Union Hospital’s Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health has been awared a $4.5 million grant to help improve health outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy; and, to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in rates of infant death as well as negative health outcomes in the first 18 months of life.
Through Healthy Start, 100 organizations serving communities with infant mortality rates at least 1.5 times the U.S. national average, and with high rates of other negative maternal and infant outcomes, will receive up to $1 million each year over five years. The West Central Indiana Healthy Start (WCIHS) will target Fountain, Parke, and Vigo counties.
WCIHS is a consortium facilitated by the Lugar Center for Rural Health and composed of Chances and Services for Youth (CASY), Family Health and Help Center, Hamilton Center, St. Vincent South Clinic, Valley Professionals Community Health Center (VPCHC), Union Hospital, Union Medical Group, and Wabash Valley Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC).
Funding will support a wide range of services for women, children, and families, including: healthcare coordination; case management; linkage to social services; screening and counseling for alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; breastfeeding support; interconception education; child development education; and, parenting support. In addition, funding will strengthen the health workforce to provide such services, build a more effective and efficient service-delivery system, and promote and improve health equity across participating organizations.
This project will strive to address factors, such as high rates of poverty, limited access to care, and other socioeconomic factors, to ensure women have healthy pregnancies and raise healthy children.
“Healthy Start programs provide information, resources, and support to pregnant and parenting women and their families to ensure a healthy pregnancy and to help nurture their newborns,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D.