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Meet the Fellows
  • Representative Karilyn Brown, Arkansas
  • Representative Megan Godfrey, Arkansas
  • Representative Emily Sirota, Colorado
  • Representative Melissa Minor-Brown, Delaware
  • Representative Dee Morikawa, Hawaii
  • Representative Adrian Tam, Hawaii
  • Representative Ann Meyer, Iowa
  • Representative Norma Kirk-McCormick, Kentucky
  • Representative Denise Tepler, Maine
  • Representative Mike Freiberg, Minnesota
  • Representative Mary Caferro, Montana
  • Representative Kimberly Rice, New Hampshire
  • Assemblymember Shanique Speight, New Jersey 
  • Representative Marilyn Stark, Oklahoma
  • Representative John Talley, Oklahoma
  • Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell, Rhode Island
  • Representative John Edwards, Rhode Island
  • Senator Janelle Sarauw, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Representative Candice Pierucci, Utah
  • Representative Susan Pulsipher, Utah
  • Senator Emily Randall, Washington
  • Senator T'wina Nobles, Washington
  • Senator Joan Ballweg, Wisconsin
  • Delegate Matthew Rohrbach, West Virginia

Kickoff Meeting
Friday, January 21, 2022 (times listed in Mountain Time)

11:00 a.m. - Noon

Welcome and Overview
This session will welcome the third class of MCH Fellows with an overview of the program and introductions of the Fellows.

Khanh Nguyen, project manager, NCSL
Michael Sauter, public health analyst, Maternal and Child Health Bureau | Powerpoint | PDF file-6 pages

Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Maternal and Child Mental Health
This session will offer expert discussion on the pressing issue of maternal and children’s mental health. Speakers will present resources and an overview of systems of support available to children and families.

Moderator: Erik Skinner, policy associate, NCSL

Christina Cutshaw, Ph.D., assistant professor of practice, University of Arizona College of Public Health | Powerpoint | PDF file-24 pages
Marian Earls, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics, University of North Carolina Medical School | Powerpoint | PDF file-12 pages
Tammy Jo Hill, policy specialist, NCSL | Powerpoint | PDF file-6 pages

Legislative Respondents

1:00 - 1:15 p.m.


1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

Working with State Health Departments on Maternal and Child Health
This session will highlight the federal-state MCH framework and partnerships. A Title V Director, or MCH Director, will join the fellows for in-depth discussions directly on their work related to maternal and child health.

Moderator: Khanh Nguyen, NCSL

Sanaa Akbarali, senior director, Maternal and Infant Health, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials | Powerpoint | PDF file-8 pages
Lisa Asare, assistant commissioner, Family Health Services, New Jersey Department of Health | Powerpoint | PDF file-4 pages
Patricia Tarango, bureau chief, Women’s and Children’s Health, Arizona Department of Health Services | Powerpoint | PDF file-8 pages

2:15 - 2:30 p.m.

Action Planning and Debrief

2:30 p.m.


Saturday, January 22, 2022 (times listed in Mountain Time)

11:00 - 11:05 a.m.

Program staff will welcome Fellows to the second day of programming and the join sessions as well as provide an overview of the agenda.

11:05 - 11:45 a.m.

Joint Session with Opioid Fellows: Suicide Prevention
The Opioid Policy Fellows and Maternal and Child Health Fellows will learn about the rise in deaths by suicide since 1999. Fellows will learn about suicide prevention efforts broadly.

Moderator: Charlie Severance-Medaris, senior policy specialist, NCSL

Speaker: John Draper, executive director, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline | Powerpoint | PDF file-26 pages

Legislative Respondents

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Joint Session with Opioid Fellows: Adverse Childhood Experiences
The Opioid Policy Fellows and Maternal and Child Health Fellows will learn about and discuss Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how these early experiences intersect with the issues and populations of focus for the Fellows programs. The session will provide the opportunity for discussing solutions and sharing state strategies.

Moderator: Gabrielle Scarlett, policy analyst, NCSL

Kelly Crane, state policy specialist, Prevent Child Abuse America | Powerpoint | PDF file-23 pages
Claire Louge, executive director, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona

Legislative Respondents

12:30 - 12:45 p.m.

Joint Networking

12:45 - 1:00 p.m.


1:00 - 2:05 p.m.

Maternal and Infant Mortality
A panel of national experts will share their knowledge on best practices to address maternal and infant mortality. Topics will include state infant and maternal mortality review committees, Medicaid coverage, workforce and related prevention efforts.

Moderator: Khanh Nguyen, project manager, NCSL

Estrellita “Lo” Berry, president and CEO, REACHUP, Inc. | Powerpoint | PDF file-7 pages
Amy Mullenix, senior collaboration manager, National Maternal Child Health Workforce Development Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Powerpoint | PDF file-10 pages
Julie Zaharatos, public health advisor, Maternal Mortality Prevention Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Powerpoint | PDF file-18 pages

Legislative Respondents

2:05 - 2:25 p.m.

Putting It All Together: Group Debrief and Action Planning
Fellows will work in teams to network, reflect on the MCH issues discussed over the course of the meeting and create action plans.

2:25 - 2:30 p.m.

Wrap Up and Next Steps
NCSL will discuss topics for upcoming events and offer ongoing support.

Khanh Nguyen, project manager, NCSL

Please note that the dates and on-site format of the 2022 Legislative Staff Management Institute are subject to change, based on evolving university restrictions on in-person gatherings and uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

This program is intended for both senior-level legislative staff, as well as staffers on their way to such positions. Acceptance is competitive as the program size is limited. The 2022 LSMI application closed on May 13, 2022. Applications for the 2023 program will open in early March 2023.

