As HHS recognizes Black Maternal Health Week, these funds will help improve maternal health and reduce health disparities.
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced approximately $16 million to strengthen Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Programs through seven awards supporting eight states. These awards will advance data and technology innovations to support positive maternal and child health outcomes in states and communities, and focus on addressing health disparities. This announcement comes as the Biden-Harris Administration recognizes Black Maternal Health Week, which takes place this year from April 11 –17, 2022. The Administration has championed policies to improve maternal health and equity and addressing the maternal mortality and morbidity crisis.
“No parent should have to suffer without the necessary support to keep themselves and their families healthy,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “As we recognize Black Maternal Health Week, we are strengthening our Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program to better connect families to the services they need, while making more funding available for states to develop and implement proven strategies that will help close maternal health disparities. this investment further demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s deep commitment to improving health equity and access to care for all parents and children.”
“American Rescue Plan funding is helping us improve voluntary home visiting programs that can be a lifeline for parents and families in communities across the country that need support,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “By supporting better data, technology improvements, and workforce training, these resources will help connect families with the services they need at a time when too many families are grappling with the impact of the pandemic on their health and well-being.”
In addition, HRSA is announcing the availability of up to $9 million through the State Maternal Health Innovation and Data Capacity Program to expand the State Maternal Health Innovation and Implementation Program. This program supports state-level development and implementation of proven strategies to improve maternal health and address maternal health disparities. The new funding will continue to build state capacity to deliver high-quality maternity care services, provide training for maternal care clinicians, and enhance the quality of state-level maternal health data through better collection, reporting and analysis. The program will fund up to nine cooperative agreements, and each will receive up to $1 million over five years.
The MIECHV Innovation awards announced today fall into two categories. Approximately $8 million in American Rescue Plan funding will support four states (Arkansas, Iowa, Virginia, and Oklahoma) in developing data and technology approaches that specifically address the impact of COVID-19 on individuals who are pregnant. These awards will support new systems to connect families impacted by the pandemic with critical social supports, provide home visitors with tailored professional development, and address workforce issues exacerbated by the pandemic.
HRSA will also award an additional approximately $8 million to four other states (Delaware, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and West Virginia) to develop data and technology approaches that improve delivery of home visiting services. These approaches include developing centralized intake systems to refer families to services and then follow up on those referrals, and developing data dashboards to assist in reporting data by race, ethnicity, language and gender.
The combined $16 million from these awards will address social and structural determinants of health, and help reduce disparities in health care access and health outcomes. At a national level, over a quarter of MIECHV participants served in FY2021 identified as Black or African American (27.2%).This investment will continue to strengthen evidence-based home visiting services and advance create greater health equity among diverse populations.
The MIECHV Program is administered by HRSA and funds states, territories, and tribal entities to develop and implement evidence-based, voluntary programs that best meet the needs of their communities. Families choose to participate in home visiting programs and partner with health, social services, and child development professionals whoprovide resources, support and skills to help families and children be physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to succeed.
Today’s announcements are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to promote maternal health, and builds upon $82 million in American Rescue Plan funds to expand home visiting assistance for families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2021, and the $40 million in American Rescue Plan funds that were distributed in May 2021.
See the list of MIECHV Innovation awardees.
See the latest White House Fact Sheet on Additional Actions in Response to Vice President Harris’s Call to Action on Maternal Health.