HMHBGA

News

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHB) constantly follows developments on an array of maternal and child health topics at the local, state and federal levels, and we want to keep you informed every step of the way. We regularly update our blog with current stories, press releases, and links to our monthly newsletter. Be sure to check regularly for the latest news from HMHB.

Congress Passes Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Maternal Deaths

December 12, 2018 - Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, after two very strong years of advocacy and bipartisan support, the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (H.R.1318) passed the House of Representatives. The Act was introduced by Rep. Herrera Beutler, Jaime [R-WA-3] in March of 2017. H.R.1318 would establish and support state Maternal Mortality Review Committees to review every pregnancy-related or pregnancy-associated death, and based on those findings, develop recommendations for how to prevent future mothers’ deaths. “Today marks an important day in...

Author: HMHB Team


5 Things We Learned at the OBGyn Society Conference

In August, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia attended the Georgia OB/GYN Society Annual Meeting & Conference. This year the event took place at The Cloister in Sea Island, Georgia. HMHB was able connect with physicians from across the State and inform them of the work that we do to improve maternal and infant health. Take a moment and check out our Instagram and Facebook for photos and videos of the Conference. In addition, below we’ve listed (5) things...

Author: HMHB Staff


An Unexpected Policy to Help Mothers and Children Thrive

Georgia ranks poorly when it comes to the well-being of mothers and children. Georgia ranks the fifth-highest in infant mortality rate and sixth-lowest in meeting the need for publicly-funded women’s health services, according to America’s Health Rankings. Many strategies are needed to improve maternal and child health in Georgia, though one of the most promising policy tools to help mothers and their children flourish might surprise you: tax credits. By effectively boosting a family’s income, tax credits can yield far-reaching...

Author: Laura Harker, Policy Analyst


Oh Baby, We Have Work to Do!

Prioritizing Infant and Mortality Priorities through Community Health Needs Assessments in Georgia Many Georgians, especially those who live in rural communities, depend on the support of community partners and local hospitals to assist in maintaining their health. In the State of Georgia, 93.6% of residents from 136 counties are seen and treated at a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operated organization or an authority operated nonprofit acute care hospital. As a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, these 108 nonprofit...

Author: Jamila Shields, MPH


5 Things We Learned at the ACNM Midwifery Conference in Savannah!

This week Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia attended The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) 63rd Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Savannah, Georgia. This year the conference sought to embrace the previously unacknowledged wealth of caring that the grand midwives provided. The goal was to showcase the scientific information leading to evidence-based care and to get to the humanity of “can you see me now?” conversations. The hope was that such conversations will propel attendees to take steps to...

Author: HMHB Staff


2018 Mother's Day Gift Guide!

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 13th - just one week away! The HMHB team has put together a list of great gifts - many of which give back to Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia. What better way to say 'I love you' to the moms in your life than a gift that also supports moms across the State? Our top picks for Mother's Day Gifts: 1. Handmade jewelry from Precious Lace on Etsy: Locally made, can be custom-ordered...


PRESS ADVISORY: Inspiring Mothers of Georgia (4/29)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PRESS ADVISORY CONTACT: Elise Blasingame- 404-205-6680 elise.blasingame@hmhbga.org April 20, 2018- Atlanta, GA- Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHB) is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Inspiring Mothers of Georgia Awards. After receiving nominations from across the State from many communities, six honorees were selected for their embodiment of the essential characteristics for the award: strength, kindness, caring, sacrifice and generosity. "These women have not only demonstrated these qualities as mothers and family members,...


2018 Legislative Session Wrap Up

Sine Die was March 29, 2018 - Here's What Happened: Please note that, while uncommon, all passed bills are subject to veto by the Governor. The Governor has 40 days to sign or veto legislation after the session ends. If he fails to sign or veto, the bill then becomes law on the effective date as established in the bill (which is typically July 1 of that year). The following bills passed both the House and Senate and are on...

Author: HMHB Staff


Decreasing Postpartum Stress and Depression for Mothers

Before giving birth, a lot of mothers are not fully aware of “baby blues” or postpartum depression (PPD), although it is incredibly common for women of all backgrounds to experience. About 80% of new moms will experience the baby blues; while 1 in 8 develop postpartum depression. Many moms find the actual birth of their baby and the transition to motherhood can be overwhelming. It’s important for new moms to see their doctor or midwife in the first few weeks...

Author: Shannon Tedder, HMHB Intern


Keeping Current @ the Capitol: Week of March 26, 2018

Here's the latest at the Capitol: NEW UPDATES SB 314 - Consumer Coverage and Protection for Out-of-Network Care Act (Chuck Hufsteler, R-Sandy Springs): This act will establish standards for carriers and health care providers with regard to payment under a managed care plan in the provision of emergency medical care. This bill will provide disclosures for patients, prospective patients, and insurer disclosures. This includes payments to providers for those in managed care contracts and penalties for violations. UPDATE: This bill has...

Author: HMHB Staff


Keeping Current @ the Capitol: Week of March 19, 2018

Here's the latest at the Capitol: ONGOING UPDATES HB 769 - Micro Hospitals, Rural Recommendations (Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper): A comprehensive bill to implement the recommendations of the rural hospital coalition committee. This includes the rural hospital tax credit, streamlining and creating efficiencies, establishing micro hospitals, establishing physicians incentives for rural practice, creating a powerful innovation council, and redefines "rural county" from 35,000 or less residents to 50,000 or less. UPDATE:This bill passed the House and Senate and awaits signature by...


Keeping Current @ the Capitol: Week of March 12, 2018

Here's the latest at the Capitol: NEW UPDATES HB 184 - Georgia Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (Park Cannon, D-Atlanta) This bill would have provided reasonable accommodations to job applicants and employees for circumstances related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. It also would have provided for a civil cause of action for unfair employment practices. While this bill did not make crossover, it did have a hearing in the House Industry and Labor Committee last week. We expect a similar...

Author: HMHB Staff


Keeping Current @ the Capitol: Week of March 5, 2018

Crossover Day was last Wednesday. Here's what happened. Thanks to You, We Stopped Tobacco Products From Harming More Infants & Mothers in Georgia!   NEW UPDATES HB 877 - Modified Risk Tobacco (Chad Nimmer, R-Blackshear) A bill to cut the tobacco tax in half for so called "modified risk" tobacco products has passed the House Ways and Means committee and is now in the Rules committee awaiting a vote on the House Floor. Health advocates agree that this is a...


Keeping Current @ the Capitol: Week of February 26, 2018

ACTION ALERT:  HB 877 - Modified Risk Tobacco (Chad Nimmer, R-Blackshear) A bill to cut the tobacco tax in half for so called "modified risk" tobacco products has passed the House Ways and Means committee and is now in the Rules committee awaiting a vote on the House Floor. Health advocates agree that this is a bad bill because: 1) There is no data to quantify the claim of reduced risk, 2) It will likely create a false sense of...


HMHB Honors 3 Legislators with Wilen Award

HMHB Honors 3 Legislators with Charlotte Wilen Advocate of the Year Award Senator Butch Miller Representative Katie Dempsey Senator Jeff Mullis Tuesday, February 20, 2018, Atlanta GA: Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia is proud to announce the winners of the Charlotte Wilen Advocate of the Year Award. We will be honoring three incredible lawmakers who made positive impact in the 2017 legislative session for maternal and infant health in Georgia. The Charlotte Wilen Maternal and Infant Health Advocate...


Keeping Current @ The Capitol: Week of February 12, 2018

HB 382 - Place the Georgia Commission on Women Under Department of Public Health (Jimmy Pruett, R-Eastman) This bill would place the Georgia Commission on Women (GCW) under the purview of the Department of Public Health. The Georgia General Assembly along with Gov. Zell Miller created the GCW in 1992. The mission of the Commission is to advise appointing officers and look at how laws affect women in Georgia and their families. ONGOING UPDATES SB 344 - Legal Sale of...

Author: Advocacy Committee


HMHB Publishes 2018-2021 Strategic Plan to Address Infant Mortality

February 7, 2018 - Atlanta, GA Yesterday, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia released the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan to Address Infant Mortality in the Atlanta Perinatal Region (APR). In 2016, the Georgia Department of Public Health announced their project, Building Capacity to Address Infant Mortality in Georgia: A Collaborative Mini-Grant Program. Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia was one of five community-based partners to be awarded a grant through this initiative, specifically to address infant mortality rates in...


Keeping Current @ The Capitol: Week of February 6, 2018

Keeping Current @ the Capitol: The Advocacy Bulletin for Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia Legislative Calendar 2018 The schedule for the remainder of the legislative session has been set. Crossover day - the day that legislation must move from one chamber to the other in order to be considered in 2018 - will fall on February 28. Sine Die - the last day of session - will fall on March 29. The legislature will be in session Monday-Thursday...

