CWA Flash E-Newsletter - December 4, 2018
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Utilities Assistance 
Some families are one emergency away from falling behind and not being able to catch up. All families need and deserve access to a warm house in the winter and a cool house in the summer. WIC Can Help connect WIC families to financial assistance with utility bills - energy, water, telephone, and internet service - as well as saving energy to reduce costs. WIC Can Helpconnect WIC families to financial assistance with utility and telephone service. 

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Exercise Can Help You Stay Young!    
  The muscles of older men and women who have exercised for decades are indistinguishable in many ways from those of healthy 25-year-olds, according to an uplifting new study of a group of active septuagenarians. Use it or lose it! 
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Public Charge Comment Countdown
The comment period on public charge is coming to a close in 7 days - on December 10. Over 120,000 individuals have already commented, and this is your last opportunity to weigh in on rules that could impact the WIC families that we serve. The proposed rule would penalize immigrants if they access Medicaid, SNAP, or housing assistance programs. The heightened risk to an individual's immigration status would continue to dis-incentivize eligible families from accessing any public benefit program, including WIC. Furthermore, there remains a risk that WIC participation could be included in the final rule. Remember: Regulatory commenting is not lobbying. The federal government is actively soliciting your input to inform its decision-making. Need some help commenting? NWA has created template comments as well as guidelines for concerned participants. There are also an abundance of resources from the Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition, as well as from the Food Research Action Center. Do you need some suggestions for how to comment if you work for WIC? Ask Sarah. 
Federal Funding - Expect Continuing Resolutions
Congress pushed the deadline for funding decisions, still needed for seven of twelve appropriations bills, from Dec. 7 to Dec. 21, through a continuing resolution, which averts a partial government shutdown. How decisions will be made over the holiday season remains to be seen. A national day of mourning set for this Wednesday, and decisions related to memorials for President George H.W. Bush's passing, contributed to the need for an extension. Complex funding issues remain, with funding for border security and a wall in the mix.
CWA News
Supporting WIC Staff Impacted by Fires - #WICStrong
We have received an outpouring of support for WIC staff who have been impacted by the horrible wildfires in California this year. CWA exceeded our Giving Tuesday goal, and to date has raised over $5600 toward gift cards for basic goods, restaurant meals, and groceries for WIC staff in need. CWA will continue accepting donations through December 11th. Thank you to those who have contributed from the bottom of our hearts, and thank you to our partners at the National WIC Association for helping to spread the word. 
Catch the Wave: WIC Moves Families Forward!
Plans are coming together for the 27th annual CWA conference in San Diego, April 28-May 1, 2019. The curriculum committee is lining up strong, engaging speakers. The trade show is filling up. Look for a link to register this month! Come prepared to work, network and celebrate the many ways WIC is addressing the needs of today's families.
Our Top News Picks
Number of Uninsured Children on the Rise
After years of steady decline, the number of U.S. children without health insurance rose by 276,000 in 2017, according to a recent Georgetown University report. The share of children with employer-sponsored health coverage rose modestly in 2017, but not by enough to make up for the drop in children enrolling in Medicaid or getting coverage from Obamacare insurance exchanges. The uninsured rates for children increased at nearly triple the rates in states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to the report. Congress let the CHIP program funding lapse for several months in 2017 before restoring federal funding in early in 2018, low-income families were bombarded by news reports last year that Congress was threatening to repeal the health law that expanded coverage to millions, and the Trump administration has slashed funding for Obamacare navigators whohelp people sign up for coverage. The Trump administration's proposal to expand the "public charge rule" is another factor that may have led to fewer children getting health insurance. The rule could make it harder for legal immigrants to get green cards if they have received certain kinds of public assistance - including Medicaid. 
Omega-3 Supplements May Lower Risk of Preterm Birth
Taking omega-3 supplements during pregnancy may lower the risk for preterm birth, according to an analysis that considered 70 randomized trials of nearly 20,000 women. A few of the studies considered fish consumption, but most tested supplements of omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers found that compared with women who did not take omega-3s, those who took supplements had an 11 percent lower risk of giving birth before 37 weeks of gestation, and a 42 percent lower risk of a birth before 34 weeks. They also found high-quality evidence that omega-3s reduced the risk of low birth weight by 10 percent, and moderate-quality evidence that it reduced the risk of perinatal death by 25 percent. 
Overweight and Obese Children at Higher Risk of Asthma
Children who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for asthma, according to a retrospective study, published in Pediatrics, which followed 507,496 children for an average of four years. None of the children had incidents of asthma before the start of the study. The study controlled for age, race, health insurance, food allergies, medications and other factors, and found that compared with children of normal weight, the overweight were 17 percent more likely to have been given a diagnosis of asthma and to take an asthma medication. The obese were 30 percent more likely. The researchers estimate that 23 to 27 percent of asthma cases in obese children can be attributed to the obesity itself. Among all the children, 10 to 13 percent of asthma cases were attributable to obesity.  
WIC: There's an App for That!
An increasing number of apps are being developed to support WIC program and benefits delivery. This recent review looked at the operating systems, features, downloads, reviews and ratings. While most apps have been developed related to EBT and the shopping experience, there are other useful features that apps can provide. 
Healthcare for the Whole Person: Housing 
Leaders in the health care benefits and hospital sectors are looking at ways to ensure patients have a home and adequate food, as a way to cut health care costs and improve health outcomes. California's Whole Person pilot program addresses provision of social determinants of health for chronically ill patients who also need a home. Recent comments by Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, which oversees, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services(CMS), acknowledged that public health plans and hospitals, could play a role. 
Infant Mortality Data Brief
The CDC, National Center for Health Statistics has published Infant Mortality by Age at Death in the United States, 2016. Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, the report examines infant mortality rates for the United States, revealing a decline in 2007 (the most recent high), but  remaining relatively unchanged in recent years. Previous research shows differences in infant mortality rates by age at death (i.e., neonatal, or deaths to infants aged 0-27 days, and post-neonatal, or deaths to infants aged 28-364 days), age and race and Hispanic origin of the mother, and leading causes of death. This report examines infant mortality rates for the United States by age at death in 2016, with maternal factors, age and race and Hispanic origin, and for the five leading causes of neonatal and post-neonatal mortality. 
Pregnant Worker Rights Fact Sheet
The National Women's Law Center has published a fact sheet titled "Pregnant at Work? Know Your Rights." The publication answers common questions from pregnant workers, including defining pregnancy harassment and pregnancy discrimination. The fact sheet also outlines several relevant laws, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act.  
California WIC Association
3120 Freeboard Dr., Suite 101, West Sacramento, CA 95691

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