Great Start Communications Bulletin (8.14.2017)


Parent Liaison Leadership – PPC Refresher
Several Parent Liaisons have recently inquired about attending the “Parents Partnering for Change” (PPC) training a second time.  While participation in the training is only available to newly hired Liaisons and lead parents serving on the GSC (who have not taken the training previously), we are happy to announce that we will be conducting two live webinars, one on August 30 and one on September 14 that will serve as a ‘refresher course’!

You can find out more and register for these webinars on the Great Start Network site, within the “Collaborative and Coalitions” landing page.  Please contact Michele Chenier at if you have any questions!

August Statewide Gathering 
Thank you to everyone who participated in the statewide gathering on August 8! There were 149 people who attended! We’d also like to thank the Great Start Collaborative and Great Start Parent Coalition staff who presented during morning break-out sessions. The presentations and handouts from those sessions, as well as the afternoon presentations, are uploaded to the Great Start Network site under “Documents” in the folder entitled “Statewide Convening – August 8, 2017”.

Participating in Webinars
Are you feeling unsure about how to use webinar technology?  That’s okay – click here to watch a short video that supports you in actively and comfortably participating in a live webinar.  Also, feel free to reach out to the TA staff with your questions, so that we can help set you up for webinar success!


FY18 32p Application Webinar 
The FY18 32p application is now ready to complete on the Great Start Network site!  Rachel Mellema and Holly Wingard have recorded a webinar that walks you through how to access and complete the application and what the requirements are from MDE-OGS. Please remember that the application is due in MEGS+ no later than September 15, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rachel at the Office of Great Start or us!

Explaining the Application Process for Child Care Subsidy
One of the new required activities in the FY18 32p application for outcome 3 is:

In collaboration and coordination with the GSPC, develop and implement strategies and opportunities to increase families’ knowledge, understanding and/or utilization of childcare subsidy, high quality childcare options within their community, and GSQ.

To support you in this activity we are re-posting the link to a great webinar that explains how parents can apply for CDC subsidy. This webinar is also posted on the GSN site for future reference.


New Paper: 5 Step Guide to Developing a Common Agenda
The next paper in the Tamarack Institute’s Community Change Institute series is available now. Written by Paul Born, President of Tamarack Institute, this paper is a 5 Step Guide to developing a common agenda for collective impact.

Building a common agenda is fundamental to all community change requiring a collective impact. It is, however, one of the most difficult phases of a community change process, and if done incorrectly will cripple effectiveness as a community moves to implement its collective impact plan.

Most of the literature written on collective impact is “idea-based” rather than as a “how-to” guide for good reason. Complex community change work is so context-specific that we cannot be prescriptive in how things are done. But on the flip side, we can learn so much from experiencing how someone else has tackled a problem, so Paul has written this paper as a “how-to” guide so that you can learn from his methods in order to create your own.

To learn more about the Community Change Institute, click here.


Rural Strategies for Implementing the Resource Builder Model
August 17, 12 – 1 p.m., EST with Kay Balcer
Rural Michigan – where many families go to play, relax, and enjoy the beauty of the Great Lakes. Unfortunately, the tranquil rural setting in many rural communities’ masks deep and rooted problems related to poverty. Join the Harbor Beach Community Hospital as it shares its journey in using the Bridges Out of Poverty Resource Builder Model to address social determinants of health. The presenter will share how she started the initiative, lessons she has learned, unique rural challenges faced by the team, two-year evaluation results of the initiative, and future plans for sustainability. Participants will learn how smaller communities can work within rural constraints to implement various components of the aha! Process Resource Builder Model. Register here.

Central Michigan University ACE’s Study
Ellen Brandell (an undergraduate Honors student) and her mentor, Dr. Tierney Popp – both from Central Michigan University – are working on a study to understand how pediatricians and pediatric Physician Assistants (PAs) in rural areas of Michigan screen for Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs). This study involves distributing a brief web-based survey to pediatricians and PAs in Mid, Northern, and Upper Michigan. Questions will include demographic information (e.g., how many years practicing medicine, type of practitioner), familiarity with the literature and recommendations on ACEs, current screening practices including questions about follow-up to any screenings conducted, and perceived barriers to conducting screenings.

We could use your help! We are looking for ways to connect with these providers and increase the chances that they would take the time to complete our survey. If you are interested in helping us reach providers in your area, or have suggestions on effective ways to reach out and/or increase participation, please contact Dr. Tierney Popp at, or 989-774-7608. Please use the same contact information for any questions as well.


SAVE THE DATE: Infant Mortality Reduction Plan – Community of Practice Webinar
The Communities of Practice Webinars, sponsored by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, provide opportunities for collective learning and continuous improvement to improve birth outcomes. These webinars will provide a forum for discussion about best practices and community efforts for each goal in the Infant Mortality Reduction Plan.

Next Webinar: September 13, 2017, from 1 – 2 p.m.
GOAL 7: Support Better Health Status of Women and Girls
TOPIC: Reproductive Life Plans

To participate on the date/time of the webinar, click here (no need to pre-register.) If joining only by phone, dial one of the numbers listed below. When prompted, enter the meeting access code: 9192610#

FREE Breastfeeding Webinar Series: NEXT WEBINAR August 15, 1 – 2 p.m. – Clinical Safe Sleep 
Marji Cyrul, the MDHHS Breastfeeding Coordinator will explain how Michigan is combining breastfeeding and bed sharing research into their education of health professionals. Barb Himes, Program Director for First Candle/SIDS Alliance, will clarify the changes in the AAP 2016 statement and the conversational approach to education. Marji and Barb will role-play practical talking points for families such as inadequate milk supply, how to soothe a fussy baby, how to get a good night’s rest with the baby sleeping in your room, and what to do if you keep falling asleep while feeding your baby.

Register Here

Breastfeeding education webinars cover a clinical or community topic each month and are presented by breastfeeding experts. The webinar event offers CERPs each month and continuing education for nurses on months with a clinical topic. A certificate of attendance is provided each month for dietitians and social workers. Please note that the webinar needs to be watched in ‘real time’ in order to receive CERPs or continuing education credit.

Webinars are free of charge and offered the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 1- 2 p.m. To view upcoming webinars or past webinars, click here.

Car Seat Safety and Michigan Law
Although parents everywhere know they must have car seats for their young children, the requirements, recommendations and laws can be very confusing. There are three sets of information parents must filter: state laws, car seat directions and best practice recommendations.  For the most up-to-date information regarding rear-facing child restraints, check out the attached article by Carrie Shrier, at Michigan State University Extension.


Fostering Friendship to Support Social-Emotional Learning in Early Childhood Programs
“You can’t come to my birthday party!” “He’s not my friend anymore.” These are popular refrains in preschool classrooms, and encouraging friendships in the classroom can be a big task! This eye-opening webinar, presented by social emotional development expert Lindsay Giroux, will provide early childhood administrators and teachers with strategies for planning thoughtful social skills instruction. You will leave this webinar ready to build children’s friendship toolboxes and support teachers as they build friendship-centric culture in their classrooms. We will explore ways to coach teachers to reflect and implement friendship skill instruction in the classroom.

August 16, 2017 – 2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.


MiAEYC Infant/Toddler Conference
On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (MiAEYC) will be hosting their annual Infant/Toddler Conference at the Edward Hotel and Conference Center in Dearborn, MI. Currently, MiAEYC is accepting proposals for workshops that are focused on the birth to three age range. To find more information about this conference or to submit a proposal, please visit the MiAEYC website . The link to submit a proposal is on the right side of the website, directly above the picture of a young child.