Maternal and Child Health State Policy Collaborative Meeting

Oct. 2-4, 2019 | Westminster, Colo.


Meeting Objectives include:
  • To convene state teams of key health policymakers from the legislative and executive branches to gain an understanding of best practices and evidence-based interventions related to addressing substance use disorders among pregnant and breastfeeding women, substance exposed infants, mental health care for pregnant women and infant and maternal mortality rates.
  • To give state teams the opportunity to brainstorm ideas, and discuss with peers, effective ways to address these topics of concern and promote health within their states.
  • To facilitate development of collaborative action plants related to each state team’s identified priorities.

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Wednesday, Oct. 2

6:30 - 8 p.m.

Welcome Session –Overview and Setting the Stage: Current Considerations for State Policymaking Around Maternal and Child Health

The session will take place in the Lake House. Dinner will be served.'


Moderator: Tahra Johnson, program director, Public Health and Maternal & Child Health, NCSL | Powerpoint | PDF file-23 pages



Kelsi Feltz, public health analyst, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), US Department of Health and Human Services

Stacy Collins, associate director, Health Systems Transformation, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP)

Sanaa Akbarali, director, Family and Child Health, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (ASTHO)

Melissa Caminiti, project director, National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP)

Thursday, Oct. 3
9:45-11:35 a.m.

Addressing Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health Among the Maternal Population

This session will examine the challenges and successes of providing effective care and improving health outcomes for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Attendees will explore how states address mental health and substance use disorder for the maternal population. States face unique issues related to maternal health coverage, prevention and treatment and undertake a range of approaches to the issue(s).


Moderator: Tahra Johnson, program director, Public Health and Maternal & Child Health, NCSL



Sarah Davidon, director of research and child and adolescent strategy, Mental Health Colorado | Powerpoint | PDF file-14 pages

Mindy Klowden, consultant, former director of training and technical assistance, National Council for Behavioral Health

1 -2:15 p.m.

Medicaid Strategies to Improve Maternal and Infant Health

This session will highlight state Medicaid strategies that improve maternal and child health.



Emily Blanford, program principal, NCSL | Powerpoint | PDF file-33 pages

Carrie Hanlon, project director, NASHP

Susan Mathieu, program design section manager, Colorado Health Programs Office

2:15-3 p.m.

Addressing Substance Exposed Infants

This session will cover an overview of of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and outline legislative trends and successful state strategies to address substance exposed infants.   


Moderator: Tammy Jo Musgraves, NCSL



Jade Woodard, executive director, Illuminate Colorado, Colorado Chapter of the Drug Endangered Children

3-3:30 p.m.

Family Courts

This session will outline how the criminal justice system may utilize family courts, through the civil division, to address the stability of families and promote the interests of children.


Moderator: Kate Blackman, NCSL



Meghan McCann, senior policy specialist, Children and Families Program NCSL | Powerpoint | PDF file-13 pages

Friday, Oct. 4
8-8:20 a.m.

Addressing Infant and Maternal Mortality

This session will outline state efforts to reduce rates of infant and maternal mortality, as well as the accompanying racial disparities that have remained unchanged for six decades.


Moderator: Tahra Johnson, NCSL



Dr. Elliott Main, medical director and executive committee chair, California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative | Powerpoint | PDF file-43 pages

Dr. Veronica Gillispie, medical director, Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative and Pregnancy- Associated Mortality Review | Powerpoint | PDF file-22 pages

2 p.m.