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BCBSTX Special Beginnings Grantees Come Together to Improve Outcomes for Texas Moms, Babies

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is committed to helping more mothers and children not only survive but thrive.  

Last August, BCBSTX announced the expansion of the Special Beginnings® Maternal and Infant Health Initiative to aid moms along their preconception, prenatal, and postpartum journey. The effort continues this year. 

In February, 15 BCBSTX Special Beginnings grantees came together at the Richardson headquarters to discuss opportunities to collaborate and integrate to improve outcomes for moms and babies across Texas. 

“By working with our grantees today, we really hope to synergize and cause an infectious spirit in regards to taking care of the mothers and children in the state of Texas,” says Dr. Mark Chassay, BCBSTX's chief medical officer. 

BCBSTX’s Special Beginnings initiative is initially focusing efforts to reduce maternal morbidities, mortalities and health disparities in four regions — Central Texas, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston and Rio Grande Valley. 

“We know that if we can have partnerships, community education and awareness, improve access and quality to care, we hope that we will reverse those outcomes,” says Dr. Yolanda Lawson, BCBSTX executive medical director of maternal and infant health.

Among the grantees in attendance were representatives from Vitamin Angels, Healing Hands Ministries Health and InovCares. 

As program officer for the United States and Canada, Vitamin Angel's Alicia Mendoza says the organization's mission is to support the nutritionally vulnerable, mainly those who are pregnant and young children. With help from BCBSTX, Vitamin Angels is distributing 10,000 six-month supplies of prenatal vitamins to families in need. Several fellow grantees will help distribute the vitamins to the people they serve. 

Dr. Latasha Jarrett, chief medical officer for HHM Health, also attended. HHM Health, multispecialty clinic in Dallas, Texas, offers moms prenatal care as well as other services to help provide for their health care needs. 

“Regardless of where we sit, all of us want to improve the lives of individuals who live in our communities,” Dr. Jarrett says. “We thank Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas immensely because now it allows us to implement all the things we dream of.”

Through the grant funding, Mohammad Kamara, founder of InovCares, says the tech-enabled platform will connect moms to culturally sensitive providers via telehealth video and message consults and offer them comprehensive medical kits at no cost. 

BCBSTX is honored to collaborate with these organizations, plus many others making a difference through the Special Beginnings Maternal and Infant Health Initiative.

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association