Second Meeting – Denver, CO
Saturday, June 4, 2022 (times listed in Mountain Time)

9:00 - 10 a.m.

Welcome and Fellows Networking

10 - 10:45 a.m.

Federal MCH Policy and Leveraging Federal Resources for MCH
This session will provide an overview of NCSL’s federal advocacy work related to health policy, recent federal MCH legislation and what this may mean for state policymakers, and innovative ways states have used federal funding for MCH programs.

Kate Blackman, director, NCSL Health Program | Powerpoint | PDF file-6 pages
Stacy Collins, associate director of health systems transformation, AMCHP | Powerpoint | PDF file-20 pages

10:45 - 11 a.m.


11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Supporting Children with Special Health Care Needs
This session will highlight trends in newborn screening programs and services for children and youth with special health care needs. Experts and Fellows will discuss options for state leaders to consider as it relates to screening, treatment and support for children and families.

Don Bailey, PhD, distinguished fellow, RTI Center for Newborn Screening, Ethics, and Disability Studies | Powerpoint | PDF file-16 pages
Marcus Allen, MPH, program director of CYSHCN, Virginia Department of Health | Powerpoint | PDF file-10 pages

12:15 - 1:30 p.m.

Joint Lunch Session with Opioid Policy Fellows: Access to Care and Treatment for Pregnant Women in Correctional Settings
This session will introduce Fellows to current policy trends regarding care and treatment options for pregnant women in correctional settings.Topics covered will include labor and delivery and medication for opioid use disorder.

Kate Bryan, policy analyst, NCSL Criminal and Civil Justice Program | Powerpoint | PDF file-20 pages
Senator Whitney Westerfield, Kentucky

1:30 - 2 p.m. Optional Fitness Break

2 - 3:15 p.m.

Cross-Sector Collaborations to Address Maternal Mortality
This session will explore innovative initiatives and partnerships to address maternal mortality and morbidity in Colorado and Louisiana.

Amanda Brunson, special projects officer, Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services | Powerpoint | PDF file-15 pages
Tewabetch Negatu, PhD, program manager, Louisiana Department of Health
Christina Yebuah, MPH, MPA, maternal health manager, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment | Powerpoint | PDF file-20 pages

3:15 - 3:25 p.m.


3:25 - 3:45 p.m.

Networking Activity

4 - 4:45 p.m.

Joint Session with Opioid Policy Fellows: Using Data Metrics to Understand Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
This session will highlight newly developed core metrics for opioid use disorder treatment at the local level. Fellows will have an opportunity to engage with speakers on the development and use of these metrics as it relates to policy considerations for increasing access to treatment and continuity of care.

Jane Koppelman, senior officer, Substance Use Prevention and Treatment, Pew Charitable Trusts | Powerpoint | PDF file-25 pages

5 - 7 p.m.

Reception and Dinner

Sunday, June 5, 202 (times listed in Mountain Time)

9 - 10 a.m.

Improving Access to Maternal Health Care in Rural Communities
This session will include information on accessing maternity care in rural counties.

Khanh Nguyen and Emily Blanford, NCSL Health Program | Powerpoint | PDF file-9 pages

Legislative Respondents

10 - 10:15 a.m.


10:15 - 11:30 a.m.

Evidence-Based and Innovative Policy Solutions for the Early Years
This session will highlight strategies and policy options for improving health and well-being during the prenatal to early childhood timeframe. State legislators will learn about the infrastructure and evidence behind home visiting and early care and education programs as well as policy options to improve these programs for young children and mothers.

Alison May, policy specialist, NCSL Children and Families Program | Powerpoint | PDF file-12 pages
Pamela Buckley, PhD, principal investigator, Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development | Powerpoint | PDF file-32 pages

11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Putting It All Together: Group Debrief and Action Planning

12:15 - 1:30 p.m.

Joint Lunch with Opioid Policy Fellows: Table Discussions

1:30 - 2 p.m.



Webinar 1: Child Nutrition

Friday, March 4, 2022
1 - 2 p.m. EST

Nutritious food helps children grow up healthy and ready to learn and sets the stage for better lifetime health. Longstanding evidence documents the developmental and cognitive benefits of adequate nutrition. This webinar will highlight current trends in child nutrition, programs and services available to children and families. Speakers will also touch on state policy innovations, such as efforts to improve healthy food choices in schools and underserved communities, combat hunger, and support agricultural and retail sector efforts to distribute healthy foods.


Aida Miles, EdD, MMSc, RDN, associate professor of pediatrics, University of Alabama Birmingham’s Heersink School of Medicine | Powerpoint | PDF-23 pages

Erik Skinner, policy associate, NCSL Health Program | Powerpoint | PDF-16 slides

Sarah H. Gordon, PhD, assistant professor, Boston University | Powerpoint | PDF-14 slides

Webinar 2: Medicaid Strategies for Maternal and Child Health

Friday, April 29, 2022
2 - 3 p.m. EDT

Prior to the COVID pandemic, there was a growing gap in youth mental health services which has only been made worse, with significant increases in youth emergency department visits due to mental health reasons. Schools in partnership with Medicaid programs can play a key role in addressing this gap. This webinar will highlight strategies for states to leverage their Medicaid programs in schools to address youth mental health needs.

In addition, many states have been working to address maternal mortality rates through extending Medicaid postpartum coverage from 60 days to one full year. Over half the states are pursuing this extension option, but how can states get the most out of extended coverage? This webinar will discuss the variety in Medicaid postpartum services and provide an overview of policy options available to states.


Andra Wilkinson, PhD, research scientist, Child Trends | Powerpoint | PDF-16 slides

Sarah H. Gordon, PhD, assistant professor, Boston University | Powerpoint | PDF-14 slides

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