Improvements Being Made to Maternal and Infant Health Programs

The health of mothers and babies in Michigan could be getting a boost thanks to a grant from Arnold Ventures and a collaboration between the University of Michigan Youth Policy Lab and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The grant will fund a full review of the Maternal Infant Health Program, the state’s largest evidence-based home visiting program. Michigan’s infant and maternal mortality rates are higher than the national average, with worse outcomes for racial minorities. The evaluation will investigate those disparities. The grant will also direct $350,000 to hiring community workers to do intensive community outreach.

The current Maternal Infant Health program partners moms and babies with nurses, social workers, dietitians, lactation consultants, and mental health specialists. Over 15,000 moms and 20,000 infants are served each year statewide. St. Clair County offers the program to Medicare and Medicaid eligible mothers and infants up to age one.

According to Robert Gordon, MDHHS Director, “Careful program evaluation can help us to make our home visiting programs more effective.”

The program continues through 2025.

Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland