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2 min read

News: $65 Million Awarded for Maternal Services By HHS Department

News: $65 Million Awarded for Maternal Services By HHS Department

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced a $65 million investment to address the maternal health crisis in the United States, particularly in underserved communities. This initiative is part of a larger effort to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates, improve access to care for pregnant women in low-income areas, and provide an innovative approach to maternal healthcare.

Maternal health is an important issue that affects not only the mother’s life but also the lives of her children. Access to quality healthcare during pregnancy can have a significant impact on the health of both mother and baby. The HHS initiative, conducted through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), seeks to address this issue by providing funding for programs that focus on reducing disparities in access to care, improving outcomes for mothers and infants, and increasing awareness about the importance of maternal health in underserved communities. These funds are allocated across 35 HRSA-funded health centers across the nation to serve this end. According to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, this program will "help ensure healthier pregnancy and postpartum outcomes for all and help address health disparities among women of color and women in rural and medically underserved areas.”

These healthcare centers, part of HRSA’s Health Center Program, is a pillar of care to those who are uninsured; enrolled in Medicaid; living in rural, remote, or underserved areas; struggling to afford their health insurance co-pays; experiencing homelessness; residing in public housing; or otherwise having difficulty finding a doctor or paying for the cost of care. But in cases of maternal care, problems are compounded for African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native women by them being two to three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than White women. That's what this $65 million award seeks to address.

The goal of this award is to invest in programs that focus on reducing disparities in access to care, improve outcomes for mothers and infants, and increase awareness about the importance of maternal health. HRSA-funded health centers provide essential prenatal care to nearly 550,000 people a year in communities at higher risk of pregnancy-related deaths and health center providers deliver more than 160,000 babies annually. Health centers will use this funding to develop patient-centered models of care delivery that address the clinical and health-related social needs of their patients at highest risk of maternal morbidity and mortality. Innovative approaches that will be supported by this funding include offering bilingual doula services, leveraging health technology to reach rural patients, and providing culturally aware mental and behavioral health care for pregnant women and their families.

 

Conclusion

The HHS initiative is an important step towards addressing the growing maternal health crisis in the United States by providing funding for programs that focus on reducing disparities in access to care, improving outcomes for mothers and infants, and increasing awareness about the importance of maternal health, especially in underserved communities. By investing in these initiatives now, HHS through HRSA can ensure that all pregnant women have access to quality healthcare throughout their pregnancies so they can give birth safely without fear of complications or long-term effects on their own or their baby’s health down the road.

Sources

 

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