Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    

Tennessee Celebrates Child Health Month


Governor Bill Lee has proclaimed October 2019 Child Health Month in Tennessee. Child Health Month is a time to celebrate and raise awareness around what Tennessee is doing to promote the health of our most important resource: Tennessee's children.

"Our work has always included a focus on protecting, promoting and improving the wellbeing of Tennessee children and encouraging a lifelong pursuit of healthy living," said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. "TDH is active in many areas in supporting children's health, but each of us has a role to play to help keep Tennessee children safe and thriving."

Protecting Infant Health TDH data show there were 38 fewer infant deaths in the state in 2018 than in 2017. Infant mortality is defined as the death of a child before his or her first birthday, and is an important marker for population health. Top causes of infant death in Tennessee include prematurity, birth defects and unsafe sleep. TDH has partnered with hospitals and community organizations to reduce the risks of infant deaths through promotion of safe sleep practices, preconception health, prenatal care and reduction of early elective deliveries.

TDH data also show a reduction in cases of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a condition in which a baby experiences withdrawal from a substance to which he or she was exposed during the mother's pregnancy. Tennessee became the first state to require reporting of NAS when TDH made NAS a reportable condition in 2013. In 2018, Tennessee saw the first decline in NAS since surveillance began. NAS cases decreased from 1,096 in 2017 to 927 in 2018. Learn more in the TDH NAS Surveillance Annual Report.

Preventing Childhood Trauma TDH is increasing efforts to prevent and reduce the impact of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, traumatic events that occur before age 18. ACEs include all types of abuse and neglect, parental mental illness, substance use, divorce, incarceration and domestic violence. Studies show a significant relationship between the number of ACEs a person experiences and a variety of negative outcomes in adulthood including poor physical and mental health, substance abuse and risky behaviors.

Recognizing that ACEs are not fate, TDH is working with partners to develop programs to prevent and mitigate ACEs by promoting safe and supportive environments for families through home visiting, family planning, WIC and training to develop trauma-informed approaches to programs and policies. TDH recently rolled out its new care coordination program Community Health Access and Navigation in Tennessee, or CHANT available to families through all county health departments. Learn more at

Supporting Healthy Habits A new report ranks Tennessee first in the nation for child care licensing regulations that support healthy weight practices. TDH partners with the Tennessee Department of Human Services on the Gold Sneaker Initiative to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity in early childhood by enhancing health and wellness policies for licensed childcare facilities across Tennessee. Gold Sneaker-recognized childcare facilities agree to provide increased physical activity and age-appropriate nutrition for the children in their care, as well as a tobacco-free campus. Learn more at

Preventing Smoke Exposure Exposure to secondhand smoke is a serious threat to a child's health. Adults who use tobacco products are encouraged to call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, a free service provided by the Tennessee Department of Health for personalized support for Tennesseans working to end their tobacco use. The QuitLine provides counseling and free nicotine replacement therapy to increase the chances of success. Get started by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visiting

Pregnant women can get specialized help in quitting smoking through the Baby and Me Tobacco Free program offered at all Tennessee county health departments. Participants earn vouchers for free diapers for each month they remain tobacco-free up to one year after their babies are born. Contact your local health department for information or visit to find a location.

Join TDH in celebrating Child Health Month! Visit the event calendar at to submit your event and find activities in your community. The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more about TDH services and programs at


Related Articles:

Recent Articles

AMA Supports Congress Providing Much-Needed Relief to Physicians Working Through the Pandemic

CHICAGO -- The American Medical Association (AMA) strongly supports provisions in the Continuing Resolution that will offer relief to hard-pressed physician practices. Revisions to the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments program (AAP) will help keep doors open during the pandemic and continue to offer patients access at this time.

Read More

AMA Releases 2021 CPT Code Set

New updates to medicine's common language reflect burden relief, COVID-19 testing and tech-enabled medical services

Read More

Council on Aging Offers Helpline, Resources for Healthcare Providers

COA offers a helpline and lifeline to providers, older adults, caregivers and family members trying to navigate services.

Read More

VUMC Launches Groundwork for Tennessee's First Federally Funded Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

Angela Jefferson, PhD, professor of Neurology and director of the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer's Center, has been awarded a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support establishment of an NIA-funded exploratory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).

Read More

From Pain Management to Pandemic: The Changing Face of Sports Medicine

New norms mean new routines and standards of care on and off the field.

Read More

Kids, Classrooms and COVID-19

Risk mitigation key as kids hit the classrooms.

Read More

Meharry, Wharton Partner on Dual Degree Program

Meharry Medical College and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania have partnered on a joint MD/PhD program.

Read More

Practice Management Q&A with NMGMA

NMGMA leaders answer questions about challenging practice management issues.

Read More

Physician Practice Leadership in a Post-COVID-19 Environment

COVID-19 has changed just about every aspect of daily life, including the way care is delivered. Looking toward a post-COVID landscape, practice leaders will need to reevaluate processes and assess the best way forward.

Read More

Economic Effect of COVID-19 Shutdowns & PPP Relief

A public health crisis, COVID-19 has also proven to be an economic crisis for practices and providers. For those receiving PPP relief, the path to forgiveness is coming into focus.

Read More

Email Print



Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: