OCTOBER 26 2021
House Passes PUMP Act

Last week the House passed the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act, legislation that would extend lactation protections to more than nine million working parents, ensuring that employees have access to reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom space to nurse or pump. The bill built on previous workplace protections put in place by the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The bill heads to the Senate for a final vote, where it already passed out of committee in a unanimous vote in May. 
NWA Launches WIC Action Network
NWA has launched the WIC Action Network, which will regularly convene frontline WIC providers, community health partners, and grassroots advocates to build awareness, skills, and capacity to educate policymakers. The Network will be an opportunity to hear policy updates from NWA staff, connect with colleagues and partners from across the country, and provide a routine forum to ask questions and get engaged. Join the inaugural WIC Action Network Briefing on November 12 from 12 pm - 2 pm ET. If you have additional questions, please reach out to NWA’s State Public Policy Manager, Noora Kanfash, at nkanfash@nwica.org
USDA Launches ReConnect Program Opportunities
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a $1.5 billion loan and grant program to help expand access to high-speed internet access for Americans in rural areas. With, the ReConnect Program, USDA will prioritize projects that serve low-density rural areas with locations lacking internet access services at speeds of at least 25 Mbps (download) and 3 Mbps (upload). USDA will also consider the community's economic needs, providers affordable service options, and whether a project is serving tribal lands or is submitted by a local government, Tribal Government, non-profit or cooperative. USDA will begin accepting applications for the ReConnect Program starting November 24.
Public Charge Comments

Request for comments on public charge, an action by the Biden administration to counter anti-immigrant efforts by the former administration, recently closed. You can find updates on the Protecting Immigrant Families coalition website. Here is the joint statement from the DHCS Director, CDSS Director, CDPH Director, and Covered California Executive Director. CA HHS has updated its Public Charge Guide to have clearer guidelines, more welcoming messages, and include resources such as keepyourbenefits.org. Here are links to the English version of the Public Charge Guide and the Spanish version of the Public Charge Guide.
Build Back Better Could Extend Health Coverage by Millions
Millions of people would gain health coverage — and millions more would gain financial assistance to make coverage more affordable — under the House’s Build Back Better legislation, a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis estimates. Overall, CBO estimates that under the House legislation, 7.6 million people would gain coverage subsidized through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces, and nearly 4 million uninsured people would gain coverage. Of those gaining subsidized coverage, 4 million would enroll in Medicaid and another 3.6 million would enroll in the marketplaces.
WIC Wellness Wednesdays!

Please join us TOMORROW, 10/27, for the third in a series with Dr. Tony Gryffin. Tony will be teaching the Portable Peace Practices Session Three: Enhancing Alignment and Relieving Back Strain. Tai chi has been identified as an easy and practical enhancement for strengthening balance and reducing risk of falls. This session will focus on shifting weight between movements, with a particular focus on balance. Register here. If you missed the first two sessions, check them out below:
Tony Gryffin August 2021
Tony Gryffin September 2021

Also, are you joining us for the next Well WIC Worksite Challenge? You have a few more days to sign up your team of 6 or less. Check out our flyer and get signed up for Planks, Squats, Wall Sits, and Push-ups, with awesome prizes. Register your teams here
Breastfeeding May Help Prevent Cognitive Decline
While the positive impact of breastfeeding on babies is well known, evidence continues to emerge about positive benefits for the lactating parent. A new study reveals women who breastfed their children performed better on cognitive tests at age 50 than those who fed their children with an alternative method.

Childrens' Health Experts Declare National Mental Health Emergency
A coalition of leading experts in pediatric health has issued an urgent warning declaring the mental health crisis among children a national emergency. The declaration was penned by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children's Hospital Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, which together represent more than 77,000 physicians and 200 children's hospitals.

