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News From Public Health


SUMMER, 2003


The State Perinatal Program expanded its capacity over the past year by creating staff positions for each of the five perinatal regions across the state, with the purpose of strengthening Alabama's statewide perinatal system.

Regional Perinatal Coordinators are housed in the state's five regional perinatal referral hospitals. On-going activities include:

  • Coordinating the five Regional Perinatal Advisory Councils
  • Conducting quarterly continuing education and networking programs for maternal-infant nurse managers in each region
  • Supervising fetal and infant mortality review projects
  • Promoting perinatal advocacy through interaction with civic groups and health councils
  • Fostering collaboration between the regional High Risk Infant Follow-up and Tracking Clinics and the Alabama Early Intervention System

Contact Gene Hamrick, R.N., Ed.D. State Perinatal Program Director, at (334) 206-2928 or e-mail [email protected]


This has been a very exciting and productive year for the Alabama's Listening, Universal Hearing Screening Program.

  • Fifty-eight of the 59 birthing facilities in Alabama have voluntarily implemented universal newborn hearing screening programs.
  • A tracking system now in place is designed to follow infants who miss or do not pass the initial screening and ensure they receive appropriate follow-up evaluations in a timely manner.
  • The tracking system also follows infants who have risk indicators for late onset or progressive hearing loss.
  • The goals of this program are based on 1-3-6 guidelines recommended by The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing Year 2000 Position Statement, which are:
  • Rescreen by 1 month
  • Diagnosis by 3 months
  • Intervention by 6 months

Contact Melissa Tucker, Au.D. CCC-A, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Coordinator, at (334) 206-2944 or e-mail [email protected]


The Alabama WIC Program will recognize Breastfeeding Awareness Month during August. The theme for this year is: Breastfeeding - It's Too Important Not To.

The Alabama Breastfeeding Coalition will develop and distribute breastfeeding information to all delivery hospitals throughout the state. This information can be used to promote breastfeeding in the hospital, clinic, and community. Each WIC clinic will also receive a packet of breastfeeding information.

If you have questions or would like to receive a packet to promote breastfeeding in your office or hospital, please contact Michelle Grainger via e-mail at [email protected] or call (334) 206-5673.

Alabama Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Project (ACLPPP)

  • ACLPPP promotes prevention of childhood lead poisoning by educating physicians and the public about common lead hazards.

  • Lead poisoning can seriously hamper a child's mental development.

  • We educate parents to adopt lead safe practices in their diet and house keeping.

  • Children living in older housing are at a greater risk of lead exposure. Alabama has a Statewide Screening Plan that advises physicians to screen all one to two year old children living in older houses.

For additional information, Christopher Sellers, MPH, can be reached at (334) 206-2966.

Healthy Childcare Alabama

  • Healthy Child Care Alabama (HCCA) provides assistance to childcare providers and families of young children (up to five years of age) in the form of on-site health and safety education/information, referrals to health, educational and support services, assistance with the concerns of developmentally delayed and special health care needs children, and advocacy for quality childcare in Alabama.

With the employment of the eighth nurse consultant, HCCA will be serving 45 counties.

  • During the 2001-2002-contract year, over 2,800 contacts were made with childcare providers, children and their families:
    • Visits made to child care sites for programs and consultations: 393
    • Referrals made to supportive services for child/family: 645
    • Providers attending Health and Safety Trainings: 562
    • Children attending Health and Safety Programs: 1130
    • Trainings and consults with providers and parents regarding children
      with special health care needs: 165

Healthy Child Care Alabama Coordinator, Sharis LeMay, RN, can be reached at