- Leads and guides national efforts to improve the health outcomes of mothers and women
- Directs our work before, during, and after pregnancy to enhance the well-being of mothers and babies
- Focuses on reducing the differences in rates of death between racial and ethnic groups
Programs and initiatives
Programs we manage fall into seven categories:
- Direct service: Healthy Start, our largest initiative; Healthy Start Enhanced Program; Healthy Start Supplement: Community-Based Doulas; National Maternal Mental Health Hotline
- Quality improvement and guidelines: Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) Capacity; Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health Community Care Initiative (AIM-CCI); AIM Technical Assistance (TA) Center; Women’s Preventive Health Initiative (WPSI)
- Health care provider training and telehealth: Screening and Treatment for Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders (MMHSUD); Supporting Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Screening & Intervention Program (SASDSI)
- Support for state data and infrastructure: State Maternal Health Innovation Program (State MHI); State Maternal Health Innovation & Data Capacity Program; Integrated Maternal Health Services (IMHS); National Fetal, Infant and Child Death Review Center; Maternal and Infant Health Mapping Tool
- Policy and systems change for social determinants of health: Catalyst for Infant Health Equity
- Technical assistance: Supporting Healthy Start Performance Project (Healthy Start Technical Assistance and Support Center); Supporting Maternal Health Innovation Program (realized as the Maternal Health Learning and Innovation Center [MHLIC] Program)
- And we coordinate the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality (ACIMM) to support expert and partner engagement.
Key program accomplishments
Healthy Start initiative
- 101 Healthy Start awardees in community settings provide screening, parenting, and health education to birthing people, fathers/partners, infants, and children up to 18 months.
In 2021, awardees reported that:
- 91% of participants did not smoke/use tobacco in their third trimester
- 99% of participants were screened for depression
- 87% of women participants attended a well-woman visit
- 78% of infant participants were ever breastfed
- 84% of infant participants were placed to sleep following safe sleep practices
- Between April 2019 and March 2021, 93 Healthy Start sites hired 194 maternal health clinicians/providers to increase access to services and improve those services.
- As of June 2022, 173 individuals received doula training to increase the availability of doula services in Healthy Start service areas.
Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (now AIM Capacity in fiscal year 2023)
- As of February 2023, 1917 birthing facilities are participating in AIM to improve access to quality maternal health care through the development of patient safety bundles and resources.
Screening and Treatment for Maternal Depression and Related Behavioral Disorders
- For Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, the MDRDB program completed 1860 provider encounters to improve maternal mental health through consultation and care coordination support services for treatment and referral of pregnant and postpartum women with behavioral health conditions.
National Maternal Mental Health Hotline
- Since its launch on Mother’s Day 2022, the Hotline’s professional counselors have provided emotional support, resources, and referrals to almost 12,000 pregnant and postpartum individuals who struggled with mental health concerns, and their loved ones.
Lee Wilson, Director
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