Over $4M in Maternal Care Innovation Grants Awarded to Reduce Maternal Mortality and Morbidity

Nearly $4.5 million in awards are currently under contract as part of a maternal care innovation opportunity spearheaded by Pennsylvania lawmakers dedicated to identifying promising practices in maternal care and reducing maternal mortality and morbidity across the Commonwealth.

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation is operating as the fiscal agent for federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds provided through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to address maternal health needs. An external review committee of experts from across Pennsylvania convened throughout 2023 to review proposals and make funding recommendations.

The following organizations will join those previously announced in October 2023 addressing the maternal health crisis, bringing the total number of awardees to 30:

  • Accion Communal Latinoamericana de Montgomery County (ACLAMO) was awarded $199,708.70 to support low-income Latinx expectant and new families in Montgomery County by providing three levels of case management, peer support groups, caregiver workshops to increase knowledge of health and wellness, and connecting people to providers supporting a continuum of care for expecting parents.
  • African Family Health Organization (AFAHO) was awarded $99,197 to expand their current maternal child health program through breastfeeding awareness and support, hiring culturally appropriate doulas to serve clients, establishing a social support group, strengthening workshop curriculum, and providing material resources to ensure pregnant African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees in the greater Philadelphia region have what they need to keep their babies safe and healthy.
  • Brown Mamas, an organization based in Pittsburgh, was awarded $100,000 to organize a "Womb, Wealth, & Wellness Weekend Conference." This event will focus exclusively on the holistic health and wellness needs of the Black mothering community in Pittsburgh. It will help to strengthen connections between community-based organizations and the families they serve, build awareness around new tech-focused solutions to maternal health issues, provide shared decision-making opportunities between health organizations and the families they serve, and more.
  • The City of Philadelphia Office of Domestic Violence Strategies within the City's Office of Health and Human Services was awarded $200,000 to enhance the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline, serving as the foundation of a warm handoff referral system. Additionally, it will facilitate training for hotline workers to conduct safety planning for pregnant and postpartum people experiencing domestic violence, along with increased support materials specific to pregnant and postpartum people.
  • An award of $200,000 will support combining services of Beverly's Birthdays, MAYA, and NurturePA to connect homeless and low-income pregnant people to resources provided by all organizations. Beverly's Birthdays provides birthday cheer and critical baby care items, like diapers, wipes, safe sleep items, clothing, and more to expectant and new families. MAYA addresses pregnancy and early parenting challenges, particularly those faced by BIPOC and marginalized people, by providing free childbirth education, mentorship, doula care, counseling, and infant care items. NurturePA promotes effective and healthy parenting through an interactive text messaging platform where parents can engage with trained mentors who provide support and education.
  • The Foundation of Delaware County was awarded $200,000 to expand its services by hiring a full-time Spanish-speaking social worker to provide intensive case management to pregnant and parenting Spanish-speaking immigrants and refugees, identifying and addressing barriers to accessing health and social services. Funds will also support the expansion of a resource center that will help clients navigate unfamiliar systems and create opportunities for peer-to-peer support for immigrant families through parent cafes, family dinners, and immigration clinics.
  • The Foundation of Delaware County was also awarded $200,000 to build out their existing home visiting program to include doulas; the expansion will involve services to low-income expectant parents in Delaware County. The Foundation will conduct outreach, screening and referral, doula support, integration into the continuum of care, evaluation of the program, and dissemination of findings to raise awareness and encourage evidence-based decision-making.
  • The Health Equity Anti-Racism (HEAR) Committee of the Pennsylvania Association of Certified Nurse Midwives (PA-ACNM) was awarded $200,000 to support the education of Black, Biracial Black, and African American midwives to build a more diverse midwifery workforce across Pennsylvania, increasing access to racially concordant reproductive and primary care and reducing racial disparities in pregnancy and healthcare outcomes.
  • Healthy Start was awarded $200,000 to support the Allegheny County Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Committee to improve systems of care, services, and resources for pregnant and birthing people. It aims to decrease the disparity in hypertensive disorders in pregnancy for Black-birthing people by increasing access to blood pressure monitoring and education for Black-birthing people and their families. Additionally, the FIMR Case Review Team will conduct interviews with parents who have experienced fetal loss and develop a standard rotation for presenting cases and recommendations to the FIMR Community Action Team. Funding will also be used to develop IT infrastructure within the organization.
