Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced nearly $2.4 million in awards to Ohio to support the White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, a whole-of-government strategy to combat maternal mortality and improve maternal health, particularly in underserved communities.
The United States’ maternal mortality rate has been among the highest of any developed nation in recent decades. Disparities in mortality are stark – Black women are more than three times as likely as White women to die from pregnancy-related causes. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to reversing these trends and making the U.S. the best country in the world to have a baby.
“At the Health Resources and Services Administration, we are laser-focused on reversing this crisis by expanding access to maternal care, growing the maternal care workforce, supporting moms experiencing maternal depression, and addressing the important social supports that are vital to safe pregnancies” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “We know it will take a sustained approach to reduce and eliminate maternal health disparities and we are committed to this work.”
Today’s HRSA funding awards in Ohio will support the key goals of the Administration’s White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis and the work of leaders throughout Ohio. This federal investment includes:
* Expand access to maternal health care: HRSA is investing $1,500,000 to establish maternal health task forces with a focus on innovation and implementing strategies to improve maternal health service delivery, such as sending mobile health units to areas with fewer maternal health providers and ensuring more hospitals have equipment and safety protocols in place to save lives during delivery.
* Build birthing facilities’ capacity to reduce maternal death and severe illness: HRSA is investing $200,000 to implement “patient safety bundles” in birthing facilities through the HRSA-funded Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) program, which aims to improve the quality of care by addressing critical issues such as obstetric hemorrhage, severe hypertension, and care for those with substance use disorder.
* Support mothers and their families with Medicaid eligibility redeterminations: HRSA is investing $170,233 to help new mothers and their families navigate the Medicaid redetermination process associated with the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
* Invest in maternal health research: HRSA is investing $483,400 to establish a new research network that will support minority serving institutions of higher learning to study the disparities in maternal health outcomes and identify effective methods and strategies for addressing them.