Calling all California Moms and Healthcare Providers!

In California, the Maternal Child and Adolescent Health program lost all State General funds last year and we are fighting to have those funds reinstated. (Please read below for background.)

MCAH Action is asking for letters of support to the five senators on the Budget Conference Committee listed in the first attachment. To find your district’s senator or all five click here. Below is a sample letter you can use.

MCAH programs focus on a variety of issues that affect women, children, youth and their families including perinatal mood disorders. We facilitate our county’s Prenatal Postpartum Mood Disorder Task Force and we work to increase awareness about perinatal mood disorders and to link families with much needed services.

The good news is the Budget Conference Committee is considering reinstatement of our funds. We might be able to “tip the scales” with your support. Please forward to others who might be willing to advocate for MCAH.

Let’s help these important programs reinstate funding! Here are the directors, staff and contact numbers of MCAH if you would like more information:

President
Geraldine Perry-Williams, PHN, MSN
City of Pasadena

Vice President
Nancy Calvo, MPH
Solano County

Secretary-Treasurer
Twila Brown, RN, MPH
San Francisco County

Julie Falkenstein, RN, PHN
Stanislaus County

Immediate Past President
Linda Bouskill Nagel, RN, PHN
Mendocino County

Rural Caucus Co-Chairs
Linda Rose, RN, PHN
Tehama County

Romi Uribe, RN, PHN
Shasta County

Urban Caucus
Terri Nikoletich, RN, MSN/MPH
City of Long Beach

Policy Committee
Cynthia Harding, MPH
Los Angeles County

Preconception Work Group
Cynthia Harding, MPH
Los Angeles County

Perinatal Substance Abuse
Jan Campbell, RN, PHN
San Luis Obispo County

Administrative Information
Nikki Buckstead Payne
NCADD 916.924.6267
Nbuckstead@ncaddsac.org

Advocacy Information
Charlotte Newhart
916.492.0745
cmnewhart@sbcglobal.net

Education & Training Information:
Cynthia Fahey, RN, PHN, MSN
Perinatal Advisory Council
818.708.2850
cfahey@paclac.org

MCAH Action
California Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Directors and Constituents

July 2, 2010

RE: Reinstating funds for MCAH programs in the State Budget

Dear Colleague:

MCAH Action is the organization of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH) Directors from the 61 local public health jurisdictions in California. We are extremely concerned about the loss of State General funds for MCAH programs and are asking for your support.

Background

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2009-10 the Governor cut the State General Fund (SGF) support for local county/city Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Programs. This cut of $2.1 million eliminated an additional $2.3 million in matching Federal dollars that supported health programs for pregnant women and children in California (a total loss of $4.4 million). SGF cuts to the Adolescent Family Life Program in FY 2009-10 of $10.7 million, eliminated an additional $5.4 million in matching Federal dollars that supported services for pregnant and parenting teens to promote positive pregnancy outcomes, effective parenting, and socioeconomic independence (a loss of $16.1 million).

SGF cuts to the Black Infant Health Program in FY 2009-10 of $3.9 million, eliminated an additional $3.2 million in matching Federal dollars that supported health education, health promotion, social support and service coordination to pregnant and parenting African-American adult women (a loss of $7.1 million).

The combined loss of all these programs was an additional loss of almost $11 million in Federal dollars for the State of California.

The Assembly version of the State Budget for 2010-11 included a reinstatement of the MCAH funds (4265 – DPH – Item 752). The Senate version of the Budget did not. We would like the revised budget from the Budget Conference Committee to include the reinstatement of the MCAH SGF.

Requested Action

Please send a letter to the 5 Senators on the Budget Conference Committee. They are:

The Honorable Denise Moreno Ducheny
CA State Senate
State Capitol, Room 5035
10th & L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 327-3522

The Honorable Mark Leno
CA State Senate
State Capitol, Room 4061
10th & L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4003
Fax: (916) 445-4722

The Honorable Robert Dutton
CA State Senate
State Capitol, Room 5094
10th & L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-4031
Fax: (916) 327-2272

The Honorable Alan Lowenthal
CA State Senate
State Capitol, Room 2032
10th & L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-4027
Fax: (916) 327-9113

The Honorable Bob Huff
CA State Senate
State Capitol, Room 3048
10th & L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-4029 Fax: (916) 324-0922

See sample letter below! I am going to write AND call tomorrow!

[On your letterhead]
[Date]

The Honorable Denise Moreno Ducheny
CA State Senate
State Capitol, Room 5035
10th & L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Reinstating funds for MCAH programs in the State Budget

Dear Senator Ducheny:

[You or your organization’s name] supports the effort of MCAH Action to include the Assembly’s proposal to restore vetoed funds to Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH) Programs (4265 – DPH – Item 752) in the final State budget. These funds are critically needed to maintain the health and well-being of pregnant women, mothers, children and their families in California. In addition, these funds can be used to draw down over $11 million in Federal funds for California. Our local counties have been so drastically cut that the infrastructure for providing services to the neediest members of our communities has been steadily eroding. Without the state funding, these critical services will have to be eliminated resulting in an increase in maternal mortality, infant mortality and disease and disability among our children.

[You or your organization’s name) is extremely concerned about the lack of funds for services to the most vulnerable members of our communities. The loss of these MCAH funds for local communities represents a lack of services to teen mothers, to low income families, and to babies born with disabilities, and other health problems. We urge you to do include the reinstatement of these vital MCAH funds in the final State Budget Proposal.

Sincerely,

[You or your organizational representative]

We have also included a sample letter that you can put on your letterhead. Please feel to edit and customize this in any way. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me, Cynthia Harding, Chair of the Policy Committee at (213) 639-6400 or charding@ph.lacounty.gov, or your local Maternal Child Health Director.

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Geraldine Perry-Williams
President, MCAH Action

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