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital was awarded $193,260 to reduce the load of prenatal visits for rural and low-income pregnant people by implementing virtual prenatal care, which includes patient-obtained weight, blood pressure, and fetal heart tone reporting. This will increase prenatal visit adherence, enabling patients to continue care from the convenience of their homes or workplaces, and avoiding the risks of maternal and neonatal morbidity that can result from insufficient prenatal care.
  • Malama Health was awarded $99,856 to expand its Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) management app to serve pregnant Pennsylvanians with gestational diabetes and those with pregestational diabetes. The app integrates mobile technology with biometric tracking devices to enable patients with GDM to sync their blood glucose values and easily log meals on their phones while providers asynchronously and remotely view patients' blood glucose logs and meal information in real time.
  • Masters of Maternity was awarded $100,000 to engage in workforce development by providing scholarships to students from marginalized populations for doula training, expanded training to reach community colleges across Pennsylvania, along with technical support through sustainability tools that doulas can use after they have completed their training. The expansion of doula training will initially focus on community colleges in the Allegheny County area.
  • The Maternal and Child Health Consortium (MCHC) was awarded $100,000 to hire a manager and two doulas to work with existing Healthy Start home-visiting clients at MCHC. Community Health Workers currently provide holistic, trauma-informed care, addressing maternal health challenges, and educating clients about prenatal and postnatal care. Doulas will assist clients in developing birth plans, creating pregnancy care routines, providing blood pressure and depression screenings, providing referrals to a variety of resources to address social determinants of health, educating about the labor and delivery process, infant care, and self-care, as well as additional on-call support.
  • The National Nurse-Led Care Consortium (NNCC) was awarded $200,000 to reduce barriers to doula training and related certifications through scholarships that will provide training for 10 graduates of their home visiting programs to become Perinatal Community Health Worker Doulas. NNCC will partner with the Maternity Care Coalition to offer trauma-informed, culturally competent training within an experiential learning framework. Additionally, it will provide 70 high-risk pregnant home-visiting clients with doula services.
  • New Sun Rising (Unshakeable Motherhood) was awarded $100,000 to establish an app called NurtureHer. Facilitated through a collaborative network of mommy concierges and birth workers deployed via the app, both in-person and virtual guidance will be provided to African American and low-income families in the greater Pittsburgh region. The organization offers doula support, meal delivery, laundry assistance, and educational programs covering maternity, birth, and postpartum.
  • Once Upon a Preemie, Inc. was awarded $100,000 to expand access to its training academy statewide by providing 4 e-learning courses on implicit bias free of charge to 100 perinatal and neonatal professionals. A book donation program will provide books, free of charge, to those who complete the e-learning courses. This will equip healthcare professionals to eliminate personal bias, empower families to read to their preemies in the NICU, reduce stress, address maternal mental health, promote parent/child bonding, and improve patient and provider communication.
  • PatientsRWaiting - Diversifying Doulas Initiative will use the awarded $200,000 to train 10 people of color to become doulas in Lancaster, Harrisburg, and York, reducing barriers to entry and diversifying the perinatal workforce. They will implement new weekly classes for pregnant people of color and subsidize doula services for 100 historically marginalized clients.
  • Philly Joy Bank was awarded $198,565 to provide benefits and financial counseling to participants to decrease prenatal and postpartum stress, improve ability to address concrete needs, improve access and engagement in healthcare, and improve parent-child attachment and engagement.
  • The University of Pennsylvania was awarded $199,242 to conduct a landscape analysis and community listening sessions to comprehensively understand the prenatal care landscape in Philadelphia. Then, it will establish a prenatal care consortium called BirthBridge Philly, which will lay the groundwork for implementation of the AIM Community Care Initiative entitled "Community Care Postpartum Safety and Wellness Bundle," which provides steps to establish a system of care from birth through the first year postpartum. This will ensure that pregnant and postpartum people in Philadelphia receive the care and support needed to recover from birth, acclimate to motherhood, addressing medical, behavioral health, and psychosocial needs.
  • The University of Pittsburgh was awarded $199,306 to expand the reach of the family check-up preventive intervention to the prenatal period, leveraging this successful model to expand prenatal medical care and improve maternal resources and wellbeing. This model employs family coaches who use motivational interviewing and empower parents to identify goals and potential interventions to meet their goals.
  • The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and PA Association of Certified Nurse-Midwives was awarded $42,876 to be used for the development of a community-engaged scholarship project and steering committee between the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing academic faculty and midwives from PA Association of Certified Nurse-Midwives to identify barriers to providing care for perinatal Opioid Use Disorder, and for developing implementation strategies to decrease barriers to care.

Projects will run through 2026. 

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