We are ready to move forward with our next steps in working together as a region to improve the health of women of childbearing age in the South. To make this happen we need YOUR help. First, if you are interested in learning more about the ideas shared during the March 2, 2010 meeting, you can access a complete summary of the notes at http://www.everywomannc.org/ – click on programs and plans. Or you can just link to it by clicking here. http://www.mombaby.org/index.php?c=3&s=10082
One activity that was universally endorsed was compiling and sharing information with each other about programs, campaigns, and products being developed and underway in our region. To that end we are putting the finishing touches on the first version of our Region IV Preconception Compendium. We acknowledge that this will be incomplete as there is much activity underway in the South. But it will be a good place to start. We hope to find interium funding to develop a more interactive database via a new website in the future.
Our next immediate action steps for the consortium are to a) develop a purpose statement and talking points and b) develop grant proposals and acquire funding for our next phase of work. As such we are seeking some good volunteers to help us move this forward. Both workgroups will be short term commitments. If you are interested in either area please email Sarah Verbiest at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 919-843-7865.
Next steps for states include finding a home for their preconception health state team and then identifying leadership and reaching out to connect people in their state who are providing some kind of preconception / well woman outreach and services. If you are from Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina or Tennessee and would like to get involved, let Sarah know and she’ll connect you. State teams have also commited to sending in additional information about preconception related activities in their states for the compendium mentioned above.
We also agreed that we will schedule a series of webinars – open to anyone in the southern region – that will feature the work of colleagues within the eight states. The first webinar will take place in June and will showcase our talking points and purpose as well as an update on national preconception activities that are of interest to the south. Two other webinars – possibly featuring work on folic acid and interconception health – will take place during the summer / early fall. These will be free – stay tuned for more details.
Our next posting will feature some ideas / tips about pulling together a preconception consortium. Please send us your thoughts and comments!