Supporting Maternal & Infant Health

The Health ´╗┐Care program area seeks to improve maternal and infant health outcomes and reduce health disparities.

Challenge

Significant health and access-to-care disparities exist for women of color compared to white women, and for women who live in rural communities compared to those in urban areas. It all results in worse maternal and infant health outcomes. Black, American Indian and Hispanic babies are up to 2.4 times more likely to die in the first year and Black women are three times more likely to die in childbirth. In addition, 36 rural counties in the Carolinas have no practicing obstetricians. Numerous rural hospitals have closed their maternity care units in the last decade. 

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Our Objective

Health Care is committed to improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities of all mothers and their newborns. Health Care will engage in discovery grantmaking by demonstrating the effectiveness of programs and models that prioritize reducing disparities and improving maternal and infant health outcomes. 

Through our grantmaking, we seek to improve important metrics such as the percentage of low-birthweight deliveries and pre-term births, mortality rates, accessibility to prenatal and maternity care services and the timeliness of prenatal care.

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What We Fund

Our funding supports breastfeeding programs and group prenatal programs such as Centering Pregnancy, as well as programs that address mental health and mitigate substance use among pregnant women.

The Endowment is also evaluating the impact of an alternative model of care that uses specially trained family medicine physicians and nurse midwives to deliver babies in rural hospitals where obstetricians are not available.

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