November 05, 2019
Lamaze 2019 Advocacy Initiatives Set Stage for the 2020 Advocacy Summit
By: Molly Giammarco | 0 Comments
In accordance with Lamaze International’s 2019-2021 strategic plan, Lamaze volunteers and government relations staff developed new advocacy initiatives and goals to further promote and acquire data around childbirth education (CBE). Much of these efforts are long-term—and still in the works, but much has happened on these initiatives in just a few short months. Lamaze policy and government relations staff have some exciting updates to share and hope they encourage you to get involved locally, within your state, and on the federal level as the momentum around improved maternal health outcomes increases.
To support its growing advocacy platform, Lamaze launched the Advocacy + Collaboration (A+C) Committee earlier this year to help navigate, develop, and monitor state, federal, and local advocacy efforts related to CBE. The timing for this new Committee is perfect as discussions around improving maternal and childbirth outcomes continue to gain momentum among communities, clinicians, and all levels of government.
This movement creates many new opportunities for Lamaze advocacy. Led by Jill Wodnick, the A+C Committee is developing a toolkit to help advance state and local maternal and child health priorities, integrate CBE into state Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Programs funding, and further engage health departments, perinatal collaboratives.
The A+C Committee’s initiatives complement the Lamaze Research Working Group, which helps develop Lamaze International’s short- and long-term research strategies. Led by Jennifer Vanderlaan, the Working Group oversees Lamaze research grant opportunities, identifies research-funding sources, and facilitates partnerships with individual and group CBE researchers.
Collectively, the A+C Committee and Research Working Group continue to shape Lamaze International’s short- and long-term advocacy and research strategies, and this close collaboration will help streamline and advance efforts to gather and use data to inform local, state, and federal policy and practice.
To help Lamaze insert CBE into conversations around maternal health and childbirth outcomes, these groups are developing two white papers 1) The Impact of Childbirth Education; and 2) Making Education a Part of Shared Decision Making that Lamaze and its members can use to make the case for CBE. Keep an eye out for these papers in late spring 2020.
The white papers coincide with another advocacy initiative that Lamaze is busy planning, the 2020 Childbirth Education Advocacy Summit. Lamaze will again host an Advocacy Summit May 18-19, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The Summit will include a pre-event webinar, speakers and training sessions around Lamaze advocacy initiatives and grassroots strategy, as well as a day on Capitol Hill where participants will meet with advocate for CBE in public policy initiatives. The Summit will equip participants with more skills to advocate on the federal, state, and community levels, as well as the professional level. This acquired or honed skillset coincides with Lamaze initiatives to further insert CBE into discussions around improved maternal and childbirth outcomes.
As these discussions continue to gain momentum on every level of government, it is critical that CBE be a part of the conversation. Educators are natural advocates and can remind colleagues, providers, and policy makers that CBE can help bring awareness and knowledge to the birthing process that can save lives and support healthy birth.
Lamaze held its inaugural advocacy summit in October 2017, where close to 100 professionals educated and made the case for CBE to Congressional lawmakers. Summit participants also voiced their support for several bills that sought to improve maternal and childbirth outcomes, as well as address maternal mortality. The Lamaze policy and government relations team continues to monitor bills relating to maternal health and childbirth outcomes. Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis of these bills in the coming weeks.
About Molly Giammarco
Molly Giammarco has consulted for professional healthcare associations for more than eight years. As Lamaze International’s Senior Manager for Policy & Government Relations, Molly monitors legislation regulations related to maternal and child health, as well as advises the Lamaze Advocacy + Collaboration Committee.
Molly received her undergraduate degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and her master’s degree in public policy from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.
TagsLamaze International Molly Giammarco Jill Wodnick Jennifer Vanderlaan Advocacy & Collaboration Committee Title V Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block G