September 13, 2019
We are back after the August recess with the latest happenings around Washington. Don’t forget early registration and hotel rates are closing soon for several APHSA conferences—details in the conference section below.
Our annual Information Technology Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) Conference is coming up on September 22-25 in Milwaukee, WI. We hope to see you there!
Legislative & Other Updates
APHSA Submits Comment Letter Raising Concerns on USDA
Proposed Rule Restricting SNAP Categorical Eligibility
In response to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed rule from July, Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , APHSA has released a comment letter highlighting concerns that the rule will increase administrative burden while reducing access to nutrition supports for many working families. Under the proposed rule, states will be limited in the types of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits that confer categorical eligibility for SNAP to those deemed “ongoing and substantial” and that focus on “subsidized employment, work supports, and childcare.” In addition to raising concerns on the impact of the bill, APHSA also identifies specific changes to the rule that, should USDA proceed with implementing, will help mitigate the negative consequences of the change to state and local agencies and customers served.

Policy Disputes Threaten HHS Appropriations Bill
A planned mark-up of the Senate Labor-HHS-Education bill scheduled for Tuesday, September 10 was postponed due to disputes over family planning funding policies. As a result, it is looking increasingly likely that a stopgap funding measure will be needed to fund critical HHS services at the start of fiscal year 2020. Services within the HHS Administration for Children & Families impacted by the stalled appropriations bill include child support enforcement and family support programs, payments for foster care and permanency, low-income home energy assistance, refugee and entrant assistance, child care and development block grants, and social services block grants. 

Bill Expanding SNAP for College Students Introduced
On Thursday, September 12, Rep. Jimmy Gomez (R-CA) introduced a bill to address growing food insecurity among college students, called The Enhanced Access to SNAP Act (or EATS Act). The bill would amend the Food and Nutrition Act to treat attendance at an institution of higher education the same as work, for the purpose of determining eligibility to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The bill has nearly 40 co-sponsors.

Child and Family Well-Being
New Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth,
and Families (ACYF)
Elizabeth Darling was confirmed Tuesday with a vote of 57-37, to be the Commissioner of the ACFY. Jerry Milner who has served as Acting Commissioner will continue on in his role as Associate Commissioner for the Children’s Bureua. In her new position, Darling will o versee the Children’s Bureau and the Family & Youth Services Bureau, leading the major federal programs that fund social services that promote the positive growth and development of children, youth and their families.  Darling is currently President and CEO of OneStar Foundation, a Texas based nonprofit clearinghouse.
OIG Report: Care Provider Facilities Described Challenges Addressing Mental Health Needs of Children in HHS Custody
A recently released report f rom the Office of Inspector General (OIG) finds that the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR’s) requirement to provide unaccompanied children with mental health services has been challenging to meet. Through interviews of ORR’s mental health clinicians and other facility staff, OIG found the main challenges are the handling of children who have faced trauma prior to arrival at the facility, and that demand for services can overwhelm the system. This report contains six recommendations, including the use of evidence-based guidance to provide short-term therapy, and better hiring strategies for the sake of quality and ability to carry heavy caseloads.

Upcoming Events
Information Technology Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) Annual Conference ~ An APHSA Affinity Group Event
The 2019 ISM Conference is the premiere conference for health and human services IT leaders, focusing on innovative IT solutions. For 52 years, the ISM Conference has brought together the brightest minds from public H/HS agencies, private industry, academia and community-based organizations to showcase the future of H/HS Information Technology. The 2019 topics will include: Data Analytics, Modernizing the Workforce, Inventive Strategies, Operationalizing Technology, Technology in Service of Customers and more.

September 22-25 | Milwaukee, WI
The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Annual Education Conference ~ An APHSA Affinity Group Event
The 2019 NSDTA Education Conference is designed to assist Health and Human Services leaders responsible for training, staff and organizational development/effectiveness and workforce planning shape the future of these vital programs through collaboration, innovation and the exchange of experience and knowledge amongst attendees.

October 20-23 | Long Beach, CA
American Association of Health and Human Services Attorneys (AAHHSA) Annual Education Conference ~ An APHSA Affinity Group Event
The AAHHSA Annual National Education and Training Conference is a comprehensive learning and networking experience for attorneys who represent the state and local government agencies that administer health and/or human services programs. The overarching goal of the conference is to facilitate the exchange of information between attorneys and promote pragmatic innovation in the field of H/HS services.

October 27-30 | Arlington, VA
American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting & Expo
"Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health, " is the theme for the APHA Annual Meeting and Expo, the largest and most influential annual gathering of public health professionals. Nearly 13,000 attendees join each year to present, learn and find inspiration. APHA brings together people and organizations who make a difference from the global level to the local level.

November 2-6 | Philadelphia, PA
Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Annual Research Conference
"Rising to the Challenge: Engaging Diverse Perspectives on Issues and Evidence," is the theme for the APPAM Conference, a multi-disciplinary research conference attracting the highest quality research on a wide variety of important current and emerging policy and management issues. Conversations will reach across disciplinary, methodological and ideological divides and take place across 300+ educational programs in a variety of formats, including panels, roundtables, poster presentations, super sessions and special events.

November 7-9 | Denver, CO
Call For Papers Now Open For 2020 State Healthcare IT Connect Summit
The State Healthcare IT Connect Summit has grown and evolved into an important national venue. Public and private sector thought leaders share ideas and benchmark implementation strategies of State Health IT Systems, with an anticipated 1000+ attendees & 45+ state teams at the 2020 program. Cross-cutting agenda themes include: Data Quality, Program & Business Metrics, Evolving Procurement Approaches, Organizational Change Management, Interoperability, Consumer Data Access, Integrating SDoH, Advanced Analytics, Security and Privacy. Submission deadline is Friday, October 4.

April 27-29, 2020 | Baltimore, MD
APHSA Career Center - Post Your Open Positions Today

APHSA serves as a clearinghouse for job opportunities throughout the health and human services (H/HS) field. Employers reach a wide audience of candidates looking for careers in H/HS and job seekers will find a bevy of opportunities throughout the country.