Expanding Health Services to First-Time Mothers

Our region continually ranks at the bottom of many health indicators in the nation, including low birthweight babies and infant mortality. Unfortunately, the needs in the region are greater than our states’ abilities to meet them.
Nationally recognized as an effective model to improve the outcomes of children and families, the Nurse-Family Partnerships program is one of the ways the Foundation for the Mid South is seeking to expand health services in the region. The program provides nurses to low-income, first-time mothers, particularly those who could not or would not access health care (due to cost, lack of insurance, or lack of transportation, among others).
The Foundation and its partners began by providing leadership and resources to bring together those who could meet the requirements of federal grants through the Affordable Care Act. The subsequent collaborations between grant writers and state agencies resulted in nearly $4 million for the programs.
The program will provide home visits to 2,000 families in the Mid South. Research demonstrates that outcomes in other areas included an 83% increase in workforce participation of moms by their baby’s fourth birthday; 48% reduction in child abuse; and 46% increase in fathers’ presence in household.
“This is a great example of how the Foundation and its partners helped to ensure state agencies were receiving the maximum allotment of federal dollars available to them,” says Dwanda Moore Foundation for the Mid South Program Officer. “As a result of this effort, state agencies have been successful in securing an additional $39 million to assist about 20,000 more families; it required only a little support from the Foundation to get the ball rolling.”
The Council on Founations recently featured this story in its report “Community Foundations: Snapshots of Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.” The publication shares examples about how foundations can be more effective at leveraging public partnerships to expand services and impact in the communities they serve. Download the report