Author: Advocacy Committee


Keeping Current @ the Capitol Week of January 29, 2018

Keeping Current @ the Capitol: The Advocacy Bulletin for Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia And We're Back! After a very short week due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and three consecutive days of State closure, the Georgia General Assembly went back in session on Monday, January 22. Budget hearings for State agencies, including the Department of Community Health, were held on Monday and Tuesday of last week. See below for updates on items active or filed...


Building Perinatal Support Professionals Project

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia is excited to announce the Building Perinatal Support Professionals Project (BPSP). This project seeks to increase the number of qualified perinatal support professionals serving communities most at risk for poor birth outcomes in Georgia. Through funding by United Way of Greater Atlanta, the BPSP Project will provide scholarship and support for a cohort of 20 women to receive credentialing as certified doulas or childbirth educators. Recent research has demonstrated that doula-assisted mothers were...

Author: HMHB


ACTION ALERT: Save PeachCare for Kids!

For the past 20 years, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has been popular on both sides of the aisle for its funding of health insurance for children from low- and middle-income families. But this year, Congress let funding for CHIP lapse as it concentrated on passing the tax reform bill. CHIP covers almost 9 million children nationally. Through PeachCare, the program covers around 177,000 children in Georgia. Federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (which includes PeachCare) expired...

Author: HMHB


Charles Johnson to Receive Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Charles Johnson to Receive Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award on Monday Dublin, Georgia - October 20, 2017 - On Monday, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia ("HMHB") will present the 2017 Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award to Charles Johnson, son of Judge Glenda Hatchett, for his work to address maternal mortality through policy change. After the sudden passing of his wife Kira due to complications following a routine scheduled C-section, Charles has dedicated his life mission to launching...


Dental Care During Pregnancy

During pregnancy women are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease affects the gums and it can be associated with low birth weight and/or preterm birth. The National Institute for Health Care Management reports that, “pre-term birth rate was 42% higher for babies birthed by women who did not receive dental care during pregnancy and low birth weight was 33% higher.” It is recommended that pregnant women receive a routine dental examination because the mouth is affected...

Author: Shannon Tedder


Fifth Annual Golf Tournament Winners!

Stockbridge, Georgia - October 5, 2017 -   On Monday, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia ("HMHB") held it's Fifth Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Eagle's Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, GA. "This has been a wonderful event for HMHB and we are so happy to have partnered with Georgia's business and health communities to make the Tournament a success each year," shared Tournament Founder and HMHB Board Member, Shawn Smith. "We are thankful to our many sponsors, volunteers and partners,...


Achieving Maternal Health Equity in the Debate for Health Reform

Major parts of healthcare legislation have been under debate by the U.S. Senate to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and restructure Medicaid. The plan to repeal the ACA raises concerns as it will most likely affect low-income and middle-income Americans. Among those that will take a major hit by these changes are women who may lose access to comprehensive services and experience a rise in premiums, gaps in coverage for basic preventative services, and other essential benefits. At a...

Author: Diana Garcia


Resources for Future International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs)

An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a healthcare professional that works to support mothers and their babies have the most successful breastfeeding experience possible An IBCLC is the “only internationally certified healthcare professional in the clinical management of breastfeeding and human lactation.1” Additionally, the utilization of an IBCLC has been shown to significantly improve breastfeeding outcomes and lower health costs1. There are several paths to becoming an IBCLC that all involve developing a strong background in the health...

Author: Emma Waugh


2017 Legislative Session Wrap Up

Sine Die was March 31, 2017 - Here's What Happened: Please note that, while uncommon, all passed bills are subject to veto by the Governor. For the last legislative session, for example, there were 16 vetoes by the Governor. The Governor has 40 days to sign or veto legislation after the session ends. If he fails to sign or veto, the bill then becomes law on the effective date as established in the bill (which is typically July 1 of...

Author: HMHB Public Affairs Committee


The Affordable Care Act, Pregnancy Care, Women’s Health and You

Passed in 2012, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought about many changes to healthcare in the U.S., including what services are available to pregnant women. The U.S. healthcare system includes a complex web of providers, patients and payers that can be quite confusing. The ACA—a 1,000+ page document is also quite complex and it can be difficult to understand exactly how it impacts you. Before looking further into what the ACA does for pregnant women, it is important to note...

