Focus on Data: The State Public Health Autism Resource Center

March 28, 2013

AMCHP's mission is to support state maternal and child health programs by providing national leadership on issues affecting woman and children. In support of this mission, the State Public Health Autism Resource Center (SPHARC) ushered in 2013 with a vast array of presentations, webinars and technical assistance programs designed to aid and assist ASD/DD grantees.

Preparing ASD/DD Grantees to Address Emerging MCH Data Issues:

On January 16, 2013, SPHARC sponsored a teleconference entitled, "Let's talk about Data!" The teleconference was designed to engage ASD/DD Grantees in a collaborative learning exploration session examining data and its use in grantee programs. Grantees discussed financing program evaluators, grant funding streams, whether their grant program was connected with a LEND program, state affiliate and /or a private consultant. ASD/DD Grantees also explored the type of data they were collecting, various methodologies of collection and the use of practice level data from state programs. The "Let's talk about Data" teleconference aligned with one of SPHARC's technical assistance goals, which is to aid, assist and inform grantees in identifying, collecting and evaluating data, so that ASD/DD grantees may increase their capacity to assess the impact of their pilots, programs and projects on systems of care for children with ASD/DD.

Building Capacity through Information Dissemination & Leadership Development:

AMCHP's State Public Health Autism Resource Center (SPHARC) featured a lively presentation at the 2013 AMCHP Annual Conference. On February 11, 2013, Three Autism Grantees presented, "The Role of Data in Building, Implementing and Evaluating Systems of Care for Children and Youth with ASD/DD: State Autism grantees who have used data in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of systems of care." The 75 minute session was moderated by HRSA's Deidre Washington-Jones and featured the states of Maryland, Maine and Utah. Meredith Pyle discussed Maryland's "needs assessment process" as a model of how to use data early in the process. Nancy Cronin discussed how the state of Maine has utilized data in building systems of care, and Judith Holt from Utah, discussed the use of data in program evaluation.

Enhancing MCH Skill/Competency Development: Engaging Audiences through Social Media:

In response to growing demand for information, on March 27, 2013, SPHARC sponsored a webinar entitled, "Social Media 101." The webinar was taught by an interdisciplinary team consisting of an On-line Media & Information Technology Manager, an Associate Director of a UCEDD, an ASD Grantee Co-Director/ Parent of a CYSHCN and an AMCHP Family Scholar. Julio Arguello, Jr., AMCHP's Online Media & Information Technology Program Manager began the interactive webinar by defining Social Media for participants and reviewing basic Facebook and Twitter terminology. Arguello then provided a virtual "hands on" opportunity for participants to learn (1) how to create profiles on Facebook, (2) how to create profiles on Twitter and (3) how to post content to Facebook and Twitter. Other featured presenters included, SPHARC ASD Grantees from Connecticut, Ann Gionet and Tierney Giannotti, who shared their Facebook page and discussed how their program has used social media to reach the local and worldwide community on ASD/DD issues, and AMCHP Family Scholar, Randi Cites, who discussed using Twitter to communicate.