AEH Launches Initiative to Address Maternal/Newborn Health Risks
Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center Developing Pre- to Post-Natal Model
Maternal and Child Health Risks Elevated in Delta Region
Overall, maternal mortality is significantly greater in the Delta region of the United States compared with the non-Delta portion. Combined with the reduction in the number of obstetric providers and hospital closures in the region, the need for alternative solutions is evident.
Understanding that maternal morbidity, mortality, and premature birthrates in the Mississippi Delta surpass the national average at disproportionate rates, there is a demand for novel approaches to maternal and child health in the counties that make up the Mississippi Delta. The model employed by AEH will place mothers at the center of the project’s design and its approaches. “We will work directly with mothers from the Mississippi Delta, obstetricians who service the Mississippi Delta, primary care providers and clinics who have serviced the community for many years,” says Dr. Will Carter, III, coordinator of this initiative. AEH will take the lead in partnership with the Right! From the Start Program, funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation; Delta Health Center; and Community Foundation of North Mississippi. “We will leverage our partnerships with the community, medical and public health academic institutions, and other leaders in the field to better understand the challenges surrounding maternal and child health in order to design and implement additional sustainable interventions.” This model will focus on the psychosocial and physiological stressors that impact mothers and children and also improve accessibility to perinatal healthcare through improved care coordination and employ tele-health as an option to perinatal care. The interventions will aim to improve the overall health outcomes of mothers and children in the Mississippi Delta counties. While this demonstration model is specific to the Mississippi Delta, the model can be easily adapted to meet the needs of other communities.