Show Your Love

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Show Your Love is a campaign designed to improve the health of women and babies by promoting preconception health and healthcare. Office Chief for Women’s Health at Arizona Department of Health Services, Toni Means, talks about the campaign.

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In Tucson the border with Mexico is often on the minds of residents, but in realty it's 70 miles away. However, in places like Nogales, Douglas and Naco, the distance to the border is not measured in miles but often in feet. Residents of Cochise County recently gathered in Douglas to listen to government auditors and others about the effectiveness of the border patrol. After the presentation, not everyone was impressed.

Same line of speech they have been for 20 years, nothing ever changes.

On southern Arizona ranches and in border towns, the border and immigrants be they legal or illegal are part of daily life. Sue cents grew up ranching in Cochise County. Two years ago her husband rob was killed on their ranch. Some speculated that the murderer was an illegal border crosser, but today authorities have not named a suspect, so there is no definitive answer for that. Despite that incident, she still understands the polite of the border crosser.

We understand that it's cold out there and they might be hungry. We understand that. In fact we have one guy that, you know, he finally got his papers. He buys liquid seeds and owns property up here by the hospital. His kids went to Cochise college.

dealing with illegal border crossers on private land causes problems for landowners when it comes to jurisdiction.

what happens is the sheriff's department can't come and help you if you have illegals on your property. You have to call the border patrol. So if the border patrol is stressed and the sheriff can't help you, what do you do?

Arizona residents who can see Mexico from their yards have mixed feelings about the border patrol. They won't want agents necessarily traversing their property however they do want the illegal crossings dealt with.

The border patrol is not on border. It's like always somebody else's fault.

We still have a long way to go, but this bipartisan blueprint is a major breakthrough.

the many gracious reform legislation proposed by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators includes a role for border residents. It says the legislation will create a committee of local officials and bored are residents to monitor the progress of securing our border and to make a recommendation regarding when the bill's security measures outlined in the legislation are completed. So in the eyes of those who live on the bored wear does a secure border look like?

My home has been burglarized multiple times. I have had vehicles stolen. Cash, guns. My neighbors murdered. I have -- there's more dope today than three years ago. When that goes away the bored letter be secure.

it's my honor to introduce Congressman Ron Barber. [applause]

Southern Arizona Congressman Ron Barber was holding town halls in places as members of the Senate were introducing their reform plan. He was there to listen to border residents and says input from them is critical.

I agree that we need to have stakeholders helping define not just define but tell us when we have made progress. In addition I want the Department of Homeland Security to be able to say what they have done to implement more secure bored were the billions of dollars they have been given over the last several years.

for some the definition of a secure border is a simple one.

We as American citizens and people in Arizona deserve to live free and safe on our own property in our own homes.

the fight over immigration reform and border security are just beginning the nation's capitol. It was 2007 the last time Congress tried to pass an immigration reform bill. At the time it had the backing of powerful leaders from both sides of the political aisle including Senator John Mccain and the late Senator Edward Kennedy, as well as president George W. Bush. That proposal failed. NO VIDEO

Jose Cardenas: Show your love is a national initiative to educate women and couples on the importance of pre-conception health. We'll talk to the chief of women's health in a moment. First here's a video showing one aspect of the show your love campaign.

Video: Me have another baby? I'm not ready. No. I'm making sure to use birth control correctly until Juan and I are ready for more children. I have machine hands full with Rosa. She's 17 months old and really active. The doctor said we should wait at least 18 months before getting pregnant again but I would like to wait a little longer. My doctor reminded me I needed to take good care of myself so I can keep up with her. He told me to keep eating healthy and stay physically active and take a multi-vitamin with folic acid every day. He said don't smoke or use illegal drugs and no more than one alcohol drink a day. But I know when we start trying to get pregnant again I can't drink alcohol at all. I have diabetes and need to keep my blood sugar under control, especially before getting pregnant again. If I don't, it can affect my health and the health of my next baby. So I make regular doctor visits so keep a close watch on that. Rosa gets her vaccinations and so do I. I want to be as healthy I can so I can keep up with this little one. [speaking in foreign language] for more information about your pre-conception health and steps you can take, talk with your doctor and learn more at this website. It's important for you and your family.

Jose Cardenas: And joining me to talk about the show your love campaign and what is being done in Arizona is Toni Means, Office Chief For Arizona Department of Health Services. Welcome to Horizonte.

Toni Means: Thanks for having me.

Jose Cardenas: We have heard for years how critically important prenatal health care is. Why this emphasis going further?

