New funding to advance the status of women’s preconception health across the U.S.
Just announced! Read full press release here.
The Center for Maternal and Infant Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC CMIH) received funding to advance the status of women’s preconception health, particularly for low-income women and women of color in some of the country’s most underserved communities.
This funding is one of four cooperative agreements awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau (HRSA MCHB) to a national coalition supported by UNC CMIH, the National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC).
Supported by HRSA MCHB’s Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network on Infant Mortality (IM CoIIN) initiative, this Preconception CoIIN team will develop, implement, and disseminate a woman-centered, clinician-engaged, community-supported approach to the well-woman visit.
With this funding, UNC CMIH will work with four state teams (California, Delaware, North Carolina, and Oklahoma), with support from PCHHC, to develop adaptable models that effectively integrate preconception care into the well-woman visit — working with clinics to implement validated screening tools and response strategies; enhancing state-level capacity to support effective implementation; and disseminating the model nationally.
The CoIIN funding will be administered through UNC School of Social Work. The awards, which total nearly $1.49 million in aggregate over three years, will fund California, Delaware, North Carolina, and Oklahoma as partners in the work.
Each state will receive financial resources specifically tailored to support their clinic-level data collection, enhancing preconception health resources and services in their state, outreach to spread successful models and other state specific strategies, such as an electronic pre-visit assessment tool in Oklahoma. The project will assist Title V programs in achieving the National Performance Measurement on increasing well-woman visits.
“The project will look different in every state, resulting in a variety of preconception care models tailored to different settings,” Verbiest said. “This is one of the biggest preconception projects that we’ve had nationally to-date. The investment in the health of women who are NOT pregnant is an important paradigm shift.
“This work takes on a greater urgency in the face of increasing rates of preterm birth as well as increasing rates of maternal sickness and death, along with major disparities for women of color.”
The University of North Carolina School of Social Work and School of Medicine and the Mountain Area Health Education Center will lend expertise by hosting in-person and virtual meetings, as well as responding to clinic and state requests for training and technical assistance on a range of topics such as behavioral health, immigrant and refugee wellness, intimate partner violence, trauma-informed care, policy, contraception, chronic disease management and quality improvement. Experts on human centered design, health care policy, data and community engagement are also part of the core team.
ABOUT HRSA CoIIN PRECONCEPTION PROJECT:
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UF3MC31239-Providing Support For The Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) To Reduce Infant Mortality. The grant amount totals $1,494,993. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.