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  4. Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services (DHSPS)

Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services (DHSPS)

Our division:

  • Aims to reduce the rates of infant death and promote positive maternal and women’s health outcomes
  • Has a special focus on reducing the differences in rates of death between racial and ethnic groups
  • Directs our interventions before, during, and after pregnancy to support healthy moms and babies

Key Accomplishments

Healthy Start Initiative

  • 101 Healthy Start awardees in community settings provide screening, parenting, and health education to participants. In 2019, awardees reported that:

    • 90% of participants did not smoke/use tobacco in their third trimester
    • 96% of participants were screened for depression
    • 86% of women participants attended a well-woman visit
    • 75% of infant participants were breastfed
    • 80% 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
  • In 2021, we expanded funding to support doulas in communities most in need

Screening and Treatment for Maternal Depression and Related Behavioral Disorders

  • Currently fund (FY2018-2022) seven state telehealth access programs offering psychiatric consultation, care coordination support, and training to health care providers to screen, assess, treat, and refer pregnant/postpartum women for behavioral health disorders
  • From May 2020 until October 2021, funded the Maternal Telehealth Access Project (MTAP): Collaboration and Innovation for Equity and Healthy Families
    • Provided mini-grants to 91 community-based organizations in 34 states and Puerto Rico. This work:

      • Increased access to telehealth services and supports
      • Trained providers on topics such as how to use and sustain telehealth technology/programs, and how to provide trauma-informed care
      • Developed a Telehealth Social Media Toolkit to educate pregnant women and new moms about telehealth in English and Spanish

Programs We Manage

We also coordinate this U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee:

Contact Us

Lee Wilson, M.A.

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