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Movement & Meditation

Deborah Teplow, PhD, Co-founder and CEO of the Institute for Wellness Education

Each morning of the Virtual Grantees’ Meeting, Dr. Deborah Teplow will provide thirty-minute Movement & Meditation (M&M) session for attendees. These sessions are optional and will explore how the science of behavior change can help you incorporate physical activity and mindfulness into your daily life. On Day 1 (Wednesday, June 24) the M&M session will be held from 11-11:30 a.m. EST. On Days 2 and 3, the sessions will be held from 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. EST.

Plenary: Welcome & Introduction to the Virtual Grantees’ Meeting

Tom J. Engels, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Michael D. Warren, MD, MPH, FAAP, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)

Lee A. Wilson, Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services (DHSPS)

Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP, National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ)

Deborah Frazier, National Healthy Start Association (NHSA)

Welcome Plenary Slides

Plenary: MCHB Strategic Planning and Heathy Start Program Updates

Michael D. Warren, MD, MPH, FAAP, MCHB

Johannie Escarne, MPH, DHSPS

HS Program Updates Plenary Slides

In this plenary session MCHB’s Associate Administrator will introduce the Bureau’s strategic planning process and share ways to provide input. In addition, DHSPS leadership will provide updates related to the Healthy Start Program.

Plenary: Naming Racism Again/Still in the Midst of a Pandemic

Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, Morehouse School of Medicine

Naming Racism Plenary Slides

For a long time, this country has been addressing disparities in health that have led to poorer outcomes for people of color in this country, especially African Americans. And today there’s an alarm ringing that we need to pay attention to Black maternal mortality. How can you address health equity efficiently without exploring the question that asks why these disparities exist in the first place? Racism creates inequalities that lead to inequities in health outcomes and produce health disparities. Dr. Jones’ plenary will examine how racism and the social determinants of health – including poverty and homelessness – negatively impact access to quality health care. She will outline opportunities to eliminate barriers in achieving health equity across the United States and offer tools to improve health equity for all.

Plenary: Healthy Start Evaluation Updates

Lee A. Wilson, DHSPS

Healthy Start Evaluation Updates Plenary Slides

This session will focus on the importance of quality, timely data to support Healthy Start. Participants will hear about the 2017 National Healthy Start Evaluation Findings and learn about future data activities.

Lunch Networking Cafés
1. Consumers: A Space for Healthy Start Consumers

Tamela Milan, MPPA, Westside Healthy Start

Consumers Networking Cafe Chat Box

2. Sustainability: Building and Maintaining a Sustainability Plan for Your Program

Kenn L. Harris, NICHQ

Sustainability Networking Cafe Chat Box

3. COVID-19: Meeting Your Clients Needs During and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic  

Sheree Keitt, DrPH, MPH, CHES, National Healthy Start Association

COVID-19 Networking Cafe Chat Box

4. Project Directors/Program Managers: Connecting with Colleagues to Discuss Aspects of Program Management

Cynthia Dean, Missouri Bootheel Healthy Start

Project Directors Networking Cafe Chat Box

TA/Skills-building Breakout Sessions
1. For New Grantees and Those New to Healthy Start:  Historic Overview and Fundamentals of Healthy Start

Cardora Barnes, MS & Brandon Wood, MHS, MBA, DHA, DHSPS

Deborah Frazier, NHSA

This session will provide a historic overview of the Healthy Start program and will review Healthy Start fundamentals and strategies in carrying out program activities for new and existing Healthy Start projects. Participants will hear about strategies that aim to strengthen program activities; improve performance outcome; and help promote and strengthen services for women, children and fathers.

2. Supporting Breastfeeding During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cathy Carothers, BLA, IBCLC, FILCA, Co-Director of Every Mother, Inc.

Breastfeeding During COVID Breakout Slides

Breastfeeding During COVID Breakout Chat Box

Supporting Breastfeeding during the COVID-19 Pandemic Handout

Breastfeeding is well-established by all national and global health experts as the optimal form of infant nutrition. The pathogen-specific antibodies in human milk help infants establish a strong immune system and a healthy microbiome. These lifelong health benefits can mitigate the disadvantages of vulnerable situations. During a pandemic, the importance of breastfeeding is even more pronounced. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities continue to recommend that mothers breastfeed, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. During times of crisis and emergency, however, vulnerable families are especially at risk of negative outcomes, and may find it more challenging to access appropriate and timely breastfeeding support and help. This session addresses the importance of breastfeeding, and current recommendations for breastfeeding and milk expression during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will address the role of Healthy Start staff in promoting and supporting breastfeeding during the pandemic, and practical ways to reach out to families during these high-risk and unsettling times. This includes early strategies for getting a great start, engaging partners and family members, and resources for connecting families to needed support.

3. Transformative Evaluation for Healthy Start

Donna M. Mertens, PhD, Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University

Transformative Evaluation Breakout Slides

Transformative Evaluation Breakout Chat Box

By endorsing the Sustainable Development Goals, the world has recognized that transformative change is needed to address health inequities, particularly prevention of maternal and child mortality. Healthy Start embraces these goals as well. In this session, Donna Mertens will explore the question: How can a transformative approach to evaluation in Healthy Start projects support the societal transformations needed to achieve these goals? Transformative evaluation is characterized by deliberately designing the evaluation to support an increase in social justice. The basic principles of transformative evaluation will be presented; participants will have the opportunity to discuss how they could apply these principles in the evaluation of their own projects. Particular attention will be given to how involvement of community collaboration and coalition building in the evaluation process can lead to a stronger platform for doing the evaluation in a culturally responsive manner and contribute to the sustainability of project activities. More information about transformative evaluation can be found at this website:

4. Introduction to NACCHO’s Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP)  

Peter L. Holtgrave, MA, MPH, Senior Director of Public Health Infrastructure and Systems at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

NACCHO MAPP Training Breakout Slides

NACCHO MAPP Training Breakout Chat Box

NACCHO’s Mobilizing for Action Through Planning and Partnerships, or MAPP, is a widely used community-focused, result-oriented strategic planning process for engaging cross-sectoral partners and people with lived experience to improving population health. In this session, NACCHO will provide an overview of the framework as a way to help enhance and strengthen Healthy Start Community Action Networks (CANs). Key MAPP components will be shared, including on engaging partners and community members, ensuring that community voice is honored throughout the process; developing a shared vision; conducting assessments to identify strategic issues; formulating goals and strategies; and implementing and evaluating place-based action plans to meet goals, address strategic issues, improve health equity and achieve the community’s vision for improving health.

5. Creating and Maintaining Ethical & HIPAA Compliant Telemental Health Services

Jana Glass, LPC, MAC, PMH-C, BC-TMH, Postpartum Support International (PSI), Founder of Supportive Solutions

Telemental Health Services Breakout Slides

Telemental Health Services Breakout Chat Box

This session will focus on creating a sustainable approach to delivering services using technology in an ethical and HIPAA compliant manner.  Main focus will be on what is needed to for telemental health services including technology, consents, and safety planning needed to exceed standards.  Suggestions will be made to increase confidence and competence with telemental health with a special focus on self care when increasing technology use.

Plenary: Federal Activities Complementary to Healthy Start Efforts

Lynlee Tanner Stapleton, MCHB/Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems

Robin Y. McDonald, Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

Federal Activities Complementary to HS Plenary Slides

This session will provide overviews of the Infant-Toddler Court Program and the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Programs.


Kenn Harris, NICHQ

Day 1 Wrap-up Slides