Marketing Disproportionately Affects Purchases of Sweetened Children’s Drinks by Households with Low Incomes
Continued extensive advertising that targets children and families, as well as lower prices of sweetened children’s fruit drinks, influence purchasing behaviors of U.S. households with young children, according to a new study from researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

One Child Loses a Caregiver for Every Four COVID-19-Related Deaths
More than 140,000 children in the U.S. have lost a primary or secondary caregiver due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to findings published in Pediatrics. Specifically, these children lost a parent, custodial grandparent or grandparent caregiver between April 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
mPINC Hospital Breastfeeding Surveys Released
The evidence connecting hospital routines to breastfeeding rates is well established, and CDC launched the mPINC survey, a census of hospitals providing maternity care in 2007 to monitor infant feeding practices and policies. In 2018 the survey was redesigned to reflect changes in maternity care. The newly designed multiple years of data from the updated survey (i.e., 2018, 2020 and later) will be comparable. Nationwide, 75% of eligible hospitals chose to participate in the 2020 mPINC survey. Visit CDC’s mPINC website to learn more including the 2020 reports, and share the info with your community partners; Join the mPINC-update listserve to be informed when the 2022 survey is launched, email mpinc@cdc.gov.

Promote Flu and COVID-19 Vaccination this Season!
As we head into flu season, did you know that it’s possible to get infected with both flu and COVID-19? That’s a very dangerous combination. That’s why it’s doubly important that pregnant women get both their COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get immunized against flu. This will greatly reduce the chance of flu spreading among family members. Getting a flu shot helps lower our risk of having to seek medical care or go to the hospital during the pandemic. Remind your WIC participants that flu vaccination for themselves and their family is an easy and safe way to help everyone stay strong and healthy while we’re still in the pandemic. For those women not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, this is recommended by the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (ACOG) as a safe choice for pregnant women to protect themselves and their newborns. COVID-19 and flu shots can be administered at the same visit to make it more convenient.

Some clients may feel uneasy about getting a flu shot, especially if they are pregnant. Reassure them that millions of pregnant women have been safely immunized against flu. Encourage them to talk to their doctor or midwife. It’s important that they also understand that catching the flu while pregnant can be very serious for her and her baby, with complications including preterm birth, low birth weight, and even stillbirth of the baby. Also, getting immunized during pregnancy helps protect the baby from flu during the first few months of life.

Consider sharing a social media post about pregnancy and flu vaccines available from the California Immunization Coalition. Other useful resources to hand out include copies of this CDPH Prenatal Flu and Whooping Cough flyer during WIC appointments or CDC’s Pregnant: You Need a Flu Shot flyer, and posting this CDPH Prenatal Flu & Tdap Vaccination poster in your waiting room.

It’s important for WIC moms to know that:
·        Flu complications are higher for pregnant women and children under 5.
·        African Americans, Latinx, and Native Americans are more likely to be affected by chronic medical conditions like diabetes, asthma, or heart disease that increase the risk for serious flu and COVID-19 illness.
·        Essential workers who are out in public or work around many others (e.g., teachers, grocery stores, agriculture, transportation, healthcare, etc.) are more likely to be exposed to both flu and COVID-19.

Your WIC families’ flu vaccinations are covered! (and COVID vaccines are always free)
Medi-Cal will cover flu shots for all adults given at the doctor’s office or pharmacy. If your participant is unable to get immunized at her doctor’s office, encourage her to get vaccinated at the same pharmacy where she picks up her prenatal vitamins or other prescriptions.

You can also recommend or help your clients check https://myturn.ca.gov/ to help find a location and schedule an appointment. The website www.vaccines.gov (currently listing COVID-19 vaccine locations only), is also expected to include locations for flu vaccinations in October. Family members under age 19 who meet Medi-Cal eligibility are eligible for free vaccinations through California’s Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program. Make flu vaccination appointments a priority. With kids back in school this year, we expect more flu to be circulating. It’s more important than ever. Simply put: We’re stronger when we’re all protected.
Thank you for helping to protect moms and their babies from the flu!
Mental Health
The mental health of each family member affects the entire family. Nearly one in five adults in America live with a mental illness. One in seven women suffers from postpartum depression, the most common complication after childbirth, and it is estimated that up to 23 percent of pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy. WIC Can Help families get the support they need!
Support CWA online!
As a nonprofit membership organization, CWA relies on the contributions of many organizations and individuals to help us achieve our mission. There are many ways to give of your time, talents, or resources to help CWA promote healthy families, strong communities, and bright futures! We appreciate all forms of support and invite you to join us!
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