-Partisan Policy Center is an easy-to-read guide to who can access FLMA and under what conditions. 
Health Educator's Nutrition Toolkit
The new FDA Health Educator's Nutrition Toolkit is designed to help health educators, dietitians, physicians, other health care and nutrition professionals, social workers, youth counselors, and program directors teach consumers about the Nutrition Facts label and how to use the information it provides to make healthier food choices. The Toolkit offers a wide range of resources, including realistic tips on how to shop for and prepare food as well as order food when eating out to build a healthy diet.
California WIC Association
3120 Freeboard Dr., Suite 101, West Sacramento, CA 95691

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