CWA Flash E-Newsletter - December 12, 2019
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WIC Can Help With Utilities Assistance  
When families stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, they reduce the risk of health and safety problems (such as illness, fire, or eviction), especially for more vulnerable family members like infants and the elderly. WIC Can Help connects WIC families to financial assistance with utility bills - energy (electricity and natural gas), water and telephone service - as well as saving energy to reduce costs. 
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Flu Season is Picking Up  
As we inch closer toward the thick of flu season, influenza activity is steadily picking up across the country - the CDC reports that flu activity has been elevated for 4 weeks now, which is a little earlier than most flu seasons. It's still not too late to get vaccinated! Help keep your home and office healthy by stopping by your local pharmacy or making a flu shot appointment with your doctor. 
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CA Surgeon General Website - New!
Check out the new website, ACES Aware, released by California's Office of the Surgeon General. Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) the website focuses on screening, treating and healing from ACEs trauma. Recent legislation requires the Dept. of Health Care Services to implement ACEs screening for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, including children and adults under 65, and provide reimbursement to medical providers. The first online training for providers to prepare for screening, and be eligible for reimbursement, is posted. Be sure to also check out the ACES resources, the advisory council and a grant opportunity for expanded training.
Public Charge Impact to Safety Net 
Threats to legal immigration and increasingly complicated processes to access health, nutrition and social services have impacted participation. This recent blog post from Ideas42 describes participation declines in WIC, SNAP and Medicaid since the announcement of the public charge rule. While WIC is NOT included in the proposed expansion of public charge (which is currently blocked from implementation by several court rulings), and likely other factors are also factoring in lower participation rates, the fear and misunderstandings around the public charge rule change is a contributor. 
CWA News
Spring Conference - Register Now!
Our conference title this year, Empowered California Families! Unite, Inspire, Upliftfocuses on sustainability through significant change in program improvements and protections. Over the past 6 years, WIC participation has declined, partly due to needed program modernization and federal threats. We want to be Empowered providers who Empower WIC families and communities, even during stressful times. Our goal is to Unite and Inspire within our agencies and community circles and Uplift as we do our outreach and provide services. Please join us in sunny San Diego, April 5-8, 2020, to connect, collaborate, and network with WIC staff and community partners from across the state. This year's agenda (draft coming soon) will feature a full-day two-track pre-conference and 2.5 days of a four-track conference, trade show, exciting keynote speakers, and plenty of chances to gather, celebrate, and learn from one another. Register here: 
California Nutrition Corps (CNC) Scholarships
CWA is pleased to offer CNC Scholarships for 2019-2020!  Since 2002, CWA has offered scholarships to CA WIC employees pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degrees in nutrition, public health, and business, or completing their Dietetic Internship to become a RD. California WIC can be proud of its strong public health workforce with not only academic strength, but cultural competency, diverse language capacity and commitment to community health. The CNC Applications are available on our website: The due date is 3pm on January 15, 2020. Questions? Contact Lena or Meghan. 
Lactation Accommodation Webinar - Next Week!
Breastfeeding advocates are invited to join us along with our partners at California Breastfeeding Coalition and Legal Aid at Work for a detailed explanation of new lactation accommodation protections in California with the passage of SB 142. We will be answering questions, and discussing next steps to spread the information to California workers. The webinar will be on December 16 th at 10:00 PST. Register here!
Our Top News Picks
Most Moms Start Babies on Solid Foods Too Soon
Most mothers may be starting their infants on solid foods months sooner than specialists recommend, and say they're doing so on the advice of their doctor, according to a study published this month. The AAP recommends that parents wait until babies reach 6 months of age before offering them solid foods, but researchers at the CDC- who surveyed 1,334 new moms - discovered that almost 93 percent of those women had introduced solid foods to their infants before 6 months, 40 percent did so before the 4-month mark, and 9 percent had offered solids to their babies before they were even four weeks old. Moms who fed their babies formula were far more likely to start solids too early versus those who exclusively breast-fed (53 percent versus 24 percent). Physicians' groups settled on the 6-month cut-off after earlier research determined that children who get solid food too early might be at a greater risk for developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, eczema and celiac disease. 
