Posted on December 11, 2013

Feds Spending $82 Million ‘Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health’

Penny Starr, CNS News, December 10, 2013

Congress approved and now Health and Human Services (HHS) will be distributing a total of $82 million to a wide range of government, academic and non-profit organizations for programs that will “reduce disparities in infant mortality and adverse perinatal outcomes.”

The grant funding, part of the “Healthy Start Initiative,” is being administered through HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The grant funding was announced Dec. 5, with applications being accepted through Jan. 14, 2014. There are three grant announcements, valued at $51,750,000$12 million, and $18 million.

The grant funding description states the five goals of the programs HHS wants developed:

Improving women’s health;
Promoting quality services;
Strengthening family resilience;
Achieving collective impact; and
Increasing accountability through quality improvement, performance monitoring, and evaluation.

{snip} also asked HHS how the beneficiaries of these programs will be identified.

“The Healthy Start program aims to reduce disparities in infant mortality and adverse perinatal outcomes,” [HRSA director of communications Martin] Kramer told “Healthy Start grants are awarded to communities with rates of infant mortality at least 1½ times the U.S. national average and high rates for other adverse perinatal outcomes (e.g., low birth weight, preterm birth, maternal morbidity and mortality) in order to address the needs of high-risk women and their families before, during, and after pregnancy.

“Healthy Start works to reduce the disparity in health status between the general population and individuals who are members of racial or ethnic minority groups beginning with the  prenatal through two years after the end of the pregnancy,” Kramer said.

Kramer also confirmed that the funds were appropriated by Congress.