Press Room

ASTHO Celebrates the 85th Anniversary of Title V

ARLINGTON, Va. (August 14, 2020)—Today, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) celebrates the 85th anniversary of the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant and the contributions of state and territorial maternal and child health programs to improve health of mothers, children, youth, and families. Since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935, Title V has been the only federal program focusing solely on maternal and child health. The Title V program provided some of the first federal dollars for state and territorial public health agencies and led to the creation of our nation’s state and territorial public health infrastructure.

ASTHO recognizes the contributions of the 59 state and jurisdiction maternal and child health programs and public health professionals that create a healthier nation for mothers, children, and families. “ASTHO leadership congratulates our Title V program staff and all who work to support maternal and child health in the nation,” says Rachel Levine, MD, ASTHO president and pediatrician. “We have made tremendous strides in maternal and child health outcomes and still have so much more to do. This milestone anniversary is a time to recommit to public health efforts to keep America’s families safe and healthy.”

“We thank our state and territorial health leaders for all they are doing for moms, babies, and families today, even in the midst of the global pandemic,” says Michael Fraser, CEO of ASTHO and former CEO of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. “Title V is leading in the areas of reducing infant mortality, addressing health disparities, and advancing the health of women across the lifecourse.”

Title V provides critical programs and services to our nation by:

  • Delivering direct healthcare services, including services for children and youth with special healthcare needs.
  • Providing enabling services such as outreach, transportation, and transition services and case coordination.
  • Offering population-based services like newborn screening.
  • Building infrastructure through evaluation, planning, quality assurance, and information systems for states and jurisdictions.

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ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.