Preterm Babies at Higher Risk for Diabetes 
Premature babies are at increased risk for diabetes, a large new study reports. In previous studies, preterm birth has been associated with insulin resistance, but this is the first large study to track the risks of diabetes from childhood into adulthood. The researchers followed over 4 million singleton babies born in Sweden from 1973 to 2014 for an average of 23 years, some as long as 43 years. Compared with full-term babies, those born prematurely had a 21 percent increased relative risk for Type 1 diabetes and a 26 percent increased risk for Type 2 before age 18. After 18, premature babies had a 24 percent increased relative risk for Type 1 and a 49 percent increased risk for Type 2. Premature girls were at slightly higher risk than boys. 
Doctors Discourage Cannabis Use During Pregnancy 
Daily marijuana use during pregnancy may lead to an increased risk of low birth weight , low resistance to infection, decreased oxygen levels and other negative fetal health outcomes, according to a new study. In the latest issue of the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, physicians reviewed sonogram data from nearly 450 pregnant women who self-reported daily marijuana use. They found that daily cannabis use is associated with delayed fetal growth, putting a baby at risk of certain health problems during pregnancy, delivery, and even after birth. Those problems include low birth weight, hypoglycemia, low Apgar scores, among others, and in the most severe cases, delayed growth that could lead to stillbirth. Physicians also found an increase in placental vascular resistance in both the second and third trimesters, which can lead to delayed growth. 
Low-Income CA Families Eating More Produce, Drinking More Water 
A new study, published this week in Public Health Nutrition, found that low-income mothers, youth and children in California are eating more healthily. Researchers from the Public Health Institute's Center for Wellness and Nutrition (CWN) and California State University - Sacramento found that SNAP-Ed eligible families added an additional one-third of a cup of fruits and vegetables to their meals daily, and increased water intake by a cup a day between 2015 and 2017. Teens showed the highest increases in consumption of water, fruits and vegetables. Almost 13 million Californians-or 1 in 3 residents-are SNAP-Ed eligible. The study surveyed randomly sampled California households with incomes less than 185% of the federal poverty level (which is also the WIC income threshold). Respondents completed extensive dietary interviews, providing detailed information about all food and drinks consumed during the past 24 hours.
USDA FNS Jobs Openings!
Just posted, are these program specialist announcements for USDA in Food and Nutrition Services. The positions are open on and close on Friday, December 20th. Please help get the word out by sharing the job announcements with anyone who would be interested in applying. GS-9/11 Government-wide, GS-12 Open to the Public; GS-12 Internal/Career transition. 
Kaiser's CalFresh Sign-Up Efforts - And More!
Food for Life  an initiative of Kaiser Permanente's health plan to address food insecurity, is also a strategy to address costly health problems, such as obesity and diabetes. A recent focus on provision of social determinants of health, includes ensuring members, especially CalFresh-eligible members, enroll in CalFresh. Kaiser staff used text messages to communicate with members, including through the complex CalFresh application process, which can take days or weeks to complete. Since August 30, 11,000 Kaiser members have signed up for CalFresh with an additional 21,000 members having started applications. Kaiser will also be looking at providing medically tailored meals. Health plans are increasingly embracing provision of social determinants of health, linking to social services, detailed in this report from Blue Shield of CA. 
UC Davis Maternal & Child Nutrition Graduate Program
The UC Davis Master of Advanced Study in Maternal and Child Nutrition is still accepting applications for fall 2020. Students in this 36-unit, part-time program will learn from internationally known researchers and faculty who have shaped U.S. and international policy on maternal and child health and discover how to design, implement and evaluate nutrition intervention programs for mothers and children from a variety of backgrounds. To learn more about this program, designed specifically for full-time, working professionals, join our next webinar on January 27, hosted by program director Dr. Jane Heinig and program coordinator Chelsea Norris. Register today! 
California WIC Association
3120 Freeboard Dr., Suite 101, West Sacramento, CA 95691

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