MARCH 29, 2023
Modern WIC Act Reintroduced

Yesterday, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) reintroduced the bipartisan MODERN WIC Act and the WIC Healthy Beginnings Act. The MODERN WIC Act would provide permanent remote service options for WIC participants. The Healthy Beginnings Act would create a centralized resource at USDA for information about WIC infant formula contracts to urge increased transparency during the bidding process. Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) will introduce companion legislation in the House. 
USDA Letter Outlines Toll of Proposed Budget Cuts
In response to calls from House Republicans to reduce federal spending, a letter from USDA outlined the ways in which WIC services would suffer under a return to 2022 funding levels, including potential for the return of waiting lists that could leave nearly 250,000 participants without access to WIC services. The National WIC Association urges against such reductions in federal spending and calls for $6.3 billion in fiscal year 2024 spending to support WIC’s expected 6.5 million participants. 
CA Health Workforce Data 
Our health care workforce, like many industries, is undergoing challenges. A number of strategies are underway to understand and address how to maintain a robust workforce that serves the needs of patients. The California Dept. of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI), collects data and disseminates information about California's healthcare infrastructure, promoting an equitably distributed healthcare workforce, and publishing valuable information about healthcare outcomes. Just released is this annual report to the legislature, from the HCAI, Health Workforce Research Data Center.
Keep Your Medi-Cal 
With the end of the COVID pandemic, renewal of Medi-Cal health plan membership will be re-evaluated. It is important that members keep their contact information up-to-date to aid in renewing health plan membership. Resources are available from CA Dept. of Health Care Services (DHCS), such as this easy link to update contact information. Other resources are available from DHCS for organizations including to be Coverage Ambassadors and also materials to get word out to keep contact information updated with health plans. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Wash DC), provides this fact sheet on Medicaid unwinding specifically for WIC staff.
CWA Annual Conference is Around the Corner!

We look forward to welcoming participants to CWA’s 31st Conference and Trade Show, and spending a few days together, learning about and diving into topics that address key health, justice and leadership challenges and opportunities that make for successful WIC programs and public health leaders. The substantive agenda features state and national experts addressing Embracing Opportunity and Health for Children and Families. Shout out to exhibitors and sponsors, key partners for WIC’s success. There is still a bit of time to register. As with all CWA conferences, supporting employee wellness will be part of each day and come ready for some fun.
WIC Healthcare Summit

Last week, CWA, in partnership with Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) and BluePath Health, sponsored, Harnessing the Power of WIC: Advancing California’s Health System Reforms, a summit to discuss and plan for WIC as a key partner in improving health outcomes. Many thanks to everyone for contributing to a very substantive agenda. Our state leaders acknowledged the value of California WIC in these historic efforts, WIC local agency staff and partners provided examples of local data linkages and workforce collaborations, and partners and attendees engaged in enthusiastic dialogue, and committed to next steps.
FDA OKs Pfizer’s Bivalent COVID-19 Booster for Young Children
The has FDA expanded its emergency use authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to include infants and toddlers who have previously received three monovalent vaccine doses.

U.S. Maternal Deaths Rose Dramatically in 2021
In 2021, the CDC reported that the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. increased 40% from the previous year. The U.S. rate for 2021 was 32.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, which is more than ten times the estimated rates of some other high income countries, and it was 69.9 per 100,000 for Black women, which is 2.6 times higher than the rate for white women.
Air Pollution Raises Risk for First-Year ED Visits
The risk of an ED visit, especially respiratory-related visits, in infants during their first year of life increased with increasing air pollution exposure, and infants were most at risk during their fourth and fifth months of life, according to new research.

California Enters a Contract to Make its Own Affordable Insulin
Governor Newsom has announced a new contract with nonprofit Civica Rx, to create a new line of insulin and bring down the costs. Once the medicines are approved by the FDA, Civica — under the 10-year agreement with the state worth $50 million — will start making the new CalRx insulins later this year. The state-label insulins will cost no more than $30 per 10 milliliter vial, and no more than $55 for a box of five pre-filled pen cartridges — for both insured and uninsured patients, and will be available nationwide.

3 Ways to Measure Wellness, Without Focusing on Weight
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. But too often, the only measurement people use to evaluate their progress is their weight, which is not the most accurate metric to assess fitness and can be emotionally fraught. Check out several expert-recommended ways to gauge your fitness without stepping on a scale.
Public Counsel’s Women & Girls’ Rights Project’s upcoming training, Pregnancy and Parenting at Work & On Campus, Apr 4, 2023 05:30 PM PST

Global Breastfeeding Collective "USA Launch: The 2023 Lancet Series on Breastfeeding," Tuesday, April 18, at 11 a.m. ET

Communications Resources for the California Prenatal Screening Program - Social Media Toolkit includes social media messages, links to the program website, which has videos (in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese) and program materials in six languages.
UC Davis Maternal & Child Nutrition Graduate Program

There is still time to apply to the UC Davis Master of Advanced Study in Maternal and Child Nutrition, starting this fall.

By providing an inclusive, learner-centered education, this unique program is focused on training graduate students for careers in public health and building their strong scientific background. Graduates of the program have moved on to positions as WIC directors, hospital dietitians, lactation consultants, or have pursued medical school.

You’ll have the flexibility of working while in the part-time program or even participating via broadcast, providing greater access to internationally-recognized leaders and opportunities to advance your career.

The next application deadline is April 15. Don’t miss an opportunity to be a part of this impactful program. Learn more.
Tax Credits & Tax Preparation Assistance
Throughout California, millions of people are working hard to make life better for themselves and their families. The California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is still going strong and, as always, the federal EITC and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are programs that in 2016 lifted an estimated 6.5 million people out of poverty, including 3.3 million children. WIC Can Help by informing participants about their eligibility for various tax credits, and referring to local free tax preparation services.
Support CWA online!
As a nonprofit membership organization, CWA relies on the contributions of many organizations and individuals to help us achieve our mission. There are many ways to give of your time, talents, or resources to help CWA promote healthy families, strong communities, and bright futures! We appreciate all forms of support and invite you to join us!
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