HHS Invests $15 Million to Improve Maternal Health in Rural America

Health and Human Services Announces Upcoming Funding Action to Provide $186 Million for COVID-19 Response

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a significant investment aimed at improving maternal health in rural communities. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will allocate a combined $15 million over four years through the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (Rural MOMS) Program and a new initiative targeting the Delta region.

At a recent convening in Flagstaff, AZ, HRSA Deputy Administrator Jordan Grossman emphasized the importance of these investments, highlighting the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to addressing maternal mortality and morbidity rates in the United States.

“Addressing the unacceptable rate of maternal mortality and morbidity in the United States is one of the Biden-Harris Administration’s top priorities,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “These investments in expanding access to maternal care in high-need rural communities are essential to helping mothers and their babies thrive.”

The Rural MOMS Program

The Rural MOMS Program will distribute almost $4 million each to awardees over four years. This funding aims to enhance and expand access to maternal and obstetric care in rural areas. The program employs a network model to coordinate care across rural hospitals, medical centers, community health centers, and rural clinics.

Awardees include:

  • Mariposa Community Health Center, Nogales, Arizona: $4,000,000
  • University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, Inc., Kansas City, Kansas: $3,836,138

These funds will support innovative strategies to build and sustain maternity care services in rural communities.

Delta Region Maternal Care Coordination Program

HRSA’s new Delta Region Maternal Care Coordination Program focuses on the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. This initiative aims to improve maternal care access and coordination before, during, and after pregnancy. HRSA will award up to four cooperative agreements totaling approximately $7 million over four years.

Improving Maternal Health in Rural America

Addressing the maternal health crisis in rural America is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Access to Care: Pregnant women in rural areas often face significant barriers to accessing maternal care. These barriers can include long travel distances to healthcare providers and limited availability of specialized services. By investing in rural maternity care, the HHS aims to reduce these barriers and ensure that mothers receive the care they need.
  2. Reducing Disparities: Maternal mortality and morbidity rates are particularly high in rural regions, especially among marginalized communities. These initiatives focus on reducing disparities and ensuring equitable access to care, which is essential for improving overall maternal health outcomes.
  3. Community Impact: Strengthening maternal care in rural areas not only benefits mothers and babies but also has a broader impact on community health. When mothers receive adequate care, it sets the foundation for healthier families and communities.
Investing in Innovation and Collaboration

These investments have several broader implications:

  1. Policy and Funding Priorities: The allocation of $15 million signals a strong commitment from the federal government to address maternal health issues. It highlights the need for continued investment and policy support to sustain these efforts.
  2. Innovation in Healthcare: By encouraging innovative approaches to maternal care, these programs could serve as models for other regions facing similar challenges. Successful strategies may be replicated and scaled to improve maternal health nationwide.
  3. Collaboration and Coordination: The emphasis on a network model and coordinated care illustrates the importance of collaboration among various healthcare providers and community organizations. Effective partnerships can enhance the quality and continuity of care for mothers and their babies.
Transforming Rural Maternal Health

The HHS’s $15 million investment in rural maternal health through the Rural MOMS Program and the Delta Region Maternal Care Coordination Program marks a significant step towards addressing the maternal health crisis in rural America. By expanding access to care, reducing disparities, and fostering innovation, these initiatives aim to improve maternal health outcomes and create healthier communities. As these programs roll out, their impact will likely resonate far beyond the initial investment, paving the way for a brighter future for mothers and their children.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News and Microsoft Start.