Toni Means: Prenatal care is important. It gives doctors an opportunity to detect and treat any problems early in the pregnancy. But what we know is that the mother's health long before she even thinks she might become pregnant is more important because any birth defects or problems occur in the fourth to 10th week of gestation. For a lot of women they are not even aware that they are pregnant. So if she's healthy before she thinks she will have a baby she has a better chance of having a healthier baby. In addition, if you get nine months of prenatal care are not enough to undo a lifetime of poor health decisions, so if she comes into the pregnancy smoking, the child could be born smaller. Especially if she continues to smoke. So the mother's health is critically important to helping improve birth out comes. Every low birth weight or health problem won't be eliminated but it will be reduced as moms become healthier as they enter pregnancy.

Jose Cardenas: Tell us about this particular initiative. It's being promoted by the Centers for Disease Control. How are they then coordinating with people at the state level such as yourself?

Toni Means: The CDC has a consumer work group. Different representatives from various states serve on the group. Participated in the development of the campaign. It's now our job then to take that information and to get it out to our constituents, our citizens, so that they can increase awareness about pre-conception health in our own state. The campaign is supposed last at least through May. We'll tweak it based on how it's received in our state, and then they will launch again in 2014.

Jose Cardenas: What will your department do in particular to help promote this campaign?

Toni Means: Well, we promote pre-conception health and have for about five years with a pre-conception health task force we have Arizona materials, media website targeting african-americans, and we will also work with our partners on getting information and the products available through the show your love to different counties and different individuals who work with women of child bearing age.

Jose Cardenas: How does this particular program from the federal government assist your efforts as you noted?

Toni Means: It's actually really great. We now have a unified message where each state before was developing their own campaign. They are good campaigns. But we now have a national recognition if someone sees as logo for pre-conception health hopefully they will understand what that is. In addition they provide us with resources we can share such as posters, radio PSAs, pod casts, video you just saw there, then health check lists so women can identify any health issues that they may need to address before they get pregnant.

Jose Cardenas: I have seen others that were shown to me. This one was bilingual.

Toni Means: right.

Jose Cardenas: Are there any Spanish materials for monolingual Spanish speak centers.

Toni Means: Each are available, one for consume the, one for a single woman who does not want to become pregnant, one for just any woman, then the one you just saw. Each are available in Spanish or English. In addition, the check lists will be available in Spanish as well, and the department is going to translate some of the posters into Spanish.

Jose Cardenas: Why would it be important for somebody who isn't planning to become pregnant to pay attention to this? I assume there are things that happen, but are you really going to be communicating with them? Are they going to be paying attention?

Toni Means: The campaign has two messages. One is show your love to your baby before it's born by becoming healthy yourself. The other message for those like you refer to saying I'm not having a child is show your love because it enhances your life and you can fulfill your dreams and wishes. The reality too is about half of pregnancies aren't planned, so if you go into a pregnancy even though it's unplanned as healthy as possible you increase the chances of having a healthier baby.

Jose Cardenas: We talked off camera, and we noted this program is aimed particularly at women but you said your department also makes efforts to educate men about the importance of their health in terms of pro creation.

Toni Means: Men have an important role in terms of they can assist the woman becoming healthy. One of the videos shows the man walking with the woman to encourage her and meeting with the doctor to talk about their family health issues. Their health behaviors, studies show if men smoke, do drugs it can affect the quality and mobility of their sperm. In addition depending on their career field, if they work in mines, if they work with car batteries, radiators, a number of fields where they use toxic chemicals, if the man comes into the home without removing his clothes prior to going in he can bring the expose his children as well as his wife to those chemicals, which can be harmful.

Jose Cardenas: We're almost out of time. We had the website address on the screen a moment ago. What kinds of things will people find there that would be of help in dealing with these issues?

Toni Means: They will find checklists, information for men and women, about what they can do to become healthy. Pre-conception health is a general wellness approach so that it talks about nutrition, physical activity, mental wellness, and domestic abuse in terms of what you can do to improve your health over all. There's a number of resources for men and women at the site.

Jose Cardenas: Also bilingual?

Toni Means: Yes.

Jose Cardenas: Thank you so much for coming on our show to discuss this important program. We'll have you back to discuss it as the campaign goes on.

Toni Means: Thanks for helping spread the message.

Jose Cardenas: That is our show for tonight. From all of us at Horizonte, I'm Jose Cardenas. Have a good evening.

Toni Means:Office Chief for Women's Health, Arizona Department of Health Services;

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