As CityMatCH member health departments strive to improve the overall health and well-being of urban women, children and families, they dedicate considerable effort to addressing the complex, multifaceted aspects of assuring urban adolescent health and well-being. Children and adolescents age 0-17 constitute one-fourth of the Nation’s population and while they are healthier than adults in general, from 13 to 23 percent experience special health care needs or chronic illnesses and disabilities.
“The city is grateful for the work all of you do on behalf of families all across America. We recognize that your diligence is needed now more than ever… especially as we live in a time when the number of uninsured Americans has reached the 45 million mark and still counting; and when the divide between rich and poor has reached unprecedented proportions and is still widening..."
Once a hot topic in the 1990’s, teen pregnancy has been supplanted by other pressing public health concerns: welfare reform in ‘96, bioterrorism in ‘01, obesity in ‘04, methamphetamines in ‘06, to name a few. However, while other issues take precedence, the United States continues to own one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world. Given this, policymakers, public health professionals and practitioners must ask, “What more can we and should we be doing to prevent teen pregnancy in local, urban MCH?”
Improvements in the overall health and well-being of urban women, children and families will not be fully achievable without a sustained organizational and personal commitment to undoing racism in all its manifestations. Several years ago, in response to research suggesting that racism and discrimination negatively impact health in at least three critical areas: health status, access to health care and quality of health services, CityMatCH embarked on a journey to build member knowledge and capacity in this area. (See page four)
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Associate Membership is free and open to persons with an interest in urban MCH.