JHF Named Administrator for $9M in Maternal and Child Health Funding

State Rep. Morgan Cephas spoke during a press conference at Temple University’s new Hospital for Women’s Health in Philadelphia

On April 14, state Representative Morgan Cephas, state Senator Christine Tartaglione, Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson, and the Wolf administration, announced $25.6 million in American Rescue Plan funding to be allocated for a new maternal and child health initiative in Pennsylvania. The COVID-19 Nurturing Maternal and Child Health (NMCH) Initiative recognizes the impact the pandemic had on Pennsylvania communities and makes strategic investments to begin the implementation of inventive and informed improvements. The funding announcement also coincided with Black Maternal Health Week, April 11-17. The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) is pleased to be named an administrator for approximately $9 million including several of the grant programs within the initiative.

The NMCH closely coincides and builds on the recent announcement from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services that the commonwealth would expand Medicaid coverage for all qualifying individuals for 12-months postpartum. This new funding will provide $10 million to expand lead abatement and remediation, more than $5 million for new equipment at Temple University Hospital for Women's Health, and $5 million for maternal care innovation grants. Also included in the initiative is funding for local maternal mortality review committees, doula services, healthy eating, and new mom and baby training.

"With the promise in this funding, we are putting money into solving maternal mortality and working to address the social determinants of health that contribute to the crisis we are experiencing across Pennsylvania," Representative Cephas said.

"As an obstetrician and gynecologist, I have dedicated my life's work to safeguarding maternal health," Johnson said. "As a Black woman, I am especially pleased to see these investments being announced during national Black Maternal Health Week because maternal mortality rates for women of color are up to three times higher than for white women. We must continue to do more to erase that disparity and these initiatives are a step in the right direction."

JHF will be responsible to administer the designated funds within NMCH for programs within the focus areas of doula services, certification, and workforce development; grants for local maternal mortality review committees and related innovation grants; a healthy food pilot program; and a free at-home pregnancy test program to enable early notification of pregnancy and connection to prenatal care.

"The Jewish Healthcare Foundation has been engaged for the past five years with public and private partners to improve pregnancy outcomes and reduce maternal mortality across Pennsylvania," said Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. "We are pleased that the Commonwealth is entrusting us with the opportunity to further that work by serving as an administrator of a portion of the ARPA funds. This new funding will advance essential programs and services that benefit the health and well-being of Pennsylvania's mothers and families."

Watch a video of the press conference for the announcement here. 

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