HHS announces $ 350 million to strengthen maternal and child health across the country

As part of the administration’s commitment to improve maternal health, investments will support families, resolve disparities and increase the availability of doulas.

Today, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced nearly $ 350 million in rewards to states across the country to support safe pregnancies and healthy babies. The funding will expand home visiting services to families most in need, improve access to doulas, address health disparities in child mortality and improve reporting of mortality data. kindergarten. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provided these funds.

“As a father, I know there is nothing more important than the health and well-being of mother and baby,” said Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Social Services. “These investments are part of the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to promote maternal and child health and ensure equitable access to affordable, quality health care for families in our country. Together, all of the programs we fund today will help families get a better, healthier start.

Maternal mortality rates in the United States are among the highest in the developed world, and they are particularly high among black women and Native American women, regardless of their income or education level. The actions announced today are part of the critical work this administration is doing to address the crisis in maternal health, reduce disparities in maternal and child health, and address systemic racism and other factors that have plagued them. allowed these inequalities to exist.

“We know that many mothers and their children do not receive the care they need to stay healthy throughout their lives,” said Diana Espinosa, Acting Administrator of HRSA. “These programs allow us to better address the root causes of these challenges and improve access to care for pregnant women, parents and infants.

HRSA is making these key investments through the following maternal and child health programs:

  • Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV): The MIECHV program provides $ 342 million in funding to 56 states, jurisdictions, and non-profit organizations. Building on the $ 40 million emergency home visiting funds granted as part of the US bailout in May 2021, these funds will help communities deliver essential services. Home visitors provide pregnancy education, parenting skills training, and even donate supplies like diapers, wipes, and hand sanitizers. They also help families find food, shelter and other support services. Decades of scientific research show that home visiting programs are effective, evidence-based programs that make a difference for the families and communities they serve.

  • The Healthy Start Initiative: The Healthy Start Initiative supports communities where the infant mortality rate is 1.5 times the national average. By working with women during pregnancy and after childbirth, these projects help reduce infant mortality and serious maternal illnesses. Each Healthy Start project has a community action network made up of neighborhood residents, community leaders, consumers, health and social service providers, religious leaders, and business representatives who are most familiar with the needs of the community. their community. This additional funding supports in particular:

    • Community Doulas: More than $ 3 million in additional funding has been provided to 25 Healthy Start grant recipients to increase the availability of doulas. The funding will cover the costs of training, certifying and compensating the doulas. Research shows that doulas promote better health outcomes.

    • Child Health Equity: More than $ 1.6 million in additional funding awarded to 21 Healthy Start grant recipients to help reduce child mortality disparities in regional areas with the highest number of deaths of non-Hispanic black infants or of non-Hispanic / Alaskan Native Americans. Winners will use the funding to create local action plans with data-driven policies and strategies. These plans will incorporate feedback from community members, consumers and participants tailored to the unique needs of their populations. These strategies are expected to go beyond the medical drivers of health outcomes to address conditions that affect child mortality disparities in their countries, such as poverty, education, housing and nutrition.

    • State Systems Development Initiative (SSDI): Additional funding of approximately $ 600,000 has been provided to 10 grantees already participating in the SSDI program. The additional funding will increase the capacity of states and jurisdictions to collect and report timely and high-quality maternal health data to support health care quality improvement activities, with an emphasis on the collection and use of data on race, ethnicity and social determinants of health.

For a list of MIECHV laureates, visit: https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/home-visiting/fy21-awards.

For a list of Healthy Start winners, visit: https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/healthy-start/fy21-awards.

For a list of SSDI winners, visit: https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/systems-development-fy21-awards.

Learn more about HRSA’s Home Visiting Program, Healthy Start Initiative, SSDI, and AIM Program.

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