Author: Emma Waugh


Three GA Legislators Awarded the Charlotte Wilen Maternal & Infant Health Advocates of the Year Award

Atlanta, Georgia - March 1, 2017 - Last week, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia presented the 2016 Charlotte Wilen Maternal & Infant Health Advocate of the Year Award to three Georgia legislators for their integral work to support the passage of House Bill 649, the Georgia Lactation Consultant Practice Act. "This law will increase access to clinical care for thousands of Georgia's breastfeeding mothers and babies, increase initiation and duration rates of breastfeeding, and save the state significant...


Breastmilk shown to significantly reduce the risk of infants developing Celiac disease

Breastmilk has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of an infant developing celiac disease, a gastrointestinal condition characterized by gluten intolerance that affects an estimated 3 million Americans.1 Research published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) shows that “there is a reduction of 52% in the risk of developing celiac disease in infants who were breastfed at the time of gluten exposure.”2 In other words, this research shows that to reduce the risk of developing celiac disease, breast...

Author: Merrilee Gober, RN, BSN, JD


Tobacco, pregnancy, and the costs of cigarettes

Pregnant women who smoke increase the risk of poor birth outcomes for themselves and their babies. These risks include placental abruptions, low birthweight babies, small for gestational age babies, oral clefts, and certain heart defects.1 Georgia birth certificates show that about 6% of mothers smoke during pregnancy. However, due to the stigma associated with smoking during pregnancy, one study has found that many women falsely deny that they smoke.   Research from Ohio found that only about half of the smoking...

Author: Merrilee Gober, RN, BSN, JD


How can the flu shot benefit pregnant women?

Every year thousands of people die from the flu, and pregnant women are in the “high-risk” category. A healthy pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized for the flu is 18-fold greater than for a healthy non-pregnant woman.1 Physicians recommend the flu shot for pregnant women during all trimesters.2 Studies have shown that, overall, pregnant women who get the flu shot have better birth outcomes. The flu shot is associated with a decrease in the risk of stillbirth, prematurity, and small...

Author: Merrilee Gober, RN, BSN, JD


2016 State of the State of Maternal & Infant Health in Georgia Report Published

Atlanta, Georgia – September 29, 2016 – Today, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (“HMHB”) publishes their second State of the State of Maternal & Infant Health in Georgia report. As a service to many interested private and public stakeholders, HMHB has summarized pertinent health data in the following areas: prenatal care, fetal mortality, live births, premature and low birthweight babies, infant mortality, maternal disease, maternal obesity, maternal use of alcohol and illicit drugs, maternal mortality, postpartum visits, perinatal...


HMHB Hosts 4th Annual Golf Tournament at Hamilton Mill Golf Club

Dacula, Georgia – September 13, 2016 – Yesterday, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (“HMHB”) held its 4th Annual Golf Tournament at Hamilton Mill Golf Club. HMHB is proud to announce the following winners from the Tournament: 1st Place: Eric Rowell, Keith Vickers, Chad Johnson and Les Campbell representing Help a Child Smile Mobile Dentistry Men’s Longest Drive: Kyle Holder, Northside Hospital and Health System Women’s Longest Drive: Bridget Green, Northside Hospital and Health System Men’s Closes to the...


Georgia Becomes Second State in Nation to License Lactation Consultants

Atlanta, Georgia – May 2, 2016 – Governor Nathan Deal has signed into law HB 649, the Georgia Lactation Consultant Practice Act, making Georgia the second state, after Rhode Island, to license lactation consultants. Federal law requires coverage for lactation services, but many insurance companies will only pay for the services of licensed healthcare professionals. Lack of insurance reimbursement has made clinical breastfeeding care prohibitively expensive for many. “We are grateful to Representative Sharon Cooper for working tirelessly to pass...


Aetna Receives Corporate Stewardship Award for Efforts to Promote Oral Health During Pregnancy

Atlanta, Georgia – October 6, 2015 – Today, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (“HMHB”) presents Aetna with the organization’s first ever Corporate Stewardship Award to recognize efforts in promoting dental health during pregnancy. Aetna’s Dental/Medical Integration Program supported the work of Dr. Mary Lee Conicella and her research to link the reduction of risk of preterm birth with preventative dental care. Over 175 nurses, WIC peer counselors, social workers, providers and other birth support professionals were in attendance...