RICHARDSON, Texas — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has granted an additional $3.7 million to seven local nonprofits that serve and support access to health care for Texas moms and babies as part of BCBSTX’s statewide expanded Special Beginnings® maternal and infant health initiative to improve maternal and infant health outcomes.
These Special Beginnings grants build on BCBSTX’s long-standing maternal and infant care programs as well as relationships with trusted local community organizations, health care providers and thought leaders to leverage their knowledge, experience and talents to increase access to care, reduce care gaps and educate and engage Texans at a local level.
BCBSTX’s Special Beginnings initiative is initially focusing efforts in four regions to reduce maternal morbidities, mortalities and health disparities, and includes grants to community nonprofits in:
Austin / Central Texas:
- People’s Community Clinic to increase their capacity to offer high-quality perinatal care and well-child care with early childhood brain development at the core, aiming to set children on a trajectory for a lifetime of health and well-being.
- Santa Maria Hostel to grow their “Caring for Two” program, which promotes positive infant development and maternal health outcomes for families impacted by maternal substance use, mental health challenges and trauma. They will scale offerings in Houston and expand to Central Texas.
- Abide Women’s Health Services to expand their community-based prenatal and maternal health services through their Easy Access™ Clinic and new mobile unit.
- HHM Health to support women’s health services in Vickery Meadow in Dallas, help establish women’s services in South Dallas in partnership with Viola’s House, and bridge gaps between medical and social support services outside of Deep Ellum with Hope Cottage.
- HOPE Clinic to support their Maternal Outcomes Management Improvement (MOMI) project for women at the highest risk for severe maternal morbidity. They offer early, continuous utilization of prenatal care, educate about healthy spacing between pregnancies and promote general reproductive health.
Rio Grande Valley:
- Access Esperanza Clinics to provide pregnancy testing and prenatal vitamins to more women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in addition to health education.
- Holy Family Services, Inc. to offer health assessments, disease prevention and health risk management through their stationary and mobile clinics, which includes comprehensive women’s health services, maternity services, postpartum services and infant care.
“In order to move the needle and support Texas moms and babies, it will take a collective effort. We’re proud to support and work alongside local nonprofits by helping scale the impact they make to reduce barriers to needed health care and support services,” said Dr. Mark Chassay, BCBSTX VP and chief medical officer. “We are scaling the ways we reach and serve not just our members but all Texans by further strengthening programs in the communities we serve.”
Other recently announced collaborations as part of BCBSTX’s statewide expanded Special Beginnings maternal and infant health initiative, which aims to improve health outcomes for Texas moms and babies following data that showed nine out of 10 maternal deaths in Texas were preventable, include:
- Huston-Tillotson University to train doulas, midwives, lactation consultants and support maternal health education in Central Texas;
- Listening sessions through Bracane to engage mothers of all backgrounds and experiences across the state, including pregnant women, as well as maternal health care providers.
- BCBSTX-funded March of Dimes Mom & Baby Mobile Health Center to increase access to maternal and infant care in Houston with the March of Dimes’ sixth unit and first in Texas;
- Tech-enabled platforms Delfina and InovCares to support maternal health care providers and mothers with tools to promote heathier pregnancies and birth outcomes.
Implementing quality-based maternal health programs that demonstrate a reduction in preterm/low birth weight babies and obstetric and postpartum emergencies;
Expanding access to comprehensive health services including behavioral health care during the preconception, prenatal, and postpartum periods; and
Increasing public awareness and community engagement to reduce maternal morbidities, mortalities and health disparities, including the expansion of the maternal health workforce.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with more than 140,000 physicians and health care practitioners, and 520 hospitals to serve more than 7 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico). Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.