Healthy Living

  • Breaking Barriers to Healthy Birth Spacing in Underserved Populations

    Posted October 18, 2016 by Elizabeth Barker

    For women who have recently given birth, waiting at least 18 months before becoming pregnant again is essential as it allows the body much-needed time to recover and heal. Longer intervals between pregnancies also mean better birth outcomes and healthier babies. While there is no consensus on optimal interpregnancy interval, research shows that short intervals of less than 18 months and intervals longer than 60 months are associated with poor health outcomes.

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  • Missouri is Bringing Risk Appropriate Care to its Moms and Babies

    Posted September 20, 2016 by Josh Grant

    Missouri aims to move the state’s hospitals away from self-designation for levels of risk appropriate care to better support perinatal regionalization—the idea that a system exists to designate where babies are born or transferred according to the level of care they need at birth—and improve health outcomes for moms and babies.

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  • Community Health Workers Provide a Safety Net for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease

    Posted September 15, 2016 by Sonya Spillmann, RN

    Increasing the number of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) who receive regular care from knowledgeable providers is one of the three main goals of the Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Demonstration Program (SCDTDP), for which NICHQ is the national coordinating center. But what happens to patients with SCD who have trouble initiating or remaining in treatment? Through the SCDTDP, community health workers (CHWs) are a critical layer of support for these at-risk patients.

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  • How Asking One Key Question Helps Moms and Healthcare Providers Prepare for Pregnancy

    Posted September 13, 2016 by Josh Grant

    A healthy pregnancy starts before conception, but almost half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. This increases the risk of poor outcomes for both moms and babies. Planning can help women better prepare themselves for pregnancy, and it all starts with a single question from their doctors: Would you like to become pregnant in the next year? The One Key Question® (OKQ) initiative from the Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health (OFRH) encourages healthcare providers to ask every woman this specific question because it changes the context of other health factors.

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  • Innovations and Inspirations for Improving Children's Health: September 2016

    Posted September 01, 2016 by Josh Grant

    Across the United States, organizations and government agencies are creating new approaches to improve children’s health. Because we support innovation for helping children lead healthier lives, we’ve highlighted some of the most exciting initiatives we’ve seen in the last few weeks. Read on to learn how some groups are addressing critical health needs.

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  • Improving Provider Education on Sickle Cell Solutions

    Posted July 06, 2016 by Elizabeth Barker

    For the estimated 100,000 Americans diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD), a medication called hydroxyurea (HU) can protect against pain outbreaks, lessen the need for blood transfusions and even reduce mortality. But while HU is the only drug approved by the FDA for preventing SCD-related complications, only 42 percent of adults with SCD were taking HU in 2014.

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  • NICHQ’s Sickle Cell Work Highlighted in Special Supplement to AJPM

    Posted June 16, 2016 by Cindy Hutter

    Two articles related to NICHQ’s portfolio of sickle cell projects are featured in a special sickle cell supplement of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine out today, in advance of World Sickle Cell Day June 19.

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  • Boxing Out Unsafe Sleep Practices for Babies

    Posted May 10, 2016 by Josh Grant

    In the 1930s, Finland’s infant mortality rate reached 65 deaths per 1,000 live births, leading to the 1938 introduction of baby boxes—kits that include a mattress, bedding, diapers, a box that serves as a crib and other necessities. By 2015, that rate had dwindled to an estimated 2.52 deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2014, there were 3,500 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the United States, 25 percent of which were caused by accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed. Learning from Finland’s success, organizations in the U.S. are beginning to offer their own baby boxes to new families.

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  • Healthy Weight Initiative Thrives By Focusing on Healthy Lifestyles, Not Weight

    Posted March 22, 2016 by Cindy Hutter

    Through a Healthy Weight Initiative at the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, well over 200 kids have learned about monitoring sleep routines, fruit and veggie intake, screen time, physical activity and sweetened beverages. It’s a focus on healthier lifestyles and better choices, not weight loss, which is helping kids and families to see results.

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  • Breaking the Food Reward Chain

    Posted March 20, 2014 by Cindy Hutter, MBA

    If we really want to improve children’s health, we need to focus not just on improving the quality of care children receive when they go to the doctor’s office; we need to change all influences that affect a child’s health. This includes modeling and practicing healthy behaviors at home, in school and in the community.

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  • Have We Turned the Tide on Childhood Obesity?

    Posted March 04, 2014 by Shikha Anand, MD, MPH

    If you’ve read anything about obesity in the lay press over the past week, you already know that there has been a decline in the prevalence of obesity in American preschoolers.This news is both exhilarating and anxiety provoking. Celebrating too early could distract from the fact that there is so much more work to be done, especially for our most vulnerable children.

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  • Taking a Bite Out of Mixed Food Messaging

    Posted February 20, 2014 by Cindy Hutter, MBA

    When I first saw McDonald’s Olympic themed advertising that shows Olympians biting their metals contrasted with good looking, fit, young adults biting into chicken nuggets with the tagline, “The greatest victories are celebrated with a bite,” the marketing professional in me thought that was very clever. The parent and healthcare professional in me were horrified.

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  • Bravo CVS! Now It’s Time for More Health Advocates (You) to Step Up

    Posted February 05, 2014 by Cindy Hutter, MBA

    Just as peer pressure is what gets many young people to start smoking, peer pressure is what it is going to take to get other cigarette retailers to stop. Let’s start loading on the pressure.

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  • Beyond Bullying

    Posted January 10, 2014 by Tom Dahlborg, MSM

    Now that I have the opportunity to work for a quality improvement organization with a vision of ensuring each child achieves his or her optimal health, and to process this information through the lens of my own experiences (personal and professional), my heart still breaks for those children harmed by bullying…AND I see great opportunities for improvement.

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