180223 Improving Healthy Weight in Women: Lessons from a National Collaborative of State/Local Teams

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 1:30 PM

Stacey Cunningham, MSW, MPH , Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Washington, DC
Sara I. Fahey, MPH , Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Washington, DC
Brenda Thompson, MPH , Department of Pediatrics-UNMC, CityMatCH and the Section on Child Health Policy, Omaha, NE

The Women's Health Partnership (WHP), a joint initiative of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and CityMatCH promotes state and local MCH capacity for improving women's health before, during and after pregnancy. Initial efforts of the WHP focused on the importance of healthy weight as a component of preconception health. To address this issue an Action Learning Collaborative (ALC) of eight city/state teams was convened from October 2006-April 2007.


Establish and strengthen multidisciplinary partnerships, implement evidence-based strategies and increase capacity at the local, state and national level to promote healthy weight as a component of women's reproductive health.


1) Face-to-face meetings with all eight teams; 2) tailored resources for teams; and, 3) technical assistance between teams and from national experts.


Teams established effective multidisciplinary partnerships which crossed municipality lines. This collaboration allowed teams to develop diverse strategies such as community nutrition assessments and health care provider trainings. Several teams conducted focus groups to develop tailored messages for women, and teams worked together at face-to-face meetings to develop messages for policy makers, health care providers, and public health professionals.

By the end of the ALC period, teams had developed unique strategies aimed at promoting a healthy weight in women of reproductive age. Each team reported that the multidisciplinary approach and partnerships between the state and local public health systems not only benefited the work they were doing for the ALC, but also led to collaboration on other on-going projects and initiatives.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the processes used by CityMatCH and AMCHP to create state:local collaborations 2. Recognize results of state:local teamsí partnerships 3. List barriers to state:local collaboration 4. Identify lessons learned of state:local collaborative teams

Keywords: Collaboration, Health Departments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: of my professional and educational background in women's health and nutrition as well as the fact that I serve as the director of the program/project that is being presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.