HHS awards $374 million to programs supporting maternal and child health

Sept. 13, 2019

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced approximately $351 million in funding to 56 states, territories, and nonprofit organizations through its Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV Program) and approximately $23 million in funding to three new programs aimed at improving maternal health outcomes.

The MIECHV Program funds support communities to provide voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy, and to parents with young children up to kindergarten entry.

Administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in close partnership with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the MIECHV Program supports pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, as they raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to succeed.

Over the past seven years, the MIECHV Program has provided over 5 million home visits. In FY 2018, the MIECHV Program served more than 150,000 parents and children in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories, and provided more than 930,000 home visits. Almost three-fourths of families participating in the program had household incomes at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, and 76 percent of adults and children relied on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“The MIECHV Program helps parents and caregivers connect with services and resources and empowers families with the tools they need to thrive,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Tom Engels.  “The Program’s two-generation approach is aimed at improving the well-being of both parents and children which builds healthier and stronger families and communities.”

Funding for maternal health

In addition to the MIECHV Program awards, HRSA is providing new funding to spark innovation, support maternal health service delivery, and address the high rates of both maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity (SMM) in the United States. Through the State Maternal Health Innovation Support and Implementation (State MHI) Program, HRSA is awarding approximately $18.7 million through nine cooperative agreements to assist states in addressing disparities in maternal health and improving maternal health outcomes, with an emphasis on preventing and reducing maternal mortality and SMM.

HRSA is also awarding $2.6 million through a cooperative agreement to implement the Supporting Maternal Health Innovation (Supporting MHI) Program.  The program will serve as a national resource center and provide capacity building assistance to HRSA’s maternal health grantees and other stakeholders as they engage in efforts to reduce maternal mortality and SMM through  innovative and evidence-informed strategies.

Additionally, HRSA is awarding approximately $1.8 million through a cooperative agreement for the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) – Community Care Initiative. This initiative supports the development and implementation of non-hospital focused maternal safety bundles within community-based organizations and outpatient clinical settings across the United States.  It will build upon the foundational work of the original and existing AIM program, and increase its reach by addressing preventable maternal mortality and SMM among pregnant and postpartum women outside of hospitals and other birthing facility settings.